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Broken Compressor: Do You Repair or Replace Your AC?


At some point, you’re going to run into issues with your air conditioner. You might notice warm air blowing from the vents or hear strange noises coming from the unit when you turn it on. One of the less common issues comes from a broken compressor, which is responsible for helping the refrigerant do its job– cooling down your home and keeping you comfortable in the heat. When this happens, you have no choice but to seek professional air conditioning repair in Northbrook, IL.

While there are some cases where a damaged compressor can be repaired, most of the time, it will require you to replace the component. But here’s the issue, compressors are the most expensive parts of the AC unit. That means it might make more financial sense to replace the entire air conditioning unit.

In this article, we’ll help you figure out when it’s best to replace just the compressor itself or opt for an entirely new AC. Then we’ll discuss some of the signs that you have a failing compressor on your hands.

Should You Replace the Compressor or the AC?

As we alluded to above, compressors cost a pretty penny and sometimes you’re better off just replacing the whole unit. However, there are a few factors to consider when making this decision. Namely, you need to think about the age of your unit. As an example, if you’ve had it for less than 10 years or so, then there’s a good chance it’s still under warranty and you can get the compressor replaced while only being financially liable for the labor costs.

Normally, compressors are designed to last roughly a decade. However, if your unit is past the 10-year mark or you haven’t been keeping up with maintenance, then it’s likely you’ll need to replace the entire system anyway very soon. 

There is another option to think about as well. You could simply replace the outside unit where the compressor is housed. In this situation, you still want to give consideration to how old your system is and what type of indoor infrastructure you have. For instance, if you have a new, more efficient outdoor unit but everything inside is getting old, then that can cause issues such as increased inefficiency, leaks, or the entire system breaking down.

How to Tell My AC Compressor is Broken?

The first step in deciding whether you should replace the compressor or AC is figuring out if the problem really is the compressor. Here are two tale-tell signs that there’s something up with your compressor.

Are you getting cool air blowing from the vents? If not, then that’s a sign that something could be going wrong with the compressor. Either that or it means there’s a refrigerant leak which should also be addressed.

Secondly, you might hear strange noises from the outside unit when you turn your AC on. It might sound like hissing or humming. And sometimes, you can even hear the compressor having problems starting up. However, if you’re noticing anything weird about your AC, it’s a good idea to call a professional.

Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning is your trusted resource for Chicagoland area home services. Contact us today!

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