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How Do Aircon Compressors Work and Detecting Common Problems

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Ever wonder what drives your air conditioner to perform to its fullest potential? The answer: the aircon compressor.

The air con compressor — or the “heart” of all AC units —  is in charge of different functions that all contribute to the clean and cold air that you breathe at home and at work.

As one of the main parts in an aircon system, it comes as no surprise that an air conditioner compressor is also one of the parts that can easily develop faults or breaks. If it’s ridden with problems, then chances are your unit will start showing signs of performance issues and breakdowns. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the many functions of an air conditioner compressor and how to detect the most common compressor problems.


How Does an Aircon Compressor Work?

1. Air Transfer

One of the most important functions of your air conditioner is transferring heat into the unit. Once the air rises above the default room temperature, the aircon’s vent immediately proceeds to suck humid air into the unit. This is where the compressor enters and does its magic — by pushing the humid air to the condenser.

Once the air has been absorbed by the unit, the air conditioner compressor starts pushing it to the condenser. The result? The instant production of cold air is made as the refrigerant transforms the balmy air into the chilly and breezy air that you are familiar with.

2. Humidity Elimination‍

Aside from transferring air, the compressor is also responsible for making the unit eliminate humidity. When it is not functioning properly, you can expect your room to start getting damp and moist.

3. Liquid Compression‍

Once the balmy air has been absorbed by your unit, the compressor does its job of turning it into liquid. From here, it makes its way down an expansion valve that cools the warm liquid. The next step is for aircon fluids to enter into the compressor in the form of low-pressure gas. 

So if your compressor is faulty and busted, then the liquid won’t be fully processed, resulting in warmer air production despite cool mode being turned on.

4. Removal And Condensation of Hot Refrigerated Gas‍

The compressor is also responsible for removing and condensing hot refrigerated gas in your unit, enabling it to have a much higher pressure and temperature.


5 Common Air Conditioner Compressor Problems & Signs

Keeping your air conditioner compressor is simple and easy. Here are the common problems and noticeable performance issues that can tell you it’s time for a repair:


1. Aircon Not Cooling‍

Are you dealing with an aircon with reduced cooling powers? If your answer is an instant yes, then consider this as a sign that your air conditioning compressor may need repair or changing. This problem can be due to a broken compressor, so it is recommended to schedule an appointment immediately with an aircon expert.

2. Aircon Turning On And Off‍

If you start seeing signs that your air conditioning unit has been turning on and off frequently, don’t panic. It is not a ghost nor someone from your house pulling some scary prank on you — it could very well be an air conditioner compressor problem that is plaguing your unit. Failure to take action on this compressor problem right away may result in higher electricity bills due to increased energy consumption by your unit.

It’s also important to note that this problem can’t be solely attributed to a faulty compressor. There are a lot of reasons that can be causing this problem. Sometimes, the issue could be as simple as a busted fuse or a broken wire. Other times it can be as serious as a broken capacitor or a leaking refrigerant.

3. Compressor Motor Not Starting‍

Your compressor’s motor still not functioning despite numerous attempts? Then it is time to consider the possibility of a problem within its start capacitor. If your unit doesn’t have one, it is best to install one. However, if your unit has one and is still showing signs of performance issues, then the next step is to call an air conditioning technician to take a look and offer the necessary steps for repair or replacement.‍

4. Overheating‍

An overheating aircon happens when extreme heat causes the unit to run into performance issues after a few minutes of being turned on. While the usual culprit for this is the warm and humid temperature, it could also be an indicator that there’s something wrong with the compressor unit.

If you’re dealing with this issue then it’s best to call an aircon technician or a servicing company right away to make the professional fix.‍

5. Worn-out Compressor‍

In other cases, spotting a faulty aircon compressor can be as easy as checking its overall form and function instead of looking for red flags such as overheating and intermittent cooling issues. To do this, you just have to directly inspect your air conditioner compressor for any unusual signs and activity. You will then easily be able to tell if it needs to be repaired or even replaced if it’s completely worn-out. 


Getting a New Compressor for Your Aircon Unit

If your aircon is in need of a new compressor, simply look for the serial number and the model number on the unit’s metal plate to help you determine the exact model that you need to look for. 

However, you can also have your compressor repaired or replaced with a valid warranty program. These warranties can provide your air conditioner unit with free repairs and replacements, depending on the severity of the issue or the recommendation by your air conditioner manufacturer.

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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