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How Often Do AC Compressors Go Bad?

How Often Do AC Compressors Go Bad?

The AC compressor is a part of the air conditioner that is a motorized pump. It is responsible for moving the refrigerant gas from the cooling coil inside the home to the outdoor condenser. There, the gas will be compressed and cooled back to a liquid and can repeat the job again. It is integral to helping your AC unit work for a long time. But how long will the AC compressor last, and when will it go bad?

Air conditioner compressors are designed to last a long time, helping to keep your home comfortable and cool, explains American Home Water & Air, who works in AC repair in Phoenix. With routine maintenance and normal use, you can have your AC compressor last between 10 to 15 years. If you notice sounds like clicks and rattles, a short cycling in the unit, puddles of chemicals, or ticking noises, it is time to call an air conditioning specialist to come to take a look and see whether they can replace the compressor for you.

Let’s take a closer look at the AC compressor to see why it can last a long time and some of the signs you will notice when the AC compressor is not working the way that it should.

How Often Do AC Compressors Go Bad?

Your air conditioning compressor is meant to last for a long time, almost the length of your air conditioning unit. If you are able to do routine maintenance, it is possible that it can last longer than normal, which will help save you money on purchasing a new one. The amount of time that you use the air conditioner each year will make a difference. If you live up north and only need to use the air conditioner a few times a year, then the compressor is likely to last a lot longer than one in a unit that is in Florida.

The typical lifespan of an air conditioner compressor is between 10 to 15 years. This assumes that you have normal use and you do some of the routine maintenance. It can help to know that the AC compressor is going bad ahead of time so that you can get it fixed or replaced before it takes down your whole air conditioning unit on the hottest day of the year.

How to Tell if the AC Compressor is Going Bad?

There are many signs that you can check on to see whether the compressor is going bad or not. Some of these include:

Chatering or Ticking Noise

This is going to be a sound that is similar to the noise you get when you turn a gas burner to light a stove. This is an indication that the AC compressor is struggling to turn itself on, or it is doing a hard start. If you hear this when the unit starts, the electrical relay switch is probably wearing out. This is a problem an HVAC professional will need to fix for you.

Clicks or Rattle

A clicking or another rumbling noise when the AC unit starts up indicates that the motor mounts of the compressor are going to have released the motor, and it is bouncing around in the casing. This is going to be something a professional will need to fix. They can help take care of the motor and will ensure that it can go back to its normal place.

Leaks or Puddles

If you are looking around the ac unit and you notice that there are leaks around it, this is a big indication that there is a refrigerant leak. This is a serious problem because refrigerants can cause health risks like eye irritation, coughs, nausea, and headaches. You can also listen to the compressor of the AC unit when it runs to see if there is a hissing sound, which indicates there is a leak. You need to have someone take a look at the unit to see whether there is a leak and then replace the refrigerant if needed. Letting it go on can ruin the air conditioner because it is missing some of the chemicals that the unit needs.

Short Cycles

If you notice that the compressor tends to shut down the AC unit before the house cools completely, this is a sign that it is short cycling. This means that it stops the cycle too early and is not cooling things down. There are a number of reasons this is happening, like a dirty air filter, an AC unit that doesn’t fit the home size or a broken thermostat. You may need to get a tune-up of the AC unit to fix it.

Taking Care of Your AC Compressor

You need to take proper care of all the components in your air conditioner. With routine maintenance and checkups performed by a professional, you will be able to take good care of the compressor and can make it last a long time.