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What Are the Signs Your Air Compressor is Going Out

When your air conditioner starts acting wonky, you may wonder if it’s something simple, you can take care of, or if you need a professional. If it’s the air compressor, that’s the heart of your air conditioning system. Discover what it could mean if it’s your air compressor that goes out and what to do about it.

Here are 5 Signs of an AC Compressor Failure:

1. The compressor doesn’t turn on at all

You may not realize the compressor doesn’t come until you need it. If the air conditioner isn’t pumping out cold air, you know something’s wrong. Now, you may notice the fan works, but the condensing unit doesn’t. The first step is to turn down the thermostat to try and get the compressor to come on. If it doesn’t, it’s probably failed due to several underlying problems. It’s time to call an expert to diagnose the reason why it failed.

2. The system keeps tripping the circuit breaker

A symptom of AC compressor failure is that the condensing unit loses power and trips the circuit breaker. When the compressor overheats and draws too much power, it causes the circuit breaker to trip. Now, if you keep resetting the breaker and turning the system back on, it increases the risk of a fire. The circuit breaker is doing its job of protecting you, so don’t ignore it.

3. The system is blowing warm air

If the system is blowing warm air and the condenser does seem to be working, that’s a sign your air compressor is shutting down. If it can’t pump refrigerant, it can’t cool the air. But, this symptom can also be a refrigerant leak, so it’s vital to get an expert diagnosis and repair. If it’s leaking, it causes strain on the compressor, which can result in the air compressor failing. 

4. Condensing unit shakes when it starts up

If you notice rattling coming from the condensing unit when it comes on, it could be “hard starting,” meaning it’s having trouble turning on. This is what happens right before it fails. Don’t ignore this symptom; turn off the system immediately, and get a professional to check your compressor. 

5. Condensing unit makes strange noises

Consider noises coming from the external conditioning unit. If it seems louder than usual or makes odd noises you never heard before, it could be from the electrical components failing; it could also be that a fan motor has become dislodged and is rattling around inside of the condenser unit. You must fix the issue, so the system doesn’t lead to compression failure.

The takeaway here is not to ignore these symptoms since needing to replace a new air compressor can be quite expensive. 


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