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How to Tell If Your Home AC Compressor is Bad

Within your HVAC system is a compressor. This component compresses refrigerant and delivers it to the condenser so the condenser can turn the refrigerant from a gas to a liquid. This means that the compressor is an integral component of your HVAC system and necessary if you want to stay cool and comfortable during the hot Florida summer.

Unfortunately, the compressor is subject to the elements (and lots of wear and tear) meaning it’s not uncommon for problems to arise. Read on for our step-by-step guide to determine if your home AC compressor is bad.

Signs Your Home AC Compressor Is Bad

If your AC compressor goes bad, you may start noticing some unsavory symptoms like lukewarm air and higher energy bills.

Here are a handful of signs that your compressor is starting to decline:

How to Tell If Your Home AC Compressor Is Bad in 5 Steps

If your AC compressor is showing any of these signs, it might be failing. The following steps will help you confirm the diagnosis.

Step 1. Check the Air Coming from the Compressor Fan

Use your hand to check the air coming from the compressor fan. If your compressor is bad, the air will feel lukewarm. When the compressor is functioning correctly, it compresses the refrigerant gas, which creates heat. This heat is then expelled by the fan to make sure your HVAC system doesn’t overheat. If the air coming from the fan is lukewarm, it means the compressor likely isn’t compressing the gas.

Related: How to Check if Your AC Fan Motor is Bad in 7 Steps

Step 2. Monitor Your Electric Bill

One of the telltale signs that your compressor is bad is sky-high electric bills. If you notice that your electric bills have increased for seemingly no reason, then the compressor may be bad. This is because the compressor isn’t compressing gas, decreasing the efficiency of your AC overall. When your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home, more energy is used.

Related: 8 Tips for Lowering High Summer Electric Bills

Step 3. Listen to Your AC When It Turns On

The sound your air conditioner makes when it kicks on can tell you a lot about the state of the compressor. Go outside and listen to the condenser unit as it kicks on. If you hear a knocking noise, it may mean that the compressor motor isn’t working.

Other noises to listen for include clicking, rumbling, and rattling which can mean that compressor motor mounts have failed.

Related: 5 Loud Air Conditioning Noises and What They Mean

Step 4. Check for Moisture Leaks

Inspect all areas of your HVAC system for moisture leaks. If you find any water around any area of your heating and cooling system, it could be an indicator that refrigerant is leaking from the compressor.

Related: 8 Reasons Water is Dripping From Your AC Vent

Step 5. Still Not Sure? Call a Professional

Sometimes determining if your AC compressor is bad isn’t black and white. If you’re in doubt, call your local HVAC technician to confirm the diagnosis and provide an efficient solution.

Professional AC Maintenance and Repair by Sansone

At Sansone, we have an entire team of skilled technicians. Whether you have issues with plumbing, air conditioning, heating, or ventilation, we can help. From repairs to installations, contact us today for all of your AC needs in South Florida.

Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

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