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Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Compressor Damage: AC Replacement Versus Repair


Did you know that the compressor is the most essential component of your air conditioner? Well, that and refrigerant. Without either, your air conditioner would be nothing more than a very large and expensive fan.

So, if something goes wrong with the compressor, you might wonder if it’s worth repairing your air conditioner, or if the whole unit is doomed. This is a good question too! We don’t have an easy answer, but we’ll explain below to give you a bit more clarity.

Whatever you decide, you can count on our team to help you along. We’re also here to help you make an educated decision about how to best use your budget for your cooling needs. Read on to learn a bit more about this compressor repair/replace debate.

What to Know About Your Compressor

As we stated above, the compressor is one of the most important components of your air conditioner, if not the most important component. It’s also the costliest component inside your cooling system, and this is the main reason we usually recommend replacing the entire system if the compressor fails.

This component is tasked with compressing the refrigerant within your AC system, and when something goes wrong with the compressor, it can often go misdiagnosed. But assuming you already know that your compressor is to blame for whatever air conditioner malfunction you’re currently experiencing, the first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at your manufacturer’s warranty.

If your system is still under warranty–and remember you can only keep it current if you have routine maintenance and professional repairs done throughout its lifespan–then you won’t be financially liable for any repairs done and it may be worth it to go ahead and have repairs done so your air conditioner will hang on a little longer.

We will say though, that the likelihood of a compressor breaking down entirely while it is still under warranty is rare. So, if you no longer have warranty coverage, it’s time to consider a full AC replacement.

Of course, you’ll have your budget to consider, and our team is here to help you find what matches your needs. In almost all cases though, when a compressor fails it’s going to serve you best to upgrade your air conditioner altogether. Many people think they can just replace the outside unit, but doing this leaves you with a mismatched system, and is especially damaged to efficiency if there are two different types of refrigerant being used in the same system.

“How Do I Even Know If I Have a Bad Compressor?”

There are a few common signs that your compressor is failing. For example, you might not be receiving enough cool air from the vents. Your air conditioning system needs the refrigerant flowing into the evaporator coils to be under very higher pressure, and if this isn’t the case then your system can’t cool the air enough.

You might also hear a hissing or bubbling that indicates refrigerant is leaking, or rattling indicating that the compressor motor is struggling. If you do hear anything suspicious, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

When you do need reliable AC repair in San Ramon, CA, look no further than Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning. Contact us today!

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