How to Change an Air Conditioner Compressor

What You'll Need
Clean Cloth
Rubber Gloves

A technical snag with the air conditioner compressor can obstruct the smooth functioning of the entire system. You can save yourself a lot of money by changing the compressor yourself.


The effectiveness of your air conditioner is determined by the type of compressor in the unit. Maintain the compressor on a regular basis to increase the shelf-life of the device. When purchasing a replacement, identify the particulars like model specifications and the serial number of the unit, engraved on the back side of the machine. Ensure that the model is similar to the model of your unit.


Step 1 - Identify the Problem

Identify the problem with the air compressor to confirm whether it really needs replacing. The compressor can burn out due to persistent use, so even if nothing is broken, you should change after a certain time-period.

The compressor will need to be replaced if:

  • You observe burnt wiring at the compressor terminal connections.
  • You hear a noise from the compressor unit.

Step 2 - Replace the Parts

Replacing or changing parts of the compressor can sometimes fix the air conditioning unit. If the compressor fails to function effectively, you can fix the problem by changing or replacing all the capacitors. Shut down the unit before beginning with the process. Drain the refrigerant (Freon) from the refrigerant cylinder. Prevent the gases from leaking out into the atmosphere in order to protect the environment.

Step 3 - Change the Other Parts of the Unit

    A change in the compressor usually requires changing parts like thermal-expansion valves, coils and refrigerants. All the selected parts should be compatible with the compressor and the model of the air conditioner. However, old parts like blower assemblies and ducts can be retained and do not require a change.     

    Step 4 - Install the Compressor

    Cut the refrigerant lines and remove the old compressor. Install the new compressor in the compressor unit. The unit is usually located outside of the system. Cut out the new coils and attach them to the refrigerant. Check for leakages by evacuating air from the compressor and refrigerator lines. Clean the unit with an unsoiled cloth to prevent the onset of moisture. You can also install a drier for doing this. Air or moisture contamination can obstruct the functioning of the system. Install the new refrigerant and recharge appropriately. Restart the system and check if it is working properly.