Throughout the lifespan of your central air conditioner, there are some things that can go wrong. Actually, we shouldn’t even say that: what we really mean is that your air conditioner will suffer from natural wear and tear. Florida air conditioners have to work a lot harder than air conditioners in homes up north, so it’s understandable that you’ll need repairs every now and then.
This can include worn motor bearings, failed capacitors, damaged air ducts, and refrigerant leaks. There is one repair issue in particular, though, that could be detrimental to the functionality of your air conditioner, and that’s compressor damage.
This is a repair need that’s particularly unpleasant to face, as the compressor is essentially the heart of your air conditioner and the most expensive part of your air conditioner. So if you have a broken down compressor, the question becomes, “should I replace the compressor or the entire air conditioner?” The short answer is probably the latter, but read on as we dive more into this issue.
The Most Expensive Component…
Like we mentioned above, the compressor is the most expensive component inside your air conditioner. This means when it is damaged or it stops working, it’s time to question if it makes more sense financially to just replace the entire air conditioner.
First things first: work with a qualified and experienced contractor to help you make this decision. After all, you want it to be an educated choice, right?
Compressors, which are housed in the outdoor condenser unit of air conditioners, compress the refrigerant within an air conditioner and make the cooling process possible to begin with. When there’s a problem with the compressor, unfortunately sometimes other components get blamed first and a diagnosis might be missed—that is, if you aren’t working with an experienced team like ours!
Is Your AC System Warranty Still Current?
When the compressor is the problem, the first thing that you should check is to see if your air conditioner is still under warranty. If it is, this means that you can get the compressor replaced without being financially liable for it: you’ll only need to pay for the labor.
Unfortunately, this isn’t very likely. Compressors are sturdy and don’t usually break down until the air conditioner is near the end of its lifespan anyway (10–15 years), especially if your air conditioner has been well-maintained. At this point, the warranty has usually run out.
So assuming you no longer have a current warranty, it’s time to decide if you should replace the whole air conditioner.
Folks often ask us about replacing just the condenser unit, i.e. the outside unit that houses the compressor. You could do that, but the problem is, air conditioners today use a different refrigerant than those of even just a decade ago. This mismatch will cause inefficient operation, and you may find yourself facing a replacement soon anyway.
If you do believe it’s time to replace your cooling system, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to learn about your options!