AC Compressor Replacement Cost – Homeowner’s Guide

AC compressor is one of the most important component of your home air conditioning system. When it broken or malfunction, you’ll probably want to start considering about replacement and how much it may cost you. In this guide, we will give you an accurate information for air conditioner compressor replacement cost.

The average home central AC compressor replacement cost is range from $600 to $1,250 (if the unit is under warranty). The average costs when the unit’s out of warranty is range anywhere from $1,250 to $2,500.

Air Conditioner compressor unit only price is $400 to $1,300, depending on the type, the size and brand. The average labor cost to replace home AC compressor may vary between $350 to $750 depends on your location.

AC Compressor Repair vs. Replacement

The compressor is the heart of your air conditioner unit. It’s the part that caring for circulate refrigerant through the rest of the system. AC compressor problems causes the refrigerant will not move between the indoor and outdoor coils, means your air conditioning system will not cooling the house.

You may heard that a faulty AC compressor refers to replacing the entire system. Is it true?

Let me clarify. The compressor price is very expensive and AC compressor problem usually happen in an old unit. It will be more economical to replace with a new system thats more energy efficient (lower your energy bill). So, the statement is nearly 100% true!

Here are the different options we recommend when your AC compressor fails.

  • Replace just the AC compressor: If your system’s under warranty.
  • Replace the condenser (outdoor unit): If the other outdoor components is fails (compressor, fan, and condenser coil).
  • Replace the whole system: If the unit is no longer under warranty and your system is too old. The cost is 50% or more of a new AC unit.

Factors That Affect The Costs

The total cost of replacing an AC compressor for your home HVAC system is depend on certain factors. These factors include:

Warranty

AC warranties will cover the compressor replacement cost, but not the labor cost. If the compressor is out of warranty, it may be cheaper to replace the entire AC system instead.

How do I know if my AC compressor is under warranty? Check your manuals, if you still have it, or. Every manufacturer used the serial and model numbers to decode the warranty validity.

Compressor type

Compressors come in single-stage, two-stage, and variable-speed models. The two-stage and variable-speed styles are more efficient but also cost more to replace.

Size

The cost of the AC compressor replacement also depends on it’s size. The AC unit’s size are in tonnage. The more size the AC unit, the larger its compressor will be and the refrigerant has to be filled. Refrigerant refills cost $125 to $250, you may have to spend $600 or more for a large R-22 refrigerant.

Brand

Central AC units usually work best when paired with a compressor from the same brand.

Another factor that effect the AC compressor replacement cost is where your live and season. The prices tend to increase during the spring and summer. If you live in a high cost of living, chances are that HVAC contractor pays higher prices for labor.

AC Compressor Cost by Type

The compressor cost will vary quite a bit depending on the type of AC system you have.

TypeCost
Central AC$400 – $1,800
Mini-Split$400 – $1,800
Heat Pump$400 – $1,800
Window Unit $100 – $200

AC Compressor Cost by Size

The size of the compressor is also have an effect on the price you pay for replacement. The bigger the AC system, the more powerful the compressor needs to be.

SizeCost
5$1,650 – $2,750
4$1,500 – $2,500
3.5$1,300 – $2,200
3$1,200 – $2,000
2.5$1,000 – $1,700
2$900 – $1500
1.5$800 – $1,400

AC Compressor Cost by Brand

BrandsCost
Trane / American Standard$450 – $2,200
Goodman / Amana $250 – $1,500
Lennox $450 – $2,000
Carrier$400 – $1,000
Rheem / Ruud $400 – $1,400
York / Coleman$400 – $1,000

The Air Conditioner brand is a large factor in compressor price. I always recommended for homeowner to research the brands before purchasing a new AC unit. Especially their warranty coverage.

Installation Cost

The labor cost to replace an AC compressor is range from $400 to $1,200. HVAC professional service cost is anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, depends on where you live and individual contractor.

There are a few factors which can influence the compressor installation cost. One of them is time, as we mentioned already. The installation time is typically equal to the time to install new AC unit.

Replacing an AC compressor can take at least 6 hours to complete. The time depends on where is located, how easy or difficult is to get to the part.

Even when your compressor is covered through warranty, there are additional parts that may needs to be raplace. Here are some other parts you may need to replace when you face an AC compressor problem: 

  • Fan motor (will cost you $300 to $600)
  • Capacitor (will cost you $10 to $200)
  • Condenser coil (will cost you $400 to $1,200)
  • Evaporator coil (will cost you $700 to $3,000)

There you have it. If you have to pay for compressor + labor, we suggest to replace the entire condenser unit because it would cost just a bit more than replacing the compressor. But if your unit is still under warranty, replacing just the compressor may be the best option.

Conclusion

With the AC compressor replacement cost above, the whole system replacement is an option well worth your consideration. Especially if your unit is older then 10 years. Although it’s more expensive to replace the entire AC system, doing so gets you:

  • A new warranty.
  • Lower combined installation costs.
  • Improved energy efficiency.
  • Potential rebates.

Every homeowners won’t really likes to deal with all the AC compressor replacements and it’s associated costs. Be sure you have a reputable HVAC contractor to run the diagnosis when you get air conditioner problems. Use our FREE HVAC Quotes to get at least 3 quotes from your local contractors. Then you can compare and decide if you need to replace the whole unit according to the above guideline.

About Mas Broto

Have been in the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry for over 20 years. He is person that will grow and thrive to learn more about the HVAC industry throughout his career. Mas Broto is also a blogger, who's dedicated to bringing you the best knowledge to get ahead in the game of life.