Your AC system’s compressor requires more than just refrigerant, it needs oil.
The compressor is responsible for compressing refrigerant. Before entering the condenser coil, the refrigerant will travel through the compressor where it becomes compressed. In doing so, the condenser coil will release more heat from the refrigerant.
There are different types of compressors. Some AC systems have a rotary compressor, others have a reciprocating compressor. Regardless, all compressors require oil.
Oil Reduces Friction
Oil reduces friction in compressors. Compressors have many different moving parts that generate friction as they move. The oil acts as a lubricant within your AC system’s compressor to reduce friction between its moving parts.
Oil Prevents Overheating
Another reason compressors require oil is because it protects them from overheating. Compressor oil has similar properties as engine oil in automobiles. It’s able to reduce friction while simultaneously keeping the heat in check.
As oil flows through your AC system’s compressor, it will absorb heat. The oil will then disperse this heat so that the compressor doesn’t suffer from catastrophic heat-related damage.
Oil Protects Against Premature Failure
Because it reduces friction and prevents overheating, oil protects compressors from premature failure. Compressors are designed to last for a long time; some of them have an average lifespan of 15 years.
Without oil – or with an insufficient amount of oil – your AC system’s compressor may fail prematurely.
The compressor will run anytime your AC system is running. Even if you’re only trying to lower the temperature of your home by a few degrees, it will still turn on to compress the refrigerant.
With a sufficient amount of oil, your AC system’s compressor will last longer while ensuring that your AC system is able to cool down your home.
How Often Do You Need to Refill Compressor Oil?
Under normal circumstances, you shouldn’t need to refill or change the oil in your AC system’s compressor. Most new compressors already come with oil.
And because compressors are sealed, neither oil nor refrigerant should escape. But compressors can leak. A worn gasket may cause oil to leak out of your AC system’s compressor.
If the leak is only due to a gasket, you may be able to replace the worn gasket. If the entire compressor has failed, you may need to buy a replacement compressor.
If you are experiencing a problem with your air conditioning or heating call us at 512-336-1431 to schedule an appointment. We’ll be glad to come out and take a look at the issue.
1431-183 A/C & Heating proudly serves Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Liberty Hill, and North Austin.