Have you ever noticed some humming and unwanted noises from your AC unit? IS your Ac unit being insufficient in providing cool and comfy air? Here is the answer to all these queries in your mind. It’s your compressor unit problem which is causing all these problems.

The article below is all about the AC compressor not working well, availing its most common top 10 reasons for the AC compressor not working well. The report also signifies the warning signs that your AC unit benefits before the forceful stoppage of the compressor unit.

What is an AC compressor?

The AC compressor is situated in the outdoor unit of any AC unit, at the rear when you have placed the outdoor unit out of your room or house. the central outdoor team consists of various essential components like-

  • condenser
  • condenser coil
  • fan

The outdoor unit of an AC unit connects with the indoor unit system through a main copper refrigerant tube. Through this connection of the copper tube, the outdoor and indoor unit works as a single unit and absorbs the hot air from inside our room and transforms it into extraordinary and comfy air.

Also read – What Causes burning smell from ac

Why is an AC compressor essential?

Why is an AC compressor essential?

The compressor on an AC unit is one of the fundamental parts of your air conditioning unit. Not only does the compressor play an indispensable role in the cooling process, but it also ensures that the team works effectively and continually. 

Working algorithm for AC compressor?

An air conditioning compressor algorithm works in two ways: 

  1. It squeezes the refrigerant molecules together
  2. works like a pumping system to circulate the refrigerant through the system. 

As the refrigerant gas enters the evaporator component inside your house, it absorbs the hot air from inside your room and turns into a gas. The gas for formed gets squeezed and heated further by the AC compressor unit, turning it into a hot liquid form that is then cooled by the condenser coils in the outdoor unit.

As the refrigerant returns to the evaporator section to repeat the cycle, the gas formation pressure is reduced at a very high expansion valve, allowing the refrigerant to absorb heat and hot air easier and turn into a gas form again. Any form of leak or damage to the compressor can cripple this process and leak to the compressor unit’s insufficient output.

What is AC compressor mal-function?

The compressor unit of an AC consists of many moving and dispensable parts that malfunction or breakage. There are several signs too. 

  • Noises from the unit: The user may hear noises like banging or clanking, too disturbing from the AC unit. The noises signify that there are some loose or broken parts in the unit. The other sounds like bubbling or air leakage are also heard at times, representing refrigerant leaks from the compressor unit.
  • Insufficient cooling from the unit: The air conditioning unit will not cool your home correctly when the compressor is loose or worn.
  • Difficult in turning on the unit: If the compressor struggles to turn on or off, “hard starting” could result from an electrical or fuse problem with the air conditioning unit.

Other consequences of a malfunctioning compressor may include the outdoor unit running hot, the compressor unit burning out, and the air conditioning system is not working correctly.

If you realize that you have a problem with your compressor unit, call the professional immediately without fail. If you are facing Ac leakage issues then you can have a look at our other article i.e Water dripping from Ac.

Top 10 reasons why your AC Compressor not working well

AC Compressor not working
AC Compressor not working

Coming to the most important and heart of the article, here we have enlisted for our readers about most top 10 reasons why your AC not working well. The most common reasons are as follows-

Some of the most common top 10 reasons for AC compressor not working well are as follows:

1.  Dirty condenser coils and clogged filters

  • A debris build-up and dirt in the AC parts like filters, evaporators, or condenser soil can result in the entire unit shutting down.
  • A clogged air filter significantly reduces the airflow in such a way that the evaporator coil stops functioning. 
  • Blocked air filters and condenser coils put the compressor unit under pressure, which tends to overheat. In the best-case scenario, the compressor automatically shuts down before getting further damaged.
  • Otherwise, the continuous damage in the form of overheating may necessitate the compressor getting replaced. 
  • Solution- 
  • Wash the condenser coils, replace the air filters, and make sure you clear out all blockages and the obstructions in the supply vents for air to flow freely through the unit.
  • Make professionally clean your clogged filters and dirty condenser from time to time.
  • Keep a note of your regular AC services and maintenance to avoid this unwanted shut down of the compressor.

2.  Blocked suction lines

  • The compressor compresses the cool, low-pressure gas into a high-pressure hot gas. This process produces heat.
  • A clogged radiator, dirt-covered fins, or faulty fan that are the ones responsible for keeping the outer unit of the AC cool and well-ventilated results in poor heat dissipation from the external team. 
  • This results in the temperature and pressure variation on a high difference and damages the compressor.
  • Solution-
  • Wash and clean the suction pipe when needed.
  • Call for a professional air conditioner service person to clear all the clogged particles nicely.

3.  Low refrigerant charge

  • Refrigerant charge is essential for the AC and the compressor unit to work efficiently without any pressure. 
  • As the rate of the refrigerant is low, the condenser unit of the AC gets a lesser amount of refrigerant, which ultimately results in less cooling and unwanted pressure on the compressor on its working mechanism.
  • Solution-
  • As in the regular maintenance and service check, ask your professional to check the rate of refrigerant.
  • IF you feel like the cooling is less or the AC unit is not working well, don’t wait for further damage and call your professional for the service of the AC unit.

