What Makes A Good AC Compressor Bad?

So you’re being told that your AC compressor is “broken”. This may lead you to a series of questions. Questions like, how did this happen? How much will this cost me? What exactly is an air conditioner compressor?

What is an AC Compressor?

The first thing to note: The compressor in your air conditioning unit is the “heart” of the system. It is usually located on the outside “box” part of the AC unit along with the condenser and fan. Contrary to popular belief, air conditioning units don’t add cool air to a space, they take heat away. The role of the compressor in this process is crucial.

The refrigerant chemical enters the compressor as a cold gas, which is squeezed under extremely high pressure until it becomes an extremely hot gas. This allows it to pass through the condensing coil and allows the heat to dissipate outside and eventually evaporate through another set of coils at the end of the cycle, actually taking the heat from the air through the process and blowing it out of the house until it is a cozy inside temperature.
How Did It Happen?

Compressors are actually pretty reliable (last 12-15 years on average), so usually, when your A/C compressor goes bad, the root cause needs to be addressed so that the problem doesn’t recur even after replacing the unit.

Compressors can eliminate ghosting in a number of ways. Almost all of these are easily preventable with proper routine maintenance. Some common violations include:

Refrigerant Return

The liquid refrigerant does not fully evaporate in the evaporator, returns to the compressor cylinder, and causes runaway pressure to damage the cylinder. There are many ways this can happen, from overcharging with refrigerant to improper settings.

Lack of Lubrication

Oil leaks, oil in the suction line, and oil pump failure are some of the ways compressors can fail due to oil contamination.

System Pollution

Causes of compressor failure due to system contamination can include elements such as air, moisture, dirt, and acids, which form with increased heat and pressure.

Electrical Problem

The main causes of electrical failures include voltage or current imbalances leading to overheating and failure.


If there is insufficient suction cooling, insufficient condenser cooling, or air in the system, the compressor may overheat, causing an increase in pressure and temperature.

The Cost of Replacing the Air Conditioner Compressor:

In addition to being the most important component in an air conditioning system, compressors also have the highest replacement costs. Compressor failure often leads to the decision to replace the entire system.

The above briefly introduces some reasons for air conditioner compressor failure. If you want to buy a new air conditioner compressor, please contact us.

ComforPlanet is a professional custom air conditioners and accessories manufacturer. Our products are suitable for many industries, including HVAC, electrical appliances, smart small appliances, etc. ComforPlanet is committed to providing you with safe, high-quality, long-lasting HVAC and cost-effective products so that everyone in the world can breathe clean and comfortable indoor air.

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