Category - Air Conditioning
Guide author photo

Will Scholfield, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 17 Apr ● 3 min read

Air conditioning compressors: function, cost and common issues


An efficient compressor is essential for the life of your air conditioning system, as it contributes to producing the cool air that circulates your home. It comes as no surprise that the compressor, being the heart of the A/C system, is the most costly to replace. 

In this handy guide, provided to you by our specialists at BOXT, we will explain the function of the compressor in an A/C system, the common issues with a compressor and the cost of replacing it. 

We will help you catch those problems early before they become too costly. 

What does the compressor do? 

It is responsible for compressing the refrigerant gas to flow it through the system and remove any heat and humidity from your home. 

The compressor does this by raising the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant. This allows for the refrigerant to flow to the lower pressure, lower temperature refrigerant in the evaporator coil.  

How much does it cost to replace a compressor? 

An air conditioning compressor has a lifespan of around 10-15 years. It is quite costly to replace, with the average cost of replacing a compressor being around £500.

Luckily, problems with the compressor can be detected early with this guide, to prevent you from having to break the bank. The next section will cover the most common issues with compressors and how to solve these. 

Common issues with the compressor

If your room is damp or moist - it’s likely to be an issue with your compressor. The compressor removes heat and humidity from your home, so if this isn’t being removed - you know there’s a problem. 

If you feel that the air is a lot warmer than usual - there may be a problem with the compressor. 

But - don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. Your compressor works with several other components in the system to cool the air. If these components aren’t working as they should be - the compressor will begin to slow down. These issues may need a repair or a simple clean. 

A dirty filter

If your filter is dirty or clogged, this can prevent the air from flowing properly, causing the compressor to slow down. Simply clean the filter using a vacuum or by rinsing it. The filter may even need replacing - but not to worry, this isn’t as costly as replacing a compressor. 

If your filter is in top shape, closely inspect your compressor. 

A blocked compressor

There may be something blocking your compressor. Make sure there is no debris blocking the unit. 

A worn-out compressor

If your air conditioning system is not working as efficiently as it has been, closely inspect your compressor, and you will be able to tell whether it’s broken, worn out or overheating. 

You should always let a professional fix any issues with your air conditioning.

Still having problems? Call BOXT. 

It is always better to get an expert to inspect and fix any issues with your home air conditioning. If you are still having problems with your compressor or have any further questions, you can call us on 0800 193 7777 or message us using our Live Chat service. 

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