Understanding the Purpose of Your AC Unit’s Compressor

The warm and humid summers in Bellefonte, PA make you rely on your air conditioning system for indoor comfort. The system has an indoor unit and outdoor unit, and the outdoor unit includes a compressor. Read on to learn more about the purpose of the AC compressor, its maintenance requirements, and signs that it needs a repair.

Circulate Refrigerant

The AC compressor has two jobs, one of which is to circulate the refrigerant. It works like a pump, similar to the way your heart circulates blood through your body. The compressor sends the liquid refrigerant from the outdoor unit into your home and through the evaporator coils. During each cooling cycle, the compressor moves the refrigerant from the outdoor unit into your home and back to the outdoor unit.

Apply Energy to the Refrigerant

The second job of the compressor is to apply energy to the refrigerant. The compressor compresses the vapor state of the refrigerant into a liquid. This adds pressure to the refrigerant, forcing it from the indoor evaporator unit to the outdoor coil. Once the refrigerant reaches the outdoor coil, it releases the heat it absorbed from your home’s air.

Keep Up With AC Compressor Maintenance

A springtime tune-up prevents most AC compressor problems. Compressor maintenance includes tightening nuts and bolts, lubricating the motor, inspecting hoses, cleaning coils, and the condensate line. Short-cycling is one of the most frequent issues with compressors. This can be caused by refrigerant leaks or electronic failures. A sensor problem could also cause a faulty compressor, explains the Department of Energy. If you notice loud clanking, banging, or humming sounds, the compressor could have loose parts or an electrical issue. Low airflow, warm air from vents, rapid cycling. and hard starts or stops also mean it could be time for a compressor repair.

To learn more about AC systems and how they work, take a look at Triangle Heating & Cooling’s durable HVAC equipment, or contact us today for additional information.

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