Scottsdale AC Compressor Issue Signs: Refrigerant, Bill & More
In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked into some of the basics on AC compressor issues, and how you can spot them if they’re taking place in your HVAC system. The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant through the system, which is what actually cools your space, so keeping it in good working order is important throughout the summer.
At Accurate Air, we’re happy to provide a comprehensive range of air conditioning tune-ups, repairs and even installations of new systems when required for clients around Scottsdale and other parts of Arizona. What are some of the other telltale signs that something might be going on with your compressor, and what should you do if you notice them? Here’s a basic primer.
In some cases, the issue taking place with your compressor is not actually with the compressor itself, but rather a refrigerant leak that’s causing it to work harder than necessary. These leaks can be tough to spot on your own, so if you’re noticing any of the other symptoms on this list, it might be time to consult with a professional.
For instance, sometimes leaking airflow will only lead to some minor hissing sounds that come and go. If your unit is older, it might also be using an outdated refrigerant that could be damaging to the environment, so getting it checked out sooner rather than later is always best.
As the compressor works, it builds up heat, and there are various mechanisms in place meant to dissipate this heat and keep the unit from overheating. If these fail, it can cause the unit to overheat and shut down as a safety measure.
This usually happens because the compressor is overworked due to a clog somewhere in the system, or because of a refrigerant leak that’s causing it to work harder than necessary. In any case, it’s best to have a professional take a look as soon as possible, as an overheated compressor can cause long-term damage.
In some cases, you might not even need to look at your unit to know that something’s wrong – you might just be able to hear it. If the compressor is making loudly banging, knocking or squealing noises, it’s definitely not operating as it should be.
These sounds are usually caused by something coming into contact with the unit’s blades, which can happen if the unit is overloaded or there’s a build-up of dirt and debris around it. In any case, shutter the unit off and call for help to avoid further damage.
In addition to strange noises, you might also notice unusual vibrations coming from the unit. These are usually caused by the same thing – something coming into contact with the blades and causing them to vibrate.
For instance, a build-up of dirt and debris around the unit can cause this, as can an imbalanced load. If you notice vibrations, it’s best to shut off the unit and call for help right away. If you try to operate it in this state, you risk doing further damage.
Rising Electrical Bill
Another common sign that something might be wrong with your compressor is a sudden and unexplained spike in your electrical bill. If the unit is working harder than necessary, it will have to use more power to do so, which can lead to a significant increase in your monthly costs.
This is usually caused by a refrigerant leak or a build-up of dirt and debris around the unit. While there can also be some other causes of a higher bill, such as rate hikes from your utility company, it’s always best to have a professional take a look to rule out any potential issues.
Circuit Breaker Trips
If you aren’t aware, one of the primary reasons circuits in your home’s electrical system may break is to protect appliances from an overload of electricity. If your circuit breaker is constantly tripping when you try to run your AC unit, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong.
In most cases, this issue is caused by an electrical problem within the compressor itself. However, it could also be due to an issue with the wiring leading to the unit. No matter what the cause, it’s always best to have a professional take a look so they can diagnose and fix the problem.
Low Airflow Levels
If you’ve begun to notice that the AC is still working, but it’s not cooling your space as effectively as it used to, it could be due to low airflow levels. In other words, the unit is still running, but not enough air is flowing through the system.
This can happen for a number of reasons, such as a build-up of dirt and debris around the unit or an issue with the ductwork. It also might be something to do with the compressor — for instance, a clogged filter can restrict airflow. In any case, it’s best to have a professional take a look so they can diagnose and fix the problem.
While these are some of the most common signs that something might be wrong with your AC compressor, it’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list. If you have any concerns about your unit, it’s always best to have a professional take a look. They’ll be able to diagnose any issues and get your AC running like new again in no time.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our HVAC services in Scottsdale or nearby areas, speak to our team at Accurate Air today.