Repair your AC vs get a New One: The Checklist

Last Updated on 14 February, 2024 by Sourav Roy

Are you figuring out whether you should repair or replace your air conditioner? My AC guide is everything you need right now! Most breakdown cases call for air conditioner compressor repair. However, several other factors could be blameworthy.

Repair your AC vs get a New One

Repair your AC vs get a New One: Why does this need an independent post? Because your hard-earned money is valuable. There are high chances of you being muddled about it and not have an opinion. It’s not your fault. You’re not an expert at it; I am. My job is to help you, and that’s why I am here. It will be senseless to repair your AC when there is no scope for improvement and replace it unnecessary when a minor repair could fix it. In either case, it’s your loss. And I won’t let that happen.

So, let’s explore the possible solution to every situation. What are the potential obstacles you could face with your AC? You will know that once you are completely aware of all the elements of this cooling appliance.


Components of an Air Conditioner?

Components of an Air Conditioner

Repair or replacement? The answer to this relies a lot on what exactly has gone wrong. Therefore, you must be fully acquainted with the components of an air conditioner.

  • Refrigerant
  • Condenser coil
  • Expansion valve
  • Evaporator coil
  • Air filters
  • Compressor

If you are my loyal reader, you have certainly visited my blog on Air Conditioner not turning on? Follow this Checklist. It has all the details of each element and its functionality. If you haven’t gone through it yet, what are you waiting for?

Here I am with the most common air conditioner problems, the reason behind them, and their easiest solution.

Repair your AC or get a New One? Let’s find out.

Air Conditioner not cooling enough

If your air conditioner is providing inadequate cooling, it can be so troublesome. The thought of sweating profusely despite being indoors is so disturbing. What are the possible reasons and solutions to it?

1 Faulty Compressor

Air Conditioner Faulty Compressor

The compressor is the heart of an air conditioner. A minor fault in it can hamper the cooling tremendously. The most obvious culprit behind your ac not cooling enough is a faulty compressor. In this situation, you have two options- replace or repair the air conditioner compressor.

When to replace the air conditioner compressor?

replace the air conditioner compressor

If your air conditioner unit is aged, certainly the compressor is. The running of the appliance has a direct impact on the compressor. Therefore, as your air conditioner begins to age, the functioning of the compressor starts to slow down. Also, heavy usage of the appliance can result in the wear and tear of the compressor. If your compressor does not turn on at all, your system blows out warm air, or you find the outside unit vibrating; it means the compressor is completely damaged. There is a need for substitution. How much does air conditioner compressors cost? There is no definite answer to this. It varies depending on the compressor type, size, refrigerant and ac brand.

Solution: If your unit is aged, you need to replace it. In any other case, just replace the compressor. Check our blog on the 9 Best Air Conditioners (AC) Under 40000 in India (2024) – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide for some options.

When to repair the air conditioner compressor?

When to repair the air conditioner compressor

Does the circuit breaker trip every time you turn on the air conditioner? Also, poor maintenance and improper installation can damage the functioning of the compressor. Yes, you can hire an experienced professional to repair the air conditioner compressor for you. If you are planning to do it yourself, let me simplify the procedure for you.

  • Step 1: Turn on the air conditioner.
  • Step 2: Monitor the circuit breaker box and check if your air conditioner is getting sufficient power. In case it’s not, flip the breaker off then on.
  • Step 3: Locate the fuse box and make sure it’s in proper condition.
  • Step 4: Remove the refrigerant and then the compressor.
  • Step 5: Remove the expansion valve, receiver drier and orifice tube.
  • Step 6: Drive out all the grime, dirt and debris from the unit.
  • Step 7: Remove the compressor. Use a water hose to loosen all the dirt and clean it up completely. You may also put a rubber pad under the compressor so that it absorbs all the vibrations.

Solution: Repair your air conditioner compressor. There is no requirement for a new unit.


2. Clogged air filters

Clogged air filters of ac

Clogged air filters can tremendously diminish the efficiency of the air conditioner. Air conditioner filters are prone to blockage due to high indoor debris or moisture, or abnormal condensations. Besides affecting the cooling capabilities, clogged air filters can be dangerous in many other ways. It can increase energy consumption by 15% (According to the Department of Energy). It can also cause frozen evaporator coils and disperse unhealthy air. Therefore, do not be negligent on this front.

Solution: New unit? No chance! Open the unit, remove the air filters and clean it. It is as simple as it sounds.


3. Defect in Thermostat

Air Conditioner Defected Thermostat

A thermostat plays a major role in the cooling capabilities of the AC. The component senses the room temperature and hints the compressor to function accordingly. If you observe an erratic cooling with your appliance, you may blame it on the thermostat. There are ways you can fix the thermostat.

  • Begin with checking the thermostat setting. Replace the batteries of the digital thermostat. I would recommend you to do it once in six months.
  • Over a while, the thermostat can malfunction due to dust. Use a narrow brush to clean it.
  • Check the thermostat position. You can adjust it easily by bending the wires that help in placing it right.

