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Here in Arizona, we’re no stranger to severe heat waves that, in some cases, lead us to snap pictures of things frying and melting around us.
But after escaping the scorching outdoor temperatures and retreating to the comfort of our own home, the last thing we want is an AC issue that makes our rooms as dry and hot as the air outside!
Unfortunately, one of the most frustrating—and sometimes costly—issues you may have to deal with are AC compressor problems.
This vital component keeps your entire system up and running, and even minor issues can make it hard to get the cool air you need.
Wondering whether your compressor is to blame for recent AC issues?
Let’s take a look at a few signs this component needs replacing.
1. You’ve Noticed Reduced Airflow or No Cold Air
Reduced or no airflow is one of the more common AC issues homeowners have to deal with, so it’s important to rule out a few other causes first.
Start your search by checking for common culprits you can deal with on your own.
Check for vents you may have blocked by accident, and always change your air filter if it’s grown clogged or dirty.
Don’t forget to also check for refrigerant leaks as well as clogs in your drain pans, and clean the dirt and debris off your condenser unit and coils.
If you’ve ruled out the possibilities above, you might want to start suspecting your compressor.
Along with your refrigerant, your compressor is one of the components that helps your system pump cold air throughout your home.
When your compressor is faulty, it becomes harder for your home AC unit to run as efficiently.
2. You’re Having Problems With the Circuit Breaker
Your circuit breaker exists to keep your home’s electrical system from overload, which can help prevent fires.
Sometimes, you might trip your breaker if you’re running too many energy-guzzling appliances at once.
However, if you’ve noticed that you trip the circuit breaker more often than usual, the culprit might be your home’s most energy-intensive appliance: your air conditioner.
This issue gets even more urgent if you notice that the switch is hot to the touch.
Call an AC expert right away, as electrical issues can be dangerous if left unchecked.
3. You’re Hearing Strange Noises
Strange noises coming from your home AC unit are always a bad sign.
Though it can be hard to diagnose the issue from the noises alone, there are a few sounds you should keep an ear out for if you suspect problems with your AC compressor.
A persistent clicking or ticking sound can sometimes be a sign of the electrical problems we’ve mentioned above, especially if your compressor has a broken or faulty relay switch.
This clicking noise may sound a little like the burner on a gas stove.
In addition, pay attention to rattling noises, as this may be a sign that your compressor unit has started to vibrate in place.
Last, check for clanking sounds when the compressor starts up.
If there are any loose motor mounts or fans, they might move around while your unit is on.
Don’t keep your AC running if this is the case: without expert AC repair, it could damage your system even more!
4. Your Home Air Conditioner Has Moisture Issues
If you’re noticing persistent puddles, leaks, and condensation, it might be due to blockage somewhere around your compressor.
This can cause various fluids in your AC to puddle.
Don’t tackle this issue alone!
Many of the liquids your AC uses, including refrigerant, are classified as hazardous substances.
Only a trained HVAC technician should clean up this problem on your behalf.
5. Your Air Conditioner Won’t Start
Having trouble getting your AC to start at all?
If you’ve checked the possibilities above, including steps like looking for a tripped circuit breaker or cleaning your coils, you might be dealing with a dead compressor.
Unfortunately, a failed compressor will make it impossible for your system to cool down your home at all.
In this case, only a replacement will get your system up and running again.
Should I Replace the AC Compressor or the Entire System?
Now that we’ve covered some of the most likely signs your compressor needs replacing, you may be asking yourself a tough question: should I just spring for a total AC replacement instead?
After all, compressors can be fairly expensive, and they’re more likely to fail in air conditioners that are already older or out of date.
The answer to this question varies, but we often look for a few things to guide you in your decision.
First, how old is your air conditioner?
If the entire system is aging—especially if it’s aging poorly and requiring frequent repairs—it may be time to opt for a new one.
Next, is your compressor or AC under warranty?
Most warranties cover 10 years for parts and labor, so opting for an AC replacement doesn’t make sense if you’re covered.
This is especially true if you’ve replaced your inside unit recently, and if you haven’t noticed any other issues with your system.
Last, we often compare the cost of a compressor replacement against the cost of a new system.
Often, an AC replacement costs only a little more than replacing a compressor, making replacement the better option.
You can technically replace the condenser unit alone, but we don’t always recommend it: an air conditioner’s indoor and outdoor systems are designed to match, and a mismatch can cause expensive problems like lower efficiency and early system failure.
Some manufacturers won’t even offer a warranty for one unless you also replace the other.
This can be a lot to deal with at once, which is why our technicians will offer more specific advice only after looking at your system’s condition and existing warranties.
Contact Our Team for Expert Advice
Diagnosing your AC compressor problems on your own can be a nightmare, especially if you don’t have experience working with your air conditioner.
That’s where we come in.
Our team of licensed professionals can help you understand what’s causing your problem and how to fix it, guiding you as you weigh your options for repair and replacement.
To learn how we can help, contact us today.
Are you noticing signs that your AC compressor needs to be replaced because it’s not working properly? We can help keep your HVAC running at its peak year round! Our experienced HVAC experts in Mesa have been providing property owners with AC and heater repairs, maintenance, and replacements since 1996. Call (480) 571-7219 or request service online today!
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