How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor

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July and August are the hottest months of the year, and at some point, you may decide to take an off from work and spend time with the family. How to cool down an overheated compressor isn’t rocket science as illustrated further below.

To have fun, you would like to turn on your AC compressor and enjoy some cool air in the house. This article will advise you on cooling down an overheated compressor if you face overheating trouble.

An air compressor is a pneumatic device that is powered by a motor. It takes the surrounding hot air and increases its pressure by reducing its volume.

The air passes through a condenser, and most of the heat is lost when it leaves. As a result, the gas changes into a liquid form and is released to cool the house.

Factories and industries also use air compressors to cool their working rooms when running operations. Unfortunately, the main challenge that has been reported with these amazing devices is overheating.

However, many people may not have clear installation knowledge and appropriate maintenance practices to keep their devices running smoothly.

In this article, you’ll learn how to maintain and install a compressor for your home.

How to Know Your Compressor Has Overheated

How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor
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Before you would learn how to cool down your compressor at home, it’s good to learn the key symptoms of an overheated device;

  • The Compressor doesn’t turn on
  • Cracking noise
  • The circuit breaker trips
  • Smell of burnt oil
  • Gradual wear

1. The Compressor Doesn’t Turn On

You may notice that your compressor doesn’t start normally. Additionally, you may notice that it requires a longer duration than usual to turn on after turning off.

And after turning on, it takes time to get to full operational mode. It indicates that some components are overheated, hence taking longer to cool.

2. Cracking Noise

When the compressor is running, you may hear some cracking noise from the internal components. It’s a clear indicator that your device lacks better lubrication which causes overheating.

Related: AC compressor shuts off after a few minutes

How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor
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3. The Circuit Breaker Trips

The work of the circuit breaker is to regulate the current flowing to the air compressor.  Better current regulation enhances the best performance and quality of the machine.

However, if you notice the circuit breaker tripping in random moments, making irregular switching, some faults with the compressor have been detected. In many cases, it’s caused by overheating.

4. Burnt Oil Smell

Poor lubrication or low-quality lubricants will cause overheating of the air compressor. As a result, due to excessive heat, you will smell some burning oil in the compressor.

5. Gradual Wear

If your air compressor is overheating, you’ll notice gradual wearing out of the internal components. For instance, you may have carried out some maintenance a few days back, and you still notice some performance issues or failures.

Read: Size air compressor for impact wrench

How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor
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Ways to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor

A compressor may overheat for various reasons involving internal components or external reasons. For this reason, the article will discuss each cause and how to solve it.

Here are some causes of overheating in a compressor;

  • Dirty filter
  • Clogged condenser coils
  • High voltage or shortened circuit
  • Oversized room
  • Poor lubrication
  • Low refrigerant levels

Immediately you learn your compressor has overheated, turn off the power supply. Give it time to cool at least 30 minutes and start troubleshooting to solve the problem. Below are the causes discussed and how to solve them.

1. Dirty Filter

A filter separates the air from unwanted materials that may get into the compressor. This debris builds up into the filter and blocks air from getting in with time. As a result, the compressor strains to pump the air, leading to overheating.

Solution: Check and clean the air filter, then install.

2. Clogged Condenser coils

Condenser coils are inside the inlet pipe that extends out of the air compressor.

Due to exposure, dirt and pollutants build up around the coils and hinder the refrigerants from absorbing heat. As a result, the air compressor overworks, leading to overheating.

Solution: Check your condenser coils and clean them.

Read: Best air compressor for construction

How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor
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3. High Voltage or Shortened Circuit

High voltage occurs when one phase carries a lower voltage than the other. When it happens, the compressor overheats. If exposed to overheating, the compressor motor may fail.

Solution: Use a digital multimeter (DMM)  to determine the capacitance and check if there is resistance in the circuit. In another case, if you observe and note the capacitor is cranked, replace it.

4. Oversized Room

There are various compressors in the market meant to cool different room sizes. If your condenser is meant to cool a smaller house than your house, it will overwork to keep the room to your desired temperature.

Solution: Consider installing the appropriate compressor that will cool your house without straining.

5. Poor Lubrication

Your condenser’s lubricants need to be checked and kept to the recommended levels. On the other hand, the air condenser overheats if low-quality lubricants are used.

Solution: If you notice any burning oil smell, you should consider lubricating your condenser with quality oil.

How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor
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6. Low Refrigerant Levels

The refrigerant cools the air to make for release into the room. If your refrigerant levels are low, the air released to the room may be warm. The case of low refrigerant is a result of leaking vents.

Solution:  You need a technician to repair the vents.

How to Cool Down an Overheated Compressor
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FAQs on Overheated Compressors

Should a Compressor be Hot to Touch?

A compressor should be warm or hot. If you check and find the refrigerator is cold, there is a problem. Consider troubleshooting internal components.

How Hot Should an Air Compressor Get?

The recommended compressor temperature is 50 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There is an assurance of well-conditioned internal components with this temperature, free from freezing or overheating.

Which compressor is usually used in AC?

The reciprocating compressor is commonly used in ACs. It has a piston that moves up and down in the cylinder to create a vacuum that sucks refrigerant. The gas is pushed to the condenser for release into the rooms. Reciprocating compressors are very efficient hence widely used. However, regardless of the compressor, you will have to carry out appropriate maintenance practices to keep it running.

Compressors are great devices for our homes to help us evade hot temperatures. But at some point, you may face overheating trouble.

The above methods to cool down an overheated compressor will help you troubleshoot and solve minor issues without a technician. 

Read: Best air compressor for automotive tools