Depending too much on service providers for upkeep of domestic equipments can turn out to be a costly affair. This is also applicable for the air conditioning system at home. Moreover, it may not always require the intervention of experts to set right some minor problems that can be overcome if you have some primary troubleshooting knowledge about the system. It makes good sense to know about the system that you are using, at least the basics, so that you do not have to suffer as a result of malfunctioning air conditioning system by waiting till the time the service provider turns up.

The compressor that is considered to be the heart of an air conditioning system can often trip due to overheating. If this happens then you might have to shell out a decent sum of money to set the system right because compressors are expensive replacements.  But even before it stops, the overheated compressor would try its best to maintain the system efficiency but at the expense of using more energy, which is also costly.  If you know about some points that can be checked to identify the problem before placing a service call, you can save money and time.

The importance of compressor

To know the reasons why the compressor is so important to an air conditioning system you have to understand its functioning.  The outdoor unit comprises of a compressor, condensing coils and fan. The compressor is responsible for pumping the gaseous and heated refrigerant under pressure into the condensing coils where the refrigerant is converted back into a liquid while the heat is liberated into the atmosphere. This is when the actual cooling of the air inside the home happens. A non-working compressor would stall this cycle and there would be no cooling at all.

Points to check

Before you rush to a service provider for compressor related problems check a few points to see if you can set it right.

  • There are defined cycle times for a compressor that switches on and off between cycles. If you observe that the cycling time has reduced it could be a result of overheated compressor. Check the evaporator coil and air filter and clean it if it is dirty so that air circulation is improved. Check the metering device and the capacitor that might be faulty and needs replacement.
  • Too much head pressure can cause overheating of compressor. Check for some other heat source near the compressor and if it is ruled out, check that the condenser coils are not choked. The condenser fan might have stopped working or there might be excess refrigerant in the system.
  • A compressor might get super heated if there is a hot water line is close to it. If the system throttles for want of refrigerant due to obstruction in the refrigerant line or there might not be enough refrigerant in the system then it can cause the problem.
  • The electrical supply voltage can be occasionally too high (spikes) for which the house wiring and the grid supply lines have to be checked.