Do I need to Replace My AC Compressor?

Few things are as frustrating on a hot summer day – or night – than realizing your central air isn’t performing as it should. If it’s a quick, easy fix, consider yourself lucky. But if the compressor is failing, a replacement can set you back a pretty penny. If your AC is pushing the limits of its expected lifespan, you may be better off replacing the entire system instead of pumping more money into an old, inefficient system. On the other hand, replacing the compressor may give your AC many more years of cooling comfort.

What Is an AC Compressor?

As the heart of an AC system, the compressor pumps liquid refrigerant through the appliance’s coils and condensing unit. The refrigerant draws heat out of warm air, thereby cooling the air which the fan then blows throughout your home. Many factors can cause a compressor to begin to fail, such as faulty electrical components, compressor motor failure, leaking refrigerant, or insufficient refrigerant levels.

Do I Need a New Compressor?

The only way to know if you need a new compressor is to have the AC unit inspected by a licensed Relief Heating & Cooling professional. However, there are some warning signs that can indicate a problem may be brewing. Here are the most common to watch for.

  • Excessive Cycling – Is your AC cycling off only to kick back on a few minutes later? The culprit can be as simple as an open window or a leak in the ductwork allowing warm air in, or a more serious issue like a compressor ready for the recycling heap.
  • Temperature Inconsistencies – A compressor that isn’t running as it should be is unable to sufficiently cool areas of the house farthest from the AC unit, resulting in inconsistent indoor temps.
  • Excessive Noise – It’s common to hear a low humming noise while your AC is running. But rattling, knocking, or clanking could signify a problem with the compressor.
  • Reduced Air Flow – A struggling compressor is unable to produce sufficient cool air, resulting in prolonged cycling and inconsistent temperatures in different areas of the home. In fact, an AC unit may not cycle off for hours if the compressor is operating at a deficient level.
  • Refrigerant Leak – A refrigerant leak can cause frequent cycling, insufficient airflow, a lack of cool air, and more. If the leak is due to a worn out compressor, replacement will be necessary.

Relief has two surefire remedies – one for an AC system that isn’t operating up to par, and another for one that is. First, if you’re just not getting the comfortable distribution of cool indoor air you once did, contact us for expert system analysis and a guaranteed price quote on what needs to be done to make matters right. Or, if you’d rather not wait for a problem to jump up and bite you, contact us for a very thorough tune-up and inspection, especially if it’s been a year or more since your system was last professionally maintained. When it comes to home heating and cooling issues, Relief is right around the corner.

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