5 Signs That Your Air Conditioner Compressor is Failing

5 Signs That Your Air Conditioner Compressor is Failing

Access Doors and Panels on 24th Jun 2020

5 Signs That Your Air Conditioner Compressor is Failing

It's summertime, but you don't feel the heat when you're just inside your home or office, thanks to your air-conditioning (AC) unit. But do you know how your AC unit is giving you the comfort that you're experiencing? It's because of its core part-- the air conditioner compressor.

The compressor is one of your AC unit's essential parts that play a vital role in the cooling process and ensures that the unit works effectively and continually. You can find the compressor in the outdoor air conditioning unit located at the rear or on the side of your building or home. It has other important parts, such as the condenser, condenser coil, and fan. This outdoor unit connects to the indoor portion of your air conditioning system through a copper refrigerant tube. Once the outdoor and indoor units are connected, they will work together to absorb hot air from inside and transform it into cold air.

You can think of the compressor as the core of your AC unit. If the time comes that it develops issues or breaks down, the problems you will experience will bother you. If you don't have your compressor checked earlier once it shows signs of failing, you might end up spending a lot of money to get it fixed, or in some cases, replacing the entire unit. Access Doors and Panels came up with these five signs that your AC compressor fails to help you in this area.

Watch Out For Any of These Signs

1. The Compressor Unit is Shaking and Creates a Ticking Noise During Start-up

Did you know that one of the significant signs of trouble is noise coming from your air conditioning system? When it comes to your AC unit, you need to check for sounds coming from the compressor. If you hear a ticking noise from the compressor, you know that it's on its way towards breaking down.

Before the AC compressor fails, it will often make a ticking or chattering noise during start-up. The ticking sound happens because the compressor is having difficulties starting. We're telling you-- don't ever ignore this predicament, or it might eventually damage some of your unit's expensive components. If this happens, you might have to replace the compressor entirely.

If the noise is found and reported to a professional early enough, it is generally easy to fix a faulty compressor. The sound is often the result of a defective relay switch in most cases. Just replacing the broken or worn-out switch should already solve the problem and save the compressor. 

2. Repeated Tripping of the Circuit Breaker Because of the System

A sign that the compressor has failed is when your AC's outside unit keeps tripping the circuit breaker and often loses power. The reason for this might be that the compressor is overheating and drawing a lot of energy.

If this happens, what you shouldn't do is reset your circuit breaker or turn on the system repeatedly because it will not handle the issue. It would be best if you took note that the circuit breaker trips the power to prevent a latent fire hazard. We don't recommend that you do a DIY job if this happens. What you should do is call an HVAC professional to perform a detailed inspection of the compressor and the unit's electrical circuit. 

3. The Compressor Won’t Turn On

Is your home or office getting too hot, and the AC unit doesn't seem to work? If so, you should inspect your AC's indoor unit and try to answer the following questions:

  1. Is the fan still working correctly?
  2. Is the condensing unit still running?

If you find out that the condensing unit is not running, try turning down the thermostat to run the compressor. If the compressor still doesn't turn on, it could mean that your compressor has already broken down. In situations like these, never attempt to fix the problem yourself, especially if you don't have any idea about what you're doing. Experts recommend getting some assistance from a professional AC repair service to diagnose and fix the problem correctly. 

4. Your AC Unit is Blowing Warm Air Instead of Cold Air

When your system is blowing warm air instead of cold air, even if the condenser seems to be running well, this is already one key indicator that your compressor is failing. It is already evidence that the compressor has lost its cooling power and thus unable to pump refrigerant throughout the system.

Moreover, your AC system might lose its power to cool when there is a refrigerant leak issue. If this is the issue you're facing, you can completely turn off the system and get assistance from a professional HVAC service company. The problem could be due to many different reasons, so you can't just ignore it, or you might end up with a broken compressor and a ruined budget.

5. The Compressor is Making Strange Noise

Be sure to turn the system off entirely if the AC compressor makes a loud rattling or rumbling noise. If this happens, keep in mind that it could be a sign of the following:

  • There is a loose distributor motor inside the compressor
  • There can be a component inside the compressor that is thrashing around.

If the compressor motor has become loose, it is time that you call an HVAC professional to help you in resolving the issue to prevent further damage to your unit.

Additional Signs of AC Compressor Failure

The ones mentioned above aren't the only signs of AC compressor failure. While those are the primary signs to look out for, there are still more that you should know about to efficiently tell if you need an AC compressor repair as soon as possible or not.

Lack of Hot Are Getting Released Outside

When an AC compressor is working correctly, it'll suck out the hot air from inside the building and release it out in the open. You can find out if it's not releasing hot air by placing your hand near the air conditioning unit fan. If you feel that it's not hot, but instead lukewarm air coming out, it's a clear sign of the unit not compressing the gas properly.

There's also a possibility that it's a leaking refrigerant. A leak can cause You'll know it's a leaking refrigerant when your AC system has slowly been losing power.

Tripping Circuit Breakers

When the circuit breaker trips, you don't have to worry about anything because this is a good thing. A circuit breaker protects your home or office building from a potential fire caused by electricity. If a specific area of a building is running many appliances all at once, it will overload the electrical system.

Your outside condensing unit can also potentially cause the circuit breaker to trip. If ever this is happening to it, it's a sign that it is overheating and is overeating power to keep it running. You also need to check your circuit panel if the breaker switch for the compressor is hot. Remember that hot electrical equipment is usually not a good sign. The same holds for circuit breakers, and it needs to be handled by HVAC services as quickly as possible.

Inflated Electricity Bill

A sudden increase in your electricity bill is one you should look out for all the time. Moreover, it would be best to ensure that you check all of the appliances in your building that are already on its way to wearing out. If it happens to be the old compressor, you may want to get it checked at once.

You already know that a compressor unit is an expensive appliance, which is why you have to face the reality that it's going to make you spend a lot more than usual for repairs and maintenance. Some building owners would turn a blind eye on these issues because they think it won't negatively affect them financially. But in the long run, they're going to find out that the compressor is taking up almost all of the entire electricity bill.

Make sure you always have your compressor unit inspected, maintained, and repaired if there are broken parts. You'll be happy with the long-term benefits of reducing your electricity bills when you're able to keep it in top condition for many years to come.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to your AC unit, it is best to have an HVAC maintenance service technician inspect your unit regularly to prevent issues from happening in the first place. Your AC system is a costly appliance, and for it to reach a long lifespan, you need to take good care of it. By doing so, you will be able to reduce the need for pricey repairs in the future. So, even if your system seems to be working all right, you should still have your unit inspected and serviced regularly. Regular maintenance work will not only boost its efficiency but also save you money in the long run.

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24th Jun 2020 Access Doors and Panels