One of the biggest challenges for any homeowner is ensuring you’re not over-charged for HVAC services. Since there is no universal air conditioner pricing, an HVAC company can charge whatever they choose. This article was written for homeowners to easily track down an AC compressor cost from an actual AC company that charges fair rates.
Under warranty: A new AC compressor replacement costs $800 to $1,800
No warranty: An air conditioner compressor costs $1,600 to $2,800
Commercial: HVAC compressor replacement costs the average business $2,000 plus.
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AC Compressor Replacement Cost
The compressor in an AC unit is one of the most critical components in your HVAC system and one of the most costly. If you are setting a budget, please keep in mind that the pricing in this article is a good rule of thumb for a basic air conditioner unit that is less than 20 years old. If your system is over 20 years old, an AC unit compressor cost could be higher due to low availability. If you have a high-end multi-stage HVAC unit, look at our SEER and stages pricing section.
AC Compressor Replacement Cost Break Out
|Item||Replacement Part Cost||Labor Cost At $120 Per Hr.||Total|
|Compressor Replacement||$830 - $1,300||$300 - $420||$1,130 - $1,720|
|Acid flush the line set||$50||$40||$90|
|Replace filter dryer||$50||$40||$90|
|Add new freon||$200 - $860||$0||$200 - $860|
|Calibrate AC system||$0||$90||$90|
|1-year labor warranty||$0||$0||$0|
|Total||$1,130 - $2,210||$470 - $590||$1,600 - $2,800|
What is Included in AC Compressor Replacement Cost?
- Pump down and dispose of freon refrigerant
- Acid flush the system
- Removal of current AC compressor
- Install new AC compressor
- Replace filter dryer
- Add new freon
- Calibrate AC system
- 1-year labor warranty
Compressor Type Details
To keep things simple, the example pricing above is for a basic single-stage 14 SEER residential compressor changeout on an HVAC system that is fewer than 20 years old. Most manufacturers use a scroll compressor in this time frame, making getting generic prices for a single-stage air conditioner easy. Pricing will vary significantly for older systems because the parts are no longer readily available. This is also true for multi-stage air conditioner compressors because of the additional level of complexity. There can be a thousand-dollar difference in the cost depending on if it’s still under warranty. If you have a basic air conditioner, you can expect to spend $1,600 to $2,800 for a new AC compressor.
AC Compressor Replacement Cost by Tonnage
Looking at the tonnage of your home air conditioner can give you a better idea of how much a new AC compressor replacement will run. A 2-ton HVAC compressor price will range from $800 to $1,600, while a 5-ton compressor install will run between $1,600 to $2,800.
|Compressor Tonnage||Under Warranty Replacement Compressor||Replacement Compressor|
|2 Ton AC Compressor Cost||$800||$1,600|
|2.5 Ton AC Compressor Cost||$1,000||$1,800|
|3 Ton AC Compressor Cost||$1,200||$2,000|
|3.5 Ton AC Compressor Cost||$1,400||$2,200|
|4 Ton AC Compressor Cost||$1,600||$2,400|
|5 Ton AC Compressor Cost||$1,800||$2,800|
Residential Home Compressor
The cost of a residential scroll compressor replacement will vary based on the size of the system. A 5-ton compressor will cost around $1,000 more than a 2-ton compressor. Keep this in mind if you are trying to set a budget. If you’re unsure of the size of your HVAC system, you can get the model number from the outdoor data plate. From there, you can do a Google search to find the tonnage of your system.
Compressor Replacement Under Warranty
You would think that replacing a compressor would be as simple as removing the old one and slapping in the new one. However, there are quite a few steps to a proper changeout. All these steps start to add up, impacting an AC compressor price.
