An AC compressor is perhaps the most important part of an air conditioner unit, and it is vital to maintain the compressor in order to keep the AC unit in tip-top condition. The quality and performance of the air conditioner relies upon the functioning of its compressor.
The function of the compressor in an air conditioning unit is to pump the refrigerant around the system to keep the air cool. Before entering the compressor, the refrigerant is at low-pressure; after leaving the compressor, the gas is high-pressure, heated, and flowing towards the condenser, where the refrigerant will lose its heat and become a cold, low-pressure liquid, which takes heat from the surrounding air and uses this to become a low pressure gas. As can be seen, the functioning of the compressor in cooling the air in the room.
Failures of the Compressor
Due to the hard-working nature of the compressor, it is liable to run hot; without the vital lubricant to keep the compressor appliance parts moving, there is a severe danger that the compressor will break down.
The most frequently seen kind of compressor failure is ‘seized compressor’. In this condition, the compressor will not function when the AC is turned on, and there may be groans of complaint from the machinery.
Restriction in the cycle of cooling can also cause the compressor to fail – a bug or debris on any part of the air conditioner will cause the compressor to run dry, and fail to cool air in the AC unit.
Maintaining the Compressor
If you appear to be having problems with the compressor, it is important to check that it does not have a electrical problem – use a multimeter to measure the resistance of the AC. Shut off the power and then check with the meter that there is no power, then remove the compressor cover, and make sure that there is no obvious damage. Check that all of the terminals (which are labelled C, R and S. Check for a continuity of resistance between these terminals. Any difference should prompt you to check the heat of the compressor, and ensure that the internal overload is at ‘open’. Check the resistance from each terminal to the working machinery of the compressor. If there is low resistance, then you should consider replacing the compressor. If the tests are within range, but the unit’s breaker is tripped, then the problem can be mechanical.
Should the air conditioner unit not be cooling air, this may be a problem with the compressor. Check the valves of the compressor, and look to see whether any are broken – if they are, this would require replacing compressor parts.
It may sometimes be cheaper to buy replacement home AC compressors at home, rather than having a mechanic supply appliance parts. Check the compressor for the parts number, and also know what kind of air conditioner unit you have. Email or telephone the manufacturer of the compressor part, and buy genuine parts from them; you may also choose to phone the sales team where you bought the AC unit.