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Gowland's Heating & A/C Blog

Does a Burnt-Out Compressor Mean My AC Must Be Replaced?

compressor-in-ac-unit

The “dead compressor” is one of the most feared problems with an air conditioner. The compressor is the most powerful part of an air conditioner, the component that uses the most electrical power to run. It’s also essential for an AC to provide cooling power. If a compressor fails because it burns out, the conventional wisdom is that the part is far too expensive to replace. Instead, professionals must replace the entire air conditioning system. 

But conventional wisdom isn’t always correct. If you’ve wondered if a burnt-out compressor is the end of the line for your AC, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll go into the four different options you have when your air conditioning system’s compressor dies to see which one is best for your situation.

Option #1: Replace only the compressor

As we mentioned above, a compressor replacement is expensive. The cost can run to more than half the price of purchasing a new air conditioner. Since a compressor is more likely to fail in an older air conditioner, it’s simply more cost-effective to go ahead with a new AC.

There’s an important exception to this: when the compressor is still under warranty. A compressor replacement is much less costly if under warranty. If an air conditioner is under 10 years and the warranty is still in place, we recommend replacing just the compressor.

Option #2: Replace the condenser 

The condenser is the outdoor cabinet of an AC and the parts inside: the compressor, the condenser fan, and the condenser coil. If the compressor fails, you can opt to have only the condenser replaced, leaving the indoor components in place. This costs less than a full AC replacement, but we rarely recommend it. Replacing the condenser alone risks a mismatched system that runs inefficiently, and it doesn’t come with a new warranty. 

Option #3: Replace the air conditioner

Replacing the air conditioning system means putting in a condenser and a new indoor evaporator coil, while leaving the rest of the HVAC system in place. This is the most common choice when a compressor that’s no longer under warranty dies. The new system will be optimized with matching indoor and outdoor components so it will work at high efficiency and last for many years. You’ll also receive a new warranty with the system, which is an enormous value all on its own. 

Option #4: Replace the HVAC system

This is the big overhaul: professionals not only replace the evaporator coil and the condenser, but they also put in a new blower and heating system. This is the most expensive choice, but in the right circumstances it can be the most convenient and cost-effective. If your AC and heater are both more than 15 years old, replacing them at the same time and getting a fresh start with your home comfort is often worth it.

You don’t have to worry about making the wrong choice when you call Gowland’s. We offer superb AC replacement and AC repair in St. Bernard, LA, and we can provide you with a professional opinion on what to do with a burnt-out compressor. We won’t upsell you on anything you don’t need because forging great customer relationships is more important to us than immediate revenue.

Gowland’s Heating & A/C believes in “Relationship over revenue!” Call us for AC repair and replacement services in New Orleans and the Surrounding Areas. 

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