Your AC Compressor: The Heart of Your AC System and How it Works
Just like your heart circulates oxygen-rich blood through your body while removing carbon dioxide waste, the compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. Like your heart, it plays a central and critical role: In the cooling process, the compressor serves as the middle man between the evaporator inside your home and the condenser outside. If you have been told that your compressor is failing, you probably already know that you are looking at an expensive repair but our Certified air conditioning installation technicians can provide the information you need to decide if you should replace your compressor or your entire air conditioning system.
The compressor is the most expensive and most critical component of your ac system: the system simply can’t function without it; and without it, your Naples,Ft Myers Port Charlotte area summer would be pretty unbearable. A compressor is basically a mechanical pump that is driven by an electric motor. It is part of the condensing unit (which is the unit on the outside of your home) and its function is to circulate and compress the refrigerant that cools your home. Refrigerant is also known by its trademark name, “Freon”.
There are 3 primary components to your air conditioning system: the evaporator coil, the condenser coil and the compressor. All three work together to alter the state of the refrigerant in the system: The job of the compressor is to convert low-pressure, gaseous refrigerant that comes from the evaporator into a high-temperature, high pressure gas that is released through the condenser located outside. This cyclical process is what removes heat and humidity from your home and releases it outside.
Why is the compressor so critical? Because when the refrigerant leaves the evaporator, it is a low-pressure gas; at this point, the refrigerant has absorbed the heat from inside your home. In order to release it outside, it has to be of a higher temperature than the outdoor temperature, and this is the critical job of the compressor: The refrigerant enters the compressor through a “suction line”; then a piston inside the compressor squeezes the gas so that the molecules are packed tightly together. This raises the temperature and the pressure of the refrigerant. The gas can now leave the compressor through a discharge line that sends the gas to the condenser. The heated refrigerant is then cooled over the condenser coils, where it turns into a liquid and goes back into the home and through the evaporator, where it is converted into a gas and the cycle is repeated over and over again.
Now that you understand how your compressor works and why it is so important, you may be wondering if you should replace a compressor that is not working properly. Generally speaking, if the price of a new compressor is more than half the cost of a new system, it is more energy and cost efficient to purchase a new system. This is also true if your system is ten or more years old. Our highly trained ac install technicians at Certified Heating and Cooling, Inc. can inspect and evaluate your current system and make recommendations for repair or replacement. Call us today at (239) 204-4114 for an in-home evaluation and estimate to keep your Naples/Ft Myers, Port Charlotte home cool and comfortable all summer long.