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Is Your AC Compressor Failing? 4 Tell-Tale Signs

If you know a little about air conditioners, then you know that the words “failing compressor” are two words no homeowner wants to ever hear. That’s because the compressor is not only the most important component of your AC system, it’s almost the most expensive. It’s so expensive that most of the time when the compressor fails, it’s recommended that the entire system be replaced.

The aptly named compressor is the part of your AC that compresses refrigerant. This process is what allows your AC to work at all. The older the AC, the more prone the compressor is to failing. That’s why it’s imperative to know these four signs that you need AC compressor repair.

Clicking, Ticking, or Rattling Sounds

Clicking or ticking sounds when the AC first starts up can mean there’s an issue with an electrical component such as a relay or one of the capacitors. If this is allowed to continue, your air conditioner may eventually not come on at all. Luckily, relays or failing capacitors are a fairly easy and inexpensive fix. If you hear a rattling noise from the condenser cabinet (this is the part that resides outside) there could be a loose part which is also a fairly easy fix for our team.

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 to turn on the AC again. Instead, give us a call to see if a wiring or electrical issue that’s causing this.

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 which is why if your AC is doing this, it needs to be looked at ASAP.

Lower Cooling Capacity or a Drop in Airflow

Unfortunately, these symptoms are things that can occur due to other reasons in addition to a problematic compressor. But if you’re noticing these along with any of the signs above, pay careful attention to them. The compressor is what allows the air conditioner to cool in the first place. When it starts to fail, it can cause a drop in cooling capacity or decreased airflow. 

These things could be caused by a refrigerant leak, the air filter may be clogged. Decreased airflow can be caused by a problem with the blower fan or a clogged air filter.

Even if our technicians feel they can save your compressor, if the AC is more than 15 years old, it might be best to have a new unit installed based on the cost of the repair. Trust our technicians for an honest analysis.

Don’t let the weather get you down, call Brown’s! Brown’s Heating & Cooling is your trusted resource for quality air conditioning repairs in Black Forest. Contact us today!

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