Skip navigation


Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Vital Heating & Air Blog

Signs You May Have Trouble With Your AC’s Compressor


All parts of an air conditioning system are important since you can’t have one malfunction and expect the AC to keep working as well as it’s supposed to. But some components have bigger and potentially more expensive effects when they begin to fail, and no part is more important in this way than the compressor.

To put it briefly, the compressor is the “heart” of an air conditioner. It is what forces the refrigerant to circulate between the sets of coils and change pressure and temperature so the air conditioner can move heat out of the house. The compressor uses a powerful motor to do this, and it is where the majority of electricity used to power the air conditioner goes. If the compressor fails, not only will the AC no longer cool off the house, but it may require replacing the entire unit to fix the problem.

We’ve provided a list of signs you may have a compressor going bad. If you move fast to schedule air conditioning repair in Indianapolis, IN, with professionals, you may be able to save the compressor and avoid a pricey replacement.

The condenser cabinet is vibrating

The condenser cabinet is the outdoor cabinet of the air conditioner, and it’s where the compressor is located. If you put your hand on the condenser when the AC is operating, you’ll feel a small vibration from the motors and fan. But you shouldn’t be able to see the condenser vibrating from the motion—that means potential trouble with the compressor (or the fan, which also needs to be repaired fast if it’s malfunctioning).

The house is losing comfort

When the compressor is wearing down and isn’t working well, it affects the ability of the AC to cool your house. You’ll probably first notice the rooms farthest along the ventilation system are warmer than usual. Humidity may also be increasing. If the compressor is in serious trouble, the cool air may vanish entirely. If you can’t account for this with a simple problem like a clogged filter, call repair technicians.

Clicking and grinding sounds

Getting back to the condenser cabinet … loud noises from the cabinet, in general, are not good. Clicking often means the capacitors for the compressor aren’t sending enough voltage to it. Grinding can indicate the compressor is trying to overcome too much resistance to start the cooling cycle, which can lead to it burning out.

Tripped circuit breaker

When the AC stops working, check the circuit breaker to see if the circuit to the air conditioner has tripped. There are separate circuits for the indoor and outdoor units. If the outdoor unit tripped the circuit breaker, it’s a major red flag that the compressor is overheating and caused the surge. Do not just reset the circuit breaker so you can resume your normal activities. Call for technicians to inspect the situation. You might cause the compressor to burn out if you push it.

Your Comfort is Vital! So make sure you call on Vital Heating & Air when you need air conditioning repairs.

Comments are closed.