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When Do I Need Air Conditioner Compressor Replacement?

A well-built compressor can last up to 15 years or more when properly maintained, working hard to ensure that your Benbrook, TX, home or business stays cool through many hot-weather seasons. An integral part of your cooling system, the compressor also one of the most expensive components to replace when a breakdown occurs. Determining if you need a compressor replacement depends on properly diagnosing system problems and on comparing air conditioner repair expenses with the cost of a new system.

The Compressor’s Role in Your Air Conditioning System

Air conditioner technology revolves around a refrigerant’s ability to convert from a liquid into a gas and back again. When a refrigerant liquid evaporates into a gas, it extracts heat from the surrounding air, leaving your home or business feeling cool and comfortable. The compressor is responsible for taking the cooled, low-pressure gas from the evaporator and pressurizing it into a hot gas. The refrigerant then passes from the compressor into the condenser where it’s cooled until it turns into a liquid. The cooled liquid is then squeezed into the evaporator to continue the refrigeration cycle.

Compressor Trouble-Shooting

The fan in your air conditioner may still work even when the compressor has malfunctioned. To determine if you need a compressor replacement, a qualified HVAC contractor will thoroughly inspect the system’s parts and components. Compressors are equipped with reed valves that control the pressure of the gas as it enters and exits the device. Improperly seated valves can impair operation. Compressors also rely on a capacitor to store the electrical charge necessary for their operation. A defective capacitor can also make a compressor inoperable. Other compressor shut-down causes include shorted or burned wiring, an improper refrigerant charge and dirty condenser coils.

Air Conditioning System Replacement

When a reputable HVAC technician establishes that a compressor needs to be replaced, it’s important to calculate whether it would be more cost effective to replace the entire system. Today’s modern cooling systems are far more energy efficient than their older counterparts. Replacing an outdated system typically offers more savings over the long run. High-efficiency cooling systems offer better comfort as well. Our techs can run a cost analysis to help determine the choice best for you.

If replacing the compressor is a more affordable solution, ask our technicians about energy-savings models like two-stage compressors that only operate at full power when cooling demands are high. Some compressors feature scroll technology that lets them run more quietly using less energy than traditional piston-driven models. Whatever you decide, you can count on the expertise of skilled AirWise technicians to perform a cost-effective installation or air conditioner repair. Call us and schedule and appointment today.