How Can I Tell If My AC Compressor Is Failing?

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There are any number of issues that can cause your air conditioner to behave strangely and most of them aren’t serious. What you should look out for, however, are signs that might indicate a bad AC compressor.

The compressor of your AC unit is the heart of the whole system. If it breaks down, your only two options are to pay for a costly fix or replace the unit altogether. Luckily, you can count on superb AC repair in Scottsdale to help you with any compressor issues, but if you want to know when to seek professional help, keep reading to learn about some early signs of compressor failure.   

Why does my home AC compressor make noise?

If your AC compressor starts making strange noises, you have every reason to be worried. Of course, not all unusual sounds are equally troublesome, but you should definitely know how to recognize them and decide whether you should seek professional help. Here are some common AC compressor noises and their possible causes:

  • Buzzing: this type of sound is almost always a sign of electrical issues. Given that the National Fire Protection Association claims that an average of 2500 fires a year from 2006 to 2010 were caused by faulty AC units, it’s essential that you seek professional help if you suspect electrical problems.   
  • Banging or clanking: a banging noise usually means that you have a loose or broken part, often a piston pin, crankshaft or a connecting rod. Loud clanking or banging can also indicate that your compressor needs replacement.    
  • Rattling, ticking, rumbling: these kinds of sounds often point to a loosening piece of hardware or leaves clogged in your outdoor unit. Check for any debris, loose screws or bolts in the casing.
  • Screaming or hissing: a loud, high-pitched screaming coming from your compressor could point to  a high pressure level inside the unit or a refrigerant leak. Since both of these causes could be extremely dangerous, you should call a professional right away.
  • Humming: a humming noise is usually not a big red flag, but it could mean that your starting capacitor needs replacement and could cause more serious issues if left unchecked.

Hearing unfamiliar or loud noises coming from your AC unit is rarely a good sign and is often one of the first indicators of a bad AC compressor. So, if you hear any unsettling sounds coming from you unit, the best thing you can do is to have your unit inspected by trusted AC repair professionals.        

What are the symptoms of a bad AC compressor?

In addition to strange noises, your AC unit can show a number of different symptoms of compressor failure. Here are a few tell-tale signs:  

  • Warm airflow: this could indicate a refrigerant leak or an inability of the compressor to pump the refrigerant through the system. In any case, have the unit inspected if you notice it blowing warm air.
  • Compressor won’t turn on: the fan is working, but you don’t hear any sounds from the compressor. This could be due to high outside temperatures reducing the efficiency of your AC unit, but if the compressor doesn’t turn on after adjusting your thermostat, it has probably failed and you should seek expert help.   
  • Circuit breaker issues: if your outdoor unit is losing power and tripping the circuit breaker, it’s likely that your compressor is overheating. Don’t ignore this issue, especially if the breaker is hot to the touch. In that case, call an HVAC professional immediately.

It is extremely important that you don’t ignore any of these issues both for your safety and to prevent expensive compressor repairs. Instead of waiting for your AC to break down completely, look out for these early signs and make sure you have regular checkups done on your AC system to prevent premature failures.

Superior AC repair experts Scottsdale residents are proud of

The bottom line is, if you’re not familiar with how AC units work, don’t try to diagnose or fix any suspected compressor issues yourself. While it’s important that you familiarize yourself with early symptoms of compressor failure and learn about the best temperatures for your AC thermostat, it’s even more important to know when you have to seek expert help.If you’re having issues with your AC unit, don’t waste time worrying about it! Rely on second-to-none HVAC services in Scottsdale to take care of any AC problems efficiently and professionally while you enjoy your visit to the OdySea Aquarium. Call us today!