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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

What You Should Know About Your Air Conditioner Compressor

Your air conditioner is a pretty complex system, comprised of many different parts. Every part of the system is important, some more than others. One of the most important parts of your air conditioner is the compressor, which is responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout the system. It also happens to be one of those parts that can cause the entire air conditioner to require replacement if it breaks down. Read on to find out more about the compressor, what can cause problems with it, and how to keep it functioning properly.

What is the compressor?

The compressor is essentially a pump that circulates refrigerant gas throughout the air conditioning system. As the refrigerant flows from the evaporator coil into the compressor in gas form, it is put under pressure to circulate it down the line to the condenser unit. The compressor keeps the flow of refrigerant moving, so that the air conditioner can keep operating. It also keeps the rhythm of the system steady.

Compressor problems

The two biggest problems with the compressor both involve liquid refrigerant getting into it. The compressor is only designed to handle gas. So, if liquid refrigerant makes it to the compressor, it can damage the part. Liquid refrigerant has a tendency to wash off the oil responsible for lubricating the compressor. This shortens its lifespan, and increases the chance of a breakdown. If liquid refrigerant actually makes it into the compression chamber, things get even worse. When the compressor tries to compress liquid, the hydraulic pressure buildup often causes the part to break down on the spot.

The best way to prevent compressor problems is to have your air conditioner checked at least once a year. If you haven’t scheduled preventive maintenance for your air conditioner yet this year, call Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration. We provide air conditioning maintenance throughout Santa Fe, NM.

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