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AC Compressor Basics and Issue Signs

There are a few components within a given air conditioner that play a very important role, and one of these that can never be ignored is the compressor. Responsible for moving your vital cooling refrigerant throughout the system and eventually to various parts of your home, the compressor is a necessary part of all AC operations – and if it’s having issues, it will typically give off some signs. 

At Thompson’s Comfort Connection, we offer a wide range of air conditioner repair and replacement solutions to clients around Sandy, Draper and nearby areas – including every relevant component, compressors among them. Here are some basics on what the compressor does and how it works, plus some of the key signs that your compressor could be having issues that require repair or even a replacement in some cases.

How AC Compressors Work

For those just learning about them for the first time, air conditioner compressors are rather simple devices. Essentially, it’s a pump that’s driven by electric power and is responsible for cycling refrigerant throughout the system to dissipate heat from the inside of your home out into the outdoors.

To cool your home, air conditioners use refrigerant; it’s a liquid-gas that helps absorb and remove heat from inside your home. As the refrigerant runs through the coils, it absorbs the hot air, changing it into gas form as it goes to the compressor of your AC system. The compressor then compresses this gaseous form of refrigerant and sends it out to the condenser coil.

Many people refer to the compressor as the “heart” of the air conditioner. Without it, an AC can’t do its job of cooling your home’s interior.

Our next few sections will go over some possible signs that your compressor could be in need of repair or replacement to make your system far more efficient.

Repeated Circuit Breaker Issues

Have you begun to notice regular, repeated issues with your circuit breaker when your AC is attempting to turn on? This could be an indication that there’s something wrong with your compressor, which could be drawing too much electricity and causing the breaker to trip.

Especially if you notice a hot switch or a burning smell coming from the breaker, it’s important to call us for help away. We may suggest a or even replacement of the compressor depending on your specific situation.

Loud Noises During Operation

Another very common sign that something might be wrong with your compressor is strange noises when you turn the unit on. This can range from loud humming noises to more startling thudding or metal-on-metal sounds.

If you notice any of these signs, then it’s important to shut off the system and call us for help as soon as possible. We may just need to come out and do a simple tune-up or repair, but in some cases we may need to replace the system.

Reduced Airflow With No Other Explanation

While it’s true that reduced airflow can happen for a few reasons, an AC compressor that’s not running correctly is one of the most common causes of reduced airflow. You may want to check your air filters or any other parts first, but if you can’t find a reason why your home is being cooled slower than normal then calling us for help could be a great solution.

Air is Flowing, But It’s Not Cold

One typically telltale sign of a malfunctioning compressor is when air continues to flow, but it’s not cold. This typically means the refrigerant isn’t able to move through the system properly – and if you’ve already checked your thermostat settings, then it could be time for an AC repair visit from our team.

Leaks or Puddles Around Units

Another possible sign that you need compressor repair is if you see any sort of leaks or puddles around your outdoor unit. This could indicate a refrigerant leak, which is likely the result of a malfunctioning compressor.

It’s critical to address this issue immediately since refrigerant is toxic and can cause serious harm when exposed to humans. We highly recommend calling us right away if you notice any sort of suspicious liquid around your outdoor unit.

Refusal to Start

Finally, if your AC simply refuses to start then it’s best to call us right away. This could mean there is an issue with the compressor that needs to be addressed before your system can be used again.

Although a malfunctioning air conditioner compressor can cause a lot of stress, our team at Thompson’s Comfort Connection is here to help. We can come out and provide a full assessment of your system, diagnose any issues, and then provide you with the best solutions for repair or replacement.

Don’t let a faulty compressor put your air conditioner out of commission – call us today for this or any of our other HVAC services around Sandy and Draper.


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