AC Compressor Replacement Overview

If you suspect you have a broken air conditioner compressor, you’ll find this article handy when deciding to to fix it yourself, or hire someone else to do the job for you.

What is an air conditioner compressor?

A compressor within an air conditioner, compresses the refrigerant gas (substance used to absorb heat) which then allows, through condensation and evaporation, the transfer of heat from inside your home to the outside and thereby cooling the house.

Without the compressor you could not cool your home. This makes it an essential component to your cooling unit and household comfort.

What are the common causes of AC compressor damage?

The most common cause of compressor failure can be attributed to having a dirty air filter. This can cause damage to the compressor valves, connecting rods, and or scrolls which can stop the compressor from doing its job or completely stop all functionality by causing an electrical burnout in the motor.

Here are some other common causes of failure:

  • Having failed condenser fan motors
  • Defective power relays (contactors)
  • Weak or open run capacitors
  • Burnt wiring
  • Failed starting components within your air conditioner

These types of failures cause the electric motor to overheat, and either burn the electrical motor winding or weaken the internal overheat switch.

Consider your compressor the heart of your cooling unit, without it, you will lose all cooling abilities in your air conditioner.

Can you and should you replace the compressor yourself?

A compressor replacement is NOT a do it yourself (DIY) type of job. Right off the bat, you need to have an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) certification to legally do the job. Even if you have the certification, you must have experience and be skilled enough to prevent repeated failure of the compressor.

Simple answer, DON’T replace it yourself.

How much does an ac compressor replacement / repair cost?

The cost of replacing an out of warranty compressor can range from $2,500 to $5,000. The price depends on the type of refrigerant gas being used, and the type of compressor being replaced, as well as the location of the unit. You also need to consider whether you need to install a refrigerant system clean up filter, and whether the compressor is being replaced after hours (emergency air conditioning repair)

Some air conditioner brands have two separate compressors, and if one of them burns out, the manufacturer requires both to be replaced in order to preserve the warranty, even though only one of them has failed.

What can I do to ensure my ac compressor stays healthy?

The most important thing you can do is to replace and clean your air conditioner’s air filter. As mentioned earlier, this is the most common cause of compressor failure.

The next thing is having your AC inspected through regular maintenance service. This will prevent major repairs and replacement jobs in the long-run and save you and your family both a headache, and a large bill.

Need AC Compressor Replacement in Tucson?

If you’re in the Tucson region of Arizona, and need a technician to replace or fix your air conditioner’s compressor, call us to have a licensed and insured HVAC technician check up on your unit. At Heatwave Air Conditioning and Heating we provide transparent and high quality air conditioning repair, seasonal maintenance, and HVAC replacement to keep your home cool during the summer months. We’ll take the heat, so you can stay cool!

Heatwave Air Conditioning and Heating
(520) 623-1855
3131 E 45th St, Tucson, AZ 85713

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