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AC Compressor Failure: Repair or Replacement?

ac-compressorOver the years, as a natural result of wear and tear, you’re going to deal with AC repair needs. Particularly since our air conditioners work so hard in this climate. You’ll likely find yourself needing motor bearings lubricated, fan belts replaced, and maybe even refrigerant and ductwork leaks repairs. Fortunately, though, these are pretty simple fixes, and you’re less likely to run into a problem if you stay on top of your routine AC maintenance, too.

There’s one repair need in particular, however, that’s especially unpleasant to face, and that’s a broken down or damaged compressor. When it comes to most other AC components, replacing the component itself is usually the best option. But this isn’t always the case with a compressor–the heart of your air conditioner. Sometimes it makes more financial sense to replace the whole air conditioning system! Wondering why? Read on.

The Compressor Is the Most Expensive Part

Of all the components in your air conditioner, the compressor is the most expensive, which is why we recommend looking at your system as a whole when the compressor fails. Oftentimes it’s simply the most economically feasible choice.

Compressors are charged with compressing the refrigerant within your air conditioner. Problems with the compressor can lead to many different symptoms, such as loud noises, loss of cooling, or more. Let’s say you know for sure something is wrong with your compressor. What’s the next step?

Check your manufacturer’s warranty! If your compressor is still under warranty, you won’t need to pay for the actual component to be replaced–just the labor needed to conduct the replacement. If this is the case, it’s certainly worth considering a compressor replacement!

Although it’s worth noting that it’s not likely your compressor will break down while still under warranty–most warranties last about 10 years and that’s the average lifespan of an air conditioning system anyway. So if you don’t have warranty coverage, then it’s time to consider a full system upgrade.

You’ll want to factor in your budget of course, but at the end of the day replacing your entire air conditioner rather than a single indoor or outdoor unit is going to be best. Mismatched systems will lead to system inefficiencies that will leave you paying more to cool your home and potentially replace the system¬†anyway¬†in just a year or two.

“How Do I Know If I Have a Bad Compressor?”

Great question! Like we mentioned above, loud noises during start-up or a lack of cooling are two symptoms of a compressor in disrepair. Your AC system needs the refrigerant flowing into the evaporator coils to be under high pressure to work, and a failing compressor can’t achieve this.

The types of noise you should listen for include hissing–a signal of a refrigerant leak which will certainly impact the compressor–and humming loudly trying to compensate for service in can’t provide.

Whether you suspect your compressor is struggling or have been told by an HVAC pro that it’s in need of fixing, the best thing you can do is call our pros!

Ace Hardware Home Services is your trusted resource for Mooresville, NC HVAC service. Need AC care? Click Ace Hardware Home Services!

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