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Signs the AC’s Compressor Is in Trouble

compressor-in-ac-unitThe compressor is the part of your air conditioner that puts in the most work over the summer. It’s basically the “heart” of the AC, the part where refrigerant is placed under pressure so it will circulate through the heat exchange process. The compressor is in danger of failing the older the air conditioner gets, and a failed compressor often means it’s more cost-effective to replace the AC than to replace only the compressor.

You can catch early signs of compressor trouble and call for AC repair in Athens, GA from our technicians. Reacting quickly to compressor issues can sometimes prevent a far more serious breakdown. Of course, you need to know what signs to watch for. Here are some of the main ones:

Clicking or Ticking Sound

When the compressor turns on to start the cooling cycle, it might make a clicking or ticking noise. This often means there is a problem with an electrical component, such as a relay or one of the capacitors. If this goes on, the compressor may not come on at all. An HVAC technician can replace relays or failing capacitors before the situation worsens.

Rattling Noise

A rattling mechanical noise from the condenser cabinet may indicate there are loose parts clattering around. It could be in the compressor, but it may also be a fan problem. Either way, you’ll want to have professionals inspect it and find out what’s wrong before it worsens.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

If the compressor comes on but then stops because it tripped a circuit breaker in the electrical panel, it’s a major warning the compressor motor is overheating. We don’t recommend resetting the breaker and trying the air conditioner again. Instead, call for assistance to see if there is electrical trouble in the compressor that’s causing the problem.

Lower Cooling Capacity

The compressor is what allows the air conditioner to cool in the first place. When it starts to fail, it can mean a drop in cooling capacity in the house. However, if your cooling drops, there are several possible reasons. The AC may be losing refrigerant, the air filter may be clogged, or there are leaks in the ventilation system. Let an HVAC expert find out what’s actually causing the problem and fix it.

Drop in Airflow

A dying compressor will cause a decrease in airflow from the system, although it may be hard to detect at first. You’ll want lower airflow checked on to see if the compressor is at fault, or if there are problems with the blower fan or the zone control system.

Hard Starting

Hard starting is when the compressor needs to draw on extra power to overcome resistance when it turns on. It’s similar to a car motor having trouble turning over. Hard starting puts wear on the compressor and may eventually cause it to burn out. Technicians can fix this by attaching a hard start kit that will give the compressor the extra electrical “kick” it needs to get started.

Even if technicians feel they can rescue your compressor, if the air conditioner is more than 15 years old, it’s probably best to have a new unit put it. Trust our technicians for an honest analysis.

Call Snellville Heating, Air and Plumbing any time of the day or night when you need AC repairs. Your Comfort is OUR Business!

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