How to Reset AC Compressor: A Step-By-Step Guide

Posted: April 24, 2024

In any air conditioning system, the AC compressor is pivotal in maintaining cool air circulation throughout your space. However, like any mechanical component, the AC compressor can encounter issues that may require a reset for proper functionality. This guide will lead you through the importance of your compressor and Air conditioner parts, frequent problems that may require a reset, and a detailed step-by-step procedure for efficiently resetting the compressor.

Importance of a functional AC compressor in cool air circulation

The primary function of an AC compressor is to pressurize the refrigerant, enabling it to absorb heat from the indoor air and release it outside, thus facilitating the cooling process. A properly functioning AC compressor is essential for regulating refrigerant circulation, which is indispensable for the efficient cooling of indoor spaces. In the absence of a fully operational compressor, the cooling capacity of the air conditioning system may be compromised, leading to a reduction in its effectiveness in maintaining cool air circulation.

Why should you reset your AC compressor?

Resetting your AC compressor is necessary to solve a variety of issues that may be affecting its performance. Common reasons for resetting the AC compressor include electrical problems, power surges, and system freezes that can interrupt the compressor's operation. Resetting the compressor may help troubleshoot and resolve these difficulties, guaranteeing efficient cooling in your space.

How long does it take an AC compressor to reset?

Typically, the process of resetting an AC compressor can vary depending on the system's make and model. In general, the reset process for an AC compressor typically takes around 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, the system goes through a reset cycle to address any temporary faults or errors that may have occurred.

Preparing the AC compressor for reset

Before initiating the reset process, it is crucial to prepare your AC compressor adequately. Ensure that the power supply to the unit is turned off to prevent any electrical accidents during the reset. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the specific reset instructions provided in your AC unit's manual to ensure a safe and effective reset procedure.

Steps to reset the AC compressor

  • Power off: Start by turning off the power to the AC unit to ensure safety during the reset process.
  • Wait time: Allow the AC system to sit idle for approximately 5 to 10 minutes to dissipate any remaining energy.
  • Locate the reset button: Find the reset button on the AC unit. This button is often located near the compressor.
  • Press and hold: Press the reset button for about 3 seconds. This action will initiate the reset process for the compressor.
  • Restart: After resetting the compressor, turn the power back on to the AC unit. The system should now be reset and ready to resume operation.
  • Monitor operation: Observe the AC unit for any signs of abnormal operation after the reset. If issues persist, consider contacting a qualified HVAC compressor professional for further assistance.

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How to reset the system manually without the reset button?

If your AC compressor reset button is inaccessible, you can perform a manual reset by following these steps:



Turn off power

Switch off the power to the AC system at the circuit breaker or main electrical panel for safety.

Wait time

Allow the system to remain powered off for 5 to 10 minutes to ensure residual energy dissipates.

Turn on power

After the waiting period, turn the power back on at the circuit breaker or main electrical panel.


Once power is restored, monitor the system to ensure it resets and resumes normal operation.

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Troubleshooting AC compressor if the reset doesn’t work

If the initial reset of the AC compressor does not resolve the issues, may be necessary to diagnose and address the troubleshooting air compressor problems

  • Check power supply: Ensure that the power supply to the AC unit is functioning correctly. Verify the circuit breaker and fuse box to rule out any electrical issues.
  • Inspect connections: Examine the connections to the AC compressor for any loose or damaged wiring that could be affecting its operation.
  • Clean air filters: Dirty air filters can restrict airflow and impact the compressor's performance. Clean or replace the air filters to promote circulation.
  • Refrigerant levels: Insufficient refrigerant levels might cause compressor difficulties. Have a professional check and refill the refrigerant if needed.
  • Capacitor check: Test the capacitor for the compressor to see if it is functioning correctly. Faulty capacitors can hinder the compressor's operation.
  • Professional inspection: If troubleshooting on your own does not resolve the compressor difficulties, consult with an experienced AC compressor repair professional to diagnose and repair any underlying issues. Complex compressor troubles may necessitate the use of professional skills.

Preventive maintenance tips to avoid future compressor issues

To maintain the optimal performance of your AC compressor and prevent future issues, consider the following preventive maintenance tips:

Maintenance tip


Regular filter inspection

Air filters should be checked, cleaned, or replaced regularly to guarantee appropriate airflow and reduce compressor strain.

Coil cleaning

Periodically clean the evaporator and condenser coils to enhance heat transfer efficiency and prevent overheating.

Keep outdoor unit clear

Clear debris, vegetation, and obstructions around the outdoor unit to maintain proper airflow and prevent compressor strain.

Professional inspections

Schedule regular HVAC parts maintenance with a qualified technician to inspect and tune up the system, including compressor checks.

Monitor refrigerant levels

Regularly check and maintain optimal refrigerant levels to prevent compressor damage due to low refrigerant.

Check electrical connections

Inspect and tighten electrical connections to prevent loose wiring that can disrupt compressor function.


Ensure that compressor parts are adequately lubricated as per manufacturer recommendations to reduce friction and wear.

Temperature settings

Avoid drastic temperature fluctuations by setting the thermostat efficiently to reduce compressor workload.

Early issue detection

Address any unusual sounds, odors, or performance issues promptly to prevent minor problems from escalating and potentially damaging the compressor.

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It is critical to keep your air conditioner compressor in good working order if you want to cool your area effectively. Understanding the significance of the AC compressor, following proper reset methods, and doing preventative maintenance will help you keep your air conditioning system functioning efficiently. To avoid serious HVAC compressor failures, consult a skilled technician for complex issues and schedule frequent servicing.

At PartsHnC, we provide an extensive selection of HVAC controls, including thermostats, zone controllers, and other essential components, to ensure optimal performance for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Additionally, we offer top-quality HVAC compressor parts to meet your repair and maintenance needs effectively.


What are the signs of a bad AC compressor?

Signs of a faulty AC compressor include a lack of cool air, strange noises (such as grinding or squealing), visible leaks, and the AC compressor not engaging or turning on.

Why is my air conditioner compressor not working?

Several factors could cause an air conditioner compressor to malfunction, including electrical issues, refrigerant leaks, damaged components, or a faulty compressor clutch.

What should I do if my AC compressor is not engaging?

If your AC compressor is not engaging, check for blown fuses, tripped circuit breakers, or low refrigerant levels. Additionally, inspect the compressor clutch for signs of damage or wear and ensure proper electrical connections.

How can I troubleshoot an AC compressor not turning on?

Start by checking the thermostat settings to ensure the AC is set to cool to the desired temperature. Next, inspect the air filter for dirt or blockages, and clean or replace it if necessary.

How much does it cost to replace an AC compressor?

The cost of replacing the compressor for AC unit varies depending on the unit's brand and model, the level of damage, and labor charges. A typical hvac compressor replacement costs around $500.