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Serving San Antonio and the surrounding area since 1993


I've been calling Riteway to service all our a/c units for over 15 years.

- Jolene D.

Compressor Problems: Repair or Replace?

compressor-inside-the-outside-unit-of-an-air conditionerOver years of consistent use, there are a variety of issues that can arise with your cooling system. This is particularly true in our part of the state! You might find yourself facing a refrigerant leak, failed capacitor, or potentially even breached ductwork. Fortunately, many of these San Antonio, TX air conditioning repair needs are actually preventable, especially if you stay on top of your annual maintenance appointments (or biannual, if you have a heat pump).

There’s one repair need, in particular, that is a pain to face—and that is a broken down or damaged compressor. With most air conditioner components, replacement is typically the best option upon breakdown. But a broken down compressor is another story, and often it leads to the question of if you should repair the system by replacing the compressor, or replace the entire air conditioner. The latter is naturally not always the preferred choice, but might be the best choice. Why is that? Read on…

The Compressor Is the Most Costly Part to Replace

This is perhaps the biggest reason we recommend looking at your cooling system as a whole, and deciding if it would be more economically feasible to upgrade the entire air conditioner. Before you do anything, however, make sure you are working with trustworthy HVAC technicians who will help you make an educated decision and who have proven themselves as capable service professionals.

Is Your Compressor Still Under Warranty?

Your compressor is tasked with compressing the refrigerant within your air conditioner. Given that it has a very important job, you would think that if there is a problem with your system, the compressor is to blame. That is not necessarily the case, however—often compressor problems are misdiagnosed. If you suspect something is amiss but you’re just not sure, the best thing you can do is to contact a trusted professional.

If you do know for certain that a compressor issue is causing your AC malfunction (perhaps you hear its motor struggling or humming loudly as it tries to compensate for the loss of power), then the first thing you should check is the status of its warranty. If it is still under warranty, then you won’t have to pay for a new compressor—only the labor needed to conduct the replacement.

This is one case in which a compressor replacement can absolutely be worth considering. But we have to tell you, the likelihood of a compressor breaking down entirely while still under warranty is pretty slim. So if you do not have warranty coverage, you might want to consider a full air conditioner replacement.

While your upfront budget plays a huge role in this decision, it’s important to be aware that in the long run, replacing the entire cooling system will probably make the most financial sense. That’s because air conditioners are built in such a way that the components interact with each other and will accrue wear and tear in tandem. So basically, paring an old indoor evaporator unit with a new compressor unit can lead to long-term operational trouble.

For quality air conditioning services, look no further than Riteway Service Company—contact us today!

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