The air conditioner (AC) compressor is critical to your house's cooling, and its failure will lead to impaired cooling. The following are some of the common culprits as far as compressor failure is concerned.
Refrigerant Line Blockages
The main function of the compressor is to pump the refrigerant and keep it circulating between the condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. If the refrigerant lines are blocked due to something like metal shavings (because of wear and tear), the compressor will have to work harder than usual to keep the refrigerant flowing. An overworked compressor experiences accelerated wear and tear and is also likely to overheat; both problems can lead to compressor failure.
Dirt or debris over the condenser coils can also impact the compressor after some time. The dirt insulates the coils and reduces heat transfer between the refrigerant and the air above the coils. As a result, the AC has to run longer cooling cycles. Whenever the AC is running, the compressor has to keep working to compress and pump the refrigerant. Hence, you are back to the problems associated with an overworked compressor.
The refrigerant is the agent of heat exchange, which is integral to AC cooling efficiency. The refrigerant absorbs heat in the house and takes it outside. If the refrigerant lines are leaking, say due to corrosion or accidental damage, the volume of the circulating refrigerant might fall too low. This means your house won't cool as fast as it usually does, the compressor will run for longer than it should, and the associated problems will ensue.
The AC compressor runs on electricity. The electrical power runs the pump that gets the refrigerant to flow. Thus, electrical issues can interfere with the compression and pumping of the refrigerant. The compressor has a motor that harnesses electrical power to do all the work. Wear and tear, poor maintenance, and electrical surges are some of the things that can trigger electrical problems in the compressor.
The compressor has moving parts that must be kept lubricated at all times. The lubrication reduces friction and allows the compressor to operate with minimal electrical consumption. The friction increases if the compressor components dry up. Increased friction will be followed by accelerated wear and tear, overheating, and compressor breakdown.
The compressor is not an ideal candidate for DIY repairs. Contact an HVAC business, like Plisko Service Solutions, if you suspect that your AC's compressor is malfunctioning.