What makes an air conditioner compressor stop working?

Just as air conditioning is essential for our survival in the summer, an efficient ac compressor is essential for the survival of an air conditioner. 

There are several reasons why an air conditioning compressor may fail or stop working. However, in many cases, air conditioning compressor failure has to do with problems that are often preventable.

Before we get into the common problems that can occur with an air conditioner compressor, let’s find out why it’s so important to keep it working efficiently?

What to know about the AC compressor?

An air conditioning compressor works in two different ways. First, it compresses the refrigerant molecules together and works as a pump that circulates the refrigerant in the air conditioner system. Second, when the refrigerant flows into an evaporator in a home or office, it absorbs heat in the building before becoming gas. 

From here, the gas is heated and further compressed by your ac compressor. The gas then turns into a heated liquid. The condenser coils in the ac unit then cool this liquid. When the refrigerant reaches the evaporator, where the cycle repeats, the pressure at the expansion valve drops, allowing the refrigerant to absorb the heat before turning to gas easily. Any damage or leakage from an ac compressor can disrupt or slow down this process.

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Why is the air conditioner compressor so important for an air conditioner to work?

Your air conditioner’s compressor is something like the heart of the ac unit. Below are a few reasons to back up this statement:

  • Your air conditioner system won’t work without this significant component.
  • It has an estimated 10 to 15 years lifespan, and it won’t break down unless you neglect to service it at regular intervals.
  • Your air conditioner’s compressor is responsible for compressing refrigerant gas and moving it through the system to remove moisture and heat from your home.

Most frequent issues with AC Compressor

What causes an ac compressor to stop working in a car or a home? Why ac compressor stops working after some time? Want to know?

Here are a few tips from the experts at Beyond Heating and Cooling on how to fix your AC compressor or prevent further damage.

Power supply checking

If your ac unit or air conditioning compressor stops working, you should first check your power supply. The air conditioner may be unplugged, or there may be a more severe problem.

Dirt in coils and filters

An accumulation of debris and dirt in the filters, evaporators, or bottom of the condenser can cause the entire ac unit to fail. For example, a clogged air filter will significantly reduce the airflow, causing the evaporator coil to stop working. In addition, clogged air filters and condenser coils pressurize the ac compressor, causing it to overheat. 

In the best case, the compressor will automatically shut down before it is damaged. Otherwise, constant overheating may result in the need to replace the ac compressor. Wash the condenser coils, replace the air filters, and remove any blockages or obstructions in the vents to allow air to flow freely.


 Low refrigerant charge

Sometimes your system’s refrigerant lines become cracked or develop holes. As a result, the refrigerant flowing through these lines begins to leak, and your ac unit’s refrigerant charge decreases. If the cooling capacity of your air conditioner unit decreases and you notice that it is not cooling the house according to your requirements, it means that there is a refrigerant leak. If you don’t fix this problem in time, it will lead to system overheating and eventually compressor failure. Compressor failure is a serious fault that will force you to spend a lot of money on air conditioning services.

An issue with a capacitor

The starter relays and capacitors are an essential part of the compressor’s power supply. They are the most common cause of air conditioning compressor problems. 

The capacitor provides the current needed to start and run the ac compressor, blower motor and external fan. The starter relay transfers the current from the capacitors to the ac compressor. Therefore, if the ac compressor is not working, but you hear humming noises coming from the ac unit, there is a chance that the compressor is trying to access a capacitor that is not working. The good thing is that replacing these items is simple and inexpensive.

ducted air con

Dead air conditioning compressor

This may happen due to a simple problem like a faulty condenser or an overheated air conditioner. The only option for a dead air conditioning compressor is to replace it. Note that the replacement of the compressor in the air conditioner should be done by a professional.

 Electrical problems

Your air conditioner is an electrical system, and as with other such appliances, electrical problems negatively affect it and can lead to its failure. These electrical problems cause acids to build up in the system, damaging the wiring and causing the air conditioner system to fire. If your system suddenly shuts down, it indicates that something is wrong with the wiring. An air conditioning service in Australia, Beyond Heating and Cooling, will be able to identify the problem more accurately.

You can avert this issue by having your system regularly serviced by an air conditioning expert from Beyond Heating and Cooling

Their professionals can identify minor electrical problems and other malfunctions that can lead to significant breakdowns in the future.

Contaminants in the compressor

Air conditioner compressors are usually located outside the home or on rooftops. There are generally various types of contaminants in the areas where they are placed, such as bacteria, fungi, and insects.  Unfortunately, the heat present in the system makes it a perfect habitat for these particles. You can avoid the problems they cause by scheduling maintenance through an air conditioning service at Melbourne Heating and Cooling. These professionals will not only clean your system but will also diagnose and fix any minor issues.

 Lubricant level

The lubricant is the blood of your air conditioner, just as the compressor is its heart. Insufficient lubricant levels can lead to several serious problems, including ac compressor failure. You can avoid this by having your air conditioner serviced at least once a year by an Australian air conditioning service provider, Heating and Cooling Melbourne. Their skilled technician will check the lubricant level and the condition of the oil pump to prevent compressor failures and other problems related to decreased lubricant levels.

If your air conditioner is not cooling efficiently or is running continuously. There may be a problem with your air conditioner’s compressor.
If you need air conditioning service in Australia, contact Melbourne Heating and Cooling to take a look at your air conditioning system. Their experienced professionals will diagnose the problem and fix it in a time and cost-efficient manner.
To read about Ducted Gas Heating article

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