Understanding the Role of an AC Compressor

While you sit back and enjoy great cooling, it’s common to wonder how it all works. Every piece has an important role, and your home would be much less delightful without it. Whether you’re thinking about getting a new air conditioner or just wanting to understand your current one a little better, it’s a wise idea to know more about the compressor and how it affects your comfort.

How Air Conditioning Works

In order to know the role of the compressor, you need to understand how air conditioning works. It’s a complicated system with several steps, and each one needs to work properly in order to cool your home. When the thermostat triggers the system to turn on, the system sends refrigerant through a tube into your home. The refrigerant runs through the evaporator coil, which works to absorb heat. That process turns the refrigerant into a gas. The refrigerant moves back to the exterior unit, where it is compressed and condensed to release heat and humidity. This cycle repeats itself several times per hour, depending on the outside temperature and the thermostat settings.

AC Compressor Function

In essence, the compressor acts as the guide for the whole system. The compressor motor pushes the refrigerant to the evaporator coil, then pushes it back outside for compression and condensation. It is a little system within your air conditioner system that is designed to keep working on a regular basis, while protecting your home from risk of high voltage or refrigerant leaks.

When to Repair or Replace an AC Compressor

As the chief component of your air conditioning, the compressor tends to be the most expensive part to replace. If you’re not sure when you might need AC repair for your compressor, there are a few ways that you can tell:

  • Strange noises coming from the compressor motor
  • Sudden increase in energy consumption
  • Inadequate cooling
  • Vents only circulating warm air
  • No AC operation at all

Given the high price and the difficulty of repairing an AC compressor, it’s more common to consider replacing the compressor or getting a new air conditioner when it breaks. If your air conditioner is fairly new, replacing the compressor may make more sense. As your unit approaches the end of its lifespan, replacing usually is the best long-term investment. In either case, it’s important to schedule expert AC installation, so that you can be sure it will work well from the first day.

Understanding your AC compressor makes it easier for you to know how your air conditioning works, and when you need to request repairs or replacement for it. That knowledge helps you get the most from your air conditioner each year. Contact us for more information or to schedule service today.

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