What Causes AC Compressor Damage

Air conditioners are complex systems composed of various electrical and mechanical components that make cooling and heating our homes possible. As the top air conditioning repair techs in Colorado Springs, we periodically highlight one or two such components. This blog will discuss some basic air compressor information, such as what this part is and how it might be damaged. 

What is an AC Compressor?

Air compressors are the heart of the air conditioning system; achieving the desired temperature at home would be impossible without them. The compressor’s role is to condense the refrigerant fluid into gas which then moves through the rest of the system to cool the air. This process is vital to the cooling process; as such, when the compressor develops problems, the whole unit will experience problems as well. 

We highlight the compressor in this blog because of its importance to the unit and its expensive cost. When air compressors break, they usually require replacement. This replacement costs as much as a new air conditioner unit; thus, it is important to avoid damaging it. Below are a few causes that wear the compressor out and lead to its failure. 

Lack of Maintenance 

One of the biggest pitfalls many homeowners make is skipping maintenance services for their air conditioner in Colorado Springs. Maintenance consists of cleaning and lubricating all parts to ensure they work as smoothly as possible. Additionally, each maintenance service includes a thorough inspection and diagnosis of potential problems. This step allows the technician to find possible repairs that could wear down the compressor. Skipping maintenance means neglecting the opportunity to keep the compressor running efficiently, which will eventually cause it to fail. 

Electrical Problems

Any electrical problem within the AC can cause the compressor to struggle to operate efficiently. The electrical issues that are most damaging to the compressor include: 

  • Voltage fluctuations – mainly caused by power surges or inconsistent power supply
  • Electrical short circuits – commonly caused by damaged wiring, loose connections, overloaded circuits, or faulty components 
  • Capacitor problems – usually a result of defective or failing capacitors that must be replaced
  • Wiring issues – poorly designed or faulty wiring can cause an inadequate power supply to the compressor
  • Motor overload – can cause the motor to draw excessive current, causing the compressor to overheat

Overuse or Overheating

When it is hot outside, it is tempting to keep the AC running for extended periods of time. However, most repair techs specializing in air conditioning in Colorado Springs will advise you to give the AC a periodic break to prevent it from going into overdrive. If used for too long without a break, the AC may decrease efficiency or even begin to short circuit. 

Refrigerant Leaks

One of the most common issues that ruin the compressor is when the refrigerant lines leak. This creates a big problem because, without adequate refrigerant levels, the compressor will not have anything to compress. Thus, it will work harder to compensate for the efficiency loss and wear out faster. Common signs of refrigerant leaks include hissing sounds, poor cooling performance, and puddles of liquid around the unit. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to contact an air conditioning tech as soon as possible. 

Contaminants in the System 

Contaminants in the system can also damage the AC compressor. Excess dirt and debris slow the work of heat exchange within the system. As a result, the unit will work harder to create the required temperatures. Maintenance services offered by your AC repair company help avoid this.  

Old Age

Over time, all mechanical systems will eventually wear out, and the compressor is no exception. The compressor’s internal parts may become worn or damaged over time, leading to failure. Most compressors are designed to last about 15-20 years, and if your AC is in this age range, it may be a good idea to have it checked in preparation for a possible replacement. 

Air Conditioning Techs in Colorado Springs

Is your AC compressor showing signs of failure? Contact One Source Home Service for a thorough assessment of the situation and learn about the repair options available to you.

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