5 Common Reasons HVAC Compressors Fail

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Why Do HVAC Compressors Fail?

What essentially makes an HVAC system quality, is its reliability. For an HVAC system to stay reliable, we need all of its components to work. The compressor is the heart of the cooling function of the entire HVAC system, meaning that without it, the system cannot function. When the compressor fails, its generally due to an underlying issue that caused too much stress on the system.

Let’s look at the most common issues that cause the HVAC compressor to fail:

Dirty Coils

When dirt and dust build up on the coils, heat cannot expel through the system. This causes a buildup of pressure inside of the system. The system then needs to work harder to cool your space, until it eventually overheats and fails.

Blocked Refrigerant Lines

The refrigerant lines pump the refrigerant through the system. When these lines become clogged or damaged, the pressure in them builds up. Once again, this causes the system to eventually overheat and fail.

Too Little or Too Much Refrigerant

Too little refrigerant is just as bad as too much refrigerant. When there is not enough refrigerant, the system becomes strained from having to work too hard to pump it through the system. When there is too much refrigerant, the system also has to work harder and could damage the compressor.

Electrical Issues

When there is an electrical failure, it can often cause a buildup of acids that do a lot of damage to the compressor and other parts of the system. If the compressor is damaged due to electrical issues, it will usually need to be replaced!

Improper Lubricant

If there is an inadequate amount of lubricant in your system, it will not be able to work properly. This can create many issues, including compressor failure.

HVAC compressor failure can be a very expensive fix. Fortunately, most of the issues that cause the compressor to fail are completely avoidable. When you take good care of your HVAC unit, it will remain reliable. Always be sure to schedule your annual preventative maintenance!

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