Overview Of AC Compressor Replacement

The air conditioner (AC) compressor pumps refrigerant and gets it circulating through the system. The compressor also increases refrigerant pressure to facilitate heat exchange and cool your house. Thus, a malfunctioning compressor interferes with your AC's cooling ability, and you must replace a failed compressor to get the AC working again.

Here are the usual steps for replacing a failed compressor.

Confirm the Compressor Is Gone

Just because the AC compressor has malfunctioned doesn't mean you must replace it. AC technicians can repair some compressor issues and help you avoid a replacement. For example, the compressor might appear damaged if the start capacitor fails. If that is the case, then replacing the start capacitor will solve the problem.

Therefore, the contractor will confirm the compressor's condition before commissioning its replacement. For example, compressor replacement is necessary if the motor's windings burn out and seize.

Identify the Right Replacement Part

Next, the contractor will assess the compressor to determine the necessary replacement part. For professional technicians, this step is as easy as reading the compressor's model and capacity.

Shut Down the AC

Once the contractor has the right replacement compressor, they must shut down the AC to begin the process. Shutting down the AC and cutting off its electrical supply reduces the contractor's injury risk from electrical shock. Switching off the system also reduces electrical damage risk.

Remove the Refrigerant

The contractor will remove all refrigerant from the system before they begin the replacement. The AC refrigerant draws the refrigerant from the evaporator and compresses it. As such, the compressor will leak refrigerant during repair if the contractor doesn't remove it first. Refrigerant leakage wastes money, presents a health risk, and pollutes the environment.

Install the Compressor

The next step is disconnecting the refrigerant lines and removing the damaged compressor. The contractor then inserts the new compressor and connects the refrigerant lines. The contractor will also connect other relevant cables or controls, such as power connections.

Evacuate the Refrigerant Lines

The refrigerant liens should not contain anything other than refrigerant. However, moisture and air usually infiltrate the lines during installation. The contractor will use a vacuum system to suck out all the air, moisture, and other materials inside the lines. Lastly, the contractor adds refrigerant into the system and restarts it.

The compressor is a complex and critical AC part. As such, compressor replacement is not suitable for DIY service. For more information about HVAC repair, contact a local company.