How to choose a compressor (capacity) for a refrigerator?

The compressor of your refrigerator is one of its most significant components. It is both a motor and a pump that effectively increases the unit’s pressure to move the system’s refrigerants. 

Refrigerators are made with delicate components that each contribute to the overall efficiency of the machine. The compressor is one of the essential components responsible for pushing out the hot air to keep the system cool. It must usually come with a separate warranty from the refrigerator unit itself. 

Why would I change my refrigerator compressor? 

There are two reasons why you may want to change the compressor of your refrigerator. 

  1. The old compressor could have gone out and is no longer usable; or 
  2. You want to upgrade your compressor to increase the efficiency of your system. 

In whichever case, you need to be careful in making your purchase. This ensures that your new compressor will work appropriately with your current refrigeration system and produce the results you want. 

How can I choose a compressor for my refrigerator? 

There are various factors that you have to consider while searching the market for a new compressor. As mentioned, refrigerators are made with highly delicate components, and you need to ensure that your replacement compressor matches well with your refrigeration unit. 

The following are the factors that you need to keep in mind: 

  1. Compressor capacity: The capacity of the compressor should be compatible with the temperature and pressure levels of the refrigeration unit. 
  2. Type of refrigerant: Different refrigerators work with different fluids. Individual compressors are explicitly made for certain types of refrigerator fluids. 
  3. Space: This is a crucial factor to consider to ensure that your new compressor is compatible with your refrigerator. 
  4. Economic factor: If you aim for improved power, you can either get a cheap piston compressor or a more expensive screw compressor that is more expensive.
  5. Type of pressure in your system: Your compressor should also conform to your system’s pressure as it indicates the suction and discharge temperature that your compressor should operate in. 
  6. Motor’s efficiency and horsepower (HP): Just like most factors in this list, you also want your compressor’s HP to be directly proportional to the motor’s efficiency. 

Generally speaking, you want to find a compressor that is exactly compatible with your unit, keeping in mind the critical factors named above. 

Tips in choosing your new refrigerator compressor 

  1. If you are just trying to replace the old compressor, you may look for the same model as your old one. The model is located in the data plate of your old compressor. 
  2. For high-pressure systems, you need compressors that operate above 23 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, low-pressure systems warrant compressors that work below -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Lastly, medium-pressure systems need compressors that work in the -4 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit range. 
  3. A compressor may satisfy all the other requirements, but if it has a low HP rating compared to your refrigerator, it is not a good match. 

Types of commercial refrigeration compressors according to application capacity 

  1. Reciprocating commercial compressors: These are compressors appropriate for refrigeration applications with a capacity of 100 tons and above. 
  2. Rotary compressors: Rotary compressors are divided into vane compressors, scroll compressors, and screw compressors. Rotary-vane compressors are appropriate for 5-ton, and below applications, scroll compressors are suitable for 1 to 30 tons capacities, while screw compressors work well with 20 to 750-ton capacities. 

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