The compressor is an important component of your home’s Air Conditioning unit.
Not to be confused with the condenser, it lives up to its namesake by “compressing” refrigerant. As refrigerant collects heat at the evaporator coil, it changes from a liquid to a gas state. The compressor then compresses the gas refrigerant, thereby making it hotter and more pressurized.
Unfortunately, AC compressors aren’t immune to failure.
When this otherwise essential component fails, it can result in decreased airflow, poor cooling power and loud or unusual noises.
So, what causes AC compressors to fail exactly?
Clogged Refrigerant Lines
AC units have multiple lines through which refrigerant flows. If any of these lines are clogged, the AC compressor may fail.
A clogged refrigerant line restricts your AC unit’s ability to remove heat from the air. As a result, it will force your AC unit to run more frequently.
With the compressor constantly cycling on and off, it may overheat or simply wear more quickly, either of which can result in failure.
Dirty Condenser Coil
In addition to clogged refrigerant lines, a dirty condenser coil can cause AC compressors to fail.
Typically found outside of the homes in which they are used, the condenser coil is responsible for releasing heat from the refrigerant.
If it’s dirty, less heat will be released from the refrigerant, which can subsequently affect the performance of the compressor.
Water in Refrigerant Lines
Another possible cause of AC compressor failure is the introduction of water in the refrigerant lines.
Refrigerant lines operate in a closed system, meaning refrigerant shouldn’t escape and water shouldn’t enter. Over time, however, breaches can form in refrigerant lines.
A small breach may allow just enough water to enter the refrigerant lines that it causes your AC unit to fail.
Water can cause refrigerant lines to freeze. As the trapped water freezes, it will restrict the flow of refrigerant. Furthermore, water promotes corrosion, which can prove equally harmful to an AC compressor. It may cause the compressor’s motor to rust, which if left unchecked, can lead to complete failure.
When properly maintained, an AC compressor can last for up to two decades.
The problem is that many homeowners rarely, if ever, check their AC compressor. It’s not until a problem occurs that homeowners recognize the importance of regular maintenance.
You can keep your home’s AC compressor, as well as other AC components, in tiptop shape by having your system professionally inspected.
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.