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How much does a home AC compressor replacement cost?

$500 - 1,800
under warranty cost
1,200 - 2,600
not under warranty costs
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Key Takeaways

Average Cost$1,500 – $2,000 for replacement, $500 – $1,200 for repairs
Cost FactorsBrand, type of compressor, labor, whether it’s a repair or complete replacement
Repair SymptomsReduced cooling, strange noises, high electricity bills
DIY PotentialLow due to specialized tools and knowledge required; professional installation recommended
Cost-Saving TipsRegular maintenance, opting for refurbished parts, comparative shopping for services
Recommended MaintenanceBi-annual check-ups, timely repairs, proper installation

AC Compressor Cost: Complete Replacement and Repair Guide

In the world of home comfort, the air conditioning system plays a pivotal role, especially during the warmer months. One of the critical components of this system is the AC compressor, which is essentially the heart of your air conditioner, pumping refrigerant through the system to keep your home cool. Understanding the costs associated with replacing or repairing an AC compressor can help homeowners plan and budget effectively.

Understanding AC Compressor and Its Importance

The AC compressor is crucial as it is responsible for moving refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils, enabling the cooling cycle. Without a functioning compressor, the air conditioning system cannot cool your home. Its efficiency directly impacts your home’s cooling and your utility bills.

Average Costs for AC Compressor Replacement and Repair

Replacement Costs

Replacing an AC compressor is often a significant investment, with costs typically ranging from $1,500 to $2,000, including parts and labor. The cost can vary depending on the type of compressor, brand, and the capacity of your AC unit.

Repair Costs

Repairs might be a feasible option if the compressor is relatively new and the damage is minor. Repair costs can range from $500 to $1,200, depending on the specific issue and parts required.

Factors Influencing AC Compressor Costs

  1. Type of Compressor: Different types of compressors, such as scroll, reciprocating, or rotary, have varying prices.
  2. Brand and Quality: Well-known brands like Carrier, Trane, or Rheem tend to be more expensive due to their quality and warranty offerings.
  3. Labor Costs: Depending on your location and the HVAC technician’s expertise, labor costs can significantly affect the overall price.
  4. Extent of Damage: Minor repairs like replacing a capacitor will cost less compared to replacing the entire compressor unit.

Symptoms Indicating AC Compressor Repair or Replacement

  • Reduced cooling effectiveness
  • Unusual noises during operation
  • Circuit breaker frequently tripping
  • AC unit not turning on
  • Increased electricity bills

These symptoms suggest that the compressor may be failing and requires immediate attention.

Home AC Compressor Cost

Understanding the costs associated with AC compressor replacement is essential for budgeting and planning. The cost can vary significantly based on whether the compressor is still under warranty.

AC Compressor Cost

Replacement TypeTotal Cost
Compressor Still Under Warranty$600 – $1,200
Compressor Not Under Warranty$1,300 – $2,500

Average Cost To Replace AC Compressor

Replacing an AC compressor involves various expenses, from the unit itself to installation costs. Here’s a breakdown of what you might expect to pay on average.

Average Cost To Replace AC Compressor

National Average Cost$1,650
Minimum Cost$450
Maximum Cost$3,500
Average Range$1,000 to $2,500

AC Compressor Replacement Cost

The cost of replacing an AC compressor largely depends on the compressor unit and the labor involved in the installation.

AC Compressor Replacement Cost

FactorAverage Cost
Installation Labor$600 – $1,200
AC Unit Compressor$400 – $1,300
Total Replacement Cost$1,000 – $2,500

Labor Cost To Replace Home AC Compressor

The labor cost for replacing an AC compressor can vary depending on the complexity of the setup and the professional you hire. Generally, it falls within the range provided in the table above.

Cost Factors To Replace Home AC Compressor

Several factors can influence the cost of replacing an AC compressor, including:

  • The type of compressor
  • Accessibility of the unit
  • Geographic location
  • Urgency of the replacement

AC Compressor Prices By Size

The size of the AC compressor significantly affects the replacement cost. Larger units, which are necessary for cooling larger spaces, typically cost more.

AC Compressor Prices

Size In TonsTotal Price
6 Tons$1,650 – $3,000
5 Tons$1,450 – $2,300
4 Tons$1,350 – $2,100
3.5 Tons$1,250 – $1,900
3 Tons$1,200 – $1,750
2.5 Tons$1,100 – $1,600
1.5 – 2 Tons$1,000 – $1,250

AC Compressor Size Calculator

Understanding the right size of an AC compressor for your home is crucial for efficient cooling and operational costs.