Solution: If you have followed the thermostat checklist obediently and your air conditioner is still not cooling, replace it. Don’t waste time sleeping over it.


Air Conditioner Blowing out warm air

The sole reason for purchasing the best air conditioner in the market is so you can have a cool and cosy environment at home. Isn’t it? If your air conditioner is blowing out warm air, it can be so infuriating. Let me tell you what the potential causes of this problem are.

1. Flawed compressor

air conditioner flawed compressor

The compressor’s job is to take all the hot air from inside the room and release it outside. If you find your air conditioner blowing out warm air, you can be sure about the air conditioner compressor has a problem. The situation is likely because of the unit not compressing the gas properly.

Solution: I would highly recommend a replacement in this case. The AC compressor replacement procedure is super simple. You don’t have to worry about it. All you have to remember is the unit needs to be completely clean before the compressor is replaced.

  • Step 1: Burned out compressors are acidic. Hence, you must test the refrigerant.
  • Step 2: Flush out all the contaminants from the system.
  • Step 3: Intoxicate the evaporator and condenser coil.
  • Step 4: Replace the compressor.
  • Step 5: Pump down the system for 20-24 hours.
  • Step 6: Recharge using a virgin refrigerant.
  • Step 7: Check the performance of your air conditioner.
  • Step 8: Give importance to regular maintenance.

The ac compressor cost for home may vary on several factors. I have mentioned them all above.


2. Refrigerant leak

Ac Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak can have a massive strain on the compressor. This situation will thereby result in your air conditioner blowing out warm air. This problem could occur due to a clogged condensation coil or improper installation.

Solution: Attach a dry vacuum cleaner to the clogged condensation coil and remove all the blockage. If this remedy does not solve the problem, replace the filters. Still, facing an issue? Have an expert looked into it? I would recommend you to get the refrigerant leaks checked by a licensed HVAC technician. Be safe than sorry! And then there is no need for you to replace your AC unit.


3. Frozen evaporator coils

Ac frozen evaporator coils

The air conditioner evaporator coils play a major role in extracting all the heat and cooling the room. High moisture formation on the evaporator coil results in it freezing. Frozen evaporator coils can be a culprit in your air conditioner blowing out warm air.

Solution: If you find ice build up on the evaporator coil, do not jump to the conclusion of getting your air conditioner replaced. You will be glad to know how simple it is to defrost it. Please turn off the power and use a hairdryer to thaw coils that have ice formation on them. To be on the safe side, keep the cooling appliance off for the next 24 hours.


Air conditioner making a loud noise

Yes, even when the air conditioner is working, there will be low pitched noise. The AC compressor functioning is responsible for it. A clicking sound after completing a cooling cycle is pretty normal. However, you should take anything beyond that seriously.

1. Bad Compressor

Bad Ac Compressor

Can you hear an exceptionally loud squealing sound? Blame it on a bad compressor. A fault in the motor inside the compressor can be very troublesome. The reason behind the same can be due to the failure of electrical components.

Solution: Here is a piece of good news for you. In this case, you don’t have to replace the compressor. You can get it repaired and at a decent cost. However, when it comes to fixing electricals, I would recommend you not to do it yourself. Get it done by an experienced technician.


2. Loose AC parts

loose Ac fan

We all know that every air conditioner system is made of several tiny parts. Loose fixing in small parts like screws, nuts and bolts; can be a big nuisance. It can cause the whole appliance to vibrate and emit a rattling sound. Besides the mentioned ones, loose fan blades can also cause your air conditioner to make a loud sound. What else? A detached panel.

Solution: Let me be honest with you. You wouldn’t get into this had you been more disciplined about getting your air conditioner serviced periodically. Therefore, take my word on it and get serious about annual maintenance. Identifying the exact problem can be intimidating for you. Hiring a reputable HVAC technician will be the best option for you.


3. Isolation foot damaged

Ac compressor vibration dampener mounts

I know I am repeating this. But the AC compressor is the most integral component of the system. It is mounted on the base of the outside unit. The compressor is held up by rubber feet, which is called isolation feet. Over a while, as your air conditioner begins to age, the rubber on the isolation foot begin to deteriorate. This causes the compressor to be unstable, thereby making the component vibrate and produce noise.

Solution: There are two things here. How old is your air conditioner? As per the Department of Energy, if your unit has crossed 15 years, you should definitely get it replaced with a new one. If not, seek help from an AC technician. Let him decide if the air conditioner compressor repair is possible or it needs a replacement.


Air conditioner causing high energy bills

High energy bills are such a rip-off. We don’t put in all the hard work to earn money for this, right? So the sooner you detect the culprit, the better it is.

1. Damaged compressor

Damaged Ac compressor

An air conditioner is, anyway, the most expensive home appliance, considering the operational cost. If you find your energy bills increase substantially, do not ignore them. It’s a matter of serious concern. A damaged compressor will make the unit work harder to cool the room. Therefore, the unit will utilize more than the required amount of electricity.

