Did you know the compressor is considered the heart of your air conditioner? While the thermostat serves as the brain, sending signals to the air conditioner and the heater on when it should cycle on and off, the compressor is the central component of the air conditioner, where refrigerant flows in and out of, in order to make the cooling process possible.
The compressor is also the most expensive part of your air conditioner! It comprises the outdoor unit of your AC and when it fails, it almost always means that it would be best to replace the entire air conditioner. But this isn’t true in all cases.
Read on as we uncover what a failed compressor means for your air conditioner, and when it’s time to replace (or if you could get by with a repair).
A Failed Air Compressor = An Expensive Repair
Unfortunately, this is the truth. The compressor is actually the most costly component to replace inside your air conditioner. This is why we typically recommend that, if it breaks down, you look at the health of your cooling system as a whole and consider perhaps replacing/upgrading the entire thing. In many cases, this is more economically feasible than replacing or repairing the compressor. First things first though, before you decide anything make sure you’re working with trustworthy pros who have your best interests in mind. Our team is highly capable of making accurate AC diagnoses, and we are here to help!
Next, it’s important to understand the role of the compressor. This component compresses refrigerant within an air conditioning system and often leads to some of the most commonly misdiagnosed component problems. Assuming that you have already determined that a compressor issue is, in fact, what you’re dealing with however, the first thing you’ll want to check is that the system is still under warranty. If your air conditioner’s manufacturer warranty is still up-to-date, you will not have to pay for the actual compressor to be replaced, only the labor service to have it replaced.
In the case of a current warranty, it does make sense to consider a compressor replacement. However, the likelihood of a compressor breaking down entirely while the system is still under warranty is pretty slim. Warranties are often good for about a decade, and the lifespan of a very well-maintained air conditioner is about 10-15 years.
So if you do not have that warranty coverage, it may be time to consider a full air conditioning system replacement. You’ll want to think about factors like your budget, both upfront and long-term. You’ll also want to consider if the type of air conditioner you have now is the one you want to replace it with. Maybe you’ve always had a central air conditioner, but could benefit from a heat pump system? Our team can help you make this decision by exploring all your options with you, including what the benefits are of each system type.