How Will I Know When It’s Time to Replace My Air Conditioner Compressor?


If you’ve ever been driving down the road when your, “check engine” light comes on, you know it’s crucial to get your car to a mechanic quickly. Wouldn’t it be great if all household products could give advance warnings? Unfortunately, air conditioning compressors don’t come with such an indicator, so it’s difficult to know when a breakdown is imminent.

Compressors are located outside your home – out of sight, out of mind. And, many homeowners inherit existing air conditioning units when they purchase a home without knowing the date the compressor was installed or the maintenance history.

Your air conditioning compressor is one of the hardest working pieces of equipment in your home with many compressors providing 10 to 15 years of service or longer. Because air conditioning compressors are costly to replace, it’s important to note that many of the underlying problems responsible for causing compressor failure are preventable and fixable with regular professional maintenance. Here are the top three warning signs that your compressor needs service.

  1. Air Conditioner Is Blowing Warm Air
  2. This warning signal seems obvious, but it isn’t always due to a faulty compressor. A refrigerant leak can also cause the temperature to rise and your unit to lose cooling power. What is remarkable are the number of homeowners who turn off the unit, give it some time to “rest” and then turn it back on. If your unit is blowing warm air, it’s best to have a technician check it out.

  3. Compressor Not Operating Due to Electrical Shut Down
  4. If you find yourself at your electrical box repeatedly resetting the circuit for the compressor it should immediately wave a red flag that something may be seriously wrong. The circuit is tripped when the compressor is running hot and using too much power. Do not ignore this warning signal.

  5. Excessive Vibration or Startup Noise
  6. Every AC compressor has its own unique startup sound that we tend not to notice over time. If your compressor starts making unusual noises, or you notice severe vibration at startup, then it’s time to call in a professional to diagnose the problem. Don’t shut the window or door, hoping the noise will fix itself. Remember, many compressor problems are fixable, and if you take care of your compressor with regularly scheduled maintenance, it will take care of you through the hottest days of summer.

To learn more about mysterious compressor noises, and your HVAC system in general, call the experts at Chandler Air at 480-899-0267.

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