- Homeowner: AC Unit Compressor Cost Under Warranty – $800 to $1,600
- Homeowner: AC Unit Compressor Cost Not Under Warranty – $1,600 to $2,800
Air Conditioner Compressor Under Warranty
It is standard for the manufacturer to include a parts warranty on an HVAC system at the time of installation. There are two tiers of manufacturing warranties. HVAC equipment usually comes standard with a 5-year warranty. However, if the equipment was registered with the manufacturer after installation, the warranty increases to 10 years. If your HVAC system is less than ten years old, it’s worth looking into the compressor warranty. If your compressor is still under warranty, you can expect a fair A/C compressor replacement cost of around $600 to $1,600.
Air Conditioner Compressor No Longer Under Warranty
If your HVAC compressor has failed, the cheapest solution is to replace it. The cost of an air conditioner compressor replacement for an HVAC unit no longer under warranty will run around $1,400 to 2,800. You will pay the total amount to replace the compressor for an HVAC system no longer under the manufacturer’s parts warranty.
AC Compressor Price By Brand
Did you know that the brand of air conditioner you have can determine how much you pay for a compressor replacement? Depending on the brand, there could be a $1,000 difference in the cost of an AC compressor replacement.
|Compressor Brand||Under Warranty Replacement Compressor||Replacement Compressor|
|Lennox Compressor Cost||$750 - $1,800||$1,600 - $2,550|
|American Standard Compressor Cost||$600 - $1,700||$1,500 - $2,500|
|Trane Compressor Cost||$600 - $1,700||$1,500 - $2,500|
|Carrier Compressor Cost||$600 - $1,600||$1,400 - $2,400|
|Payne Compressor Cost||$600 - $1,600||$1,400 - $2,400|
|York Compressor Cost||$500 - $1,350||$1,200 - $1,800|
|Coleman Compressor Cost||$500 - $1,350||$1,200 - $1.800|
|Rheem Compressor Cost||$700 - $1,400||$1,200 - $1,600|
|Ruud Compressor Cost||$700 - $1,400||$1,200 - $1,600|
|Amana Compressor Cost||$450 - $1,350||Lifetime Limited Warranty|
|Goodman Compressor Cost||$450 - $1,350||$1,000 - $1.500|
Residential Air Conditioner Compressor By Brand
When asking how much to replace the AC compressor, the air conditioning brand is one of the significant indicators of how much it will cost. A new Trane compressor costs between $600 to $2,500, while a Goodman AC compressor costs $450 to $1,500. There could be around a thousand-dollar difference in price. In some cases, an Amana compressor cost is the lowest in the industry because they offer a limited lifetime warranty on some of their systems. If you own an Amana, look into their extended warranty to see if you are still covered. One of the most popular brands many homeowners prefer is Carrier. When it comes to a Carrier compressor, the average homeowner will pay around $600 to $2,400 to get the air conditioner back up and running. One thing to note, every brand has a different warranty and coverage. Do a Google search if you get the model number from the outdoor AC units data tag. You should be able to find out if your air conditioner compressor is still under warranty. If you want to learn about the top 10 air conditioner brands on the market, check out our blog post that covers it in detail.
AC Compressor Price By SEER & Stages
The efficiency of your air conditioner can be a part of how much you spend on a compressor replacement — a high-efficiency multi-stage home A/C compressor cost as much as $3,000.
|3 Ton Compressor Seer Rating||Under Warranty Replacement Compressor||Replacement Compressor|
|14 Seer Single Stage||$1,000||$1,800|
|16 Seer Single Stage||$1,200||$2,000|
|16 Seer Two Stage||$1,400||$2,400|
|18 Seer Single Stage||$1,400||$2,200|
|18 Seer Two Stage||$1,400||$2,600|
|21 Seer Variable Speed||$1,600||$2,800|
|23 Seer Variable Speed||$1,800||$3,000|
Compressor SEER Rating & Stages
SEER rating and stages will impact how much a compressor replacement costs. The more energy-efficient air conditioners have more moving parts and require more freon and larger compressors than a standard single-stage compressor.
High SEER Rating
A higher SEER system requires larger coils to use less energy to cool your home. Larger coils require more freon and a larger compressor to deal with the extra freon. The higher the SEER rating, the more freon is needed, along with bigger and bigger compressors. This is why the compressor replacement cost is so much higher for a high SEER air conditioning system.
