Air Conditioner Not Working

Sometimes when you AC (air conditioner)is not running at all, the problem could lie in its compressor. Do not panic in such situation as compressors can be repaired or replaced if the level of damage is that high. However, repairing compressors will often need professional interventions. But before you jump into any conclusion, you can do a bit if troubleshooting yourself at home.You have to know the basic design and working of the compressor to know the problems that it can get into. Sometimes a compressor problem could be so simple that you may not need any professional help.

What is an AC compressor and what is it does?

No AC units can function without a compressor. A compressor is generally located in the outdoor unit. As is evident from the name the compressor’s job is to compress a cool and low pressure refrigerant into a hot and high pressure gas. It is at the compressor that the cycle of an AC begins. Therefore if the compressor becomes non-functional, the air conditioner cannot work.

The compressor turns on and off continuously: - This is also called the problem of “hard starting” in technical parlance. This is an acute problem where good deal of energy is wasted in starting the compressor but all of it goes into waste as it shuts off a little after that. When an AC cycles on and off frequently it also signifies its ability to maintain comfortable temperatures is greatly reduced. Under such condition, the AC will not be able to remove humidity from the air effectively. A common cause of hard starting is blown fuses. This also can be caused due to some electrical faults in the compressor. A frayed wire can also lead to frequent cycling on and off of the AC.

The AC does not cool: - Most often than not this is also caused by low level of refrigerant. But in some cases pressurization issues in the compressor can also cause this. If the suction pressure is too high or the discharge pressure is too low, the unit will be unable to maintain the optimal pressure. As a result the cooling capacity of the AC will be reduced.

Motor is not starting:– Sometimes the motor in the compressor stops working. This could happen due to a not working or failing capacitor The best solution is replacing it. Some systems are also without capacitors. In case of a failing motor in such units, it is better to install a capacitor.

Compressor won't start: – This is generally caused by a faulty motor. The reason could also be wearing of insulation that protects the winding. When the insulation is in bad shape the motor burns out and stop working. If you are lucky then a fuse can blow off and stop the motor from working. This will protect the motor from damage and spare you costly repairs. Some compressors are locked and beyond repairs. Unless the compressor is under warranty, replacing it will be a costly proposition. Sometimes it is better to buy a new system altogether than investing only after a compressor.

Compressor becomes too hot: - This can be caused by variety of reasons. It can be the result of faulty wiring or a defective motor.

These problems about a compressor are complex ones. Before you go into checking them, rule out the simpler problems. Check if there is power to your AC. Confirm this by looking for blown fuses or tripped breaker. If the power is going to your AC, you should now if it is reaching the compressor. You can check this with help of a multi-meter. The terminal connections of compressor should be tight and clean as well.

Faulty capacitors can stop the compressor from working. Besides capacitor a faulty start relay can also stop the compressor from starting. A broken valve can also lead to not working compressor. In such abase the refrigerant that will reach the compressor will be in liquid form. As a result the compressor will run but the AC will not cool. You can get the valve replaced and this will resolve the problem.