Solution: In this case, don’t have second thoughts about replacing the compressor. Repairing may just be a temporary solution. You may be a victim of the same issue again sooner or later. Hence, AC compressor replacement is the best option.


2. Old AC unit

Old AC unit

The harder the unit works, the more electricity it consumes. While evaluating the reasons for high energy consumption, unknowingly, you may not have factored this one. How old is your air conditioner? Every appliance comes with a lifespan. Once it crosses the number of years, the efficiency of the unit begins to deteriorate.

Solution: If your air conditioner is more than 10-15 years old, investing any amount in repairing it will be like putting your money down the drain. The only option you have is to get a new one. If you are looking for a pocket-friendly option, check our blog on the 9 Best Air Conditioners (AC) Under 30000 in India (2024) – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide.


3. Dirty Air Filters

Dirty Ac Air Filters

Dirty air filters can significantly restrict air quality and airflow. Therefore, not cleaning or replacing the filters when required can easily pass on the bacteria, debris, and dust. It can be hazardous to your health. So, it is a must to replace and clean them from time to time. Besides that, when unclean air filters restrict airflow, it makes the unit work harder. So undoubtedly, you will be a victim of outrageous energy bills.

Solution: For optimum results, I would recommend you clean the filters once every fifteen days. I know it sounds like massive work, but isn’t it better than paying those highly unpleasant damages? And what’s more important than your health? You have another option of using replaceable air filters. You can change these filters every 30 days. If you want to dig deeper on this aspect, you can browse through my blog on the Types of Air Conditioner Filters and How They Work.


4. Bad installation

Ac Bad installation

Just as important it is to bring yourself the best air conditioner, a proper installation is also a must. A bad installation will diminish the efficiency of the unit. Low efficiency is directly proportionate to sky-high energy bills.

Solution: It’s an obvious solution, isn’t it? Be sure of who is installing your unit. In most cases, the air conditioner manufacturer will install it. If you have purchased a reliable brand, there’s nothing to worry about. You are in safe hands. Want to get acquainted with the big daddy’s in the business? Don’t miss our blog on the Top AC brands in India and what you should expect from them.


Air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker

Does the circuit breaker trip every time you turn on the air conditioner? It’s the last thing you wish for on a hot summer day!

1. Inoperative compressor

Ac Inoperative compressor

If the electric windings inside the compressor are damaged, they can hit the side of the compressor. As a result, it will cause a direct short to ground and ignite the oil, causing burnouts. Every action has an instant reaction! It will then take a second for your air conditioner to trip the circuit breaker.

Solution: In this situation, there is no scope for repair. You do not have to replace your unit but only the compressor. You are well versed with the air conditioner replacement procedure. Do it yourself or hire a professional to get it done.


2. Bad capacitor

Ac Bad capacitor

If the capacitor is blown out, it can result in a ‘hard starting’ of your air conditioner. It means that the compressor will have a lot of difficulty in starting the unit. And in case of the air conditioner starts, the circuit breaker will trip immediately.

Solution: The situation has to be handled professionally. Barring the capacitor, you will also need an air conditioner compressor repair. Hence, do not attempt to solve this by yourself.


3. An issue with the circuit breaker

Ac Bad circuit breaker

Well, you may feel there is an issue with the air conditioner, and maybe you need to get it repaired or replaced. But guess what! The problem may lie in the circuit breaker. The wires connected to the circuit breaker may be faulty or loose.

Solution: You may need to replace the circuit breaker. However, this is relatively an inexpensive affair. Imagine replacing the air conditioner!


Repair vs Replacement: How do you decide?

Should you repair the air conditioner? Or should you just replace it? Yes, it can be difficult to take this call. It totally depends on the situation. However, in certain circumstances, it is an obvious decision: REPLACE!!! When?

  • Age is not just a number: Sure, your air conditioner can last you for about 15-20 years if you take good care of it. Periodic maintenance can help in extending the lifespan of the unit. However, as per the EPA and Department of Energy, it is best to replace your air conditioner once it crosses ten years. That’s because, beyond a certain timeline, the air conditioners efficiency will drop down exceedingly.
  • Repeated Breakdowns: Is your air conditioner breaking down very frequently despite you fixing all the possible damages? Accept it; you need to replace your unit. Repair is not in your best interest. Rather than spending all that money repairing now and then, just invest in a new air conditioner. Suppose you would like to explore some best options, drop by our blog on the 7 Best 1.5 Ton Split AC in India 2024 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide.

So yes, in these two situations, finding yourself the best air conditioner is your only option. Remember, no second thoughts, please.


One Last Thought

Have you noticed something? A flawed compressor is the culprit of everyone minor or major air conditioner problem. So I wouldn’t be wrong if I say it is the most important component of the unit. Therefore, a compressor being in the best condition is mandatory. Repair or replace it when required. However, when you are considering replacing it, you must factor in the fact that it is an expensive affair. So, investing in a new air conditioner could be more cost-effective than buying a new compressor.

How much do air conditioner compressors cost? Get in touch with me!

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