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Faulty PTAC Unit Compressor, Why And How To Fix It?

Faulty PTAC Unit Compressor, Why And How To Fix It?

Compressors for PTAC single-unit systems work well to heat and cool solitary rooms. A PTAC unit compressor, like any other air conditioning device, can malfunction. How can this be fixed? Why would this happen?

The following causes could cause your PTAC unit compressor to cease working:

  • Unreliable Control Board
  • faulty motor
  • defective compressor
  • poorly installed
  • unclean, frozen coils

To learn the causes of your PTAC unit’s compressor failing and how to resolve these issues, keep reading. There are maintenance hints that might improve your compressor’s performance and increase its lifespan.

Why Your PTAC Compressor Is Broken And How To Fix It?

A self-contained heating and cooling air appliance is known as a packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC). It is primarily intended for usage in commercial structures including hotels, apartment complexes, workplaces, condominiums, and medical facilities.

Individual rooms are conditioned with PTAC compressors, which are standalone machines mounted in walls. They save utility expenditures since they are energy-efficient. They don’t require any ducting, therefore they are extremely simple to install.

Your compressor could malfunction, just like other air-conditioning equipment. It may stop blowing air, have shorter conditioning cycles, or occasionally have water leaks, for example, as causes of this.

Following are some causes of your compressor not working and solutions:

Broken Control Board

Faulty PTAC Unit Compressor, Why And How To Fix It?

Your PTAC unit’s control board functions as its brain. The entire device stops functioning when it malfunctions.

There are several potential causes for it to break down. One of the causes is that it deteriorates over time until it ultimately ceases to function. Other causes for the control board to fail are as follows:

  • The circuitry could be harmed by a higher voltage electrical surge.
  • the improper voltage being entered
  • board with broken wires
  • The AC may experience insect damage that results in short circuits.

Control boards can be fixed to make them functional once more. However, a skilled expert should perform this.

Faulty Motor

If your machine generates heat but no airflow, the blower motor may be malfunctioning.

Problems with the condenser or evaporator are also possible.

Your motor’s capacitor, which turns it on, may occasionally be dangerous. You might only need to replace this one thing.

It’s possible that the motor underneath is also damaged. If this is accurate, you will be able to feel its heat when you are close to it. You won’t feel any heat coming from the unit until you step back a few inches.

When the condenser is malfunctioning, the device may cool a room less effectively. When no cold air is blowing, the evaporator might also act in the same manner. These components eventually degrade and stop working. They’ll also need to be replaced.

Defective Compressor

Your PTAC unit’s compressor may last the entire duration. However, it is still susceptible to damage from deterioration and inadequate upkeep.

You can hear odd noises coming from the appliance or see refrigerant leaks when the compressor quits working. Other issues in your device include constrained airflow and insufficient temperatures.

It is best to test the compressor using a multimeter first because it can result in a variety of issues. In this manner, you can identify whether the compressor is the issue or an other associated component.

Compressor diagnosis is simple yet perplexing. A specialist may be required to test it for you.

If it shorts out or is grounded, replace it. Additionally, you can discover that the capacitor is the one with a problem. Another culprit is a pressure switch that is broken. The compressor won’t need to be replaced in this situation; only these components will.

Bad Installation

Faulty PTAC Unit Compressor, Why And How To Fix It?
Electrician repairing air conditioner indoors

A PTAC unit that was improperly fitted could spit water through the grill or blow water droplets. It might also have a moisture leak at the base.

When your unit is cooling, condensation occurs in the coils. The unit’s bottom contains a drain pan where the condensed moisture collects. The pan drains the moisture to the outside when it is placed properly.

When fitted improperly, the fan will blow the moisture droplets onto the floor through the front grill, however occasionally it may also flow out the bottom of the appliance.

The unit tilting too far inwards causes spitting. Try tilting it back into place to correct this. For directions on how to do this, read the handbook.

Additionally, a clogged drain might prevent moisture from evaporating outside. The buildup of dust and dirt may be the cause of this. Clean the drain pan to resolve this and to stop further obstruction.

Filthy Frozen Coils

There’s a good probability you haven’t been cleaning your PTAC’s refrigerant coils when you discover them frozen. Your unit won’t cool correctly if this happens.

Additionally, the condensation of the moisture can cause a leak at the bottom of your unit if it freezes in the drain pan. Uninstall, clean, and reinstall it to fix the issue.

A refrigerant leak could exist in certain circumstances. If you are capable, you can fix it, or you can hire an expert to fix the coils or stop the leak.

Tips For Maintaining Your PTAC Compressor Unit

Most likely, you want your unit to last for a long time. You must clean it at least once every month in order for this to be possible.

Cleaning your unit takes about 30 minutes and is not difficult.

The following maintenance advice can assist you in achieving this:

Clean The AC’s Air Filters

The air filters keep dust and other contaminants out of the room. Because it can shield against allergies and respiratory problems, this is crucial. Filters can become clogged with dirt and debris, which will make your unit’s air conditioning function poorly.

The air filters should be cleaned once a month to maintain efficiency. Start by turning the device off. To remove the loose dirt, take out the filter and vacuum it.

After that, wash it gently with soapy water. Alternately, soak it for about an hour in a solution made of equal parts water and vinegar.

Clean water from a hose should be used to rinse it, then it should be let to dry. After it has dried completely, reinstall it. Throw it away and buy a new one if it is broken.

Keep The Vent Screen Clean

The vent screen stops dangerous particles like dirt and debris from getting inside your device. These contaminants may build up and obstruct your screen. The air that enters your room won’t be clean as a result.

Touching the interior of the device is necessary to clean the screen. To avoid any electric shocks, you should turn off the appliance.

For information on how to access the vent screen, consult the handbook. Vacuum it after opening the front and cleaning it. A cloth works just as well.

Switch on the device and then close it.

Keep The front Clean

Plug the device out. Clean the cabinet front with a moist cloth after replacing it after removing it previously to access the screen vent. Clean the grill as well. Make sure no electrical components come in contact with water while you are cleaning.

Annual Maintenance

Faulty PTAC Unit Compressor, Why And How To Fix It?

At the very least once a year, call a specialist to inspect your appliance. Any problems can be fixed by the professional before they endanger your appliance.

Additionally, deep cleaning it once a year is a good idea. For hospital units in particular, every three months might be preferable in order to hasten patient recovery.


The majority of hospitals, hotels, apartments, offices, and other commercial buildings have PTAC unit compressors. They are favored since they are simple to install and efficient in terms of energy.

Despite these devices’ benefits, they are susceptible to failure for a number of reasons. If you have the necessary expertise, you can address the issue on your own. It is always preferable to call a trained technician, though.

You must keep your PTAC unit compressor in good shape to extend its lifespan by routinely cleaning it and hiring a specialist to do an annual inspection.

Faulty PTAC Unit Compressor, Why And How To Fix It?

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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