air conditioner compressor

One can never fully appreciate the cool air produced by the air conditioner unless it stops. If you don’t want to face the inconvenience of a malfunctioning HVAC system, it’s imperative to learn more about the air conditioner compressor. It is like the heart of the air conditioning unit. 

Once you have identified any issues with the compressor, you have got a few options. Whether you can repair it, replace the compressor or the entire condenser unit. It is suggested to hire professional help for thorough inspection and repairs to get the HVAC system in working condition again. 

Several of our customers ask about the DIY repair hacks for a malfunctioning compressor. Here is a brief introduction to an AC compressor and how to fix it.

What Is An Air Compressor And What Does It Do?

An air compressor is typically located in the outside unit or condenser unit of the HVAC system. The condenser unit is responsible for dissipating the heat absorbed by the refrigerant coming from the evaporator coils. Compressor plays an important role by “compressing” the incoming vaporized refrigerant from the evaporator coils into a super-heated and high-pressure state. 

As this compressed air passes through the condenser coils, it loses heat and is converted into liquid again to be sent to the evaporator unit. The compressor also plays an important role in transferring the refrigerant from one unit to the other to continue the cooling cycle.

How To Tell If It Needs Repairs?

If you observe any of the following signs, it’s time to plug off the air conditioner and get the compressor fixed.

Unusual Noises

When the compressor is faulty, it faces a hard time in converting the low-pressure air into high-pressure vapors. As a result, you hear unusually loud noises coming from the outdoor unit.

Frequent Cycles

If your air conditioner is turning on and off frequently or you observe short cycling, there could be several reasons. When the wiring is not frayed or damaged, it’s time to check the air compressor.

Decreased Air Flow And Warm Air

As the compressor directs the refrigerant and keeps the cooling cycle running, you will observe decreased airflow and warm air in the house when it’s not working.

How To Repair It?

Most DIY repairs are about cleaning different components of the air conditioner.

Clean The Air Ducts Or Suction Lines

When was the last time you had the duct system cleaned or inspected? Check the duct system or suction lines for signs of damages and leaks. Remove the debris and any other obstructions to allow adequate airflow and cooling.

Clean The Condenser Coils

Turn off the AC and get to the exterior unit. Unscrew the covering of the condenser unit and inspect the coils carefully. Use a soft cloth or brush to clean the coils of any dust and debris.

Replace/Clean The Air Filters

The air filters need to be replaced regularly. If your air conditioner has a dirty or clogged air filter, read the user manual to replace the filters. You can also clean the filter to prevent the system and indoor air from pollutants.

air conditioner compressor repair

Common Causes Of Compressor Problems

Let us have a look at the most common causes of compressor issues.

Refrigerant Leak

One of the most common causes is refrigerant leaks. When the quantity of refrigerant fluid decreases, the AC compressor must work harder to keep the cooling cycle continuous. If the system keeps running in this condition for a long, you may need to replace the entire unit after some time.

Electricity Issues

Damaged fuses and wiring can also cause compressor failure. Electrical issues are best left to certified electricians.

Incoming Dirt And Debris From The Outdoor Unit

At times, compressor faults boil down to the contaminants coming from the outdoor unit. Leaves, twigs, debris, acid, and bird droppings can enter the compressor and cause it to break or fail. Trim the trees near the exterior unit. 

Clogged Suction Lines

It’s not easy to detect but clogged suction lines often result in overheating of the compressor and subsequent failure. Accumulation of the debris in the duct system creates clogs that impede the normal airflow.

Wrongly Sized Suction Lines

This issue is mostly due to the poor performance of unqualified HVAC installation technicians. But when your HVAC system works with wrongly sized suction lines for a long time, it breaks sooner than its expected lifespan.

Too Much Of Refrigerant

Refrigerant is vital to the cooling cycles but too much of it can be dangerous for the compressor and air conditioner. We recommend calling in our professionals to deal with the refrigerant issues.

Schedule Yearly Inspections And Tune-Ups

The best approach to keep your air compressor working is to schedule professional inspections and tune-ups. You don’t need to look further. Give us a call and we are ready to help!

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