The compressor is the heart of your home's central air conditioner. It is responsible for converting warm air into the cool air inside your home. If this important part of the system fails, your AC unit would be rendered useless, and you would be stuck with an uncomfortable house. Luckily, there are a couple of warning signs that may indicate that the compressor is failing so that you can take measures to replace it before it completely breaks down.
1. Air Conditioner Turns Off Before Reaching Your Desired Temperature
One warning sign that should alert you to a potential problem with your air conditioner's compressor is when the unit starts turning off before your home reaches its desired temperature. Known as short cycling, the worn-out compressor no longer has the power to work throughout a full cycle.
The interval at which the short cycling occurs may be long enough not to notice at first. However, as the compressor wears down further, you will find that the unit shuts off after only a minute or two, leaving you with a warm house.
Another possible problem that could lead to short cycling is a failing thermostat. If you replace the thermostat and the unit continues to short cycle, though, it may be time to replace the unit.
2. Unit Starts to Freeze Up Regularly
Another potential warning sign of a failing AC compressor is when the unit starts to freeze up constantly. At first, this may happen every few days. However, as the problem worsens, it may happen on a daily basis.
When the compressor is failing, it is no longer able to fully regulate the amount of coolant flowing through the system. It may allow too much to flow through it, causing the air to become excessively cold. Any moisture in the air then freezes up until it clogs up the entire unit, making it necessary to thaw the AC unit before you can use it again.
Other possible reasons why your unit is freezing up could also be a coolant leak or leaving your thermostat lower than the outdoor temperature. Having a professional inspect the unit can help you determine which is causing the issue.
If your central air conditioner is showing the above signs of a failing compressor, you will more than likely need to replace the unit soon. Contact an HVAC contractor in your area who offers AC unit replacement services to have them verify the problem and discuss your options.