3 Causes Of AC Compressor Failure

The air compressors in air conditioning systems are critical components. If an air compressor gets severely damaged, it can be a complicated and costly fix. One of the best ways to prevent damages to air compressors is to keep service appointments. Sometimes compressor issues can be fixed with AC repairs. However, prolonged issues that get dismissed as being unimportant could result in mechanical failure and require a replacement.

An HVAC contractor can determine if an air compressor can be repaired and whether replacing the whole AC system is a better option than the repair. Aged systems that are out of warranty might be better suited for replacement because there might be other portions of the system that need replacing or will soon fail. A new AC installation would mean that a homeowner would have a new system with all parts covered by warranty. The following points represent circumstances that could cause air conditioning compressors to fail.

Too Much Refrigerant

It might seem like more than enough refrigerant is ideal. However, air conditioning systems are designed to contain a certain amount of refrigerant. The amount will vary based on a number of factors. This is one of the reasons why refrigerant is not readily available. An HVAC contractor will know the correct level of refrigerant required for your system, and they can determine if the current level is too high. Even though refrigerant should not be distributed to laypersons, it is possible for someone to have some. Never attempt to add refrigerant to your own system because it is illegal and could severely damage the compressor. 

Not Enough Refrigerant

Routine maintenance will help to identify when refrigerant needs to be added. If you have an aged system, you might be forced to get a new air conditioning system if your existing one requires a type of refrigerant that is phased out or slated to phase out. Sourcing these refrigerants will likely be harder in the coming years. Older systems may also not perform efficiently even if they appear to be working and producing cool air. These factors make it sensible to consider a new air conditioning installation rather than trying to find a way to get obsolete refrigerant added to a system that has reached the end of its lifecycle. Continued operation of an AC system with low refrigerant levels will cause the compressor to inevitably fail due to attempting to work beyond its capacity.

Electrical Relay Issues

This type of compressor issue will signal a rattling, clicking, or shattering sound when the system is activated. Any strange sounds from AC systems should be referred to a professional to troubleshoot and diagnose. Compressor-related noises from electrical relay issues will damage the compressor if the relay issue is not addressed. 

For more information on air conditioning, including issues like compressor failure, contact a local HVAC technician.