Having a functional air conditioner in Miramar, FL is essential. Not only does this unit bring indoor temperatures down when the outside temperature has soared, but it also helps regulate humidity. Without it, you’d be living in a hot, muggy, and downright oppressive environment. Part of keeping air conditioners in top condition is taking care of their compressors. Following are several common problems that AC compressors can experience.
1. The Refrigerant Lines Are Clogged
Blocked or clogged refrigerant lines can lead to compressor failure. During the early stages of a blockage, your air conditioner may continue working. However, it will only blow out warm air. If your air conditioner has been running for a while but your indoor temperature hasn’t dropped, this could be the problem. Continuing to run your AC with a blockage will result in overheating and costly repairs. It can also lead to a failed compressor.
2. Your Air Conditioner Has Dirty Condenser Coils
One of the best ways to understand the functions of a modern air conditioner is by likening it to the human body. When something is wrong in one area of your health, you’re virtually guaranteed to see symptoms in other areas. This is also true with your air conditioner. Dirty condenser coils can have a significant impact on the functioning of the AC compressor. Coils that are coated in mineral deposits, dust, and other grime prevent the air conditioner from expelling heat. This leads to overheating and will ultimately result in compressor failure.
AC condenser coils should be thoroughly cleaned at least once each year. Scheduling annual tune-up service for your air conditioner is an easy way to avoid build-ups of debris that lead to overheating. Professional AC maintenance service should be performed just before the start of the hot season.
3. Your Air Conditioner Doesn’t Have Enough Refrigerant
When refrigerant levels are low, air conditioners have a much harder time moving it. Much like their name suggests, compressors compress or pressurize refrigerant to push it through the system. This is what keeps it flowing from one end of the cooling system to the other. If there isn’t enough refrigerant, normal levels of compression won’t do the job. As with nearly all other compressor problems, this is an issue that can lead to compressor failure.
The most common cause of low refrigerant is a leak. Unfortunately, refrigerant leaks frequently occur in areas that aren’t easy for homeowners to assess. Thus, if you aren’t having regular inspections and tune-ups performed, your compressor can struggle under the undue strain of having insufficient refrigerant for quite some time.
Another important thing to note is that refrigerant may be low due to incorrect AC service. It’s important to only hire licensed HVAC technicians who’ve been properly trained to service the equipment you own. When fixing leaks and adding refrigerant, these professionals must know how to complete the job according to manufacturer specifications.
4. Too Much Refrigerant Has Been Added
Having too much refrigerant added to your air conditioner can be just as detrimental as not having enough, if not more so. This is yet another reason to carefully screen HVAC companies before hiring them. Excess refrigerant invariably results in excess pressure. This pressure expedites wear and tear on the compressor and can cause it to fail long before its time.
5. Your AC Compressor Is Getting Too Much Sunlight
Given its outdoor location, the AC compressor is subjected to the ravages of the natural environment. Surprisingly, excess sunlight can be the most detrimental form of exposure for compressors if it isn’t mitigated. It’s important to carefully consider the intended location of a compressor before putting it in. If there are no nearby structures for providing shade, you want to make sure that it isn’t sitting in direct sunlight for the majority of the day. Even a well-maintained compressor can overheat in these conditions. However, overheating becomes even more likely when there are drain line blockages, build-ups of dirt on the condenser coil, and other maintenance-related issues. Compressors should always be adequately shaded and have good ventilation.
6. Electrical Problems
When power goes down due to extreme weather events or other issues, air conditioners stop working. In fact, power disruptions usually cause air conditioners to trip the circuit breaker. This way, when power supplies are restored, power surges don’t cause extensive damage to this costly equipment.
Unfortunately, not all power surges are enough to cause the circuit breaker to trip. Small interruptions in the flow of electricity from utility companies happen all the time. These mini events take their toll on AC compressors as the years go by. To prevent this from happening, consider investing in whole-house surge protection.
It’s also important to note that lightning strikes and ongoing wear to your air conditioner’s electrical components can also cause compressor problems. Old or damaged fuses, wires, and contacts can create oxidation and acid build-ups that lead to malfunction. Regular system tune-ups will allow your HVAC contractor to identify electrical problems early-on, and before they have the opportunity to cause widespread system damage.
7. There Isn’t Enough Lubricant
Insufficient lubrication is vital for keeping all moving equipment functioning like it should. Without it, moving components wear down quickly and the risk of overheating is greatly increased. Lubrication loss can occur as the result of an evaporator leak. It can also be the result of poor connections at the compressor shaft seal, condenser, or various pipes throughout the system. This is yet another issue that can be identified and dealt with during air conditioner tune-up service.
Seemingly small problems like insufficient lubricant can lead to the need for costly repairs. Worse still, if you aren’t having your AC equipment serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule, you’ll likely have to pay for these repairs out-of-pocket. Compressor problems resulting from insufficient maintenance aren’t covered by manufacturer warranties.
Several Signs Your Compressor Is Having Problems
One of the most important things to know about your air conditioner’s compressor is that it’s actually the most costly component of your cooling system. Thus, it pays to spot developing issues before they spiral out of control. Sadly, problem at the compressor can go unnoticed and unchecked for quite some time if an air conditioner isn’t regulary inspected.
Among some of the most common signs of compressor issues are:
- Poor airflow
- Pooling refrigerant
- Loud clanging or banging sounds when the AC is on
- Sudden and dramatic increases in home energy bills
- Frequent circuit breaker trips
Whenever compressor problems are suspected, it’s important to turn the air conditioner off right away. Until you’re able to identify and troubleshoot the underlying problem or have it professionally diagnosed and repaired, you want to avoid subjecting this component to any additional stress. Keeping your AC unit on when its compressor is on the verge of failing won’t make your home any cooler while you wait for repairs, and it could end up costing you a veritable fortune.
Residents of Miramar, Florida and the surrounding areas can count on Quality Air Of America for fast, friendly, and reliable HVAC service. We also provide attic insulation, duct sealing, and air quality services. If your AC compressor is having problems, we can solve them. Call us now to set up an appointment.