Multi-stage compressors are nothing like single-stage AC compressors for several reasons. These compressors are enormous in comparison to single-stage compressors. Consider these compressors not as one compressor but as multiples inside one big one. And you guessed it; a larger, more complicated AC compressor will cost considerably more than a simple single-stage compressor.
Compressor Replacement Vs Outdoor Unit Replacement
If your system is no longer under warranty and is starting to get up in age, consider putting the repair money into replacing the entire outdoor unit. Many homeowners are surprised to find out that it usually doesn’t cost that much more.
|AC Size||Replace Compressor||Replace Outdoor Unit|
How To Know What To Do
Is the compressor still under warranty?
I usually recommend replacing the compressor if it is still under warranty. If your compressor is still under warranty, replacing it’s usually more economical. If it’s under warranty, your system is under ten years old and should have much more life left in it.
How old is your system?
If your home air conditioning system is over 15 years old, you might want to consider a more expensive solution. A significant repair, like a compressor replacement, is already expensive enough, and the last thing you want to deal with is to do another major repair next year, and so on. This is why many homeowners opt to replace the outdoor and sometimes the indoor units.
Are you planning to move in the future?
There are a few scenarios where it makes the most sense to replace the compressor and not invest in a new system, even if the air conditioning system is over 15 years old. An example would be in a house you plan to move out of within a year. Usually, a new air conditioner does not increase the value of your home, so you can limit your cost by doing only the minimum of a compressor replacement.
Is the house a rental property?
A good rule of thumb for a rental property is to assume the tenant doesn’t care about your stuff, including the air conditioner. Many tenants will use and abuse the AC by not changing the filter or scheduling routine maintenance, which causes systems to fail much sooner than usual. Most investors don’t want to overspend on AC, especially when the tenant will turn around and abuse the new system. In this scenario, the goal is to get as much out of the existing system before replacing it to ensure you are not throwing money away.
As a quick disclaimer, my advice is a rule of thumb, and your situation might be a little different. With that out of the way, it can be difficult to tell if your HVAC company is trying to take advantage of the situation, so hopefully, this will help clear up a few things.
If your system is still under warranty, I recommend replacing the compressor, not your entire AC unit. If your system is less than ten years old and has been maintained, you should get a few more good years by replacing the compressor.
If your system is no longer under warranty, that likely means the system is getting older, leading to more future repairs. Consider replacing the outdoor unit or the entire system. A new AC unit costs between $3,000 and $4,200, so you are already halfway there in price. You’ll also get a 10-year warranty which is a better long-term fix.
What Causes A Compressor To Fail
There are a few reasons an air conditioning compressor can fail over time ranging from age to excessive stress to lack of maintenance. There are more than a dozen ways they can fail, but I will cover the most common ways:
- Old age
- Lack of maintenance
- Restriction in the evap coil
- Power surge
We have found that the most common reason a compressor fails is due to age. A compressor around 15 years old is getting worn out and eventually fails.
Lack of maintenance
Many people don’t know that lack of maintenance can kill an air conditioning compressor. When evaporator and condenser coils get extremely dirty, the AC has difficulty cooling your home. It has to run much longer and harder to get your home to the desired temperature, putting extra stress on the compressor, eventually causing it to fail. The same thing happens when the air filter gets too dirty as well. It is essential to change your filters regularly, or you will put a lot of extra stress on your system, causing the compressor to fail prematurely.
Restriction in the evap coil
When particulates get trapped inside the freon line, it causes a restriction in the evap coil inside your indoor unit, which can cause a compressor to fail. It will block the freon from flowing correctly, forcing the compressor to work harder to move it. There is not much you can do to prevent this, but it does happen now and then.
An AC system is more complex than you would think. There is a lot of electronics inside it to make it work. A power surge that takes out a compressor doesn’t occur as often as the other reasons for failure, but it does happen. If an air conditioning system experiences a lot of power influxes, it can cause components to fail, including the compressor. You can add a surge protector to your AC system to reduce the chances of this happening.