Why is My AC Compressor Overheating and Shutting Off? Here are the Answers

If you have been questioning yourself, ‘why is my AC compressor overheating and shutting off?’, it’s pretty common to happen. To help you learn about this, we’ll have this topic covered in this article. Also, you’ll know what you can do to make your compressor back to function again.

As we know, having a cool home with a functioning air conditioning system is a must during the hot summer months.

Can A Bad Capacitor Cause a Compressor to Overheat?

The simple answer is yes! If your air conditioner compressor went terrible due to a certain cause, it might cause the compressor body to overheat. Not only can it be caused by a bad compressor, but other components may also cause overheating, such as a dirty air conditioner filter, a dirty evaporator coil, and a broken capacitor.

why is my ac compressor overheating and shutting off

Aside from making the compressor shut off often, the overheating compressor can be caused by many causes. This will include these aspects as follows:

  1. The condenser coils of your air conditioner have high head pressure. A broken condenser fan, having too much cooler agent, and exposure to heat can cause your air conditioner to be overheating.
  2. Spikes in power and some voltage issues (too low, typically) will also cause the air conditioner to overheat.
  3. Alternatively, the overheating compressor may also be caused due to a low level of cooler in the air conditioner system. If obstacles are causing the refrigerant to be ‘restricted’, it may also cause the compressor to overheat.
  4. It is also said that a broken metering component may cause the compressor to overheat.

When your compressor overheats, you may try to find the root of the problem by troubleshooting this problem. To troubleshoot this AC compressor overheating symptoms, try to check these:

  • Condenser coils or air filter, whether it is dirty or not.
  • Check for any faulty components—a faulty fan, capacitor, metering device, etc.
  • Check whether there are voltage/power issues in your house.
  • Check for any exposure to heat sources.
  • Check the refrigerant. To do this, you may hire someone to do it instead of doing it alone.

In some cases, the compressor may work harder to compensate for a bad capacitor, leading to overheating. This extra effort can disrupt the refrigeration through the system.

Neglecting to maintain the air conditioning system can lead to overheating and low refrigerant levels, resulting in a less efficient unit and higher energy bills.

How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor

Once you know the cause of your overheating compressor, the next step is to understand how AC compressor overheating solutions are. The solution is simple and can be done easily mostly by yourself.

Let’s say you have found the problem after troubleshooting the components as mentioned. Then, you can do these things according to the fault you have encountered.

  1. Unclean filter

If the problem lies in a clogged air filter (mostly due to mud, dirt, or dust), the best solution is to clean this dirt. The buildup will make the compressor overworked since it is pushed to keep the air flowing. This, for sure, will lead to overheating.

  1. Clogged and dirty condenser coils

If this is what you have found, the best solution is to clean the coils, just like the solution in #1.

  1. Low levels of refrigerant

If you have checked everything mentioned above yet cannot find the problem still, then it may be the refrigerant that is low in level. That said, consider calling a technician so that they can fix this.

  1. Voltage issues (too high voltage) or shortened circuit

You can use a multimeter (a digital one) to determine the capacitance to find out the resistance in the circuit.

  1. Your room may also be too big

If your room is too big, your air conditioner compressor may be working too hard. If this happens, the compressor can overheat as a result.

If your compressor stops working due to overheating, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent it from getting worse. An overheated compressor can overheat and shut off, leading to a complete halt in cooling.

So, those are the answer to why is my AC compressor overheating and shutting off. A dirty air filter can lead to short cycling and prevent the refrigerant from absorbing the heat efficiently, so it’s important to have a maintenance visit to ensure that the air filter is properly replaced. Hope you find this helpful article for you.

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AirconMag is an experienced author and Air Conditioner expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of AC unit, including installation, maintenance, and repair