When Does HVAC Compressor Fail?

Discover the factors that can lead to HVAC compressor failure with Sandium. Get insights into AC compressor issues and much more. Get an AC compressor cost quote now!

Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
When Does HVAC Compressor Fail?

The compressor is the heart of your HVAC system. It is responsible for compressing the liquid refrigerant into a gas. If the compressor is unable to do its job due to a problem, you won’t get adequate and comfortable cooling around your Bay Area house. Compressor’s are expected to work glitch-free for their life-span that is about 10-15 years. A malfunction in the compressor is a major issue and needs to be inspected immediately. This is one repair that is quite expensive and could even turn into a part replacement.

It is best to keep your HVAC in top shape with regular cleaning and preventive maintenance, so that you can avoid any damage to the different components, and stop the compressor from taking too much pressure.

If you understand the role of the compressor and the causes of its failure, you can take appropriate steps and ensure that the part is in perfect working condition.

What causes compressor failure?

1. Unclean coils

Coils that are not cleaned regularly will be covered in dirt and grime. This hampers heat transfer and causes the compressor to run constantly, in an effort to expel heat from your house. Overworking of the compressor can cause overheating, and eventually, failure of the part.

2. Blocked or incorrectly sized suction lines

If the refrigerant lines of the system are blocked, the system will once again have to run overtime to make up for the lack of cooling, leading to overheating. Also, lines that are too small or too large for your system, can face damages and leaks, leading to compressor failure.

3. Too much or too low levels of refrigerant

When your system has a refrigerant leak, the compressor has to work very hard to pump the coolant. This can cause a compressor break down. On the other hand, topping up with too much refrigerant or the wrong kind, can be greatly damaging to your compressor. Hence, it is perspicacious to only get trained and licensed HVAC technicians for any repair or maintenance work.

4. Inadequate lubrication

The compressor requires proper oil lubrication for smooth running. Lack of it can again put pressure on the compressor and also cause overheating. The lubricant levels must be checked and replaced if required, during every inspection and maintenance session.

5. Contaminants

Contaminants like dirt, dust, pet dander, moisture, leaves, or bird and pest droppings can cause damage to your system and to your health, as they enter the air that is being circulated around the house.

6. Electrical issues

Electrical failures can result in the accumulation of acid. This causes damage to many parts and the compressor as well. If you have problems in the system, a trained technician must first check for the presence of acids. If found, it indicates an electrical burnout and system damage. This may be very expensive or even impossible to fix. But preventing this with regular inspections and repairing of fused and damaged wires, can help save you all the trouble that comes with electrical problems.

Join the Future of Home Comfort

Take the first step towards comfortable, energy-efficient, and stress-free living by scheduling a consultation with Sandium.