I'm trying to find out how small aircon units (window, wall, single
split) switch the compressor.
Does the thermostat switch the compressor directly or is it common to
have a relay inbetween?
Is there a common pattern? Especially with older units?
Thanks for your feedback and best regards,
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There is a relay. We (the HVAC trade) tend to call it a "contactor" at
The thermostat switches power from the transformer to the relay, which
turns on the compressor, Fan motors, and control electronics.
The are common patterns, but all makes are slightly different, so you
must consult the wiring diagram to determine the locations of all
components. Most makes utilize the same components, but are not always
in the same locations in the system.
If you really need to know, you can look at the wiring diagram that came
with your unit. But be careful not to open the electrical panel, there
are exposed wiring contacts and Capacitors that can and will kill you if
you touch them. Even when the power is disconnected!!
If it is broken, you should consider calling a repair company to take a
look at it. If it's just a cheapo window ratteler, you might consider
getting a new unit, since repairs might cost more than a new unit would
set you back.
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