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Air Conditioning Compressors

Your air conditioning compressor is a critical component of your HVAC system—and something you should be aware of when talking about AC repair and maintenance.

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What is an air conditioner compressor? It's a simple question that sometimes requires a lengthy and detailed explanation, but you can boil it down to this: an air conditioner compressor "squeezes" refrigerant in order to add energy and get the cooling process started. The real question is how to keep it in good working order—and how to tell when a little expert attention is needed.

What does an AC compressor actually do?

Your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® specialist knows everything there is to know about AC compressors, and can explain the part and the process in detail. But before you schedule an appointment, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the compressor's role in cooling your home. If you're having air conditioning issues, it may help you understand what's going wrong—and help us address the issue quicker.

  • Refrigerant arrives at the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor adds pressure to increase its energy and temperature, and the working fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high-pressure gas.
  • This compressed gas then passes to the condenser, the part of your air conditioner that has metal fins all around. The fins help the heat dissipate more quickly.
  • When the working fluid leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure. It then heads inside to complete the cooling process in the evaporator coil.
  • In a central air conditioning system, the compressor (and the condenser) is located in the box outside your home. If your air conditioner runs, but is only blowing warm air and not cooling your home, the problem is often the air conditioner compressor.

Regular cleaning goes a long way

It is important to keep your AC compressor clean. Clear away any leaves, grass clippings or debris from the housing and rinse it off with a hose. If you want to clean the aluminum fins inside, use special fin tool or a paint brush and be careful not to bend them.

If this kind of cleaning doesn't do the trick, it might be time to call in our local experts for maintenance and repairs backed by our Exceptional Service Guarantee. Call 866-399-2885 to set up an appointment or learn more about our worry-free air conditioning Home Service Plan.

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