A Guide to Copeland Compressors

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Last updated: 
March 23, 2024

Copeland Compressors: Everything You Need to Know


Air compressors have been an integral part of our lives for many years. They owe their popularity partially to the fact that they use air as a primary resource, which is clean, convenient, abundant, and safe. This is why compressors have become a vital piece of machinery in many devices and applications. According to our research, Copeland compressors are one of the best models you will find on the market today. If you have your heart set on buying one, here is everything you need to know about them.

What Is a Compressor and How Does It Work?

A compressor is essentially a refrigerant gas pump in which the evaporator changes the refrigerant gas from low pressure to high pressure via compression. Compressors consist of two main parts: the power source and the compression mechanism, which can be either a piston or a vane.

In simple terms, here's how a compressor works:

  1. Air enters the machine via the piston or vane.
  2. The air's pressure increases while its volume decreases, compressing it.
  3. When the pressure reaches the maximum point set by the manufacturer or operator, a switch prevents further air from entering.
  4. The compressed air is used by the device until it's depleted and the pressure drops.
  5. A reverse switch allows more air to enter, and the process repeats.

This is the typical way air compressors work, and Copeland compressors are no different. They were designed specifically for air conditioning units and are an integral part of the system.

Compressor Performance Factors

When buying a compressor, be aware of the following performance factors:

  • Rotation speed
  • Suction pressure
  • Discharge pressure
  • Type of refrigerant used

While all compressors work similarly, they operate at different capacities due to variations in size, purpose, refrigerant type, and horsepower input. When shopping for a new compressor, always check the machine's characteristics, configuration, operation type, price, and operation cost.

If you're unsure which compressor to buy after checking these specifications, ask the manufacturer for support. Emerson Climate Technologies, the company that produces Copeland compressors, offers excellent customer support to help you purchase the perfect compressor for your needs and budget.

Types of Compressors

The most common types of compressors on the market today include:

  • Rotary: Used primarily in refrigeration machines, these low-capacity compressors feature a single vane sealed against the rotor inside the body, or a multivane rotary with vanes located in the rotor.
  • Centrifugal: These high-speed compressors compress air through centrifugal force and require specific air volumes with low compression ratios. Multi-stage units can be used for higher discharge pressures. Centrifugal compressors are commonly used in water chilling air conditioning and low-temperature refrigeration.
  • Reciprocating: These compressors have pistons that move in cylinders and come in two main types:
    • Open compressors: The crankshaft extends outside the crankcase, allowing for multiple drives. They often have a mechanical seal to check for leaks and can be driven by an electric motor or internal combustion engine. Belt drive allows for speed changes by altering pulley dimensions, while direct drive units operate at motor speed.
    • Hermetic compressors: The motor and compressor are housed together. Welded hermetic compressors have the motor and compressor in a welded steel shell.

Copeland Scroll Compressors

Copeland compressors come in three main types:

  1. Scroll: Known for their reliability, compliance, and cost-efficiency, Copeland Scroll compressors (particularly the ZR and UltraTech Next Generation series) have reached 100 million installations worldwide. The 1-60 HP scroll compressor suits various applications, including commercial and residential air conditioning, refrigeration, and refrigerated transport. Digital scroll compressors enhanced with vapor injection technology are also available, and capacitors can be installed if desired.
  2. Semi-hermetic: The ¼-60 HP DWM Copeland compressors provide a top-notch alternative for systems requiring full temperature performance, including low-temperature evaporating conditions down to -40°F. The Copelametic line is the most famous semi-hermetic Copeland compressor.
  3. Hermetic: Designed to meet evaporating capability needs, these 1/8-5 HP compressors provide cost-efficient solutions. With over 300 models available, you're likely to find one that suits your specific requirements.

Other Copeland compressor types include:

  • Discus: The most energy-efficient Copeland compressor, primarily used for refrigeration.
  • Screw: These rotary, positive displacement compressors feature a main screw and two gaterotors.

Emerson Climate Technologies

Emerson Climate Technologies, the producer of Copeland compressors, is a leading global compressor manufacturer. Although US-based, Copeland compressors are available worldwide, including in the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and India.

All compressors come with a detailed manual to help with installation and use, as well as a cross-reference and troubleshooting guide containing information on compressor type, serial number, model, nomenclature chart, technical specifications, and parts and quality data.

Emerson Technologies' Customer Service provides technical support for replacements, failures, and issues with air conditioners, freezers, or heaters. They also assist with wiring, which can be challenging for first-time users despite the provided wiring diagram. Support is available for controllers, particularly when installing a digital compressor. Warranty information and terms and conditions can be found on their website or by contacting customer service.

The official Emerson Climate Technologies website features a complete catalog and brochures to help you find the right compressor. A distributor locator app is available to find local dealers or distributors in your area. Copeland compressors can also be purchased through resellers such as eBay or Amazon.

Copeland compressors are designed to increase energy efficiency, lower noise levels, and improve durability and reliability. They are environmentally friendly and known for their high performance levels.


Copeland compressors are a reliable, efficient, and versatile choice for various air conditioning and refrigeration applications. By understanding the different types of compressors available and considering factors such as performance, cost, and support, you can select the perfect Copeland compressor for your needs. With a strong reputation and global availability, Copeland compressors from Emerson Climate Technologies are a top choice for both residential and commercial users.


  1. Emerson Climate Technologies. (n.d.). How a Compressor Works. Retrieved from https://climate.emerson.com/en-us/products/compressors/how-a-compressor-works

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