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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

Air Conditioner Parts: The Compressor

You don’t need to know exactly how your air conditioner works in order to operate it properly. However, there are a few parts that you should know. Parts that can help you understand when your air conditioning system is having a problem, so you can get it fixed as soon as possible. One of those parts is the air conditioner compressor. Read on to find out more about the compressor, and some of the problems that can afflict it.

What Is the Compressor?

The compressor is a pump that sits in the refrigerant line, between the evaporator and condenser coils. When the evaporator coil evaporates refrigerant to absorb heat from the air, it is the compressor’s job to pump that gas down the line to the condenser coil. The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant through the air conditioning system, as well as maintain the rhythm of the unit during operation.

Problems to Watch For

The biggest thing you need to know about the compressor is that it is designed to only handle gas. If liquid refrigerant makes it into the compressor, all sorts of bad things can happen. For one, the liquid refrigerant tends to wash the oil off of the compressor mechanism, which increases wear and tear. For another, if liquid makes it into the actual compressor chamber it will create an immense amount of pressure that the part is not designed to handle. When this happens, the compressor is often damaged or breaks down completely. The best way to prevent this kind of thing from happening is to ensure that the evaporator coil air filter remains clean, and that the system is free of leaks. That makes it less likely for liquid refrigerant to escape the coil.

If you’d like to know more, call Sunset Air. We repair air conditioners throughout Olympia, WA.

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