What Causes an Air Conditioner Compressor to Go Bad?

An air conditioner plays a crucial role in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, especially during hot summer months. The heart of an air conditioning system is its compressor, responsible for circulating and pressurizing the refrigerant. However, like any mechanical component, the compressor can experience issues and ultimately go bad. In this article, we will explore the common causes that lead to the deterioration of an air conditioner compressor, shedding light on how to prevent and address these problems.

Understanding the Air Conditioner Compressor

The air conditioner compressor is a vital component that operates in a closed-loop refrigeration system. It compresses the refrigerant, converting it from a low-pressure gas into a high-pressure, high-temperature gas. This compressed refrigerant is then circulated through the system, facilitating the heat exchange process that cools the air in your home.

Lack of Proper Maintenance

One of the primary reasons for an air conditioner compressor to fail is a lack of proper maintenance. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the compressor in optimal condition and prevent potential issues. Neglecting routine maintenance tasks such as cleaning or replacing air filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting electrical connections can put additional strain on the compressor and lead to its premature failure.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks are another common cause of compressor failure. Refrigerant plays a crucial role in the cooling process, absorbing heat from the indoor air and releasing it outside. When the refrigerant level drops due to leaks, the compressor has to work harder to maintain the desired cooling effect. This increased workload can cause the compressor to overheat and eventually fail.

Electrical Problems

Electrical problems are a significant contributor to compressor failures. Faulty electrical connections, power surges, or voltage fluctuations can put excessive stress on the compressor’s motor and windings. Over time, this stress can lead to insulation breakdown, motor burnout, or other electrical failures, rendering the compressor inoperable.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils, located in the outdoor unit of the air conditioner, play a crucial role in dissipating heat. However, if these coils become dirty or clogged with debris, their efficiency decreases significantly. The compressor compensates for this decreased efficiency by working harder, which increases the likelihood of compressor failure.

Improper Refrigerant Charge

Maintaining the correct refrigerant charge is vital for the optimal functioning of the air conditioner system. If the refrigerant charge is too high or too low, it can cause problems for the compressor. Insufficient refrigerant can lead to overheating, while excessive refrigerant can cause liquid slugging, both of which can lead to compressor failure.

Contaminants in the System

Contaminants such as dirt, moisture, or acids can enter the air conditioning system, affecting the compressor’s performance. Moisture, in particular, can cause corrosion and damage to internal components. It is crucial to ensure that the system remains clean and free from contaminants to prevent compressor failure.


In conclusion, the air conditioner compressor plays a vital role in the cooling process, but it is susceptible to various issues that can cause it to fail. Regular maintenance, including cleaning or replacing air filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting electrical connections, is crucial to keep the compressor in good working condition. Addressing refrigerant leaks, electrical problems, dirty condenser coils, improper refrigerant charge, and preventing contaminants from entering the system are essential steps in maintaining the longevity of the compressor. By understanding the causes and taking proactive measures, you can ensure the smooth operation of your air conditioning system and avoid costly compressor replacements.

Remember, a well-maintained air conditioner not only provides optimal comfort but also contributes to energy efficiency and lower utility bills. So, make it a priority to take care of your air conditioner and its compressor to enjoy a cool and comfortable indoor environment.

Why Choose ROX Heating & Air?

When it comes to professional HVAC services, ROX Heating & Air stands out as a top choice for homeowners. With a strong reputation and a commitment to customer satisfaction, here are a few reasons why you should choose ROX Heating & Air for all your heating and cooling needs:

1. Expertise and Experience

ROX Heating & Air boasts a team of highly skilled technicians who have extensive expertise in the HVAC industry. With years of experience under their belts, they have encountered and successfully resolved a wide range of HVAC issues. Whether it’s a faulty compressor, refrigerant leak, or electrical problem, you can trust ROX Heating & Air to provide accurate diagnostics and effective solutions.

2. Reliable and Timely Service

At ROX Heating & Air, we understand the importance of prompt service, especially when your comfort is at stake. Our team is dedicated to delivering reliable and timely service to our customers. We value your time and strive to arrive at your doorstep as scheduled, equipped with the necessary tools and parts to get the job done efficiently. Our commitment to punctuality and professionalism ensures that your HVAC system is up and running smoothly in no time.

3. Quality Workmanship

We take pride in our commitment to delivering high-quality workmanship on every project we undertake. Whether it’s a simple repair, routine maintenance, or a complete system installation, our technicians pay attention to every detail and follow industry best practices. We believe in doing the job right the first time, ensuring that your HVAC system operates at its peak performance and provides optimal comfort for years to come.

4. Customer-Focused Approach

At ROX Heating & Air, we prioritize our customers’ satisfaction above all else. We strive to build long-lasting relationships with our clients by providing exceptional service and addressing their specific needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is always ready to answer your questions, provide expert advice, and guide you through the decision-making process. We believe in transparent communication, so you can trust us to keep you informed about the work being done and any potential options available.

5. Comprehensive Services

ROX Heating & Air offers a comprehensive range of services to cater to all your heating and cooling requirements. From system installations and repairs to maintenance and indoor air quality solutions, we have you covered. Our technicians are equipped with the latest tools and stay updated with industry advancements to deliver the best possible results. Whether you need assistance with your air conditioner, furnace, heat pump, or ventilation system, ROX Heating & Air is your go-to HVAC partner.

Sign Up for the Priority Comfort Club

As a homeowner, ensuring the long-term performance and durability of your HVAC system is essential. That’s why ROX Heating & Air offers the Priority Comfort Club, an exclusive membership program designed to provide you with added benefits and peace of mind. Here’s why you should consider signing up:

1. Preventive Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently. With the Priority Comfort Club, you gain access to our comprehensive preventive maintenance program. Our skilled technicians will perform routine inspections, cleanings, and tune-ups to maximize your system’s performance and identify any potential issues before they become major problems. This proactive approach helps extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment and improves energy efficiency.

2. Priority Service and Discounts

As a member of the Priority Comfort Club, you receive priority service, meaning you will be at the top of our list when scheduling appointments. In case of emergencies or unexpected breakdowns, you can count on us to prioritize your service needs. Additionally, club members enjoy exclusive discounts on repairs, replacements, and other HVAC services, helping you save money while maintaining the comfort of your home.

3. Peace of Mind

With the Priority Comfort Club, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your HVAC system is in the hands of professionals who are committed to its optimal performance. Our maintenance program reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs, allowing you to have confidence in your system’s reliability. Plus, as a member, you will receive regular reminders for scheduled maintenance, so you never have to worry about forgetting to take care of your HVAC system.

4. Enhanced System Efficiency

Regular maintenance provided through the Priority Comfort Club ensures that your HVAC system operates at peak efficiency. Our technicians will clean and optimize your equipment, ensuring that it runs smoothly and consumes less energy. By improving your system’s efficiency, you not only reduce your carbon footprint but also enjoy lower utility bills.

5. Extended Equipment Lifespan

Investing in the Priority Comfort Club means investing in the longevity of your HVAC equipment. By providing regular maintenance and addressing potential issues promptly, we help extend the lifespan of your system. This saves you money in the long run by delaying the need for premature replacements and allowing you to enjoy the comfort of your home for years to come.

Take advantage of the exclusive benefits offered by the Priority Comfort Club and ensure the reliability and efficiency of your HVAC system. Contact ROX Heating & Air today to sign up and experience the peace of mind that comes with being a club member.


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Priority Comfort Club

Become a member and enjoy the benefits of regular HVAC maintenance, including exclusive discounts, priority service scheduling, annual HVAC Maintenance, and peace of mind.  Colorado's Best HVAC Maintenance Membership Program.

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