5 Causes Of Air Conditioner Compressor Failure

Air Conditioning Service in Arlington, TX, a comfortable indoor environment, especially during scorching summers. The heart of an air conditioning system is the compressor, which is responsible for circulating refrigerant and enabling the cooling process. However, compressor failure can be a frustrating and costly issue for homeowners. In this article, we will explore the five most common causes of air conditioner compressor failure, helping you understand how to prevent these problems and extend the life of your cooling system.

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential for the smooth functioning of any mechanical equipment, and air conditioners are no exception. Over time, dust, debris, and dirt can accumulate on the compressor, causing it to overheat and work harder than necessary. This strain can finally lead to compressor failure. Additionally, a lack of routine maintenance can result in refrigerant leaks, low oil levels, or loose electrical connections, negatively impacting the compressor’s performance.

It is crucial to schedule annual HVAC inspections and cleanings to prevent compressor failure due to lack of maintenance. Professional technicians can thoroughly clean the compressor and ensure all components are in optimal condition.

Electrical Issues

The compressor relies on a series of electrical components to function correctly, including capacitors, relays, and contactors. Over time, electrical components may become worn or damaged, leading to irregular power supply or voltage fluctuations. These electrical issues can strain the compressor and eventually cause it to fail.

To mitigate electrical-related compressor failures, homeowners should have their air conditioning systems regularly inspected by qualified technicians. They can identify and replace faulty electrical components, ensuring the compressor operates under stable electrical conditions.

Refrigerant Problems

Refrigerant is a vital component in the air conditioning process, responsible for absorbing and releasing heat. If the refrigerant levels are too low due to leaks or improper installation, the compressor must work harder to achieve the desired cooling effect. The increased strain can result in premature compressor failure.

To prevent refrigerant-related compressor failures, it is essential to address any refrigerant leaks promptly. Regularly check the refrigerant levels and have a professional technician conduct repairs and top-ups if necessary. Additionally, during installation or maintenance, ensure the proper amount and type of refrigerant are used according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Improper Sizing and Installation

A poorly sized or improperly installed air conditioning system can lead to numerous problems, including compressor failure. An oversized unit frequently turns on and off, subjecting the compressor to unnecessary stress. Conversely, an undersized unit will continuously run, straining the compressor and causing it to wear out prematurely.

To avoid sizing and installation-related compressor failures, enlisting a qualified HVAC Contractor in Arlington, TX, is crucial during system selection and installation. They can accurately determine the appropriate size and ensure a proper structure that maximizes efficiency and reduces strain on the compressor.

High Operating Pressures

Air conditioners are designed to operate within specific pressure limits. Excessive pressure can damage the compressor and other vital components. High operating pressures may result from dirty condenser coils, blocked air vents, or a malfunctioning expansion valve.

To prevent compressor failure due to high operating pressures, homeowners should regularly inspect and clean their condenser coils and ensure proper airflow around the outdoor unit. If there are issues with the expansion valve or any other component, they must be repaired or replaced promptly.


The compressor is the heart of any air conditioning system, and its failure can lead to costly repairs and discomfort during hot weather. By understanding the common causes of air conditioner compressor failure, homeowners can take proactive measures to prevent these issues. Regular maintenance, addressing electrical and refrigerant problems, proper sizing and installation, and monitoring operating pressures are critical factors in ensuring the longevity and efficiency of an air conditioning system. By investing in professional maintenance and timely repairs, you can keep your compressor running smoothly, providing reliable and efficient cooling for years.

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