You don’t need to know every little detail about your air conditioner, but it’s still a good idea to know a little about it. Specifically, you should know about the more important parts of the system, and the warning signs that indicate that those parts are in trouble. That way, you know when to call for repairs when those symptoms present themselves. Let’s take a look at the air conditioner compressor, and when you need to have it looked at.
The compressor is a gas pump that sits in the refrigerant line between the evaporator and condenser coils. After refrigerant has been evaporated in the evaporator coil, it travels down the refrigerant line to the compressor. The compressor then compresses the refrigerant to send it down the line to the condenser coil, where it is condensed back into liquid.
The compressor is what keeps refrigerant flowing through the system, and as such it’s a vital part of the entire operation. Without it, your air conditioner wouldn’t be able to cool your home as the refrigerant gas would remain stuck near the evaporator coil. So, it’s a big problem when the compressor develops an issue.
The most common way a compressor can become damaged is by liquid refrigerant making it into the chamber. Compressors are designed to only handle gas, so when the compressor tries to compress liquid the pressure created will damage the part. This will throw off the rhythm of the entire system, possibly causing it to turn itself on and off every few minutes. This behavior is called short cycling. If you notice this behavior happening, you should call for repairs as soon as possible. Otherwise, the added wear and tear could cause the entire system to break down.