Air Conditioning FAQ: What Is the Compressor?

Of the many components that make up a modern air conditioner, the compressor is the true “heart” of the system. Its function is, in many ways, similar to the heart inside a body. Without a working compressor, you don’t have a working air conditioner.

Making sure that the compressor in the AC that cools down your home works at its best and without excessive wear is one of the most important parts of regular maintenance. A failed compressor needs to be replaced, which is often the most expensive repair an air conditioner might need; in most cases of a burned-out compressor, it is more cost-effective to replace the complete cooling system.

If you need maintenance or repairs to keep the compressor in your air conditioning in Sinton, TX running, call your local AC experts at Justice Air Conditioning & Heating.

Compressor basics

The compressor is housed in the outdoor condenser unit of an air conditioner, where it is connected to a motor. The motor runs the pump action of the compressor that allows it to do its job, which is to compress the refrigerant in the system and change it into a hot, high-pressure gas. This is one of the essential steps of the heat exchange process of the air conditioner that allows the system to remove heat from inside a home and exhaust it to the outside.

Basically, it is the compressor that gives energy to the refrigerant that propels it around the air conditioner. When the refrigerant enters the compressor, it is in liquid state after having passed through the evaporator coil indoors. In order for the heat exchange cycle to continue, the refrigerant must increase in heat and pressure. The compressor, by reducing the volume available to the liquid refrigerant, raises its pressure and turns it into a hot gas. This gaseous refrigerant then moves to the next area of low pressure, which is the outdoor coil, and there it releases its heat, and continues to the indoor coil.

Without a working compressor, the refrigerant will not cycle through the system, and it will not go through the important temperature changes necessary for it to absorb and release heat. If the compressor in an AC breaks down, the system will be nothing more than a set of fans blowing around room-temperature air.

If your air conditioner begins to “hard-start,” struggling to come on and making grinding or clicking noises as the compressor starts, you will need to call for air conditioner repair technicians right away: this stress could inflict irreparable damage to the compressor. Any time your AC shows signs of losing its cooling ability could also mean there are compressor issues, so do not hesitate to contact Sinton, TX air conditioning experts like those at Justice Air Conditioning & Heating. We have technicians ready 24 hours a day to assist you.

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