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The Ins and Outs of an AC's Compressor

Learn more about an AC compressor’s role in cooling your home.

Every single component inside of your air conditioner has to work together to provide cooling for your home. But there are arguably some components that have the most important jobs, and the AC compressor is one of them. Without the compressor, cooling is not possible.

When something goes wrong with your compressor, you have to call for AC repair in Oregon City. By understanding how your AC’s compressor works, you can easily identify problems early and stay ahead of a complete breakdown. Keep reading to learn more about an AC compressor’s role in cooling your home.

The Role of Refrigerant

You probably already know that refrigerant is the substance that provides cooling for your home. But refrigerant can only do so much without the help of your ACs compressor. Thanks to the compressor, refrigerant changes between being a liquid that is low pressure and a gas that is high pressure.

As a liquid, refrigerant is cold and helps to evaporate heat from the air and lower the temperature. This is how refrigerant operates to provide cool air for your home. But refrigerant can also provide heating for your home. When refrigerant transitions into its high-pressure gas form, it produces heat that warms up the air as it flows over the condenser coils.

How the Compressor Works

The compressor inside of your air conditioner does just what the name says. It compresses refrigerant down into its cooler liquid state. Refrigerant in your air conditioner cycles between the indoor and outdoor portions of your unit to cool down the inside air and release heat outside.

As part of the cycle, the compressor brings refrigerant to its liquid state and cools it down as it re-enters your home. This is how your air conditioner provides cooling. The refrigerant cycles through the condenser coils where air flow passes by. Heat and humidity get removed from the air and you are left with cold air to blow through your home. Then the refrigerant cycles through the outdoor portion of your unit as a gas to release heat. For each cooling cycle, your compressor repeats these steps over and over again.

Signs of Compressor Problems

The compressor inside of your air conditioner can be a very expensive component to replace if something goes wrong. You can watch and listen for the signs below, and give our team a call if you notice any of them:

  • Ice on the coils inside or outside
  • Dirt on the outdoor unit
  • Persistent clicking
  • Loud humming during a cooling cycle

Contact Chase Heating and Cooling today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. We're "Keeping Homes Comfortable In All Seasons."