6 Symptoms of a Bad AC Compressor

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Over time, an AC compressor can start to malfunction, which will cause problems for your air conditioning system. You may not know if you have AC compressor failure, but there are a couple of symptoms you can watch out for that may indicate a problem with your AC system.

A bad air conditioning compressor would cause the entire AC system to malfunction over time. During the initial stages of AC compressor failure, there may be one or more symptoms that appear which indicate a problem.

Symptom Description
Strange Noises A rattling, whirring, or clunking noise indicates wear and tear of the AC’s internal parts, including the compressor.
Warm Airflow A faulty compressor can no longer deliver the same function as a working one, which causes the AC unit to malfunction in delivering cold air.
High Electric Bill AC units with a faulty compressor tend to work harder and use up more energy in the process, resulting in a high electric bill.
Refrigerant Leaks Compressors are meant to compress refrigerant, and a bad compressor weakens the refrigerant lines, making them susceptible to leakage.
Overheating AC As the AC unit works harder despite a faulty compressor, the entire unit may overheat as a result.
Poor or Weak Airflow The AC delivers poor or weak airflow as a result of a bad compressor that no longer performs its functions.

6 Bad AC Compressor Symptoms

Symptom #1 Rattling or Whirring Noise

Older air conditioning units tend to make strange noises like a rattling, whirring, or clunking noise as the internal parts start to wear and tear. Loose parts often create a rattling noise, while weakening components may have a whirring sound. This is the earliest indication of a problem with AC compressors.

Symptom #2 Warm Air Coming From the Air Conditioner

When the compressor can no longer function properly, the entire air conditioning unit fails to deliver cool air, and blows warm air instead. While warm air may be an indication of a plethora of issues with your AC unit, a faulty compressor is one of the causes.

Symptom #3 High Electric Bill

Faulty AC compressors cause the air conditioning unit to work harder, leading to higher electric consumption. If you notice your electric bill has suddenly spiked up despite using your appliances as normal, the culprit may be the air conditioner compressor.

Symptom #4 Refrigerant Leaks

The compressor is responsible for keeping the refrigerant intact. When the compressor is down, the refrigerant lines may start to leak, causing fluid to drip out of your air conditioner. You'll notice the cold air getting warmer as the refrigerant levels lower, and fluid may be leaking out of the entire air conditioning unit.

Symptom #5 Overheating Air Conditioning System

Your air conditioning unit overheating is another indication of a bad compressor, as the air conditioner works harder to maintain the same functions but with a faulty compressor. When this happens, you may notice your unit producing strange noises, blowing hot air, and being hot to the touch upon contact with skin.

Symptom #6 Poor or Weak Airflow

Poor airflow coming from your unit may indicate a multitude of problems, one being a faulty or bad compressor. As the compressor continues to break down, the air conditioner can no longer effectively cool the room. This, coupled with the unit blowing hot air instead of cool air, indicates a problem with the compressor.

Is your aircon compressor not working but fan is running? Check this guide?

Repairman fixing air conditioner

What to Do with a Faulty AC Compressor?

Solution #1 Have the AC Compressor Replaced

Have your AC unit checked for a bad compressor. Our qualified HVAC technicians at Luce Aircon are well-versed in diagnosing problems with air conditioners across several brands, and we can find out exactly where the problem lies with your unit.

If the compressor has fully broken down, then you may need to have the part replaced. The compressor replacement cost varies from model to model, and across different brands, but an experienced technician should be able to find an appropriate replacement for your AC unit.

Solution #2 Have the AC Compressor Fixed

There are times when the issues with the compressor are minimal, such as the compressor is clogged or filthy. In these cases, you may opt to have the compressor fixed instead of replaced to save up on costs, and to keep the part usable longer.

Your HVAC technician should be able to tell you whether the compressor can be repaired or not. If the problem is with the cleanliness of the compressor, the technician will simply clean the compressor for you to get it up and running smoothly again.

Solution #3 Install a New Air Conditioner

If all else fails, and your unit is already damaged, faulty, or old, then the best course of action is to replace the entire unit altogether. Older models may be at the end of their useful life, and the different internal components will need to be replaced one by one. This may cost higher than purchasing a new unit, so the optimal option in this case is to start scouting for a new one.

Our technicians at Luce Aircon are more than happy to assist you in purchasing your new unit. From scouting, purchasing, and all the way to installation and maintenance, you can be assured that Luce Aircon can guide you along the way!

Check out our article on window ac not blowing cold air!

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