back to blog

AC Compressor Not Working

A properly functioning air conditioner is a necessity during the summer months. So if you’ve noticed that the A/C compressor has stopped working while the condenser fan keeps running, then there is a cause for concern. Because not only is this preventing cool air from running throughout your home, but it’s an issue with one of the most important parts of your home’s air conditioner. Which is why it’s so important to diagnose what exactly is going wrong to prevent the A/C compressor from working. Let’s run through some of the most common reasons an A/C compressor would stop while the condenser fan continues to run, and narrow down what the central issue could be.

What is the A/C Compressor?

Before we diagnose the problem, lets understand what an air conditioner compressor is, and why it’s so important. And to best understand the part the compressor plays in the overall A/C, we need to break down the basics for one of the major thermodynamic principals for how an air conditioner works. In essence, within a fully closed system, as gas expands, both its pressure and temperature will decrease. This also means the inverse is true — if a gas compresses, the temperature and pressure will increase.

Inside of your home’s full air conditioning system, the A/C compressor performs both of these tasks for the air conditioner unit — moving the refrigerant within the air conditioner to expand and contract as needed to change the physical state of the refrigerant back-and-forth from gas to liquid when the material is sent through the evaporator and condenser coils. The condenser fans blow air over the coils while the refrigerant is moved and changed by the A/C compressor to both cool a home and remove heat from the home, which is how an air conditioner functions.

What Could Make the A/C Compressor Stop Working?
  • Check the Thermostat

The first spot you’ll want to look at is in your thermostat. Check to make sure that the settings are still correct — that the system is on, set to “cool”, and that the temperature hasn’t been adjusted. 

If your thermostat is faulty, it may not be sending the correct signals to the compressor to correctly regulate the indoor temperature, causing the condenser fan to run while the AC compressor remains off.  

Check and Clean the Coils and Air Filters

Dirty or clogged coils and filters can cause issues for how well your A/C compressor can function. If your air conditioner condenser coils are blocked by dirt and debris, it becomes more difficult for the unit to expel warm air, causing the A/C compressor to begin to overheat. Once that happens, the compressor will automatically shut itself off. The same issue happens if the air filters around your home are filled with dust — it becomes harder for air to be drawn into the system, causing the compressor to work harder and begin to overheat.

Keeping the condenser coils and air filters clean around the home will help the compressor run and reduce the potential for overheating.

Check the Power to the A/C Compressor

The root of the problem with your A/C compressor not turning on may be that the power isn’t reaching the compressor. Check the central circuit breaker in your home and check to see if any fuses have been tripped. It’s possible that the compressor and condenser fan run on separate circuits, which is why the compressor would be off while the condenser fan continues to run. 

However, when doing any kind of electrical check, make sure to use additional caution. If the issue is more complicated than a tripped fuse, it’s highly recommended to contact a professional to perform a thorough inspection and provide any repairs.

Call in the Professionals 

Speaking of the professionals, it’s possible that there is a more significant issue affecting the A/C compressor. If the compressor is dead, or the A/C is particularly old, or if there’s another mechanical issue inside the system that’s causing issues with the compressor, it’s best to reach out to an HVAC professional that can provide repairs or a replacement for your system.

If you suspect that your A/C compressor is no longer running, or that there is an issue with how your air conditioning system is performing in general, reach out to the HVAC professionals at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling for assistance. With over 30 years of experience, the trained experts at Duane Blanton will have the answers you need to make the most informed decision about your options with your A/C compressor. Reach out today at (815) 781-2567or schedule online using the convenient online scheduling portal, and the technicians at Duane Blanton will help ensure your home continues providing heating and cooling comfort year-round.  

Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling is proud to be a Bryant Authorized Dealer, offering top-quality heating and cooling options to fit the specific needs of Duane Blanton customers. The quality, comfort, and efficiency of Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems’ products naturally aligns with Duane Blanton’s drive to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Ask a Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling expert today about the advantages of upgrading to a new Bryant Heating & Cooling system for your home!


Dave, Mike & Matt were our guys from estimate to installation. All of our workers did amazing work. They were on time, worked efficiently, explained…

Britni S.

Mike and Tim were a great help with my water heater issue. They went over what the problem was, what the solutions were, and did…

Eric B.

Very friendly phone operators. Professional workers. Arrived very quickly and it wasn’t even a serious emergency. Very good communication throughout the whole process with every…

Danielle D.

These guys are WONDERFUL! Especially if you have an older home and old pipes. We have the service package that covers pipes, boiler (heating) and…

Lisa M.

We had water coming through our kitchen ceiling and someone was able to come out same day and identify the problem. Michael B and Aaron…

Meaghan D.
Translate »