7 Signs of a Bad Air Conditioner Compressor: What to Watch For

Your air conditioner compressor is one of the essential parts of your AC unit. It’s responsible for circulating refrigerant through your AC system. If your compressor fails, your AC unit will not be able to function correctly. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about their compressors until it’s too late, and they have to call an AC technician. This blog post will discuss seven signs of a bad air conditioner compressor so that you can watch for them and get the problem fixed before it becomes a more significant issue. 

How to Tell If Your Aircon Compressor is Bad?

1. Scorching Air 

If the air coming out of your AC is hot instead of cool, this could be a sign that your compressor is not working correctly. The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant, which helps to cool the air. If the refrigerant isn’t circulating properly, the air will be hot instead of cold.

2. Loud banging or popping noises 

If you hear loud banging or popping noises coming from your AC unit, this is a sign that the compressor is starting to fail. These noises are caused by the compressor’s pistons striking against each other. This usually happens when the compressor isn’t getting enough oil, which can cause it to overheat and eventually fail.

3. Refrigerant Leaks 

Another sign of a bad compressor is if you notice refrigerant leaks around your AC unit. Refrigerant is what helps cool the air, so if there are leaks, this could mean that not enough cool air is being circulated 

4. Higher Energy Bills 

One of the most common signs of a bad compressor is an increase in your energy bills. If your AC unit is working harder than usual to cool your home, it will use more energy, and this will show up on your bill.

5. Extra Moisture Around Unit 

Another sign of trouble is if you see extra moisture around your AC unit. This could be due to a clogged filter or low refrigerant levels, both of which are signs of a failing compressor 

6. Strange Smells

If you notice strange smells coming from your AC when you turn on your AC unit, this could also signify a problem with your compressor. Burning smells usually indicate an electrical problem, while musty smells generally indicate mold or mildew growth inside the unit 

7. Unit Runs Constantly but Doesn’t Cool sufficiently 

If you find that your AC unit is constantly running but not adequately cooling your home, this could also be due to a failing compressor. The compressor works hard to circulate the cool air, so if it’s not doing its job correctly, the cool air won’t be circulated throughout your home as it should be.

How to prevent your AC compressor from going bad?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your AC compressor from going bad:

  • Change your air filter regularly. A clogged air filter can cause your compressor to overwork and eventually fail.
  • Have your AC unit serviced by a professional at least once a year. This will help keep it running properly and catch potential problems before they become significant.
  • Make sure that your AC unit is sized correctly for your home. If it’s too small, it will have to work harder to cool your home, leading to compressor failure.


Suppose you notice any of these seven signs. In that case, it’s essential to call a technician immediately to fix the problem before it worsens and causes more extensive damage to your AC unit. You can save time and money in the long run by being proactive and getting the problem fixed early on.

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