You never know what to expect when you turn on your air conditioner. Sometimes the air conditioning system blows out a steady stream of chilly air. Other times, your unit takes a while to kick on or sends out air that feels like it came from your furnace. Sound familiar? If so, your compressor might be the culprit.
What Is An Air Conditioner's Compressor?
Your AC unit's compressor compresses and pumps refrigerant through pipes to the air handler in your home. Refrigerant is a special fluid used to absorb and release heat from the inside of your home. Once the coolant reaches the air handler, it flows into a set of coils. A fan then blasts air over the coils to cool off your home.
At least that's what it's supposed to do. If your air compressor isn't working correctly, your air conditioner won't be able to cool the air properly. You may initially suspect that your air conditioner is low on coolant, but that's not always the case. Look out for potential signs that your compressor is to blame like the ones described below.
Signs That Your AC Compressor Is the Problem
Your air conditioning system should cycle on and off regularly. If your unit is staying on constantly or turning on and off irregularly, that could be a sign that your compressor is having trouble. Additionally, if you hear loud moving or grinding noises coming from your unit, that's another clue that your compressor may be on the fritz.
Other potential signs that your compressor is going out include:
- Unusual smells or odors coming from your unit
- A lack of cold air being produced by the system despite having normal coolant levels
- High humidity levels in your home
If you're noticing any of these red flags, it's important to contact a professional HVAC technician right away for an evaluation.
Do You Need a New Air Conditioner if Your Compressor is Bad?
In some cases, a professional technician may be able to repair or replace the compressor and get your AC unit running again. However, if the damage is more widespread, it may be necessary to replace the entire unit. That's why it's important to contact an HVAC company as soon as you notice your AC is having problems. An experienced HVAC professional can help you make an informed decision about what's best for your air conditioning system so you can enjoy your cool home again.