Main Causes of a Bad AC Compressor

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AirPros - Main Causes of a Bad AC Compressor

The almost invisible heart of each home is its air conditioner and when it breaks down, you will immediately feel the effects. Each home AC system consists of mechanical and electrical components that come together to make the heating and cooling of the home possible. One of those components is the air conditioning compressor. The compressor is critical to the function of the AC unit because it compresses refrigerant fluid into a gas and transfers heat between the indoor and outdoor environments.

Because of its critical role, the compressor needs to be in its best shape to continue to provide cool air to the home. When an AC compressor stops working, its failure is caused by the following air conditioning problems:

  1. Electrical Problems
  2. Refrigerant Leaks
  3. Improper Refrigerant Levels
  4. Contaminants in the System
  5. Overheating and Overloading

In this blog, the HVAC professional service members of Air Pros USA will break down each of these problems and explain how they tie into the compressor failure.

AC replacement

Do AC Compressor Problems?

When the AC compressor is bad, the entire air conditioning system will have problems as well. After all, it performs the most vital function of the AC unit.

Signs That Your AC Compressor is Bad

If you suspect AC compressor failure in your AC unit, make sure to watch out for these following signs listed below.

  • A lack of cooling power being supplied by the AC unit
  • Weird sounds are produced by the air conditioner when it is working
  • High energy bills
  • Short cycling of the air conditioner
  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Refrigerant leaks

if you notice any of these problems, we recommend contacting an HVAC professional immediately to diagnose the problem. In the meantime, let’s explore the possible causes of a failing AC compressor.

Electrical Problems

An air conditioner can have a variety of electrical problems like voltage fluctuations, electrical imbalances, and even poor power supply. All of these issues strain the AC compressor and will cause it to fail over time. Make sure that the electrical system of your home is up to par and call an HVAC professional at Air Pros USA to assess the condition of your air conditioner’s compressor.

Refrigerant Leaks

As we explained earlier, the AC compressor works to compress refrigerant fluid into a gas form. When there is a refrigerant leak in the system, the air conditioning system will begin to develop compressor problems. One of the biggest issues caused by refrigerant leaks is an overheated compressor, which will cause it to wear out and fail faster than usual.

Signs of a Refrigerant Leak:

  • Warm air blowing through the air vents
  • Puddles of fluids around the condenser unit
  • High energy bills
  • Overall poor performance in the AC system
  • A chemical smell around your AC system or coming through the air vents

If any of these issues present themselves, it is important to contact an HVAC professional immediately to avoid the potential of an AC compressor failure.

Improper Refrigerant Levels

Aside from a refrigerant leak, incorrect refrigerant levels can also cause issues with your air conditioner compressor. Too much refrigerant fluid in the compressor may cause it to struggle to work. The condenser coils, like the evaporator coils may freeze and produce a blockage and cause the AC system to work even harder before a compressor issue rises to the surface.

Contaminants in the System

One of the biggest enemies of a working air conditioner is a dirty air filter, condenser unit, or ductwork system. Excess dirt and debris in these parts of the air conditioner can contaminate the compressor, causing it to break down. If you notice that the energy efficiency of your air conditioner has plummeted, it may be a good idea to clean it to prevent having to deal with a dead compressor. When the AC compressor is bad, you may have to pay for an AC unit replacement because compressors are very expensive to repair and replace.

Overheating and Overloading

If your working air conditioner runs continuously under temperatures or excessive loads, the compressor may become overworked, which will lead to its failure faster. Try to give your AC unit a break at least every 8-10 hours and set the thermostat temperatures within a 10-degree margin of the temperatures outside.

Contact the HVAC Professional at Air Pros USA to Fix your Air Conditioner’s Compressor.

Are any of these bad AC compressor symptoms familiar to you? If you are concerned about the state of your home AC compressor, Contact an Air Pros USA brand in your area. Reference the list of locations we serve below to find the team that will provide you with excellent air conditioning solutions today.


CW Logo | Air Pros USA
Rheem AC Units and Installation | Air Pros USA
NATE Certified HVAC Company | Air Pros USA
EPA Approved | Air Pros USA
Trane AC Systems | Air Pros USA


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