How an Air Conditioner’s Compressor Works

A multitude of businesses and vehicles depend on their air conditioners, not only for the comfort of the passengers inside, but also to maintain a safe temperature range for sensitive components. When considering the air conditioner as it is today, the mechanism at the heart of its design is the compressor. Without this crucial part, the system cannot function. In this article we discuss how air conditioner compressors work and how to avoid damaging the system with wrong maintenance for your use in your operations.

Working Principles

Air conditioners work by removing heat and humidity from indoor air, and then returning the cooled air while transferring the unwanted heat and moisture outside. In this process, the compressor is the instrument which raises the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas and sends it to the condenser coil where it can be converted to a liquid. After this, the liquid refrigerant travels into the evaporator coil where it evaporates and cools the indoor coil. From there, a fan blows indoor air across the cold coil so that the heat inside the building is absorbed and the cooled air may be circulated back around the house.

In particular, the compressor is a type of pump that moves refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser to chill indoor air. As such, the main task of an air conditioner compressor is to raise the temperature and pressure of the vapor refrigerant that leaves the evaporator coil.

AC Compressor Maintenance

Like with any machine, air conditioner compressor maintenance is essential to keeping the component working at its best. If there is something wrong with your air conditioner and/or it seems that the compressor is not working properly, here are some tips you can follow that could get your system up and running again.

1)    Clean your system

Regular cleaning is one of the most important things you could do. To avoid any buildups of dirt, dust, bugs, and more, the compressor and other parts of the air conditioner must be cleaned on a regular basis.

2)    Provide enough space for your outdoor unit

For the portion of the air conditioner unit that leads outdoors, it is important to keep the surrounding area clean and empty for at least 3 feet. Any shrubs, fences, tree limbs, or other blockages must be removed from its immediate surroundings to increase the system’s efficiency and avoid overheating.

3)    Ensure that the temperature is right

When the AC is on constantly but the temperature does not change, when there is frost or ice on the refrigerant coils, or when you hear noise from the refrigerant line, there must be something amiss in your device. To avoid irreparable damage, it is important to take action immediately when any of these signs appear.

4)    Regular maintenance check-ups

Even when there are no noticeable issues, you should set an appointment at least twice a year for AC maintenance. This precautionary process will save a lot in the long run by avoiding costly issues and ensuring the efficient use of power and refrigerant.


Air conditioners rely on their compressor to effectively manage the refrigerant they use to cool indoor air. In order to keep your compressor working optimally, regular maintenance and inspection should be conducted alongside good working practices. Additionally, when you are in need of a new or replacement AC compressor, you can rely on Industrial Gamut for our robust inventory of durable parts. Our parts are regularly subjected to rigorous quality assurance measures, tests, verifications, and assessments to ensure their quality and use for industrial operations. As a result of these diligent practices and our choice to source only from trusted manufacturers on our Approved Vendor List (AVL), we are consistently an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited enterprise that is proud of the reliable items we provide. To learn more about the parts and services we offer, you may contact us at any time!


September 15, 2022

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