What Is The Most Common Cause Of AC Compressor Failure?

An AC compressor is one of your AC unit’s most important and expensive components. It compresses the refrigerant, removes the heat, and provides cool air. When an AC compressor fails, you will have to look for AC replacement in Folsom, CA, as replacing only a compressor can cost you nearly the amount of the AC replacement.

An AC compressor has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, it can last up to 15 years if you provide seasonal tune-ups and preventive maintenance. Otherwise, the AC compressor can fail sooner than expected.

Most Common Causes of Air Conditioning Compressor Failure

  • Clogged Condenser Unit

Excessive collection of dirt inside the AC makes the condenser unit clog. The condenser and compressors are interrelated and depend on each other for proper functioning. When the condenser unit gets clogged, it will not condense the hot air, which will not reach the compressor to get compressed into the coolant. This way, the AC compressor fails to work.

  • Overheating of AC Unit

An AC unit overheats when the sizing is incorrect. The problem of overheating is most common in small size AC systems. This overheating of AC eventually leads to failure of the AC compressor.

  • Too Low Coolant Amount

When there is an absence of sufficient refrigerant, the compressor is unable to compress. Thus, less coolant amount leads to compressor failure.

  • Non-Lubricated Components

Lubrication is essential for the smooth functioning of AC components. The AC motor needs oil to work. If it lacks lubrication, the motor fails to work, and the failure of the motor becomes the reason for AC compressor failure.

  • Poor Contractors and Wiring

Wiring plays a vital role in the overall performance of your air conditioning. If there are loose or damaged contractors and wires, this causes fluctuation in the power supply and also shuts down your air conditioning unit. Continuous fluctuation in power supply causes the AC compressor to fail.

The compressor works according to the command of the thermostat. When the thermostat is faulty, it causes temperature variations. This continuous variation puts a strain on the AC compressor leading the AC compressor to fail..

An air filter’s responsibility is to protect the compressor and other AC components from dirty particles. When the filter gets clogged due to excessive dirt or dust, it lets harmful contaminants reach the AC compressor. It hinders the functioning of the AC compressor.


Cleaning the condenser coil is an easy task that you can do yourself. Still, you should be careful while cleaning the outdoor AC unit to prevent motor damage. After a period of 10 to 12 years, the compressor starts functioning poorly when it isn’t taken care of.

It can be damaged. If your AC compressor is troubling you or you are dealing with multiple AC malfunctions, contact Essential Air for high-standard service. We provide the best HVAC solutions and AC installation in Folsom, CA. Call us now to schedule a service.