What Is An HVAC Compressor?

The AC compressor is the workhorse of the air conditioner, responsible for circulating the refrigerant, the substance that creates the cool air, throughout the air conditioning system. 

You will find an air compressor in most cooling systems, including central air conditioners, heat pumps, and window units.

In a split-type air conditioner, central air conditioner, or heat pump, the compressor is located outside the home in the condenser unit, while in a window air conditioner, the compressor is located inside the unit. 

HVAC Compressor Components 

  • Pistons and compressors

There are two main types of compressors that are commonly used in air conditioners: reciprocating compressors and rotary compressors. 

A reciprocating compressor use pistons to compress the refrigerant, while a rotary compressor use a rotating wheel to compress the refrigerant.

You can also find the more modern scroll compressor that uses a fixed coil and a coil to circulate the refrigerant gas with fewer moving parts, reducing ac compressor failure.

  • Crankshaft

In reciprocating compressors, the crankshaft connects the motor to the connecting rods.

  • Connecting rods

Connecting rods connect the crankshaft to the piston in a reciprocating compressor. 

  • Rotors

Rotors take the place of pistons in rotary compressors. Rotors promote proper airflow, making rotary compressors more efficient.

  • Oil filters

Oil filters in a compressor remove contaminants from oil before its used in rotary compressors.

How Does an HVAC Compressor Work?

The compressor is powered by an electric motor, and it typically has two coils: a low-pressure coil and a high-pressure coil. Your unit has a relay switch that controls the amount of electricity that gets to the compressor. This is why it’s important to test it each year, ensuring it works properly. A stuck relay switch can at times be confused for a faulty compressor.  

When the air conditioner is turned on, the compressor starts circulating refrigerant through the system. The refrigerant enters the compressor as a low-pressure gas and is compressed into a high-pressure liquid. 

The high-pressure liquid then flows through the condenser, where it is cooled and turned back into a low-pressure gas. The low-pressure gas then flows through the evaporator, where it absorbs heat from the hot air inside. The refrigerant then returns to the compressor and starts the cycle again.

Life Expectancy of an AC Compressor 

The life expectancy of an HVAC compressor for an air conditioner is about 15-20 years. However, the actual lifespan will vary depending on the make and model of the compressor, as well as how well it is maintained. 

Compressors are designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear, but they can eventually succumb to damage from heat, vibrations, or corrosion. Extensive damage can become the cause for installing a new air conditioner. 

How to Prolong the Life of Your AC Compressor

In order to extend the life of your compressor, it is important to have it regularly serviced by a trained professional every year. Professional HVAC maintenance in Arlington, TX will include cleaning the compressor and inspecting it. 

If you have an outdoor unit, be sure to clear any lawn debris that may cause an obstruction, such as leaves. You can find products to help protect the outdoor unit.

Additionally, be sure to keep an eye on the condition of your unit and immediately address any issues that arise to minimize the damage and keep your home comfortable. 

Finally, the more you use your HVAC system, the more quickly it will deteriorate. Make a point to turn off your air conditioning when you’re not at home. You may also consider changing the temperature setting slightly so that the unit won’t have to work so hard. 

Common AC Compressor Problems 

When your AC compressor does reach the end of its life expectancy, it may start to show signs of decline with these symptoms.

One common problem is that the compressor can become overloaded and overheated due to damaged valves, a clog, or a dirty filter. This can damage the compressor and cause it to break down. 

Another problem that can occur is that the compressor can start to leak refrigerant. A leak can occur due to a pest infestation or an old supply hose. This can decrease the efficiency of the air conditioner and may

cause it to produce cold air or stop working altogether. It can also lead to your unit freezing up.

What is the Cost for Compressor Replacement and Repairs?

The cost of repairs for an HVAC compressor can vary depending on the severity of the damage. 

In some cases, a simple AC repair may be all that is needed. Generally, basic air conditioner repair in Arlington, TX costs between $150 – $250. 

However, if the damage is more extensive, the replacement of the air conditioner compressor may be necessary. The cost of ac compressor replacement can range from $500 to $2000, depending on the make and model of the air conditioner. In addition, labor costs can also add to the final bill. Therefore, it is important to consult with a professional before making any decisions about air conditioning repair.

Getting HVAC Service in Arlington, Texas

When you need HVAC service in Arlington, Texas, or the surrounding area, call the experts at All Master’s Plumbing. 

At All Master’s Plumbing, we earned our place as one of the top-rated plumbing and HVAC companies in the area after decades in the business. 

We offer a number of different HVAC services, including new condenser unit installation, air conditioner repair due to a refrigerant leak, and the installation of air purifiers to improve indoor air quality. 

Contact All Master’s Plumbing to schedule HVAC service or plumbing service in Arlington, TX, today!


Call Now ButtonClick to Schedule Now!