If you’ve been following our blog for very long, you may have seen us refer to your thermostat as the “brain” of your HVAC systems. Well, if the thermostat is the brain, the compressor is the heart of your air conditioner! It’s what allows for the movement of refrigerant throughout the rest of the air conditioner to transfer heat from inside your home to the outdoors. When this compressor fails, the air conditioner fails. Sure, the fans might still run, but no cooled air will come in through the vents.
Since the compressor is such an essential component to your cooling system, and an expensive one to replace, you as a homeowner may be left with the decision about what to do next. Sometimes replacing the compressor is the right call, while other times replacing the whole entire system is more economically feasible. Read on as we help you explore your options.
“Should I Replace My Compressor?”
On the surface, replacing the compressor seems like the best option, right? It’s less expensive than buying a whole new air conditioner, not to mention it’s a quicker solution. In some cases, it even is the best option!
For example, is your air conditioner still under warranty? Usually if an air conditioner is under the age of 10 years, and you’ve had it properly maintained each year, it makes sense to replace the compressor. Since it’s under warranty, the manufacturer may cover the cost completely, so you don’t have to worry about it at all.
In most cases, though, when a compressor fails, it’s because the AC system is old and frankly, way past the warranty end date. Broken down compressors most often happen when an air conditioner is 15 years old or more. Once your air conditioner has reached this point in age, purchasing a new compressor is likely going to be more expensive than it’s worth and end up costing you even more as your replace components one by one when they fail due to lack of system care.
“Can I Replace the Whole Outside Unit?”
This is typically the recommendation if the rest of your air conditioner components haven’t suffered lately, if at all. Replacing the outdoor unit goes a bit further than simply replacing the compressor, but is not as expensive as replacing the whole entire air conditioner.
Of course, you do want to be cautious that the new outdoor unit isn’t too mismatched from the indoor condenser unit, as this can lead to a decline in efficiency. It’s important to work with a qualified professional to ensure this is the case.
“When Should I Replace the Whole Air Conditioner? “
This means not only replacing the outside unit, but also the indoor condenser unit, including the refrigerant lines, the evaporator coils, the fans—everything. It’s a big job, but if your air conditioner is in the 10-15 year range and the compressor has failed, this is the best financial decision you can make for your wallet and your comfort.
The good news is you’ll have a brand new system with great energy efficiency, and a perfectly matched air conditioning system. You can even use this opportunity to add advanced components like smart thermostats to increase system efficiency. This will help with heating efficiency too, when winter rolls back around.
Whether you’re unsure of how to proceed or need a professional to help you with your AC replacement, we are the team to call.