Why is My Air Conditioner Compressor Not Working?

The condenser unit, a big box that sits outside of the house, is oftentimes referred to as the compressor. It is responsible for half of the heating and air conditioning process, filled with different capacitors, motors, fans and the beginning stages of the refrigeration process. When the compressor is not working, air conditioning of any kind comes to a stop. If you’re wondering why is my air conditioner compressor not working, we’re sharing what to do.

Though it is unusual for a compressor to stop working, there can be several common reasons why it would. Check to see if one of these top five most common reasons could be yours.

The thermostat is not in the “cool” position.

Many times, we find that the thermostat is not actually calling for cool air. Whether it is a new thermostat installation or a forgotten moment, the thermostat has not been programmed to condition the air. To ensure that you receive cooled air, make sure that the desired air is set to a temperature lower than room temperature. This will cue your air conditioning to begin.

The disconnect fuse has blown.

This is a matter of electricity. The disconnect is a tiny electrical panel fed by the home’s larger electrical panel. It is what fuels the compressor to work at all. The disconnect contains two small fuses, each registering 120 volts of electricity. When one of these fuses has blown, there is an inadequate supply of electricity and the compressor will not turn on.

The breaker has tripped.

When the compressor draws in excess amperage, the system shuts down as a preventative measure. Whether motors have failed or short circuits occur, the condenser will not work until whatever caused the trip is repaired.

The run capacitor is out.

The run capacitor is like a battery within the air conditioner condenser and a key component in healthy air conditioning. If and when the run capacitor is out, the condenser does not work.

The two most common reasons why a run capacitor may be out are:

  • Age – efficiency and function degrades as its lifespan shortens.
  • Surge of energy or overuse – tampers with the chemical balance inside of the capacitor.

Because the run capacitor is a channel through which electricity travels, refrain from handling it yourself. Have your HVAC technician repair and care for your capacitor.

Edison has cut power in your neighborhood.

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Depending on your electricity plan and program, Southern California Edison may have temporarily stopped electricity supply for your neighborhood or city. This is common during peak cooling seasons.

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For exceptional customer service and expert technical care, call one of our friendly representatives to have a Service Champions technician service your air.

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