Why Is My AC Compressor Not Working? 2019-05-23T12:37:25+00:00

Why Is My AC Compressor Not Working? | Compressor Failure Troubleshooting

With summer just around the corner, the last thing you want to deal with is a broken air conditioning system. That’s why we recommend regular maintenance and repair servicing of your A/C and HVAC system year-round at Conejo Valley Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Routine maintenance of your air conditioning will ensure that your unit remains in tip-top shape throughout every season–especially during the hotter months when your home relies on it the most.

If you notice something amiss with your A/C, you’ll want to address the issue before it develops into a more costly air conditioning repair. More often than not, homeowners experience issues with their cooling system at the early stage when their AC compressor component begins to develop wear and tear.

When you’re A/C compressor stops functioning properly, you’ll want to check and look for the following:

What is An AC Compressor?

Before we dive in, let’s review what exactly an AC compressor is, so you know its function and what to look for when troubleshooting your unit!

Simply put, A/C compressors pump cool, low-pressure gaseous refrigerant through the condenser so that it can move throughout the entire unit. When refrigerant is in the A/C compressor, it as at the beginning of the air conditioning cycle. Keep in mind that the compressor is responsible for generating significant internal pressure and can run up to several hundred degrees in temperature to keep cool air flowing. Hence, regular air conditioner maintenance is also mandatory to keep your AC Compressor and unit in proper working condition.

AC Compressor Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Your A/C Compressor

When your A/C compressor starts to experience issues or shuts down completely, your entire cooling system is compromised and will not be able to run properly. Before contacting a certified HVAC technician to service your A/C compressor and unit, homeowners can inspect the following parts to detect the underlying issue or root cause their air conditioning system is experiencing. However, we do not recommend that you try to repair the A/C compressor or unit on your own.

For further questions, information, or assistance, please contact your local HVAC professionals!

1. Blown Fuses + Tripped Breakers

When you first encounter a problem with your A/C compressor, be sure to check that your unit is receiving electrical power. Sometimes things like blown fuses and unreliable breakers can be the reason for the starts and stop your air conditioning system is experiencing, which will exacerbate the compressor and unit as a whole. With access to a multimeter (and knowledge on how to read one), you can figure out if the right voltage is being generated to the A/C compressor. Keep in mind that any damaged wiring will also have an adverse effect on voltage levels. If homeowners come across any sort of issues with fuses, breakers, and/or voltage, we recommend contacting a certified electrician.

2. Dirty Condenser Coils

Naturally, over time, condenser coils accumulate dust particles, dirt, and mineral deposits. With this build-up of debris, dirty coils fail to release heat from your cooling system, which leads to your A/C compressor running at higher temperatures, over-heating, and breaking down. If this is the case, your condenser coils will require proper cleaning and maintenance.

3. Clogged Refrigerant Lines:

As mentioned earlier, the A/C compressor is responsible for pumping refrigerant throughout your cooling system. When refrigerant lines within your unit become clogged, the blockages will cause a buildup of pressure and temperature that ultimately causes the compressor to fail. Clearing these lines and regularly maintaining them will allow your air conditioner to function at its best.

4. Too Much Or Too Little Refrigerant:

The level of refrigerant inside your A/C unit is also a key factor to consider when troubleshooting your AC compressor. Too much refrigerant causes leaks and holes within your cooling system, and too little refrigerant requires additional pressure to pump it all through the condenser. Either imbalance ultimately leads to straining your A/C compressor. Be sure to check your air conditioner’s refrigerant levels if your compressor seems to be malfunctioning.

5. Faulty Capacitor:

When an A/C compressor won’t turn on at all, you could have a broken capacitor on your hands. The only way to know for sure if this is the cause is to switch out the faulty component for a hard-start capacitor and test the unit. We highly recommend that a certified A/C and HVAC technician completes this task.

6. Broken Start Relay:

Similarly, if an A/C compressor has stopped working completely, you might just need to replace a faulty component. In this case, installing a new start relay might be the key to getting your compressor back in action. Contact your local HVAC professionals for this particular service and installation.

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7. Faulty Valves:

When a valve within your A/C unit is broken, this will cause the refrigerant within the system to remain liquid rather than converting to gas by the time it reaches the compressor’s inlet. When this happens, your A/C unit will still cycle the refrigerant but will not produce cool air. Replacing the appropriate valves will restore proper performance to your A/C compressor and unit.

8. Terminal Connections:

If your compressor appears to be running sporadically rather than consistently, the terminal connections within the A/C unit could be loose or even contain a build-up of dirt, dust, or other particulate debris. Try tightening loose connections and clearing away any accumulated material to ensure your compressor continues to run efficiently and smoothly.

Contact A/C Compressor Experts Today

Do you have any more questions about how to troubleshoot your A/C compressor? If you’ve tried all of the tactics above but are still experiencing issues with your air conditioning unit, contact our certified and experienced HVAC professionals today for a quality inspection and diagnostic of your entire cooling system. Family-owned and operated since 1979, your A/C unit and vents are in good hands with us. We even provide 24/7 emergency HVAC services to work around your schedule! Call us today at (805) 499-0448.
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