Air Conditioning FAQ: What Does an Air Compressor Do?

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When Texas heat hits, you want to be sure your AC is in proper working order. Air conditioners run on a precision balance of components that even the slightest issue can throw off. One common problem area in AC units is the compressor. The compressor is often considered the heart of your HVAC system and is sensitive to damage. 

Luckily, finding quality AC service in the Dallas, TX, area is as easy as contacting Dial One Johnson Heating Cooling and Plumbing. Their team has the expertise you need to get your air compressor back in action and cooling again.

If you want to learn more about air compressors and how they fit into your cooling and heating system, read on.

The Two Systems of an Air Conditioning System

Before breaking down how an air compressor works, it’s best to understand their part in the AC system. To help you gain a basic understanding of what is at work, let’s explore the systems that keep your air cool. These two systems circulate cool air:

  • Air circulation system: this pulls in a room’s air and filters out any unwanted contaminants. The air is then pushed over the evaporator coils to cool it down before it is recirculated back into the room.
  • Condenser unit: here, refrigerant cycles through the evaporator coils to keep them cool. Then, the warmed refrigerant moves through the condenser system to bring the temperature down. 

These two systems function together to provide cool, refreshing air. If even one part of this delicate balance is off, it could mean muggy air and costly repairs. This often means that dealing with AC repairs is a tricky endeavor. If you are experiencing cool air issues, it’s best to leave repairs to a professional HVAC technician.

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Compressors

HVAC installation FAQs are among the most highly asked questions in the heating and cooling industry. Here are some common questions about air compressors and AC systems.

What Does an Air Compressor Do?

When refrigerant, or coolant, exits your AC evaporator, it takes the form of low-pressure gas. What your compressor does is increase the pressure on the molecules of the gas-based coolant.Here is where physics gets involved. To release the heat, the refrigerant needs to be in a high-pressure form. This happens when the air compressors pack the molecules of the coolant. 

Now the refrigerant is both higher in temperature and pressure. From here, the refrigerant pushes through a line that leads to the outdoor condenser coil. The coolant releases its heat when exposed to cool outside air, turning the gas into a liquid. Cooled refrigerant then feeds back into the system. It takes a trip indoors where the coolant evaporates into a gas again and absorbs the heat from the air in the circulation system.

It’s a complicated system. Certified HVAC technicians take years to learn all there is to know about AC units before they can feel like highly experienced pros. Luckily, Dial One Johnson has your back when it comes to AC repairs

What are the Signs of a Bad Air Compressor?

There are some things to watch out for when troubleshooting a bad compressor:

  • No cool air coming from vents or registers.
  • Lack of sound from the indoor unit.
  • The fans are the only working part in the outdoor unit.

If you experience any of these signs, it might be time to call an air conditioning repair service.

Are There Different Types of Air Compressors?

There are four main types of HVAC air compressors. These are:

  1. Reciprocating AC compressor: the most popular type of air compressor used in HVAC systems. Reciprocating compressors use pistons to compress air in a cylinder.
  2. Scroll AC compressor: scroll-type compressors are new to the scene. They use two coils, also known as scrolls, that rotate together to compress the refrigerant.
  3. Screw AC compressor: if you are looking for reliability, a screw compressor is your best bet. These use helical motors to compress air and can be found in large buildings.
  4. Rotary AC compressor: if noise is a concern, rotary compressors offer the quiet operation you need. Rotary compressors use a bladed shaft inside a graduated cylinder to push and compress refrigerant in the system.

Give your local technician a call if you aren’t sure what kind of compressor you may have.

What Do You Do If You Have a Bad Compressor?

If your system isn’t doing its job and signs point to the compressor, what should you do? First, you may want to consider contacting a professional AC service. The team at Dial One Johnson can assess the condition of your compressor and offer a few solutions.

These could be:

  • Replacing the compressor: your unit might be under warranty. If so, your HVAC technician may go ahead and replace the component.
  • Replacing the condenser: this would mean replacing the compressor, fan and condenser coil. This can sometimes be just as costly as replacing the AC unit, so be sure to consider the latter. 
  • HVAC unit replacement: if problems persist, it may be time to replace the AC entirely. One advantage to this solution is higher efficiency and lower energy costs.

There may be other solutions not listed here. Your AC service technician will know best about how to go about solving the problem of a bad compressor. 

Air Conditioning Repair Service in Dallas, TX

Air compressors are tricky components. Not only do they play an essential role in your cooling system, but there are also many varieties when it comes to types of compressors and common problems. 

An air conditioning repair service is exactly what you need if this all seems a bit too much to handle – and the team at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and heating is here to help. The Dial One Johnson team can come to your home, diagnose your issues and remedy the problem in no time. 

Before things start to get uncomfortable, give our team a call at (469) 240-5618 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!

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