BTU (in thousands)Tons Needed
181.5 Tons
242 Tons
302.5 Tons
363 Tons
423.5 Tons
484 Tons
605 Tons
726 Tons

New AC Compressor Cost By Type

Different types of AC units require specific types of compressors, which can vary in cost.

New AC Compressor Cost

TypeAverage Cost*
Central Air$1,000 – $2,500
Mini Split$1,000 – $2,500
Heat Pump$1,000 – $2,500
Window Unit$150 – $700

Central Air vs. Window vs. Mini-Split AC Unit Compressor Cost

The type of AC unit affects the cost of the compressor, with central air systems generally being the most expensive due to their size and complexity. Window and mini-split systems can be more affordable but offer different benefits and limitations.

Heat Pump Compressor Replacement Cost

Replacing a compressor in a heat pump system can be costly due to the dual function of heating and cooling, which places additional demands on the compressor.

Single-Stage vs. 2-Stage AC Compressor

Understanding the differences between single-stage and multi-stage compressors can help you make a better decision for your home’s needs.

Single-Stage Compressor– Cheapest to install<br/>- Easiest to repair– Less efficient<br/>- More costly to run<br/>- Shortest lifespan
Two-Stage Compressor– More efficient<br/>- Less expensive to run<br/>- Better at dehumidifying– More expensive to install<br/>- More costly to repair
Variable-Speed Compressor– Most efficient<br/>- Least expensive to run<br/>- Best at dehumidifying– Most expensive to install<br/>- Most costly to repair

AC Compressor Types

Understanding the different types of compressors can help you choose the right one for your system.


This type of compressor uses pistons driven by a crankshaft to deliver gases at high pressure.


Scroll compressors are known for their efficiency and quieter operation compared to reciprocating compressors.


Rotary compressors are compact and efficient, making them ideal for small to medium-sized systems.


Screw compressors are used in large commercial applications, offering high efficiency and capacity.


These are used in very large AC systems, like those in office buildings or industries, known for their high flow rate and efficiency.

Home Air Conditioner Compressor Cost By Brand

The brand of the compressor can also affect cost significantly due to differences in quality, warranty, and features.

HVAC Compressor Cost By Brand

HVAC BrandCompressor Price*
Carrier$450 – $2,000
Copeland$600 – $2,300
Goodman / Amana$350 – $1,200
Lennox$600 – $2,300
Rheem / Ruud$600 – $1,400
Trane / American Standard / Mitsubishi$450 – $2,200
York / Coleman$550 – $1,500

Window AC Unit Compressor Cost By Brand

AC BrandCompressor Price*
LG$300 – $800
Whirlpool$150 – $500
Haier$550 – $1,050

DIY AC Compressor Replacement: Advisability and Tips

While DIY projects can be tempting to save costs, replacing or repairing an AC compressor is generally not advisable due to the need for specialized tools and expertise. Incorrect handling can lead to more significant issues or void warranties.

How to Save on AC Compressor Replacement or Repair Costs

  1. Regular Maintenance: Regular check-ups can prevent severe damage and extend the lifespan of your compressor.
  2. Refurbished Parts: Consider using refurbished parts for repairs to lower costs without compromising quality.
  3. Comparative Shopping: Get multiple quotes from different service providers to ensure competitive pricing.

When to Opt for Replacement Over Repair

  • Age of AC Unit: If your AC unit is near the end of its typical lifespan (10-15 years), replacement might be more cost-effective.
  • Frequent Breakdowns: Ongoing issues might indicate that it’s more economical to replace the unit.
  • Energy Efficiency: Newer models are more energy-efficient, potentially saving on future energy bills.

Making the Right Choice for Your Home

Choosing between repairing or replacing your AC compressor involves considering both immediate costs and long-term benefits. Opt for a solution that not only fixes immediate problems but also aligns with your home’s long-term cooling needs.

Explore more about HVAC systems and their costs, or understand the prices for different AC brands to make an informed decision tailored to your home’s requirements.

Regular Maintenance to Prevent AC Compressor Failure

Maintaining your air conditioning system can significantly extend the life of your compressor and avoid costly replacements. Here are a few maintenance tips:

Bi-Annual Service

It’s recommended to have a professional HVAC technician service your AC system at least twice a year. These check-ups should include:

  • Checking refrigerant levels: Proper levels are crucial for efficient compressor operation.
  • Cleaning coils and filters: This ensures that airflow is not obstructed, reducing strain on the compressor.
  • Inspecting electrical components: Wiring and connections should be in good condition to prevent electrical failures.
  • Lubricating moving parts: This reduces wear and tear, helping the compressor and other parts move smoothly.

