How to Troubleshoot an Overheating Compressor – Sobieski Services | DE, NJ, PA, MD

How to Troubleshoot an Overheating Compressor

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If you have an overheating compressor in your central A/C or heat pump, it might still cool your home temporarily. But if the overheating continues or gets worse, it will result in a potentially expensive system breakdown. Having to replace the compressor is among the most expensive fixes for a central A/C.

What Does the A/C Compressor Do?

Without getting into the technical stuff, the compressor in an A/C serves a two-fold purpose. Located in the outside unit along with the condensing coil and fan, it pumps refrigerant through your A/C coils and lines and puts gaseous, heat-filled refrigerant under pressure in the condensing coil. When this happens, the refrigerant is converted back into a liquid, releasing heat energy into the surrounding air. When the compressor malfunctions, it can cripple both of these essential functions.

Troubleshooting an Overheating Compressor

Here are a few tips you can try to find the issue before contacting a professional:

  • High head pressure can be caused by dirty condenser coils, a faulty condenser fan, too much refrigerant or perhaps some other heat source near the compressor such as a dryer vent.
  • An electrical problem outside of the A/C also may cause a compressor to overheat, such as voltage issues or spikes in power. This may be a problem with your home’s electrical system or something external such as electrical transformer or grid issues.
  • An issue called “high superheat” can be caused by not enough refrigerant in the system, a kink or restriction in the refrigerant line, a malfunctioning metering component or a hot-liquid line too close to the compressor, such as a hot-water pipe.
  • If the compressor is short-cycling, this also can cause overheating. The problem might be due to a dirty air filter or evaporator coil, or a faulty capacitor or metering device.

If your A/C compressor is overheating, we can quickly identify the problem and address it.

At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help educate customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.

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