So, you’ve been told (or you suspect) that your air conditioner’s compressor has failed and is the cause of your cooling system breakdown. The next question is, should you pay to have your system repaired, or should you have it replaced? Before we answer this, we have to explain the role of the compressor in your air conditioner.
If the thermostat serves as the brain of your AC, then the compressor is the heart. It’s what enables the refrigerant process so that your air conditioner will actually do the job it was designed to do. When the compressor fails, the whole air conditioner fails along with it. Sure, your fans might still run, but you won’t feel any cooled air coming out through the vents.
When you ask “Should I repair my air conditioner or replace it,” in this case, what you’re really asking is if you should replace the compressor or buy a whole new air conditioner. The latter is usually the right answer, but not in every instance.