Does An Old AC Compressor Turn Gray?

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Everything gets old.  Some things turn gray as they age.

Like this AC compressor.  Poor thing.  Getting old and gray, leaning a bit.  It will only get older as the summer gets hotter.

Actually this AC unit is only 4 years old.  Sure, it shouldn't lean, but that is an installation problem and an easy fix.

But why so gray?

Look under the gray box on the wall.  The white trapezoid near the ground is the dryer discharge vent.  The dryer is about 4' below that cover, just inside that wall.

THIS DISCHARGE IS TOO CLOSE TO THE AC COMPRESSOR!  Why?

Air is drawn in through the fins to cool and discharge heat from the house a bit before the gas gets compressed and super cooled.  The fins are gray, but with dryer lint.  Notice how on the right side of the compressor the fins look a bit darker?  That is opposite the dryer discharge opening.  Less lint gets drawn in over there!  Up close you can actually see little puffs of lint.  But the "gray" color is actually a fine layer of lint all over the fins.

An AC compressor really should be about 12' from a dryer discharge opening.  That minimizes its opportunity to draw in lint and get clogged.  The compressor here is stressed, to say the least.  That will not only affect the efficiency of its ability to cool the house, but also make it age faster.

My recommendation:  When you look at a house, check to see if the dryer vent is blowing too near the AC unit.  If so, make a note!  It may be an issue that comes up later!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Bloggged 1 time:

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  1. Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi 08/11/2010 01:02 PM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Active Rain Block Party
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Professional Home Inspectors
Tags:
dryer venting
ac compressor placement

Comments 17 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,167,177
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

You may be mistaken Nutsy.  It could be a cage as well.  And a pretty secure one at that!

June 21, 2010 07:07 AM
Rainmaker
460,417
Elyse Berman, PA, ABR, GRI, Realtor
Boca Raton, Delray & Highland Beach - 561-716-7824
Realty Associates Florida Properties, Boca Raton, FL

Jay, I've seen this as well.  I always thought gray meant the unit was old.  Thanks for explainiing things.

June 21, 2010 11:56 AM
Rainmaker
1,167,177
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Elyse - in some cases the gray does indicate age, but in this case it was a fine lint blanket!

June 21, 2010 05:16 PM
Ambassador
1,652,583
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi
Palm Harbor Florida Residential Real Estate
Charles Rutenberg Realty

I have actually run across this before! thanks for the great blog!

August 11, 2010 01:01 PM
Rainmaker
1,167,177
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Too close to the dryer vent Barbara-Jo?  It happens more than people think, and some don't realize that it is not a good thing!

August 11, 2010 05:39 PM
Rainmaker
1,167,177

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.