How to tell if Your Home AC Compressor is Bad


Air conditioners are essential to survive on hot summer days! A properly functioning AC or AC compressor is what everyone wishes for but what if your home AC compressor is bad? Well, if your AC is not working fine, then the hotter days might cause you to ask, “How to know if AC Compressor is Bad”?

So, if you are hunting for an answer to the same question, then we have got your back. Here in this article, you will get to know everything about bad AC compressors involving its causes, symptoms, replacement time period, and much more.

So, let’s start with the article but before heading towards the causes and symptoms of a bad AC compressor, let’s just get an idea about how compressors work or what they actually do!

What Does the Compressor Do?

In the standard central AC’s found in most houses, the compressor is located in the outdoor unit. The job of the compressor is to circulate the refrigerant required for heat exchange through the coils of the indoor and outdoor units. In addition to this, the compressor is also responsible for applying the energy to the refrigerant.

The compressor compresses the gaseous refrigerant and this, in turn, increases the temperature of the refrigerant so that it converts it into high-pressure gas. The high pressure forces the refrigerant, and the refrigerant releases its heat and condenses into a liquid. This liquid refrigerant then continues its journey to the indoor unit, where the refrigerant evaporates into a gas again and absorbs all the heat from inside your house. Lastly, the refrigerant then returns to the compressor, and this whole cycle starts again.

What Causes a Compressor to Malfunction?

Just like Air Conditioner is vital for us to survive during hot weather, an effective and efficient compressor is essential for AC’s survival. So, if your home’s AC compressor is not functioning properly and you are confused with what caused this issue, then we have got you covered.

Below mentioned are the top reasons that cause an AC’s compressor to malfunction!

Cause 1: Damaged or Blocked Suction Lines

Over the span of usage, the refrigerant lines of your AC compressor system develop holes and cracks. These holes or cracks hinder the flow of refrigerant and put pressure on your compressor system to work much harder than before. In this way, the efficient functioning of your compressor will decline, and in turn, your compressor system will not function properly like before.

Cause 2: Contaminants in the Compressor

The compressor of home AC’s is usually kept outside the home or on the rooftop. Their placement area is generally highly polluted with plenty of containments like bacteria, fungi, or insects. These pollutants, along with dust, debris, or dirt, enter into the system of the compressor and malfunction it. So, it’s always a better idea to get your compressor system cleaned regularly by experts.

Cause 3: Inadequate Lubricant Levels

Just like the compressor is the heart of the AC, the lubricant is its blood. The inadequate level of lubricant can give rise to multiple compressor failure issues. You can easily fend off this by having your home’s AC maintained by professionals in your area. The technician will check the level of lubricant and oil pumps condition to avoid all the issues related to inadequate lubricant levels.

These are the common causes that can malfunction your AC compressor. So, it is always recommended to avoid these causes and keep your AC compressor in a healthy and working state.

How often does a Compressor need to be replaced?

Usually, the AC compressor and refrigerant last for about 12-15 years, but there are times when both these system fails to work due to common issues like blocked suction lines, electrical problem, containments in the compressor, low refrigerant charge and much more.

As your AC compressor is a large part of your AC unit. In some cases, it’s better to replace the entire unit than to just replace the compressor. But if you opt for replacing the compressor, then you should do it once. Most compressors come with a warranty, so it will be best to replace the compressor if it is still under warranty.

Symptoms of a Bad Air Compressor

If you are recently noticing that your home is not staying as cool as it used to stay before, then there might be some issues with your home’s AC compressor. So, if you are unaware of the common signs and symptoms of a bad air compressor, then we’re here to help you out!

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of 3 common symptoms that indicates you are having a bad Air Compressor.

Sign 1: Warmer Air

Warmer air is the most common sign of a bad air compressor. While some of the AC compressors break in a way that eventually reduces the airflow, others will have a pretty different affection that allows them to continue distributing the air. But unfortunately, the air being distributed will no longer be cool. Instead, warm air will come out from your vents when the AC is ON, and this signifies that the Air compressor is low on refrigerant. So, if your Air Compressor is distributing warm air, you should get it repaired or replaced.

Sign 2: Diminished Airflow

One of the early symptoms of a bad air compressor is diminished airflow. There are times when the AC at your home is working fine, but you suddenly notice that less or reduced air is coming out of the air vents. This can clearly indicate that the airflow of the Air Compressor is diminished. If you ever notice this happening, you should immediately call a professional for diagnosis.

So, if you’re experiencing any of the above-stated issues, then you must for sure seek repair service.

Sign 3: AC is making Screeching, Growling and Clattering Noises

Sometimes your home AC can make screeching, growling, or clattering noises that are not usual. So, if this is really the case, then it may be caused due to electrical failure. Due to this electrical failure, your AC will emit unusual rattling or clunking noises, and in addition to this, another telltale symptom is the vibration of the condenser unit. If this issue is not looked at early, it could damage your AC unit even more.

Contact Coastal Home Today

Any cause or symptom of a bad AC compressor should not be avoided because it will further give rise to other related issues and eventually shut down your AC compressor. If you have encountered any of these signs above, make sure to contact the professionals at Coastal Home to get your AC compressor repaired or replaced! Fill out the contact form below and we will answer any of the questions you have about your HVAC unit.

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