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Does AC Compressor Failure Mean AC Failure?

old-air-conditionerYou are going to need air conditioning repairs eventually. No air conditioner is perfect. There is no way to guarantee 100% reliability with any AC system. While routine air conditioning maintenance will keep your system as effective and reliable as possible, there is still the chance for problems to develop. What types of problems? Anything from refrigerant leaks to motor issues and capacitor failure.

In terms of issues that you really don’t want to face, though, a failed compressor is about as bad as it gets.  We’re not saying this to alarm you. We don’t want you to live in fear of a failed compressor. But you should know that compressors can and do give out on homeowners. When they do, the question of repair or replacement becomes a very real consideration. Today, our Bergen County,  NJ central AC repair pros are going to cover the topic.

What Does the Compressor Do?

If you don’t really understand how it is that your air conditioner cools your home, don’t worry about it! You’re not an AC professional, after all. Basically, your air conditioner cools your house by removing heat from the living space. It does this by evaporating and condensing refrigerant. The indoor unit houses the evaporator coil. Here, refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat out of the air moving over the coil. That refrigerant then moves outside, while the cooled air is redistributed throughout the house.

The outdoor unit, or the condenser unit, houses both the compressor and the condenser coil. The refrigerant condenses in the condenser coil, releasing its heat. The compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant, raising its temperature and pressure. From there, it hits the cool evaporator coil indoors, evaporates, draws heat out of the air, etc. This refrigerant cycle simply repeats as long as necessary to achieve desired temperatures in the house.

Why Is a Failed Compressor a Major Problem?

Let’s put it this way—if the engine in your car seizes up, and everything else is in mint condition, you’re still not going anywhere, right? While many different parts in an AC can fail, and many different repairs may be completed by trained professionals, the fact is that compressor repair is a major undertaking. The question of “repair or replace” comes up because, by the time the compressor itself is repaired or replaced, you’re not too far off from the cost of a full system replacement.

When might you want to repair or replace just the compressor? Typically if it is still under warranty. If you’ve got an active manufacturer’s warranty and you’ve kept up with routine AC maintenance, then your compressor repair/replacement may be covered.

If you’ve just got an old system that has given out on you, or if you ignored signs of trouble associated with something like a refrigerant leak for long enough, then a full system replacement may be justified. By the time the compressor gives out, assuming you’ve taken care of your system, it’s probably about time for a full replacement anyway.

DB Heating & Cooling, Inc serves the heating and cooling needs of customers throughout Rockland County, NY as well as Bergen County, NJ and surrounding communities. You can count on us for expert services. Contact us today!

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