When it comes to keeping your home cool, your air conditioning compressor is one of the main components. Without a functioning air conditioning compressor, your system can’t produce cool air and it could even start a fire. If you’re experiencing problems with your air conditioning compressor, here are some troubleshooting tips:
1.) Make Sure the Problem is the Air Conditioning Compressor
Before you start poking around inside your air conditioning unit, make sure that the problem is with the compressor in the first place. Is the compressor powering on? Is your thermostat functioning properly? Do you have holes in your duct work? Is a vent blocked or clogged? Often times, homeowners will believe that they have a problem with their systems’ compressors when the problem is actually with another component of the AC system.
2.) Ensure Proper Airflow
When it comes to your compressor unit, proper airflow must be maintained for optimum performance. Turn off the unit’s power and then remove any debris that has built up on the outside of the unit. This means clearing away leaves and trimming away any foliage nearby. Take any protective grill covers off of your unit and clean the fins from the inside. You may want to use a vacuum and a brush attachment to ensure that you’re getting a deep clean.
3.) Check for Power Problems
If your unit is not powering on, check for any fuses that may have blown or any breakers that may have been tripped. Standard home cooling compressors should be on their own 240-volt circuits in order to avoid power problems. In addition, you can use a multimeter on the C, R and S terminals to check for resistance and continuity.
4.) Coolant Issues
In many cases, a faulty compressor isn’t faulty at all; it just needs more coolant. If you haven’t had your AC unit serviced in a while, or if you’re experiencing cooling problems at the beginning of the spring or summer, the problem may be that you don’t have enough coolant in your unit.
Additionally, you may have a coolant leak somewhere else in the system. If this is the case, you will need to be EPA certified in order to add more coolant to the system, or you will need to contact a professional for an inspection. In most cases, it is not recommended for any untrained individual to attempt any coolant work, as the process can be dangerous and may even damage your system.
If you’re still experiencing problems after following these troubleshooting steps, you may need to contact an air conditioning repair professional to possibly replace the air conditioning compressor altogether. As mentioned, fixing an air conditioning compressor problem quickly is important. Faulty compressors can generate extreme levels of heat, ultimately leading to injuries and fires.
In addition, if you’re unsure of what to do regarding the internal workings of your compressor unit, having a professional diagnose and fix the problem is often the better option. In fact, you may end up causing even more damage by trying to fix the problem yourself. A general rule of thumb to follow is to call a professional if you are ever in doubt.