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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Signs Your AC’s Compressor May Be in Trouble

compressor-in-ac-unitThe second half of summer often places major strain on home air conditioning systems. The heat increases and forces more work from an AC that’s already done plenty of it. Routine maintenance in spring goes a long way to helping an air conditioner make it through this time of the year, but maintenance isn’t magic. We recommend you pay attention to strange behavior from your AC at the end of summer and call us for air conditioning repair in Burton, MI when anything crops up.

For example, a part of your AC that can encounter problems from wear and tear at the end of the season is the compressor. This is the most vital part of an air conditioning system because if it fails, it’s often more cost-effective to replace the entire AC rather than just the compressor. If you catch compressor issues in time, our technicians may be able to rescue it with less expensive repairs.

Watch for These Warnings of Compressor Jeopardy

  • A rise in indoor humidity: If the compressor is struggling to circulate refrigerant throughout the AC, one of the earliest warnings you’ll detect won’t be warmer temperatures, but higher humidity. An air conditioner isn’t a dehumidifier, but it has dehumidification properties—and you’ll notice the difference if the compressor isn’t effectively doing its job.
  • Grinding, screeching, and shrieking from the condenser: The compressor is housed in the outdoor condenser cabinet. If you notice these loud mechanical noises coming from the condenser, it’s either the compressor’s motor failing or the motor for the exhaust fan. You don’t want either to happen!
  • Visibly vibrating condenser: When you place your hand on the condenser as the AC is running, you’ll feel a slight vibration from the compressor. But if you can see the whole cabinet vibrating, then something is wrong.
  • Hard-starting: This is when the compressor has to draw on more power than normal to start the cooling cycle of the air conditioner. The AC will struggle to turn on and you’ll hear clicking from the condenser. Technicians can attach a hard start kit to help the compressor overcome resistance, which will prolong the compressor’s life and make the AC more reliable.
  • Rising electric bills: The compressor draws on the most electricity of any part of the AC. When the AC is in “fan-only” mode, it will use 750 watts/hour. When the compressor is running, it will use 2,900 watts/hour. So when the compressor starts to malfunction, you’ll see a noticeable increase in your electric bills you can’t otherwise account for. 
  • Tripping circuit breaker: A struggling compressor can put enough strain on the air conditioner’s electrical circuit that it will trip its circuit breaker. If you need to regularly reset the AC’s circuit breaker, call repair technicians right away to see if the compressor or some other component is causing the air conditioner to overheat.

We’re here to make your home happy! Simply call us with your AC problems and leave the hard work to us.

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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