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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

My AC’s Compressor Died! Do I Need to Replace the Whole AC?

frightened-womanOkay, we know this is an urgent, even alarming problem. When an air conditioning system’s compressor burns out, its AC can’t provide any cooled air. The compressor is what allows the AC to circulate refrigerant and move heat from inside the house to cool down. (A few months ago we wrote a blog post detailing exactly what a compressor does.) Without a working compressor, the air conditioner will only circulate room temperature air around the ventilation system.

You may have heard that replacing a dead compressor is so expensive that you’re better off having a complete air conditioning replacement. This is true sometimes, but not always. Below we’ll look at the different replacement options and help you think about the right choice for your situation.

The Four Choices for a Dead Compressor

After you’ve determined that the problem is indeed an irreparably broken compressor (always call a technician to look into the issue to make sure repairs can’t solve it), you have four different options.

First, you can replace the compressor. It’s true that a compressor is an expensive unit since it’s the most powerful single component in an air conditioner. However, if the compressor is still under warranty, then take advantage of that. Check the manufacturer’s warranty to see if the compressor is covered and if the warranty is still in force. Most warranties cover 10 years parts and labor provided the equipment is professionally maintained each year.

Second, you can replace the condenser unit. The condenser is the outdoor cabinet, so this replacement includes the compressor, the outdoor fan, and the condenser coil. If you currently have a tight budget or the other parts of the AC are in excellent shape, this is a choice to consider. However, the next option may be the superior one …

Third, you can replace the condenser unit and the indoor evaporator coil. This is essentially installing a new air conditioner. The indoor air handler isn’t replaced, nor any part of the heating system. This is often the best choice for a dead compressor that’s no longer under warranty. Replacing the indoor and outdoor components means a system that’s matched for the highest possible efficiency, and it takes care of installation at once, rather than scheduling a second installation for the evaporator coil a few years down the road. You’ll also receive a new warranty for the air conditioner, giving you that important protection.

Fourth, you can replace the air conditioner, air handler, and heater—an entirely new comfort system. We recommend this if you have an aging furnace that will need a replacement within the next few years. Combining the AC and heater replacement into a single job saves you time and money and you arrange for some excellent system upgrades. If you’ve ever thought you wanted a heat pump for your house to handle both summer and winter weather, this is a great opportunity to have it done.

If you need helping making a choice about air conditioning replacement in Brighton, MI, First Choice is the contractor to call. We’ll then take care of whatever replacement service you need.

First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the surrounding areas. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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