What to Do When AC Compressor Not Working

A compressor is a vital part of an air conditioning system that is in charge of cooling. Thus, when your AC compressor is not working, your system will not be able to lower the air temperature inside your property. This situation can indeed be frustrating.

At this point, you might be wondering what to do. Is it necessary to call a professional? Can you figure out the reason yourself and fix it? Here are some guidelines:

1.   Check the Power

Is it just the compressor that is not working, or is it the whole system? To find out, you need to check the fan and power indicator light. If the indicator light is on and the fan is still blowing air, then the problem is likely the compressor itself. If the whole system doesn’t work, then the issue might be the electrical system.

2.   Check the Electrical System

If your whole system doesn’t turn on, you need to check the wiring, power outlet, and circuit breaker. Also check other appliances in the house to see if it is just your AC unit that is not working. You might even need to call a licensed electrician to fix the issue.


3.   Reset the Thermostat

Maybe your compressor is not working because your thermostat is failing to signal it. Thus, try changing the battery, resetting it, or maybe just recalibrating it.

4.   Check the Filters and Coils

Dirty filters and coils will block the airflow. Your compressor might still be working at this point, but you won’t feel the cool air because it is blocked inside the system. At this stage, you may also still feel cool air blowing out, but it is not as cold as it should be. However, if this situation continues, your compressor will eventually stop.

Cleaning up your AC unit, especially the coils, can easily resolve the problem. Replacing the filters is also necessary. Even if you are not having any problems, these tasks should be done every six months.

5.   Call a Professional

When you have done all you can but your AC compressor is still not working, then it is time to call a professional HVAC service for help. There are many possible reasons why your AC compressor is not working. Let them do a comprehensive checkup and fix the problem with their skills and expertise.

Signs Before Compressor Completely Stops Working

It is unlikely for AC compressors to shut off suddenly. But sometimes you may notice one of these signs that your AC compressor is about to fail:

  • The AC unit vibrates more harshly when turned on
  • The circuit breaker keeps tripping without any clear reason
  • The output airflow is not as cold as it used to be
  • The machine keeps turning off by itself
  • There are strange sounds when it operates

An AC compressor is the most vital part of an AC unit. It also happens to be the most expensive one. When your AC compressor is not working, chances are you will need to replace the whole unit instead of just replacing the part. Fortunately, running regular maintenance on your AC unit can prevent your AC compressor from dying too early.



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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