Air Conditioning Heating and Ventilation Services

What to Expect When Your AC Compressor Breaks

fixing AC unit broken compressor and other common issues

Your HVAC system relies heavily on its compressor to keep your home comfortable. When this crucial component breaks down, it can lead to a range of issues that impact both your comfort and your wallet. Understanding the potential consequences can help you take swift action and possibly save you from a more expensive repair. 

So, what exactly can happen if your HVAC compressor breaks?  


  • Loss of Cool Air: The most immediate and noticeable effect is that your air conditioning will stop cooling the air. 
  • Increased Energy Bills: A malfunctioning compressor can cause your system to run inefficiently, leading to higher energy consumption. 
  • Strange Noises: You might hear rattling, grinding, or clunking sounds emanating from your HVAC unit. 
  • Electrical Issues: Watch for tripping circuit breakers. It can be a big indicator of a bad compressor.  
  • System Overheating: Without a functional compressor, the system can overheat, potentially causing further damage! 
  • Uneven Cooling: Rooms in your home may experience varying temperatures, leading to discomfort. 
  • Moisture and Humidity Problems: Reduced cooling efficiency can result in higher indoor humidity levels. 
  • Costly Repairs: Ignoring a broken compressor can lead to more extensive, and expensive, repairs down the line. 


Let’s not risk it – read our full guide and call our local pros if you need a hand with your HVAC system and suspect it’s something to do with the AC compressor.  

The Common Signs of a Broken AC Compressor

Is your place running HOT?! One common sign of a broken AC compressor is a lack of cool air. If your air conditioning system is running but the air coming out of the vents is not as cold as it should be, the compressor might be failing to circulate refrigerant properly. Another sign is uneven cooling throughout your space.  

A broken AC compressor can also lead to higher energy bills. When the compressor struggles to function properly, it often runs longer and harder, consuming more electricity and driving up your energy costs. 

Strange noises coming from the outdoor unit can also indicate a problem with the AC compressor. Grinding, squealing, or clunking sounds often suggest mechanical issues within the compressor that need immediate attention. You’re going to want to call in the pros to inspect it!  

Another symptom to watch for is the AC unit frequently tripping the circuit breaker. A failing compressor can draw excessive power, causing electrical overloads that result in the breaker shutting off the system to prevent damage. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for increased moisture indoors and air quality issues. The system can die altogether by overheating!  

Avoid potentially costly repairs and call our local HVAC company to maintain your HVAC system and increase its lifespan.  

Can a Busted AC Compressor be Prevented with Regular Maintenance?

Regular maintenance is crucial in preventing a broken AC compressor! By scheduling routine check-ups, you can identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems. Cleaning is another essential aspect of maintenance. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in the system, causing the compressor to work harder than necessary. Regular cleaning helps maintain optimal performance and extends the lifespan of the compressor. 

Regular HVAC maintenance also includes checking and replacing air filters. Clogged or dirty filters can restrict airflow, causing the compressor to overwork and potentially break down. Replacing filters as needed helps maintain proper airflow and system efficiency. 

During annual maintenance, licensed technicians also ensure that the refrigerant levels are correct. Low refrigerant levels can cause the compressor to overheat and eventually fail. By maintaining the proper refrigerant charge, you can prevent undue stress on the AC compressor. 

Average Costs for Repairing or Replacing an AC Compressor

The cost of repairing or replacing an AC compressor can vary widely depending on several factors, including the make and model of your air conditioning unit, the extent of the damage, and labor costs to fix. Generally, the price range for these services can be substantial, so it’s important to understand what you’re paying for.  

For a basic repair, such as fixing a minor leak or replacing a small component, you might expect to pay between $150 and $400. These repairs are typically less expensive because they involve less labor and fewer parts.  Don’t worry – we’ll give you a fair, detailed estimate before getting to work.  

If the compressor itself needs to be replaced, the costs can be significantly higher. The price for a new compressor can range from $800 to $2,800, depending on the brand and model of your AC unit. This price usually includes the cost of the compressor itself and the labor required to install it. 

In some cases, additional components such as refrigerant, filters, or electrical work may be necessary, which can add to the overall cost. These additional expenses can range from $100 to $500, depending on the complexity of the work required. 

It’s also worth noting that if your AC unit is older, it might be more cost-effective to replace the entire system rather than just the compressor. A new AC unit can range into the thousands, but this investment can offer better energy efficiency and reliability in the long run. Check out our instant price estimator for a general price range on a new unit! 


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Fix Your Broken HVAC

Understanding what happens when your AC compressor breaks can save you from a lot of discomfort and unexpected costs. Remember, a busted compressor isn’t the end of the world, but it’s essential to address the issue quickly. Regular maintenance can help prevent these problems and keep your unit running smoothly.  

If you’re in the Tampa area and facing issues with your AC compressor, don’t hesitate to call for help. Our team of experts at ACHV Services is ready to assist you with all your air conditioning needs. From routine maintenance to emergency repairs, we’ve got you covered.  

Don’t wait until it’s too late – Keep your home comfortable and your mind at ease by contacting ACHV Services now. 

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