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Watch Out for Compressor Problems With Your AC

compressor-in-ac-unit

What’s the most important part of your air conditioner? This is a bit of a trick question, since all the components in a modern air conditioner are important for it to operate efficiently and effectively. However, there’s one part that deserves special consideration—the compressor. There are several reasons why:

  • The compressor is the literal heart of the air conditioner, since it is what causes refrigerant to circulate through the system and move heat from inside the house to exhaust it outside. Without a working compressor, an AC is merely a large indoor fan.
  • The compressor consumes the most energy of any part of the AC. This is where the energy from the electrical system is applied to the refrigerant so the air conditioner can do its job.
  • A broken compressor is an expensive part to replace. So expensive that if the compressor is no longer under warranty, it’s more cost-effective to have the entire air conditioning system replaced instead.

Making sure the compressor is in good shape will help you avoid expensive issues with your AC. Below is a list of signs of a compressor in danger so you’ll know when to call our technicians for AC repair in Chambersburg, PA.

An Increase of Humidity in the House

An AC is not specifically a dehumidifier (although you can purchase models that have a dehumidifier built into them). However, an AC does remove some moisture from the air as it runs; the evaporation of cold refrigerant in the indoor coils causes water vapor to condense onto the coils’ surface. If the compressor is starting to fail, more moisture will remain in the air and the house will be notably more humid.

Ice Along the Indoor Coils

If the compressor isn’t successfully applying energy to the refrigerant, it can cause ice to form along the indoor coil. (This sounds counter-intuitive, but what’s happening is the refrigerant isn’t able to absorb enough heat to warm up past freezing, and this causes ice to form.) Ice on the coils is always trouble, so call for help no matter what you think is the source.

Hard-Starting

This is when the compressor has difficulty overcoming initial resistance when it starts a cooling cycle. You may hear clicking and grinding noises coming from the outdoor cabinet when the air conditioner starts up. Fixing hard starting is an easy job for technicians: they attach a special hard-start kit that helps boost the compressor to life without causing it to suffer excess strain.

A Vibrating Condenser Cabinet

Can you see the outdoor condenser cabinet shaking when the compressor comes on? This is a sign the compressor is in trouble (or possibly the exhaust fan). You can expect to feel vibrations from the cabinet if you put your hand on it, but you shouldn’t be able to physically see the cabinet shake.

The Condenser Causes the Circuit Breaker to Trip

An electrical overload from the condenser that trips a circuit breaker in your electrical panel is a major red flag that the compressor’s motor is overheating. Don’t reset the breaker and try to run the AC again: call for assistance from professionals.

Premier HVAC Services offers you the experience you deserve. Call us when you need fast air conditioning repair services.

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