Troubleshooting Air Conditioning Compressor Problems

Air conditioners are mechanical devices that are used to cool a room, entire house, or office building. The process of cooling involves utilizing chemicals that are converted from a gas to a liquid and then back to a gas again. One of the main parts of an air conditioner that is essential for cooling is the compressor. The compressor will squeeze the fluid and press the molecules tightly together in order to increase the temperature and energy. When the fluid travels out of the compressor and into the condenser, it has changed and is in the form of a high pressure gas. Because the compressor is an essential component of the air conditioner, it is important to make sure it functions properly.

Below are a number of tips to troubleshooting air conditioning compressor problems:

1. The first thing you should do is turn the air conditioner off and check for any wires and connections that look damaged. This can include wires that look worn, loose, or burned. You should also check the wire connections in the compressor terminal box for any signs of damage that will require professional repair.

2. If you find that the air conditioner is not providing enough of a cooling effect, you should check the temperature. The temperature should be set lower than the room temperature. You should take the temperature about 15 minutes after the air conditioner has been running. If the condenser fan and the compressor are both running and the cooling is weak, check the temperature drop. You do this by subtracting the air temperature entering the unit from the temperature of the air leaving the unit. If the temperature drop is extremely low, the unit’s refrigerant may need to be charged.

3. If the condenser fan starts and works properly, but the compressor is not starting, the air conditioner may either be low on refrigerant, the compressor may be broken, or the compressor may be too hot.

4. It is important to check the fan motor which can affect the compressor. For instance, a fan motor may have poor windings or locks when it is running. There may also be bad components such as a worn thrust bearing, the motor may need to be replaced, and the rotor bars may be damaged. All of these problems can affect the compressor and affect the proper functioning of the air conditioner. If you find the compressor starts but the fan is not starting, the condenser fan motor may be causing the problem.

5. There are a number of reasons why a compressor may not start. They can include: problem with the capacitor, a blown fuse, motor overload protector is broken, compressor is locked up, burnt wiring, compressor trips the breaker and blows a fuse, internal damage within the compressor, compressor has non functioning valves, compressor has fallen off its mounts, unequal pressure flowing through valves, and the motor is grounded.

Without a properly running compressor, the air conditioner will not be able to function properly. It is important to be aware that the components of an air conditioner are very delicate and complex; therefore, it is best to let a professional determine the cause and make the correct and accurate repair.

We don’t do HVAC, but we know of a reputable contractor that does!

Shawn Warren

Shawn Warren

Shawn Warren is the owner and chief operator of Freedom Builders & Remodelers; a remodeling company serving Rockford, IL & surrounding areas. Shawn is an EPA Lead Certified Renovator. He is personable and conscientious of the project surroundings, client’s lifestyle, privacy and treats each job as if it were his own.

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Freedom Builders & Remodelers
1125 Milford Ave RockfordIL61109 USA 
 • 815-985-0310

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