4.  Incorrect suction line size

  • Suction pipes are essential to suck the hot air from the room and pass it to the refrigerant and then to the compressor unit to make it cool and again blow back into the room. 
  • Now the size of the suction line is essential for acquiring a sufficient amount of air to suck in and to blow out.
  • Unwanted size differences may cause an undesirable load on the other parts of the AC, mainly on the compressor unit.
  • Solution-
  • select the proper and exact size of the suction line.
  • Let your professional suggest to you which size will be best for your AC unit.

5.  Too much refrigerant

  • The compressor’s job is to compress the low-pressure cool refrigerant into a high-pressure hot gas. Excess refrigerant means excess high pressure. 
  • This high-pressure build-up inside the compressor makes it go wrong.
  • Solution-
  • Go for less refrigerant, which would be sufficient for your AC unit to work without any pressure.

6.  Electrical problems

  • When the ac compressor is not working, but the fan is working, chances are more for the outer unit problems like when your AC compressor is not receiving sufficient power. 
  • The fan keeps running because there is no such problem in the central part. 
  • If the compressor unit isn’t starting, check for the wiring connecting the two teams. 
  • If it’s a blown fuse or tripped electrical breaker, the search for the reason has ended.
  • Other potential causes may include a damaged thermostat, mismatched indoor and outdoor units, or old AC.
  • Solution-
  • Check properly for the fuse or any electrical failure.

7.  Contaminants in the various parts of the system

  • Over time dust, tenacious dirt, and impurities get deposited inside the compressor. 
  • This contamination hinders the proper functioning of the compressor. It also makes the compressor go bad.
  • Solution-
  • professional cleaning procedures for the various dirt and dust in the unit should be done at a specific time interval.

8.  Insufficient oil lubricant

  • A compressor unit needs lubrication for performing various operations. Lubricating oil in the team is carried through the AC system and compressor utilizing refrigerant. 
  • The oil cannot circulate without refrigerant. 
  • When the refrigerant is undercharged or leaked, the lubrication oil also reveals and causes a problem. 
  • Less refrigerant means lack of lubrication oil which will further damage the compressor unit of the AC and causes the AC compressor to work insufficiently.
  • Solution-
  • Check for the leaks and seal the leaks, if any, as soon as possible.
  • As per the algorithm, starter relays and capacitors are integral in supplying power to the compressor unit. 
  • They are known for the most prevalent cause of compressor problems. The capacitor provides the energy needed for ignition and run the compressor, the blower motor, and the outer unit fan. 
  • The starter relay unit transmits power from the capacitors to the compressor unit. 
  • When the AC compressor unit is not working well, but you hear some humming sounds from the team, the compressor is compensating to access a non-operational capacitor.
  • Solution-
  • call your professional as soon as you hear the humming or any weird sound from your AC unit.

10. Dead Compressor unit 

This can result from a minor and straightforward issue like a faulty capacitor or an overheating unit. The only option with a quiet compressor is a replacement. Note that an expert should do a compressor replacement.


check out your compressor health at some periodic time and avail the necessary services and maintenance done by professionals.

What are the warning signs of the unit before the AC compressor not working altogether?

Before AC compressors stop working altogether, they often display warning signs, like:

  • Blowing warm air
  • Frequently tripping the circuit breaker
  • Shaking when the system is started
  • Making strange noises

FAQs of AC Compressor not working Article

Q.1 What does a compressor do in AC?

This part controls all the other functional functions throughout the air conditioning unit. It compresses the refrigerant in the system to cool down that hot and humid area. While the compressor does all the heavy work, the chemical reaction of the refrigerant is critical to maintaining a comfortable home.

Q.2 What happens when the AC compressor goes bad?

One of the earliest signs that a compressor may have trouble is that the AC no longer blows as cold as it once did. A damaged or failing compressor unit will not correctly regulate the refrigerant flow in the AC system. As an ultimate result, the AC unit will not function properly.

Q.3 What is the significant difference between an AC compressor and a condenser?

The compressor “squeezes” the gas. It changes the gas refrigerant into a liquid used throughout the A/C system to produce cold air eventually. The condenser is solely responsible for taking the pressurized gas from the compressor and changing it into a liquid-vapor.

Q.4 What kind of compressor is used in the AC unit? 

The reciprocating compressor is the most popular kind of AC compressor. A piston in the unit compresses the air by moving up and down inside of a cylinder. As the compressor’s piston goes down, it will create a vacuum effect that helps in sucking in the refrigerant. As it moves upward, the gas compresses and moves into the condenser.

Q.5 How long do AC compressors last?

The simple answer is that your AC compressor and refrigerant should last at least about 12-15 years. Learning what crucial components and maintaining the compressor can keep your AC running efficiently for its entire lifespan.


Adding up the last summation of the article ( AC Compressor not working ), as the heart of the human body is known as the life-sustaining organ, in the same way, the compressor is known as the heart of any AC unit.

Read the above article about why your AC compressor not working well and get a piece of brief information and solution about the most common top 10 reasons for AC compressor not working well.

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