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Your A/C Compressor Just Died - Now What? 3 Options Besides Replacement

air conditioning repair

It is a sad day indeed when your air conditioner’s compressor fails for the last time.

After all, the compressor is one of the four main parts of your air conditioner.

The other three major parts can’t do their job without it. So basically, your whole air conditioner is down for the count.

Most of our customers assume they now have to purchase a whole new air conditioner.

But this isn’t always the case! In this timely post, discover additional options to consider when the compressor fails.

The Four Main Parts of An Air Conditioner

We just mentioned that the compressor is one of the four main parts of your air conditioner. What are the other three main parts?

Developing a working knowledge of air conditioner parts will be helpful to the rest of our discussion here, so let’s spend a moment reviewing them.

1. Compressor

The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant.

The refrigerant is what keeps cool air blowing through your registers.

2. Expansion valve

The expansion valve is the part that monitors the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator.

This valve, aka the metering device, is located between the condenser coils and the evaporator coils. Its job is to pressurize or depressurize the refrigerant.

3. Evaporator

The evaporator is the component that receives refrigerant in its liquid form and changes it into a gaseous state.

The evaporator coils are located inside with the air blower or furnace.

4. Condenser

The condenser’s job is to manage heat transfer so the refrigerant can do its job.

The condenser coils are located with the compressor in the outside unit of the air conditioner.

3 Options As Alternatives to a Full A/C Replacement

1. Replace just the compressor

Read the expiration date on your air conditioner’s warranty.

If the A/C unit itself is still under warranty, chances are good that replacing just the compressor component will also be covered under your warranty.

After all, the compressor is what is broken, right? As long as the other elements in your air conditioner are still operational, it can make sense to just swap out the single ruined component.

2. Replace the entire outdoor unit

However, you may discover that your air conditioner is no longer under warranty or your still-valid warranty does not cover replacing the compressor if it fails after a certain time.

But this still doesn’t have to mean you have to replace the entire A/C unit right now.

The second option is to replace just the outdoor part of your air conditioner. This is potentially a good option if all the other major components are still in good working order and especially if you have just replaced the furnace portion of your HVAC system.

Also, if yours is an older A/C, you may be able to purchase a refurbished or used outdoor unit that will cost you less and give you a few more years on your A/C’s useful life.

3. Replace the entire outdoor unit + the evaporator

Your third option that stops short of a full-on air conditioner replacement is to replace both the outdoor unit and the evaporator coil housed inside your home.

At this point, you are creeping up on purchasing a whole new unit, since the only major component that isn’t being swapped out is the air handler or blower that also works with your furnace.

But for an older unit that is still essentially in good working order, this can still work out to cost less if you can find high-quality used parts. However, if you use refurbished parts, you may not get a warranty to cover your upgrades.

If you opt for using new parts that are compatible with your system, you have a good chance of getting a warranty that covers your investment.

When There Is No Avoiding a Full Air Conditioner Replacement

Sometimes, despite your best efforts otherwise, your air conditioner simply needs to be replaced.

However, there are still advantages to be reaped from opting for a full-on replacement.

The first is that you will get a warranty that covers your new appliance, so if you have any repair needs, you won’t be out of pocket for those at least for the term of the warranty.

You will also enjoy the benefits of new technology working to lower your seasonal energy bills, balance your humidity, improve your indoor air quality and operate more quietly and efficiently overall.

And you will enjoy going to sleep each night knowing that you won’t have to go through another major HVAC replacement for many years – even decades – to come.

Repair or Replace – Do You Need Help Deciding

Here at Shipton’s Heating & Cooling, we have nearly a century of installing, repairing and maintaining HVAC systems of all ages, shapes, sizes and types in the Hamilton and surrounding areas.

Our prompt, polite, knowledgeable service technicians are licensed and insured to work on all makes and models of HVAC systems.

If your system is giving you trouble, you may need some expert assistance to determine the best course of action.

We are happy to meet you at your home or office to diagnose your unit and issue a free, no-obligation quote for repairs or a full replacement. Just complete this simple form to schedule your appointment.

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Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616. 

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