The AC compressor is a very integral part of your air conditioning system. It’s the main mechanism behind how the system works to cool your home during those hot summer days. It has an important function as being one-half of a refrigeration cycle. This includes the evaporation and condensation (and later re-evaporation) of a particular refrigerant.
The AC compressor is designed to take suction from the evaporator coil via suction or low-pressure line, and transfer it through a high-pressure line to the condenser coil. It’s also responsible for transferring heat from the condenser coil via an internal heat exchanger to your external unit.
How Does an AC Compressor Work?
An air conditioner has different types and parts such as an AC compressor that works by using a series of valves and pistons. As the valves open, the refrigerant vapor is sucked in. This is turned into a liquid state while the pistons pump up and compress it to high levels of pressure within the system’s copper tubing. Once enough pressure has built up, the refrigerant is ready to be sent on to the condenser coil.
A temperature-driven expansion valve allows for this process to occur as the energy needed to drive the compression of the fluid into a gas dissipates with heat and pressure; there is also an internal heat exchanger that makes sure this happens.
The remaining job is pretty simple. The vapor is now inside the condenser coil, where it gets ready to turn back into a liquid state once again. This process all occurs within one or two seconds. With this in mind, it’s easy enough to see why the AC compressor is the most vital mechanical component of your air conditioning system.
Common Problems With AC Compressors
Many problems can affect an AC compressor. For starters, the belt coupling or other linkages may break and need to be replaced. The belt slipping results in a shorter lifespan for this critical part of your system.
Other problems have been known to happen as well, such as overheating from lack of lubrication or just being an older AC compressor model. Still, other problems are related to the controls or electrical wiring that operates them. To avoid these issues, always make sure your system is routinely serviced by a professional contractor to avoid future AC problems and to make your air conditioner last for years.
Can I Change an AC Compressor Myself?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about changing an AC compressor yourself. The reason is that it’s just not a DIY project. It’s very complex, and even if it isn’t, knowing where all of the various wires are located is pretty much impossible for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. For this reason alone, you should never try to change out an AC compressor yourself. Professionals have the tools and knowledge to do so and can get the job done right.
Do I Need To Hire an Expert To Troubleshoot My AC Compressor?
Yes, you need to hire a professional for this. Many things could be wrong with your air conditioning system, especially if it doesn’t seem quite as cool as it used to. So, a good AC repair company will be needed. The difficulty of the task should determine your choice of contractors, however.
If it’s a simple case of a belt slipping off or another minor issue, then you probably don’t need to go with the most expensive contractor around town. However, if there are more serious issues involved, the expense should be worth it. The last thing you need is to get stuck with a contractor who doesn’t know what he or she is doing.