The compressor is a critical component of the air conditioner. When it dies on you, there’s always a niggling worry – wondering whether its time to buy a new AC is entirely understandable. AC is an expensive piece of machinery. So expensive indeed, that most people can afford one, only after proper financial planning and budgeting. The last thing you want to hear at such a time is that you have to buy a new one. Today, we aim to tell you the truth about what the dead compressor means for you.
What Exactly Is A Dead Compressor?
The outdoor unit of the HVAC system is the compressor unit. It is considered dead when it stops working. You can hear neither hum nor vibrations emanating from it. At best, you may just hear the fan moving inside the outdoor unit.
Does A Dead Compressor Mean It Won’t Work Anymore?
First of all, it’s essential to know that the dead compressor does not always translate to a compressor that won’t work anymore. It’s just a term that denotes that for the time being, it is not working. There are several reasons that could result in such an occurrence. Some of them are rectifiable, and others not. Let us have a brief glimpse at the causes which can render the compressor dead.
1. There is no power supply to the outdoor unit – rectifiable
2. Failed capacitor – rectifiable
3. Dirty condenser coils – rectifiable
4. Overheating – rectifiable or not depends on the problem causing overheating and the age of the unit.
5. Electrical problems – may or may not be easily rectifiable.
Knowing Whether The Problem Can Be Rectified Or Not
One can conclude that the compressor is dead for good only after figuring out whether the issue that causes it to stop working as a solution or not. This is something easier said than done. To verify, you need a trained HVAC technician to inspect your system. Based on their findings and recommendations only, you can conclude one way or the other. If repair is possible, the technician will let you know so that corrective action can be initiated. Once that is done, all will be good. Now, the problem arrives when you are told that the compressor will not work anymore. This is when it is truly dead.
Does Dead Compressor Mean You Need A New AC?
When the compressor is beyond repair, people will often tell you that buying a new AC is your only option. Well, that is not strictly true. They advise buying a new AC because it is typically the old air conditioners where the compressor dies. If your unit is more than 10 years old, it is a more cost-effective solution to buy a new AC. As the unit is already towards the end of its useful product life, changing the compressor will just be a burdensome expense.
If your stars are aligned right, your unit is still new and under warranty. In that case, you don’t have to worry much as the ball is in the manufacturer’s court. Let us now have a look at what your choices are when the compressor dies, and the unit is not under warranty.
1. Replacing Only The Compressor – The compressor is one of the most expensive parts of the air conditioner. If you have stayed abreast of the annual maintenance of the air conditioner, you are in luck. It is because, with the strictly followed maintenance regime, the warranty on the compressor is good for as long as 10 years. However, if you skipped a few in between, sadly, the compressor warranty lapses. If that is the case, and your unit is more than a decade old, replacing just the compressor is a bad idea. As it is, the complete system is almost at the end of its life, and very soon, you will have to upgrade it. When the compressor dies, and there’s no warranty, better to do it sooner than later.
2. Replacing The Condenser Unit – The other option that one has is to replace the entire condenser unit. It is that part of the HVAC unit which is installed outdoors. Housed inside it are the fan, compressor, and condenser coil. Replacing the condenser unit is any day cheaper than buying a new AC. Nonetheless, it is an option that is rarely ever recommended. The indoor unit and the outdoor unit are two halves of one whole. They are a matched set. So, when replacing the condenser unit, one must be extremely cautious that they don’t land up buying a mismatched unit. If someone were to do so, it would be a very costly mistake.
3. Replacing The Condenser And The Evaporator Coil – Replacing the condenser and the evaporator coil is yet another option. Often it is also known as replacing the air conditioner. Usually, under this option, the air handler remains the same, and the remaining system is new. The good thing is that you need not worry about mismatched units anymore, and on top of that, you get a new warranty. This would be a good choice if your existing air conditioner were using “R-22” or “Freon” as the refrigerant.
4. Replacing The Complete Heating And Cooling System – This is obviously the most expensive option and entails buying a completely new HVAC system. Choosing it makes good sense if both your air conditioner and furnace are more than 10 years old. Changing them both in one go is cheaper than trying to spread them out as two different jobs.
Extending The Life Of Compressor
To extend the life of your compressor:
1. Invest in timely annual maintenance.
2. Ensure that the outdoor unit is free of dust and debris.
3. Cut down any bushes, plants, or trees that could be restricting the flow of air.
4. Do not ignore any air conditioner problems.
Aztil Is Here To Help
Dead compressor or not, the professionals at Aztil Air Conditioning are here to cater to all your heating and cooling needs. We are a team of 100+ professionals serving in West Palm Beach, Florida. With us being just a phone call away, you have access to our air experts 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. All our technicians are trained to handle any job concerning your HVAC system. With substantive experience under our belts, we guarantee complete customer satisfaction. So wait no more. Book an appointment today by giving us a call at +1-888-729-8452.