When summer arrives, and the thermometer pops, it’s natural to want to crank up the thermostat to keep cool and comfortable in your home. But sometimes, your AC doesn’t give you cool relief, but warm air or nothing at all.

According to a Dallas AC expert, air conditioners fail for several reasons, but one of the most common is because of the air compressor.

In this article, we look at how your AC works and why your compressor goes bad.

Anatomy of your AC

Most homeowners don’t give a second thought to their AC system, but knowing how it works can help you identify a small problem that’s easy and inexpensive to fix before it becomes a massive problem that’s more expensive.

Most AC units have an indoor and outdoor unit. The indoor unit houses the evaporator which contains the liquid refrigerant. This liquid absorbs the heat from the air in your home and blows out cold air instead.

The outside unit houses the compressor, the fan and condenser coils. The heat that is taken out from the indoor air gets piped to the outdoor unit where it flows over the condenser coil and then goes on to the compressor. Without the compressor, the entire system grinds to a halt.

Symptoms of a Bad Compressor

When your air compressor fails, you don’t get cold air in your home anymore. Replacing an air compressor is a big, expensive job, and while most will last about 15 years, you can extend that time if you conduct regular maintenance.

Here are some reasons air compressors go bad.

  1. Dirty Coils: Dirt and grime build up over time and when that happens, your coils can’t dissipate the heat properly.
  2. Clogged Suction Lines: Think of suction lines as the circulatory system of your system, and when they’re clogged, they can’t carry refrigerant efficiently and you don’t get cold air.
  3. Poor Lubrication: The compressor has moving parts that need proper lubrication to function effectively.
  4. Power Failure: If the system experiences a short or electric shock, you may have a power failure.

Signs Your Compressor Is Failing

No one likes the thought of purchasing a new AC unit or even a new compressor, so it’s essential you identify problems quickly so they can be fixed before the whole system becomes compromised. Here are common signs to watch out for:

  • Grinding noises
  • Fluid leaks
  • Low, poor airflow
  • Lukewarm or hot air
  • No air

When You Should Call An HVAC Pro

Your HVAC system is a complex machine, and you need an experienced professional HVAC company with the proper training to fix it. Whenever you experience trouble with your AC system, your best bet is to call a pro right away rather than trying to fix it yourself. Tinkering with your system when you don’t know what you’re doing can void the warranty.

Finally, to ensure your system lasts a long time and gives you years of dependable service, have a professional perform regular maintenance on your system.