Causes of Compressor Overheat

The most common causes of damage for reciprocating compressors is caused by high suction from bad valves. Carbon buildup, and warps in the compressor valve prevents them from sealing. A common cause is a high compression ration and therefor high head pressure. Any loss of refrigerant or oil can also cause damage to valves. If refrigerant migrates or floods parts that can cause corrosion. Undercharged refrigerant also places a drain on the system. Any Denver air conditioning parts company would love to help replace a compressor, but compressors are designed to work for years. Proper care and maintenance can keep you from compressor repairs.

Compressor overheat is the most serious field problem a HVAC technician will face because of the chance for fire. Compressor overheat is also very common as it is the main moving part in your air conditioner. Poor building design, closed vents and improperly protected parts are the main contributors to early air conditioning compressor failure.

High compression ratio comes from: a combination of high head pressure and low suction pressure. High ratios result in high discharge temperatures. The discharge temperature reflects the hottest part of the refrigeration system and is therefore useful in determining an upper boundary. Denver furnace repair techs will tell you that the AC compressor is often hotter than a heating element. Discharge temperature can be measured by a thermistor about 3-4 inches from the compressor.

Since the compressor’s discharge is superheated coolant, you will want a certified air conditioning repairman to install a special thermostat. There is no direct temperature pressure relationship, so a cold weather experienced HVAC tech is a must. The usual limit for heat in a compressor is 225 degrees F. Prolonged exposure to this type of temperature will lead to failure. Above this the system may start to fail from worn hoses, acid and oil breakdown.

Some things your ac repair company can look out for to minimize air conditioning compressor damage: Restricted liquid lines, undercharged ac lines, plugged filters, and uninsulated suction lines.