An air conditioner compressor is one of the main components of the unit. It also is the component that is not diagnosed correctly most often. Many times if the compressor is thought to be bad, it turn out not to be the issue.
There are four kinds of compressors used in air conditioning units. Rotary, common for window AC units and a few central AC units. Reciprocating, most common for use in split air conditioners that are lower efficiency. Scroll, in high efficiently is the most common. Variable speed, also known as inverter drives are used in high efficiency that are way up on the line. These all range in durability and price.
There are diagnostic tests a technician uses to check if you will need an AC compressor replacement. They will first see if there is an electrical issue with the compressor. A multimeter is used for measuring resistance, after making sure the terminals or wires have no damage. If the technician gets a reading that is high when the AC unit is cool, your compressor is bad. If readings from each of the terminals are low, your AC compressor needs replacement.
Prior to replacing the AC compressor, see if your warranty is still good. If not and the cost for the AC compressor replacement is more than half of what a new system costs, you should consider replacing the system instead.
If the compressor was proven to be bad and you are having it replaced, the technician will need all power to the system shut off. They need to recover all of the refrigerant from your AC unit due to EPA regulations. Be sure the technician checks for leaks after sealing the system.
Get regular maintenance done on your AC system to help avoid compressor problems in the future.
Another issue that your AC may have is with the condensers. These carry the water along the unit to give the best cooling. Due to them carrying water and coolants, they are open to several hazards. Your AC condenser can have a buildup of debris, minerals, which will make the unit less efficient. Some other reasons to make a condenser fan stop working include:
- A bad run capacitor. This component jump starts the motor each time it starts. Cost for AC capacitor replacement ranges.
- A bad relay on the condenser fan. When starting and stopping the unit, the relay is what turns the motor off and on. The make, model, and contractor doing the replacement is what the cost for replacement depends on.
- Motor in the condenser is burnt out. This can make the motor move slow, or not at all. If having AC condenser replacement, be sure specifications for the new motor is the same as the original. If not, your utility bills will be more costly and the AC systems life span will be shorter.
If experiencing any issues with your air conditioning system, call a technician to diagnose the problem. They can help you decide if you should replace or repair the components, or have a new system installed.