Signs You Need Immediate Professional Attention

Do not wait for a regular maintenance schedule if you notice any of the following:

  • Frequent cycles or longer running times
  • Ice on the compressor
  • Visible refrigerant leaks

These are signs that your compressor might be under stress, and delaying repairs can lead to more significant damage or complete failure.

Choosing the Right Professional for AC Compressor Services

When it comes to repairs or replacements, selecting the right HVAC professional is as important as the technical aspects of the service. Consider the following when choosing a technician:

Certification and Experience

Ensure that the technician is certified by a reputable organization and has extensive experience with AC compressors, particularly with the type and brand of your unit.

Reviews and References

Check reviews and ask for references. A reliable professional should have positive feedback and be willing to provide references from past customers.

Detailed Quotes

A transparent quote detailing the costs of parts and labor can help you avoid unexpected charges. It’s wise to get multiple quotes to compare prices and services.

Warranty and Support

Opt for services that offer warranties on both parts and labor. This can provide peace of mind and protect your investment in the long run.

Long-Term Benefits of Proper AC Maintenance and Timely Repairs

Investing in regular maintenance and addressing repairs promptly can yield significant long-term benefits:

  1. Extended Lifespan: Your entire AC system, including the compressor, will last longer.
  2. Reduced Energy Bills: Efficient systems use less electricity, reducing your energy bills.
  3. Improved Air Quality: A well-maintained AC system provides better air filtration and humidity control, which is crucial for health and comfort.
  4. Fewer Emergencies: Regular maintenance reduces the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns during peak usage times.

Protecting Your Investment in Home Comfort

The air conditioning compressor is a vital component of your cooling system, and understanding the nuances of maintaining, repairing, or replacing it is essential for every homeowner. Whether it’s choosing the right professional for the job or deciding when a repair or a full replacement is necessary, informed decisions can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

For further reading, explore detailed guides on various air conditioner brands and comprehensive HVAC system cost considerations to keep your home comfortable efficiently and economically.

AC Compressor Repair Cost

The cost of repairing an AC compressor varies based on the severity of the issue and the parts needed.

Cost To Fix AC Compressor

FactorsAverage Cost
Troubleshooting Service Call*$75 – $200
Suction Line Filter-Drier$35 – $125
Replace Contactor$20 – $100
Replace Start Capacitor Cost$100 – $250
Compressor Hard Start Kit$100 – $270
R22 Refrigerant Recharge$200 – $600
R410a Refrigerant Recharge$100 – $200
Replace Refrigerant Lines$200 – $650
Refrigerant Leak Detection & Repair$300 – $1,500

AC Compressor Hard Start Kit

A hard start kit can significantly extend the life of your AC compressor by reducing the stress on startup, potentially saving you from costly repairs or replacement.

Residential AC Compressor Leak Repair Cost

Repairing a refrigerant leak in an AC compressor requires specialized skills and equipment, often leading to significant costs depending on the severity and location of the leak.

DIY AC Compressor Replacement

While DIY replacement of an AC compressor might seem cost-effective, it requires specialized knowledge and tools. It’s usually recommended to hire professionals to ensure safety and efficiency.

AC compressor FAQs

What Does An AC Compressor Do?

The AC compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant necessary for heat exchange through the coils of the indoor and outdoor unit. It plays a critical role in the cooling process by increasing the pressure of the refrigerant.

How Long Do AC Compressors Last?

Northern U.S.15 – 20
Midwest and Western U.S.10 – 20
Southern U.S.8 – 10

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of a Bad AC Compressor?

Symptoms of a failing AC compressor include strange noises during operation, the system frequently cycling on and off, and the air conditioner struggling to cool the house.

Can An AC Compressor Be Repaired or Rebuilt?

While some issues can be repaired, rebuilding a compressor is often not cost-effective compared to replacing it, especially considering newer, more energy-efficient models.

Should I Replace My Compressor or Whole AC Unit?

This decision should be based on the age of the unit, the cost of repairs, and the efficiency of current models. Replacing the entire unit might be more economical in the long run.

How Long Does It Take To Replace An AC Compressor?

Typically, replacing an AC compressor can take between 4 to 8 hours, depending on the system and the complexity of the job.

Hiring An AC Compressor Installer

Questions To Ask

When hiring a technician to replace your AC compressor, consider asking the following questions:

  • What experience do you have with AC compressor installation?
  • Are you certified and insured?
  • Can you provide a detailed quote?
  • What warranty do you offer on your work?
  • How will you dispose of the old compressor?

Properly vetting your installer can ensure that your AC compressor is replaced efficiently and reliably, safeguarding your home’s comfort for years to come.

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