The AC pressure switch is a safety switch that is mounted on both the high and low sides of the air conditioning system. It monitors the pressure of the refrigerant on its respective side of the system. There is a high side pressure switch, and low side pressure switch, and they both serve to monitor the system for pressure faults that can damage the compressor.
When the pressure is too low, the compressor risks damage due to running with low oil. When it is too high, the compressor is at risk of overheating and becoming damaged. Depending on which side of the system the sensor is mounted in, when the pressure rises too high or drops too low, the switch will turn off the compressor to prevent damage from occurring. As the pressure switches serve to protect the compressor and rest of the system from damage, they play an important role for the proper function and service life of an AC system, so they should be replaced if they are causing problems. When they begin to fail they will usually display a few symptoms that will alert the driver of a potential problem.