Your compressor is one of the most important parts of your air conditioning unit. It contains the motor that drives the compression of the refrigerant, without which your AC won't be able to cool your home. In other words, if the compressor fails then so does your air conditioner. Proper air conditioning maintenance of the compressor can help you avoid this problem.
1. Clear the Outdoor Environs
The compressor is located inside the exterior AC unit, which is typically installed next to the house or on the roof. Rooftop units generally have no issues with crowding or debris, but ground-based units can be obstructed by leaf piles, overgrown grasses, weeds, and closely planted shrubs. Not only does the debris from these items get into the unit, which can cause overheating of the compressor, the grasses and shrubs block air circulation around your AC unit. Without proper airflow, the compressor can overheat and break down, so it is important to maintain your landscaping and keep debris well away from your unit.
2. Cover Your AC
Few people use their AC units in winter, but yet the exterior unit is still exposed to the harsh weather outside. This exposure can cause premature wear on the compressor and increase the chances of a breakdown later. An AC cover can help provide some protection. These covers typically cover the top of the unit only so that some air circulation is still available to prevent moisture from collecting inside the unit (which could result in mold). There are also wraps available that are designed to go inside the AC housing and around the compressor. Make sure power is cut to the AC if you choose to cover it so it is not accidentally turned on while it is wrapped up for the off-season.
3. Provide Sun Protection
Summer weather can also be hard on a compressor, especially if the AC is located in an area that receives direct sun exposure. Too much sun results in heat build-up, which can lead to the overheating and failure of your compressor. If your AC is exposed to direct sunlight, install a shade covering to help lower the exposure. Also, have your AC tech turn on the high-pressure switch inside your AC, as doing so can ensure the unit shuts down before damage occurs if the compressor is in danger of overheating.
Contact an AC maintenance service for more information on AC maintenance.