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Our Austin HVAC technicians unfortunately hear from many homeowners that they think there is a problem with their AC’s compressor.  While we always hope this isn’t the case, sometimes it is.  The bad news is that compressor issues can be costly; the good news is that the causes of compressor failure are often within your control.  So what are the common problems that lead to compressor failure?

Low/weak refrigerant charge.  Your AC will leak refrigerant if the lines develop cracks or holes, causing the compressor to work harder than normal to pump sufficient refrigerant through your cooling system.  The compressor may eventually break down under the strain this causes.

Dirty condenser coils.  Your compressor can overheat and fail when the condenser coil has a build up of dirt and grime due to the fact the AC can’t discharge sufficient heat, causing it to run continuously in an effort to cool your home.  This is extremely hard on the compressor!

Blocked refrigerant lines.  If the refrigerant (suction) lines of your AC system become damaged or blocked, your unit won’t cool your home efficiently.  Left unchecked, the AC compressor may fail due to overheating caused by the increased pressure and temperature.

Too much or wrong type of refrigerant.  While low refrigerant charge is never good, adding too much is equally as bad – maybe even more so.  It’s vital to have a qualified technician work on your equipment so that you know the proper amount of refrigerant is added, and that it’s the right type for your system.

Electrical issues.  An electrical failure can affect your HVAC system, causing the compressor to fail.  Many components of your system may be damaged due to the acids that build up as a result of electrical problems.  While you can’t detect this problem yourself, having regular inspections can often prevent the worst case scenario – a burnout resulting in substantial damage throughout your system.  Your technician can test for the presence of acid buildup and inspect all of the components to determine the damage in contactors, wiring, and fuses, making the necessary repairs before it becomes a matter of replacing your entire AC system.

So many homeowners never have their AC system serviced, assuming it will continue to function as it should for years to come.  The fact is, your cooling system is like your car, with many components that must all work together to keep it working as it should.  If you don’t have a preventive maintenance plan you can expect problems with your AC system, perhaps even compressor failure.  Why take that chance?

If it’s time to have your AC system serviced, give the Austin heating and cooling professionals at Schneider Mechanical a call today.  We take care of what takes care of you during these “dog days” of summer.