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Have you ever thought about how your air conditioner cools your home or business? An air conditioner takes heat out of the air inside your home, sends it outside, and then sends cool air back inside. Find out how the compressor, an essential part of your air conditioner, works and how to take care of it, so it keeps working.

How Air Conditioners Work

An evaporator, condenser, and compressor comprise a central air conditioning system. The compressor connects the evaporator, which is inside the air conditioner, to the condenser, which is outside the house.

The evaporator and a fan are on the cold side of an air conditioner. The fan blows air over the chilled coils and into the room. The compressor, condenser, and another fan are on the hot side. This is where the hot air that comes from the compressed refrigerant is sent outside. There is an expansion valve between the two sets of coils. It controls how much of the compressed liquid refrigerant moves into the evaporator. 

When the refrigerant gets to the evaporator, the pressure drops. It then expands and changes back into a gas. The compressor is a big electric pump that puts pressure on the refrigerant gas as part of turning it back into a liquid. The main components of an air conditioner are the evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve. There are some other sensors, timers, and valves as well.

Even though this is a common way for an air conditioner to be set up, there are a few things you should know. All these parts are put together in a small metal box that fits into a window opening to make a window air conditioner. Hot air comes out of the back of the unit while a fan and condenser coils cool and circulate the air inside. 

Different things happen with bigger air conditioners: A home’s central air conditioner and heating system share the same thermostat, and the hot side of the unit, the compressor, and condenser, isn’t even in the house. It is outside in separate, all-weather housing. The outside condensing unit is often put on the roof of huge buildings, like hotels and hospitals.

Reasons for Compressor Failure

It can be a big problem when your air conditioner compressor problems starts to break down. Not only is the weather getting hotter every day, but you also need to find time to fix it. Worse still, you might not even know why the compressor broke in the first place! 

Knowing that, let us talk about some of the most common things that can go wrong with an AC compressor. By knowing what led to these problems, you can take steps to stop them from happening again.

Dirty Coils

Over time, dust and dirt will naturally build up on the condenser coil of an AC unit. This dirt can make the coil-less effective at transferring heat, which means the system has to use more energy to get to the temperature set by the thermostat.

When heat can’t get out, and the system works harder than usual, the compressor tends to get too hot and break. If your AC unit seems to be working hard, try cleaning the coils with special cleaning foam and see if that fixes the problem. Changing the air filter often keeps dust from building up on the evaporator coil and lets more airflow over the coil.

Damaged or Clogged Suction Lines

Problems with the suction lines are another thing that can cause a compressor to stop working all of a sudden. As refrigerant lines get older, they can get cracks and holes from the constant changes in temperature they experience over their lifetime.

If your lines are damaged, the compressor might not be able to move the refrigerant around the system as quickly, which will lower the cooling capacity of your system.

This puts more stress on the compressor motor because it must work harder to move enough refrigerant through the system. This usually leads to a breakdown at some point.

If your system is having trouble making cool air, you should have an HVAC technician check the suction lines to see if they are broken. They can change the lines and add more Freon if they find something.

Inadequate Lubrication

Like any other motor, the motor in your compressor needs to be oiled so that all its moving parts can work smoothly. If your compressor motor has to keep running without being oiled, it won’t be long before it wears out and must be replaced.

Most of the time, you can add lubricant to a compressor motor on your own, even if you have never worked with AC before. Find the oil lubricant entry point on your compressor and add some of the same lubricant recommended in the unit’s manual (be careful not to overfill and check the lubricant levels while filling). But if your compressor’s motor breaks before you can do this, you’ll need the help of a professional to install a new one safely.

Insufficient Refrigerant Charge

Freon, a refrigerant gas, is pumped through a series of refrigerant lines by the AC compressor. The lines that carry refrigerant are closed systems, and the amount of refrigerant should stay the same. But sometimes, a refrigerant line can leak, letting the refrigerant escape. 

When this happens, the system will overheat, making your air conditioner’s compressor stop working. If you think your system is leaking refrigerant, you should immediately call a professional to check it out. Leaks of refrigerants that aren’t fixed can hurt your AC unit and are hard to fix if you don’t have experience.

Electrical Malfunctions

No electrical system lasts forever; the same is true of an AC unit’s circuit board and wiring. Over time, acids and oxidation will build up and eat away at the circuit contacts, causing the power to go out.

In the end, this will stop power from getting to the air conditioner’s compressor, which will cause it to shut off quickly and without much warning. If you are not a trained electrical engineer, it will be hard for you to figure out what is wrong and fix it. On the other hand, an experienced HVAC technician can quickly and for a fair price replace the lousy wire or circuit board.

Contamination

If your house has central air conditioning, the compressor is usually in the outside unit or the condenser coils on the roof. Dust, dirt, leaves, bird droppings, and soot can get into your AC unit if left outside for a long time. If this junk gets into the compressor, it could cause it to stop working. To keep contaminants from getting in, you should clean the area around the outside unit and the unit itself. As part of regular maintenance, it should be done every couple of months.

How to Prevent the Malfunction

There are simple ways that you can do to stop the failure and degradation of your AC compressor, the easiest and most common are as listed:

Inspect for Leaks: Your system should be checked for leaks regularly. If there is a leakage, you should clean and deal with it right away.

Clean the Coils: Make sure the coils on your compressor are always clean. This will help ensure the air flows well and keep the car from getting too hot.

Check for Electrical Issues: Ensure enough power goes to your compressor. If you’re having trouble with your electricity, you should call a professional electrician for help.
Schedule for Maintenance: AC repairs and maintenance inspections are best left to the professionals, so if you require expert guidance and help, contact Oak Lawn HVAC Services via call at (708) 556-2336 or by visiting https://oaklawn-hvac.com/ to send a free quote.