An A/C compressor is critical — if it fails, so does your unit. It’s responsible for pressuring the system’s refrigerant and enabling heat transfer. Basically, it’s the reason your A/C unit cools your home.
A/C compressor failure is an expensive, serious problem to repair. Be concerned if you notice any of the five signs listed below.
You Hear Noises You Haven’t Heard Before
You flip on the cool air, but then you hear terrible noises coming from outside your window — clattering, grinding, growling and screeching. It sounds like your A/C unit is about to crash. Maybe the noises start quietly and get louder over time, or maybe it happens quickly. Either way, it’s not a good sign and it means you probably have a compressor issue.
The Unit Vibrates and Shakes
If the A/C shakes and vibrates violently every time you turn it on, it is likely due to hard starting. It is usually an indication that the compressor is close to the end of its life.
It Continually Trips the Circuit Breaker
When compressors overheat, they draw additional electrical power, and this can cause the circuits to trip. It’s important to know that this isn’t normal — your circuit breaker works this way to protect your home from electrical fire. Once you’ve had to reset the breaker a few times, turn off the system and call a professional before it gets worse.
Your Home Doesn’t Get Cool
Here’s an easy symptom to spot — your home is much warmer than it should be with your system running full blast. When your A/C unit just doesn’t achieve the level of cool you’re used to, it’s probably the compressor’s fault. It may blow warm air or it may simply run all the time. Either way, if it’s not effective, it needs the attention of an HVAC professional.
There’s a Leak
Moisture around the perimeter could signal refrigerant is leaking from the compressor. Eventually, this will lead to a system shutdown.
Should You Replace the System?
Does an A/C compressor failure warrant replacement? If your system is old enough, the answer might be yes. Either way, you should have the system looked at by a professional as soon as you notice an issue. Get a thorough recommendation to find out whether it’s worth it to fix the failing A/C compressor or if you’re better off investing in a whole new unit. The team at Roberts Mechanical can help you make a smart decision.