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The compressor takes the feature role in your air conditioning unit. Located within the outdoor condenser unit, it’s the main purpose is to pump refrigerant gas in order to cool the air within your home. Though that’s a simplified view of its function, many experts compare the compressor to the “heart” of the AC system. If the AC compressor fails, you will find yourself without cool comfortable air. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of home AC compressor failure symptoms.
What Are Common Home AC Compressor Failure Symptoms?
Though a home AC compressor failure is never good news, there are several tell-tale symptoms that trouble is on the horizon. These symptoms include:
- Noises, such as knocking or hissing
- Shaking or vibrating
- Circuit breaker tripping frequently
- Warm air blowing inside your home
While these symptoms could be a sign of another sort of problem, they are commonly associated with AC compressor troubles, so it’s a good idea to take them seriously.
What Do These AC Compressor Failure Symptoms Mean?
Strange noises coming from the compressor can mean a lot of things. A hissing noise can indicate that the refrigerant hose is leaking. A knocking noise can be a dislodged or faulty fan. A system that makes very strange noises as it turns on may be trying to tell you that there is extra strain on the compressor, which can result in a very big problem when it fails.
Shaking or vibrating is a sign that the system is having a hard time turning on and functioning. This is always a symptom of compressor failure, so if you notice your condenser doing a dance, shut off your system and contact a professional ASAP.
If the circuit breaker trips whenever the AC turns on, this means the system is overheating and pulling too much power from the electrical systems. The good news is that the circuit breaker is doing its job by shutting off power to the AC. While there are a few different reasons the circuit might pop, if you notice it doing so frequently, don’t simply reset it- this may be a sign that the compressor is failing.
There may come a time when it appears that your entire AC system is running properly, but you feel warm air coming out of your indoor vents. This is a sign that refrigerant isn’t being pumped throughout the system. Since that is the main function of the compressor, this could be a symptom of impending failure. Please note that this could also be a sign of refrigerant leaking, which can also put a strain on the compressor and lead to failure in the long run.
If you find your AC system is behaving oddly, it’s never a bad idea to contact a professional. A home AC compressor failure is typically caused by older equipment or a strain on existing equipment. You will need a trained HVAC technician to diagnose the specific cause and to make any repairs or replacements. Call 844-962-2681 to connect with a professional in your area. Not only will your local HVAC technician be able to check for home AC compressor failure symptoms, but they can provide you with a no-obligation quote for any work necessary to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer.
Though a home AC compressor failure can be a big deal, there are several symptoms you can check to ensure your home is safe and comfortable year-round.
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Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.