AC Components That Need Lubrication During An Air Conditioning Service | Paradise Valley, AZ

If you own an AC unit, you understand the importance of routine maintenance in ensuring it operates efficiently, reduces energy utility bills, and ensures comfort. When the technician comes to your home for an air conditioning service, lubrication is one of the many things they can do. So, what are some of the components of your air conditioning system that the technician will lubricate? How will this help? If you are asking yourself these questions, you are at the right place. In this article, you will learn the parts of your air conditioner which need lubrication and how this will help.


A compressor is like the heart of your air conditioner. It pumps the coolant to allow heat exchange between it and the evaporator coils. Thus, your home will be adequately cooled with an efficiently working compressor. With its many moving elements, the air conditioning service technician must lubricate the compressor for efficient functioning. But what makes the compressor lose its lubrication?

Refrigerant Leaks

In reciprocating compressors, lubrication comes from oil. The oil is stored in the crankcase of your compressor. Here, the oil comes in direct contact with the coolant in its gaseous state, flowing via the suction line. If the refrigerant’s flow rate is high enough, it will naturally sweep some lubricating oil. This movement of oil is a good thing as it helps ensure that every part of the compressor gets enough lubrication. Additionally, most of the lubricant oil remains within the crankcase reservoir. In a well-working system, the refrigerant’s lubricant oil eventually cycles back into the compressor.

However, if your air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak, you should have it inspected by an air conditioning service provider immediately. To begin with, lubricant oil supplies will dwindle gradually. As the coolant escapes via the perforations, it will carry lubricating oil. The remaining refrigerant also picks up new oil flowing through the holes. Since refrigerant leaks could arise at any point in your air conditioning system’s life cycle, you should have routine maintenance, including checking the refrigerant levels.

However, leaks tend to arise in specific areas, including refrigerant lines leading from your evaporator coils. Then the evaporator coils spring a leak or are damaged from corrosion, and loss of lubricating oil happens. You can prevent unwanted lubricant oil loss by ensuring a technician inspects and measures your refrigerant charge when they visit your home for an air conditioning service. If the refrigerant levels are low, the professional will conduct additional tests to determine the location of the leakage, patch it and recharge the AC.

Refrigerant Slugging

Provided the coolant remains gaseous, it will not mix with the lubricating oil. Instead, the lubricant is carried along by the refrigerant velocity, as explained above. But if the refrigerant condenses into a liquid within the compressor, it can mix with the lubricant. A liquid refrigerant should never enter the AC compressor, but it sometimes does. This unwanted refrigerant flow is called slugging and must be addressed by an air conditioning service provider. The liquid coolant will saturate the oil mixture whenever it arises, and the pressure within the crankcase reservoir suddenly drops when the AC compressor turns on.

It reduces the volume of coolant required to maintain saturation with the oil. The remaining coolant vaporizes instantly because of the pressure drop. As this coolant vaporizes, it results in a mixture of liquid coolant and oil, creating a foamy, light mixture. Unfortunately, this will result in the lubricating oil moving out with the coolant. All the lubricating oil could have left the AC compressor within just a short period. This sudden loss of refrigerant oil places the compressor at risk of overheating. If this problem persists, it almost nearly is followed by a blowout. This is among the reasons why a routine air conditioning service is essential.

Pulleys and Belts

When was the last time you had an air conditioning service? Were the AC pulleys and belts lubricated? If they weren’t, you should immediately have a technician lubricate them. The belt is probably the simplest, albeit a critical component of an air conditioner. It is used for transferring rotary energy from one component to the other. Unfortunately, they can be damaged by friction if they aren’t adequately lubricated, making the rubber wear out. Hence, they also require lubrication for your air conditioner’s silent, efficient operation.

Blower Motor and Bearings

The blower motor and its bearings are the other air conditioner components that require lubrication. But what is it? What role does it play in an air conditioner? A blower motor is used to turn the blower fan in the AC unit, causing the outflowing air to circulate from the system and onto various rooms of your home. Therefore, ensuring the air conditioner cools your home to thermostat-set temperatures is critical. Since it is a mechanical rotating component, it must be lubricated during the air conditioning service to prevent overheating and ensure running smoothly. Failure to lubricate the bearings could result in excessive friction, and overheating could damage the start capacitor.

Dampers and Valves

Dampers are used to control airflow in the air ducts and are of different types. Unfortunately, they are among those components that should be noticed or remembered when it comes to maintenance. Dampers should also be cleaned periodically as they collect dust and other foreign materials, inhibiting normal seating of the blades and movement. However, the cleaning schedule should be based on the environment in which your damper operates. Besides cleaning, a seal inspection and lubrication are also required. Your technician should lubricate the linkage pivots and bearings in your dampers during the air conditioning service to ensure they can control the airflow.

We are Your Go-To AC Maintenance Company

Do you need your AC cleaned, lubricated, inspected, or repaired? Contact us at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Phoenix today. You can never go wrong with our services.

See our previous post on this topic here.

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