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What You Need to Know About Your AC Compressor

When AC repair is necessary, issues can often be pointed back to the unit’s compressor despite most people not knowing a lot about the part. Here are five important points you need to be aware of with your AC compressor.

1.The AC compressor is important to the system

The compressor is referred to as the heart of the AC unit. Without it, the unit would not work. Refrigerant arrives to the air conditioner’s compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas, and the compressor’s job is to put it under high pressure. The refrigerant leaves the compressor as a hot gas.

The cooling of a home doesn’t begin until later in the process, but the compressor’s job is important to make cooling possible.

2. Multiple mistakes can cause problems

The expected lifespan of a compressor is 10-15 years, and if it stops working before reaching that time frame, it is usually fixable without replacing the compressor or the unit. However, there are many possible problems that can keep the compressor from working.

The suction lines can cause issues for the compressor if they become blocked or are the wrong size when installed. If lines are blocked or the wrong size, it can overheat the unit and cause AC compressor failure. Dirty coils can also cause problems for the compressor. As dirt and filth grow on the outside of the condenser coils, there are fewer chances for the unit to let off heat. As heat builds, so does the stress on the compressor and the unit.

Other potential problems for the compressor include pollutants in the unit, using the wrong type or too much refrigerant, and electrical issues. If the lines begin to drip Freon, it can overheat the compressor and cause it to have difficulties.

3. It can control speeds

if you have a two-stage compressor, it might cost more up front, but it will save you money over time. During the hot days of summer, the second stage will make sure the house is cooled at maximum speed. When the heat subsides outside but your house still needs to be cooled, the first stage runs at a lower speed that conserves energy.

The house stays as cool as you want it, but the two-stage compressor runs more efficiently and keeps extra money in your wallet.

4. Preventative maintenance is key

There’s no way to fully assure that your AC compressor will not have problems, but preventative maintenance is the best bet to avoid costly repairs in the future. Professionals will catch problems with the equipment before they become larger, more expensive issues for the owner. It’s not enough to clean the coils or the area around your compressor. There could be larger issues going on inside the equipment that aren’t noticeable to the untrained eye. Preventative maintenance is key to avoiding any AC compressor repair.

5. Consider the cost

If your AC compressor needs to be replaced, you need to think about the big picture. Compressors can be expensive, and if your unit’s warranty has passed and the cost for a new compressor is over half the price it would cost to buy a new unit, you probably want the entire unit replaced. The expected life of an air conditioning unit isn’t much longer than a compressor, so it can be worth the extra expense to avoid additional costs in the future.