An air conditioning system can develop many problems. Broken AC compressors, especially those beyond repair, are something you want to avoid. Replacing an AC compressor is sometimes a necessary expense, as it’s a vital part of the air conditioning system.
Most air conditioning problems are easy to fix with reliable AC repair in Tulsa. When your compressor breaks down, the question arises whether you should replace your whole unit or just the compressor. In this article, the HVAC experts at Quality Heating Cooling & Plumbing discuss what to do if your AC compressor stops working.
What Does an AC Compressor Do?
Air conditioning compressors are responsible for the heat-transferring processes that produce cold air in your home. The AC unit absorbs warm air and cools it down using refrigerant. In order to cool down the air, the refrigerant requires the help of machinery such as the AC compressor.
The refrigerant liquid turns into cold air after it exits the evaporator coils. All components repeat the cycle to produce cold air. A broken or faulty compressor means the rest of the system will not function, resulting in an inability to produce cold air.
Replacing a Broken Compressor vs. Getting a New Unit
When considering whether to replace the compressor or buy a brand-new AC, ask yourself these questions:
Does the AC have a Warranty?
Check the manufacturer’s warranty if your AC compressor has failed. The manufacturer will replace the compressor free of charge if the warranty is still valid, as this is a defect with the AC unit. In this case, it’s a good idea to replace just the compressor.
What if your AC unit is out of warranty? Rather than buying a new compressor for an old air conditioner, consider replacing the AC unit.
How Old Is the AC Unit?
Air conditioners last ten to 15 years when properly maintained. Before replacement, consider that you are installing a brand-new, expensive compressor into an older system that may unexpectedly stop working.. Replacing the broken AC compressor on an older unit may just be a temporary fix.
You will have to buy a new system when the old AC system eventually breaks down. For older ACs, a complete system replacement is more cost-effective in the long run than replacing the compressor.
Should I Replace Only the Outside AC Unit?
Since most AC systems and parts work together, they incur wear and tear simultaneously. Installing a new condenser/compressor unit with an old evaporator unit may result in problems. You may want to replace only the outside unit if any of the following are true:
- Warranty coverage is still in effect for the AC compressor
- You do not have enough money for a full replacement
- Your AC unit does not appear to be experiencing any other major problems
- The interior unit is new/replaced recently
Even though replacing only the outdoor unit is more cost effective, this replacement may not be your best option. You may still be able to use your AC system, but it will not perform at its best. Let’s look at some drawbacks of only replacing the outdoor unit:
- Early failure: Experts agree that improperly matched AC systems can cause undue stress and lead to premature failure.
- No warranty: Some manufacturers only provide a condenser unit warranty if you replace the evaporator unit with a new condenser
- Mismatched SEER: If you replace the outdoor unit with a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating than the indoor unit, you will experience issues. The old inside unit will cause the new outside unit to run less efficiently.
Should I Replace the Indoor and Outdoor AC Units?
The best decision is to replace the indoor and outdoor units if the air conditioner’s warranty is up and nearing the end of service. All new systems have a warranty and modern features that provide more efficient heating and cooling. However, you must consider your budget before choosing a full replacement.
Compressor and AC Unit Replacement Costs
In addition to the size of your home and the type of AC system, several factors can influence the cost of replacing your broken AC compressor. Other factors include the compressor brand and type, such as single, variable, or two stages. If you have a window AC unit, it’s more cost-effective to buy a new AC instead of replacing a major component such as a compressor.
Listed below are the average prices and options if you have a broken AC compressor:
- Replace AC compressor: The average cost of replacing an AC compressor with a one-year warranty is $1,600.
- Replace outdoor unit: A new outdoor unit costs an average of $1,800 with a ten-year warranty.
- Replace indoor and outdoor units: The cost to replace the outdoor and indoor units is around $2,800 with a ten-year warranty.
- Replace the complete system. Replacing the entire heating and cooling system will cost around $4,000 with a ten-year warranty.
Signs Your AC Compressor Is About To Fail
When you turn on your air conditioner, you expect cool air from the vents. If the air is warm and the room will not cool, you may have a problem with the AC’s compressor. Additionally, if the circuit breakers constantly trip, it indicates a compressor failure.
High Electric Bills
Monthly electricity bills can reliably point to compressor malfunctions. If you notice a sudden rise in your bill, you may have a problem with the compressor. Faulty compressors run less efficiently and put more strain on the AC unit.
AC compressors operate relatively quietly. If you hear strange noises from the outdoor unit, your compressor may be about to break down. You could hear a banging sound when the compressor’s components have become damaged or loose.
Work With an Experienced HVAC Company
Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing provides comprehensive AC services, including repair, maintenance, and installation. If your AC has stopped working due to a broken AC compressor or another issue, we can help. Get in touch to work with a professional HVAC company.
Contact Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Tulsa, OK, today for all your heating and cooling needs. Call us at (918) 221-0301.