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Does a Dead Compressor Mean I Need to Get a New AC System?


The compressor is the component of an air conditioner that uses the most power to operate. Arguably, it’s the most important AC component. Without the compressor, an air conditioner cannot carry out the process of heat exchange that allows it to pump heat out of a house and cool it down. 

You might have heard that if the compressor for your AC fails, that means the entire air conditioning system is shot and you need to replace it. That’s a big and expensive move—but is it true that a dead compressor means the end of your AC?

Well, sometimes it does. But not always. Below we’ll look at the different scenarios for HVAC replacement in Greenville, SC when you have a failed compressor. 

There are four different options you have when the compressor for your AC dies:

1. Replace only the compressor

The compressor is an expensive component, so replacing it is often seen as being too expensive to be worthwhile. However, there is a situation where replacing only the compressor is the best choice: when the compressor is still under warranty.

Most manufacturers’ warranties for air conditioning systems will have the compressor under warranty for up to 10 years. If the compressor fails while the warranty is still in force, the warranty will pay for the new compressor (although probably not the labor).

2. Replace the outdoor condenser

You can choose to replace all the outdoor components of your air conditioning system while leaving the indoor evaporator coil and blower in place. This is a less expensive option than replacing the whole air conditioning system, which makes it attractive.

However, this is rarely the ideal choice. If you only replace the outdoor condenser, you won’t receive a new warranty, which is risky. There’s also the possibility of getting a mismatched system, where the indoor and outdoor components don’t work well together and waste power.

3. Replace the air conditioning system

This means replacing the outdoor condenser and the indoor evaporator coil, starting fresh with a new AC system. The benefit of this approach is that you receive a new warranty for the system. This is usually the best choice if the air conditioner is more than 10 years old when the compressor fails. It’s more cost-effective to get a new AC rather than buy a new compressor for a system that won’t be around much longer.

4. Replace the HVAC system

What about not only replacing the air conditioner, but replacing the heater and the blower fan as well? This is definitely the most costly option, but if your heating system is also old, it might be worth it.

Replacing all these parts at one time is less costly than replacing them piecemeal. If the AC compressor fails and you were already thinking about putting in a new heater and AC, then this might be the best choice. 

If you’re unsure about the best choice for your AC’s future when the compressor fails, our technicians are happy to help you make the decision that’s right for you.

Need help with your air conditioning system? Then reach out to Carolina Climate Control. The Moose Is Loose in Your Neighborhood!

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