Signs That Your AC Compressor Has Broken Down

Identify signs that your AC compressor is broken and find repair solutions. Get expert assistance for AC compressor repair at Sandium.

Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
Signs That Your AC Compressor Has Broken Down

AC compressor is at the heart of your system and is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant, allowing it to absorb heat from inside your Bay Area home and releasing it outside. Fixing a broken compressor is expensive. However, putting it off may require an even more expensive replacement or worse replacing the entire system.

These are 5 telltale signs that you need to call in the professionals ASAP:

1. Compressor won’t turn on

Failed compressors are expensive to fix. This is how it usually starts – you would turn down the thermostat because your AC is not achieving a comfortable temperature. Even after lowering the thermostat the AC would not seem to be working. The fan works fine and there is power to the condensing unit. But, the condenser doesn’t turn on.

You should quickly call in the experts before you attempt at any DIY repair. A technician would let you know whether it is worth fixing the compressor or not. Sometimes, in aging units it is better to just replace the entire system.

2. System blowing warm air

Another sign of AC compressor failure is the system blowing warm air even after the condenser is running. This indicates the compressor is in trouble since it is unable to pump the refrigerant through the air conditioner. This results in a lack of cooling power.

However, lack of cooling may also happen because of a refrigerant leak. This usually occurs over a period of time with the system gradually losing cooling power. Refrigerant leaks can cause your compressor to fail since it puts added strain on the unit. It is important that you don’t ignore this problem and have it looked at right away.

3. Outdoor unit tripping the circuit breaker

Your AC compressor may overheat and draw too much power suddenly causing the circuit breaker to trip. If this becomes a frequent problem, you should get technicians to come and have a look. Do not keep resetting the circuit breaker to turn the system back on.

The circuit breaker is put in place for a purpose. Resetting it with a damaged compressor could turn into a potential fire hazard.

4. Vibration in outside unit

Compressors under stress or in trouble are unable to turn on like they are supposed to. Condensing unit shaking every time the compressor turns on could indicate a “hard start”. This occurs right before a compressor fails completely. Never ignore this sign of AC compressor failure. Make sure you turn off the system immediately and call an HVAC professional.

5. Condenser is noisy

A major sign of AC compressor failure is the outside air conditioning unit making strange noises or sounding louder than normal. This could be because of failing electrical components. It can also be because of a fan motor that becomes dislodged and rattles inside the condenser unit. It’s crucial that you have this fixed before the damage causes a complete unit breakdown.It is good to know that these issues are not very expensive to fix. Unless you are a trained AC technician, you should not attempt at fixing these issues yourself.

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