Reasons Why AC Compressor is Not Working

This article aims to provide insight into AC compressors' dysfunctionality while the fan is still working. 

by Alex Hales
Reasons Why AC Compressor is Not Working

The compressor is an essential component of the air conditioning system is the compressor. Its job is to compress the refrigerant fluid while transferring heat from the house. The refrigerant is heated once more, changing it from a gas to a liquid. The temperature of the refrigerant should always be higher than the ambient temperature. The compressor must be properly maintained and functioning for the heat to be transported out efficiently. When the AC isn’t working, the HVAC compressor is usually where the issue originates.

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Reasons for compressor not working but the fan is functional  

A functioning air conditioner will enjoy excellent, pleasant air instead of hot, dry air. The compressor will inevitably malfunction, given how much it runs. The situation of the fan running but not the compressor working is not too dire, so there is no need to worry. Here’s why that might be happening.

Dirty Coil and Filters

The unit may stop working if dirt and debris accumulate in the filters, evaporators, or condenser soil. The evaporator coil stops working due to a drastically reduced airflow caused by a blocked air filter. The compressor is under pressure from clogged condenser coils and air filters, which causes it to overheat. In the best-case situation, the compressor shuts down on its own before being harmed. If not, the compressor might need to be replaced due to the ongoing overheating. To ensure that air may flow freely, clean the condenser coils, change the air filters, and remove any blockages or obstructions in the supply vents.

Capacitor And Starter Relay Problems

Capacitors and starter relays play a crucial role in powering the compressor. They are the primary source of compressor issues. The compressor, blower motor, and outer fan can all be started and operated with the help of the capacitor. The compressor receives electricity from the capacitors via the starter relay. The compressor may be attempting to reach a malfunctioning capacitor when the ac compressor isn’t working yet; the machine is making humming noises. The fact that these are the simplest and least expensive parts to replace is a plus.

Defunct Compressor

Simple problems like a bad capacitor or an overheating component may cause this. With a dead compressor, replacement is the only alternative. Keep in mind that replacing a compressor should be done by a professional.


There’s a strong probability the compressor’s outer unit isn’t getting power if the compressor isn’t working yet and the fan is running. Since the central unit is not experiencing this issue, the fan continues to run. Check the wire securing the two components if the compressor won’t start. The quest is over if it’s a blown a fuse or trip circuit breaker.


Your compressor may not even be the issue here! It can be as simple as adjusting the thermostat. You might be anticipating the start of your air conditioning when the thermostat has been changed.

However, the information from your thermostat indicates that the room is already at the right temperature. In that instance, neither the compressor nor the air conditioner will operate. 

If your AC compressor doesn’t start after changing your thermostat, you may have a defective thermostat that needs a replacement by a service technician. Even though this isn’t the best outcome, it is much more affordable than replacing your compressor.

Incompatible Units

There is an inside system and an outside unit in split systems. These systems have been built and matched to function together. Homeowners frequently attempt to replace just one of the units to save money or because they are unaware of how the system functions.

This mistake may be expensive. There is a reasonable risk that the units aren’t correctly matched if you recently updated your indoor or outdoor system and your air conditioner compressor stops operating. We strongly advise getting in touch with an HVAC expert to assist you in choosing your next move.

Outlived its Service Life

Unfortunately, even the most excellent air conditioners have a limited lifespan. Your AC system may have outlived its usefulness if it is more than ten years old.

Internal parts gradually break down and deteriorate due to persistent wear and tear. It’s not cheap to replace your complete system, as you might imagine. However, it will operate much more effectively, and you’ll spend less each month on energy.

You may experience discomfort because the fan is running even though the AC compressor is not. However, the best course of action is to have an HVAC expert look over the problem for you. Even if the problem is minor, your air conditioner should undergo a thorough inspection to stop more problems. Don’t wait for a problem to worsen; make an appointment with an HVAC specialist to solve the problem. 

Read Also: How to Do it Yourself underfloor heating system

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