Your compressor failed… Now what?

Well this is a kind of bittersweet situation. A compressor is the most expensive part that can go out in your air conditioner or heat pump, so replacing it can become fairly pricey. This is also an item that cannot be replaced without the assistance of a professional, so there will be some technician costs that will be incurred as well. Already sounds pretty depressing right? Well, the plus side of this is that you don’t have to replace the whole system as some technicians may try to tell you. This is false. A compressor can be replaced fairly easy. It just takes the right information.
First, you will need to locate the model number from the condenser or heat pump. If this information is not available, the next step is to get the model number from off of the compressor itself. Once you are armed with the right information, you can contact a company such as www.americanhvacparts.com and provide what you have. Locating the correct replacement is going to be simple for them at that point.
The key here if you are wanting to purchase the replacement on your own instead of from the technician, is that you will want to make sure to arrange installation for when you get the compressor. Many technicians will not want to come out and install a part that you have obtained, because they want to sell you the item as well as do the work. So that’s why it is important to have a pre arranged agreement with your tech so that there are no surprises for him or you.
Now that the compressor has arrived and the technician is on his way, here is a rundown of what to expect. The tech will come out and begin to open the unit. Once the old failed compressor is exposed, your tech will take what is called a vacuum pump and evacuate the refrigerant from the system. Condensers and heat pumps are highly pressurized with the refrigerant gas, so that is why it is necessary to have this done first. After the refrigerant has been recovered and the system completely pumped down, the tech will next cut out the old compressor. After it has been removed, the new compressor can be seated in the unit and the lines brazed or welded in. The next step in the process is to pump the system back up with the refrigerant. The tech should now run a pressure test to make certain that there are no leaks. Assuming the job was done properly, that’s pretty much that. The time you may pay out to the technician will usually average around $300-$500, as this will also include the charges for the new refrigerant.
Now turn your system on and enjoy the cool air and the savings you made by replacing the compressor and not the whole system.
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