What Causes AC Compressor Failure? 3 Main Sources

The compressor is a vital component of your air conditioning system, responsible for circulating refrigerant and facilitating the cooling process. Compressor failure can be a major inconvenience, leading to expensive repairs or even the need for AC replacement. In this blog, we will explore the three main sources that can cause AC compressor failure. Whether you reside in Pleasant Hill, CA or any other location, understanding these causes can help you take preventive measures and ensure the longevity of your AC system.

Here are three main sources that can cause AC compressor failure

Lack of Proper Lubrication:

Proper lubrication is crucial for the smooth operation of the AC compressor. The compressor relies on lubricating oil to reduce friction and prevent excessive heat buildup. When there is a lack of lubrication, due to low oil levels or improper oil circulation, the compressor can experience increased wear and tear, leading to eventual failure. Factors contributing to inadequate lubrication include refrigerant leaks, clogged oil passages, or incorrect oil type. Regular AC maintenance, including checking and replenishing lubricating oil, can help prevent compressor failure due to insufficient lubrication.

Electrical Issues and Overloading:

Electrical problems can put excessive strain on the AC compressor, leading to premature failure. Common electrical issues include voltage fluctuations, faulty wiring, or problems with capacitors and relays. When the electrical supply to the compressor is unstable or interrupted, it can result in overheating and increased pressure within the unit. Overloading the compressor beyond its capacity can also cause damage.

Proper installation by a qualified HVAC contractor in Pleasant Hill, CA, or your local area, along with regular inspections and maintenance, can help identify and address electrical issues to prevent compressor failure.

Refrigerant Imbalances and Contamination:

Refrigerant plays a crucial role in the cooling process, and any imbalances or contamination can negatively impact the compressor. Insufficient refrigerant levels or overcharging can cause the compressor to work harder, leading to increased wear and potential failure.

Contaminants, such as moisture, dirt, or debris, can enter the system, affecting the compressor’s performance and causing damage. Regular AC service in Antioch CA, or your local area, including refrigerant level checks, leak detection, and proper refrigerant handling, can help prevent these issues and ensure the compressor operates optimally.


Understanding the main sources of AC compressor failure is essential for maintaining a properly functioning air conditioning system. Whether you are in Pleasant Hill, CA, or elsewhere, it is crucial to address these causes to avoid costly repairs or AC replacement. Ensure proper lubrication through regular maintenance, address electrical issues and overloading, and maintain proper refrigerant levels and quality.

Hiring a reputable HVAC contractor for AC service, repair, or replacement in Pleasant Hill, CA, can provide professional expertise and preventive measures to keep your compressor running smoothly. By taking proactive steps, you can extend the lifespan of your AC system and enjoy consistent cooling comfort.

If you’ve tried all of the above troubleshooting tips and your AC system still isn’t working properly, it’s time to call in the experts. At Certified Solar, Heating and Air Conditioning, we have trained professionals who can diagnose and repair your AC system. We offer top-notch new AC installation in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, and surrounding areas. Our professionals are equipped with the latest tools and technology to provide fast and efficient service.

If you’re experiencing problems with your AC system, don’t hesitate to contact Certified Heating and Air Conditioning. We offer financing opinions and free estimates for new AC installation in Pleasant Hill. Our professionals are trained to diagnose and repair all types of AC systems. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for all your air conditioning needs.

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