What Is an AC Compressor

Depending on where you live, and how well you maintain them, an AC compressor can last ten to twenty years. Without it, a residential air conditioner cannot do its job.

But what is an AC compressor and why do you need it? If you want to keep the cool air coming on the hot summer days, keep reading.

Discover what an AC compressor is, what it does, common issues that can go wrong, and why proper maintenance is a must!

What Is an AC Compressor?

It is a critical component of your air conditioning system. You may hear people say that the compressor is also the “heart” of the air conditioner.

This component converts power into energy. It circulates the refrigerant so that the heat exchange can process.

In simple terms, if you do not have a working AC compressor, you will not have cold air. Period.

What Does an AC Compressor Do?

The AC compressor is located inside the outdoor AC unit. Its job is to circulate the refrigerant that the air conditioning system needs during the process of heat exchange through its coils. Therefore, the AC compressor is the energy source for the AC unit.

The residential air conditioner gets its power from the electricity that runs through the AC compressor. Then the AC unit absorbs heat from the residence so that it can create cool air and push the cool air back into the home.

The AC compressor cooling process begins with the motor, which powers it with a piston and cylinder. Next, the AC compressor will raise the temperature. It also raises the pressure of vapor refrigerant leaving the evaporator coil.

Gas Turns Into Liquids

Now, the AC condenser will cool down the heat. It condenses refrigerant vapor that is incoming into liquid. The AC compressor will raise the refrigerant pressure, moving it to the indoor AC unit.

Finally, the process repeats itself, over and over. This creates a constant exchange of heat.

What Causes an AC Compressor to Fail?

Like any machine or appliance, they can break from time to time. There are many reasons that this could happen.

It is usually not expensive to fix, but it depends on the issue. We highly recommend you click here to learn more about an AC compressor replacement cost.

Sometimes issues are simple, though. For instance, it could be a clogged air filter that is hindering the airflow.

If you have compressor failure, this is much more costly. Here, you may need to purchase an entire AC unit.

Address AC Compressor Issues Early

The key to preventing AC compressor issues is early intervention. When you address the problem early, you have a better chance of keeping the cost down. This means keeping to a schedule of routine maintenance to resolve challenges because they become big dilemmas.

Further, make sure that you hire a qualified technician to provide superior air conditioning system maintenance. Unfortunately, if you do not work with a professional on your maintenance needs, the unqualified technician can cause a failure, too.

Electrical Issues

One of the costliest AC unit repairs stems from electrical issues. Such challenges can cause permanent damage to your AC compressor and many other components of the AC unit.

Electrical errors can cause acid build-up. When this happens, it is detrimental to your system. This is another reason you need the help of a qualified, professional technician who can inspect for acids and damaged wiring, fuses, and more.

Filling Too Much Refrigerant in the Air Conditioner

A professional, qualified HVAC technician will know the correct type of refrigerant for your air conditioning system. Also, they will know how much to fill it with. An all too common issue that will cause damage to your AC compressor and your AC unit is filling it with too much refrigerant.

Suction Lines Blocked

When your AC unit is not cooling to the best of its ability, this is the first signal that you may be experiencing damaged or blocked suction lines. When you have an issue like this, early detection is imperative. 

If you do not catch it early, it could mean increased temperature and pressure. An issue like this will lead your residential air conditioner to overheat and fail. 

Refrigerant Leaks

As an AC unit ages, refrigerant lines can get cracks and holes in them. This causes your air conditioner to have a refrigerant leak. Your refrigerant levels will become low, it will be more challenging to get the refrigerant to push through the air conditioning system.

It can be a slow process that will eventually lead to failure.

Dirty Coils

The condenser coil can develop grime, residue, and minerals. This will prevent the AC unit from ejecting enough heat. Because of this, it will force the air conditioning system to run consistently all day so that it can cool your space.

With added temperature and pressure, your residential air conditioner will overheat. Eventually, it will fail.

Outdoor Dirt and Debris

Contaminants from the outdoors can be the culprit sometimes when damage occurs. Dirt, leaves, moisture, acids, debris, and bird droppings are just some elements that can break your AC compressor.

Treat Your AC Compressor Right

In the dog days of summer, it pays to take good care of your AC compressor so it can keep you cool as a cat.

But what is an AC compressor? It is the difference between staying cool and comfortable, or sweaty and irritated.

For tips on hardware, home improvement, and more, we’ve got the details you need. Don’t leave us. Keep clicking for more brilliant ways to keep the appliances in your residence running.

Love your home, love your AC compressor, and love our site bringing you this vital information!