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Common Air Compressor Problems


Your air conditioner’s compressor is one of the most important components of your cooling system. The compressor’s main job is to circulate refrigerant (the liquid responsible for making air cold) through your air conditioner.

When your compressor fails to operate as it should, you’re left without a reliable AC unit. Because your compressor is one of the most important elements of your AC unit, learn these signs your compressor is failing and needs work.

Circulation Problems

As mentioned above, your air conditioner’s compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout your cooling system. Without the compressor, your AC basically becomes an expensive fan.

Hot air coming out of your air conditioner is a common sign of compressor problems. Check your thermostat to make sure nobody turned the heat on by accident first, then call your HVAC specialist to have your air conditioner’s compressor replaced.

Another problem you’ll notice if your AC’s compressor is bad is weak or diminished air flow. While cleaning your home’s air ducts may help with some air flow quality improvement, your HVAC specialist should check your unit itself to see if the compressor is responsible for bad air flow.

Strange Sounds

As the compressor begins to fail on your air conditioner, strange sounds may start coming from your unit. You also might notice rattling and shaking when you turn your air conditioner on if the compressor is bad.

Your AC’s compressor will also start exhibiting a ticking or clattering sound, which can mean the electrical relay going to your compressor is going out. Any strange sounds coming from your unit should be taken seriously and brought to the attention of your HVAC specialist.

Past Repair Issues

If you’ve done work on your air conditioner in the past or hired a non-professional to fix your air conditioner, your AC’s compressor may be suffering as a result. For example, too much refrigerant in your unit or the wrong type of refrigerant can cause your compressor to wear out. Filthy coils, poorly-connected cables, or the wrong size of air suction lines can also place strain on your air conditioner’s compressor.

Always have your air compressor inspected and worked on by a professional HVAC specialist. Any repairs you’ve done on your own to your AC unit should be inspected by a professional to ensure quality.

Starting Issues

Try this test to see if your air conditioner’s compressor has a problem. While your air conditioner is actively running, turn the unit off. Immediately turn your air conditioner back on again. If your AC has troubles restarting from the mild interruption (sputtering, halting, or other starting issues) then your compressor may be wearing out.

Another sign your AC’s compressor is bad is that you will notice problems with the air conditioner starting in general where the unit used to have no issues turning on. Call your HVAC specialist if your air conditioner stutters and stalls, is slow to rumble to life, or turns off randomly. Your compressor may be to blame.

Breaker Problems

A bad compressor can cause your home’s breaker box to short circuit, resulting in having to reset your home’s electrical system nearly every time you start your air conditioner. A blown fuse or other minor issue caused by compressor failure can be a cheap fix. However, replacing a faulty compressor can be costly. Air conditioner compressors cost more than $1,350 to replace.

If your air conditioner’s compressor goes out, you’re in for an uncomfortable season. Allow our team of HVAC specialists to keep your air conditioner in healthy running condition. Call us at HELP today for all your HVAC servicing needs.

Posted in: Maintenance

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