If you are here searching for how to tell if an air conditioner compressor is bad, I can relate to your situation. Well, the last summer I gain a terrible experience in that my office air conditioner compressor stopped working. And I want to share how patiently I found and solved this problem. So no more talking; jump into the beneath to find the easiest way to tell if an air conditioner compressor is bad. 

What Is An Air Conditioner Compressor?

what is an air conditioner compressor

An air conditioner compressor is a crucial part of an air conditioning process and is in charge of circulating and compressing the refrigerant. And the compressor works like the heart of the conditioner, as it pumps the refrigerant throughout the system.

When the freezing enters the machine, this is in a minimum-pressure gaseous state. Then the compressor starts to compress the refrigerant, becoming a high-pressure gas. This high-pressure gas is pumped through the condenser, releasing heat and condensing into a liquid.

Then the liquid refrigerant passes through the expansion valve and into the evaporator, which absorbs heat from the surrounding air. And this process creates cool air, which is then spread into the room through the conditioning system.

Therefore, the compressor is a vital component of an air conditioning system, and if it fails, the entire system will not function properly. Therefore some common problems with compressors include overheating, loss of lubrication, and electrical issues.

Signs Of Bad AC Compressor

signs of bad ac compressor

Let’s see now some of the common signs of a bad AC compressor in the following section–

  1. Strange Clicking, Screeching, Clattering, or Growling Noises

Ask someone to listen to your air conditioner when it’s on. If they hear any weird noises, it might mean that something has happened with the device. This could be because there’s a loose part or something stuck in it. Don’t ignore any strange noises, or else you might need to get the AC fixed by a professional.

  1. AC Blowing Warm Air

During summer, it’s normal for your house to feel warmer. But, if the air feels abnormally warm, it could mean that your air conditioner’s compressor is not working correctly. Sometimes, if the compressor breaks, the air conditioner won’t work at all, but other times, it will still work but won’t send cool air. 

If you feel hot air coming out of your air conditioner even when you set the temperature low, you should ask a certified expert to check it. They can tell if the compressor is broken, especially if it’s leaking refrigerant.

  1. Puddles

If you see weird puddles coming from your air conditioning, call someone who can fix it. It will be risky to inhale the liquid that’s leaking. 

Besides, if you or anyone in your family feels sick or weird, immediately inform a professional. You might have to leave the house for a while so you don’t breathe in anything terrible. If you don’t fix the problem, your AC might stop working suddenly.

  1. Less Air Flow

If the air from your AC vents feels weaker and not as cold or hot as it usually is, the compressor might have a problem. It will be best to ask an HVAC expert to check it out. But sometimes, the air filters or ducts are dirty, which can also weaken the airflow. You can check if there’s a lot of dust or dirt behind the vents or in the air filters and clean them if you feel safe.

  1. Circuit Breaker Problems

Are you having trouble turning on your AC because the power keeps shutting off? That’s not good! It can be one of the reasons that something is wrong with the machine, which is the part that makes the air cold. It’s unsafe to try and fix it yourself, so it’s best to ask for help from someone who knows how to fix it.

  1. Rattling, And Rumbling

When your air conditioner makes a rattling noise, it could mean that the parts that hold the machine in place and the motor are not working correctly. These parts can come loose, which can be difficult and unsafe to fix by yourself. Ask for help from an HVAC expert instead of trying to fix it on your own.

  1. Energy Bills Are Increasing

If you see that your electricity bills are increasing, you haven’t been using the air conditioner more than regular. So, there can be an issue with the machine that cools the air. And when the device is not working well, it has to work more to cool your house, and this makes your bills go up.

  1. Unit Vibrates When Turning On 

When you turn on your AC, it might shake a lot and have a hard time starting. This is called a “hard start,” meaning the AC might stop working soon. You should ask an AC professional to check it so your house can stay cool.

  1. Damaged Wire

In case you notice any broken wire around the machine, never avoid this. It can cause significant safety hazards. And the worse scenario, it can cause a fire. Ask e professional as soon as possible. 

