What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Air Compressor?
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What are the symptoms of a bad AC compressor

Your home air conditioner compressor plays a vital role in your air conditioning system. Its function is to raise both the pressure and temperature of the AC refrigerant when it’s still in vapor form, allowing the refrigerant to flow into the condenser and cool your home.

In other words, if your AC compressor isn’t working properly, your AC system won’t do you much good as it won’t be able to cool your home. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the signs of a failing compressor. You can leave that to the AC experts. The symptoms of a failing compressor can be subtle and mistaken for other problems if an experienced technician is not involved in the diagnosis.

However, this guide will help you better identify when your compressor isn’t working or is on the verge of breaking down. The following are some of the key signs of a failing compressor.

How to Tell if Home AC Compressor is Bad

It’s worth noting that fixing an AC compressor requires the right set of tools, knowledge, and experience. Don’t assume you can address the problem yourself if you notice these warning signs. To get your AC back up and running, you need assistance from qualified professionals.

Specifically, you should contact our experts if you notice:

Warm Air Coming from Unit

If a compressor won’t turn on at all, that means it needs professional attention. You can quickly determine this is occurring by referring to the manufacturer’s instructions for your AC system to identify where the compressor is located.

Turn the AC on. Make sure the fan is blowing, then check the part of the system where the compressor can be found. If you don’t hear any noise indicating it’s in operation, that’s a surefire sign it isn’t turning on at all.

That’s not to say a compressor is functioning properly merely because it turns on. Even if it sounds as though it’s working, that may not be the case.

For instance, an air conditioner that appears to be blowing warm air when it should be blowing cool air indicates the compressor isn’t allowing the AC refrigerant to flow as it should be. Call the Easy A/C team when this happens for prompt attention.

Strange or Loud Noises

You already know your home air compressor will make some degree of noise when it’s in operation. That’s to be expected. However, it’s a good idea to check the compressor from time to time while the AC is running. You want to listen for any new or strange sounds coming from the unit.

What does a bad AC compressor sound like? Many times it will simply sound louder than it usually does. There are also instances when you may notice a rattling sound, which could mean a fan has become loose in the condenser unit. Either way, if you do notice your AC compressor is louder than usual or sounds different, contact an AC repair professional. They’ll inspect your system to diagnose (and fix!) the problem.

Additionally, you may notice a rattling noise that starts up as soon as you turn your AC on. This often means an essential electrical component is failing. Again, get in touch with the pros when this happens.


You should periodically check the various components of your AC system for signs of leaks nearby. Such leaks may occur when a failing compressor leaks refrigerant.

Make sure neither you nor any occupant of your home goes near the leaking refrigerant until a professional has addressed the issue. Exposure to AC refrigerant without proper protection can be dangerous. Another reason it’s necessary to let AC repair experts handle these issues. Our AC technicians know how to fix leaking AC compressors without putting themselves, you, or your loved ones at risk.

Reduced Airflow

Don’t assume a compressor is working properly merely because it turns on, sounds relatively normal, and causes the AC unit to blow cool air. You also need to pay attention to less noticeable signs of a problem. By catching warning signs early, you can avoid losing cold air when you need it most.

For instance, even if your AC unit is blowing cold air, you might notice that the airflow from the AC unit seems to be weaker than normal. This could mean the compressor is beginning to fail. The problem will only get worse until you hire someone to fix it.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Does your circuit breaker trip when you turn on your AC unit? If so, this is often related to a failing compressor, particularly if the issue is relatively common. When excessive strain is put on a compressor, it needs to use more energy to do its job. If you don’t address the issue as soon as possible, you may find yourself with an AC that doesn’t work at a time when you need it most.

That’s why it’s crucial to get in touch with our AC experts at Easy A/C the moment you notice signs of trouble. We are on hand to deliver 24-hour emergency AC repair service to keep you comfortable around the clock.

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