The AC compressor is the heart of your HVAC system, and without it, your air conditioner cannot cool the air to lower the temperature of your room. AC compressors work to process and pump refrigerant throughout the AC unit, which is why when this part becomes faulty, it can mean high replacement costs.
The cost to replace an AC compressor can be expensive as it is the core of your air conditioner. Luckily, AC compressors don't often break down, but older models may have wear and tear on their units that warrant a compressor replacement.
Diagnosing Your Home AC Compressor
How do you know if you have a bad AC compressor? Your air conditioner will let you know. A faulty air conditioner compressor tends to show up in a variety of signs, but the most common signal for a malfunctioning compressor is the cooling capacity. AC compressors are what pump refrigerant throughout the unit, so the AC unit can not blow cool air with a faulty part.
There are other symptoms that connote a problem with your AC compressor, but these issues may also define other underlying problems with your AC unit. Here are the common signs of a faulty air conditioning compressor:
- AC system not blowing cool air, but warm air.
- AC system is short-cycling.
- AC is leaking water.
- AC unit is making strange clicking, ticking, or chattering noises.
- Air conditioner trips breakers.
- Air conditioner causes high electricity bills.
- AC unit freezes up or overheats.
The best way to diagnose problems with your AC compressor is to have an HVAC technician look into your unit to find the source of these problems. If the issue is with your compressor, then the technician may recommend an AC compressor replacement to get your unit up and running again.
There are also ways to diagnose aircon issues at home before going to a technician service to repair your unit. This way, you can ease up on the costs of aircon maintenance and repairs, as the issue may not be with your compressor but with another, easy-to-fix component of your AC unit:
#1: Clean the Air Filter and Coils
First check whether the air filter and coils of your unit are filthy. Dirty air filters and dusty evaporator coils can cause a myriad of AC problems similar to the signs of AC compressor failure. Clean the filter with soap and water, and vacuum out the excess dust from your evaporator coil. This may solve issues with your AC unit.
#2: Check the Circuit Breaker
If your unit tripped a breaker once, then there shouldn't be much cause for alarm. Simply unplug unnecessary appliances from the same circuit breaker, and reset the tripped breaker by flipping the switch back to its original position. If the breaker no longer trips, then the issue was with your electrical system and not the AC unit.
#3: Drain the Drip Tray, Check the Refrigerant
Leaking AC units may be a sign of a faulty compressor, but it can also mean an overflowing drip tray. Be sure to drain the water from the drip tray regularly, and clear any blockage from your drain lines. Alternatively, check for leaking refrigerant lines as the issue may be with a common leak rather than with the compressor.
#4: Check Your AC Specifications
Check the specifications of your unit and compare it with the size of your room. You may have an oversized or undersized unit for the area of your room, which is why your unit is short-cycling or freezing up. A technician will be able to inform you of the appropriate specifications of air conditioners for your room.
#5: Clean the Outdoor Unit
Sometimes, the outdoor unit is simply blocked by debris and dust. The unit is, after all, exposed to the outdoor elements, so giving this unit a thorough clean with a hose can loosen up dirt and debris that is causing malfunctions.
If after trying out all these steps, your air conditioner continues to malfunction, contact a Luce Aircon professional technician to take a look at your unit to diagnose the problem. Our technicians are experienced in diagnosing various aircon issues, so you can be sure of the results!
How to Replace the AC Compressor
This video shows how an AC compressor is replaced. The technician will often cut out the faulty compressor, and solder the parts together. This often requires extensive work, and not all technicians will accept replacing an AC compressor.
- Step 1: Unmount the air conditioner, and open up the housing.
- Step 2: Drain refrigerant lines for safety reasons.
- Step 3: Remove the old compressor by cutting off the unit from the connected pipework. Hose down the entire unit to clean each part, preparing it for replacement.
- Step 4: Fit the new, replacement compressor into the unit, and connect the necessary lines to its respective section on the compressor replacement.
- Step 5: Solder the pipework onto each respective section, and rewire the compressor switch.
- Step 6: Top up the refrigerant, and return the housing of the unit.
Where to Buy Replacement Parts?
Luce Aircon provides purchasing services for air conditioners and air conditioner parts. With years' worth of experience in the HVAC field, our technicians will be able to refer you to models, brands, and specific units you can purchase to replace an AC compressor in your unit.
However, be mindful of the costs. The AC compressor cost of replacement or repairs can be as low as $600 (SGD 800) if your warranty covers the AC compressor replacement cost, or as high as $2,500 (SGD 3,300) if your unit is no longer under warranty.
Having issues with your unit? Contact us at Luce Aircon and schedule an appointment with us today.