  1. Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

If your air conditioning machine isn’t working, it can be the compressor or other problems. You can fix it yourself by checking the breaker box that sends electricity to your AC unit. Find the switch responsible for your AC, switch it off, and then on again. When that doesn’t work, you can look in the fuse box for blown fuses. Therefore, you can’t fix it yourself, and it’s best to ask an expert for help.

Preventing Your Compressor From Going Bad

  • Regularly Change Or Clean Your Air Filter: One of the things you can do to make sure your air conditioner works well is to clean or change the air filter often.
  • Avoiding Short Cycling: Short cycling is when the conditioner switch on and off too often. It can make the air conditioner work too hard and might break it. To stop this from happening, ensure your thermostat’s temperature is just right.
  • Scheduling Regular Maintenance Appointments: To ensure your compressor stays healthy and has no problems, it’s a good idea to schedule regular check-ups with a specialist. They will look at your compressor and clean it up, which can stop any problems from happening in the future.

Why Bad Air Conditioner Compressor Is Dangerous For Your Home

why bad air compressor is dangerous for your home

When your air conditioning unit isn’t working correctly, it can cause some problems:

  • Your AC can get too hot and stop working properly. It could make it break down sooner.
  • If your AC uses too much electricity, it could cause a power outage or even a fire.
  • Sometimes, the AC can produce unhealthy chemicals in the air. And this can make every family member sick.
  • Lastly, a lousy AC system can make your home feel uncomfortable. The air might not be as cool and fresh as it should be, which could give you headaches or make it hard to breathe.

How Does A Good Air Compressor Increase AC Temperature In Summer?

how does a good air compressor increase ac temperature summer

An air compressor can increase AC temperature in summer by providing the necessary pressure to move the refrigerant through the system. Here are some ways that a good air compressor can help increase AC temperature in summer:

  • Improved efficiency: An air compressor can help improve the efficiency of your air conditioning unit by providing the necessary pressure to move the refrigerant through the system. It allows the refrigerant to absorb more heat from the air, resulting in a cooler temperature inside your home.
  • Faster cooling: With the help of an air compressor, your air conditioning unit can cool your home more quickly. This is because the refrigerant is compressed, allowing it to absorb more heat from the air in less time.
  • Better air quality: The best compressor can also help improve the air quality at your home. When your AC unit works more efficiently, it can filter out more contaminants and allergens from the air. And which results in cleaner and fresher indoor air.
  • Lower energy costs: By improving the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, a good air compressor can help lower your energy costs. And this is because your AC unit will require less energy to cool your home, lowering utility bills.

Final Words

So, I believe after reading the article, you get ideas on how to tell if an air conditioner compressor is bad. Although you learned protecting AC from going bad, why it’s dangerous, and how its grows temperature in summer. 

Therefore, if you think something is wrong, you should call an HVAC person to fix it. They can figure out what’s wrong and suggest what you need to do to fix it.


How do you know if your AC compressor needs to be replaced?

If your AC system is blowing warm air or making strange noises, it may be a sign that your compressor needs to be replaced. Other symptoms include reduced airflow, leaks, and a burning smell. Or you can ask a professional.

Will a bad AC compressor affect the motor?

Indeed, a bad compressor can affect the engine’s performance in the AC. A failing compressor can place undue stress on the machine, causing it to work harder and potentially overheat. In addition, a malfunctioning compressor can lead to a decrease in overall vehicle efficiency and fuel economy. It is crucial to find any AC compressor issues to prevent any damage to the engine.

How do I test a good AC compressor?

To test a good AC compressor, turn on the engine and the AC first. Observe if the compressor clutch engages and disengages properly. Check for any strange noises or leaks. Monitor the air temperature and ensure it is within the normal range. If the compressor fails any of these tests, it may need further inspection or replacement by a professional.

How many years does an AC compressor last?

The lifespan of an AC compressor can vary depending on usage, maintenance, and quality. On average, an AC compressor can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the compressor’s lifespan while neglecting maintenance can significantly shorten its lifespan.

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