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Home AC Compressor Cost Guide For 2022

One of the biggest challenges for any homeowner is to make sure you’re not getting over-charged for HVAC services. Since there is no universal air conditioner pricing, an HVAC company can charge whatever they can get away with. 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 older than 20 years, an AC unit compressor cost could be higher due to low availability. If you are currently running a high-end multi-stage HVAC unit, look at our Seer and Stages pricing section.

AC Compressor replacement Cost Break Out

Item Replacement Part CostLabor 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?

Remove and install an AC compressor in the outdoor AC unit.
  • 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
The compressor undergoes a great deal of stress during a cooling season in Texas and will need to be replaced once it wears down as a motor does.

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 it easy to get generic prices for a single-stage air conditioner. Pricing will vary quite a bit for older systems because the parts are no longer readily available. This is also true for multi-stage air conditioner compressors because there is another level of complexity added. There can be a thousand-dollar difference in the cost depending on if it’s still under warranty. To give you an idea, if you have a basic air conditioner, I would 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 TonnageUnder Warranty Replacement CompressorReplacement 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
Split AC and heat pump condensers are made of the same basic parts. The compressor, the pump that pushes the refrigerant through your AC system, is one of the most important components of a condenser.

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 replacing a compressor would be as simple as taking the old one out and slapping in the new one. However, there are quite a few steps that have to be taken in order to do a proper change out. All these steps start to add up, impacting an AC compressor price.

Complete AC compressor replacement cost
  • 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

If your compressor is still under warranty, you can expect a fair A/C compressor replacement cost of around $600 to $1,600. It is standard across the board for the manufacturer to include a parts warranty on an HVAC system at the time of installation. There are two tiers to how manufacturing warranties work. They usually come standard with a 5-year warranty. However, if the equipment was registered with the manufacturer when the system was installed, the warranty increases to 10 years. If your HVAC system is less than 10-years old, it’s worth looking into the compressor warranty.

An AC condenser, the outdoor unit of a split air conditioning or heat pump system, houses the compressor.

Air conditioner compressor no longer under warranty

If your HVAC compressor has failed, the cheapest solution is to have it replaced. The cost of an air conditioner compressor replacement for an HVAC unit no longer under warranty will run around $1,400 to 2,800. For an HVAC system that is no longer under the manufacturer’s parts warranty, you will pay the total amount to have the compressor replaced.

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 an AC compressor replacement cost.

Compressor BrandUnder Warranty Replacement CompressorReplacement 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 - $1,350Lifetime 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 if your air conditioner compressor is still under warranty. If you are interested in learning about the top 10 air conditioner brands on the market, check out our blog 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 RatingUnder Warranty Replacement CompressorReplacement 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 cost. 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 Compressor

A multi-stage compressor is nothing like a single-stage AC compressor for several reasons. These compressors are enormous in comparison to a single-stage compressor. Consider these compressors, not as one compressor but 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.

A look inside a condenser, the outdoor unit of a split air conditioning or heat pump system, which houses the compressor.

Replace Compressor Vs outdoor unit

If your system is no longer under warranty and it’s starting to get up there in age, you may want to 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 SizeReplace CompressorReplace Outdoor Unit
2 Ton$1,400$2,992
2.5 Ton $1,600$3,039
3 Ton$1,800$3,250
3.5 Ton$2,000$3,544
4 Ton$2,200$3,600
5 Ton$2,400$3,685

How to know what the right thing to do is

Is the compressor still under Warranty?

If your compressor is still under warranty, it’s usually more economical to replace it. If it’s under warranty, that means your system is less than ten years old and should have a lot more life left in it. I usually recommend replacing just the compressor if it is still under warranty.

How old is your system?

If your home air conditioning system is more than 15 years old, you might want to start considering 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 unit and sometimes the indoor unit too.

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 more than 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. This includes the air conditioner. Many tenants will use and abuse the AC by not changing the filter or scheduling routine maintenance etc., which causes systems to fail much sooner than they usually would. 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 that you are not throwing money away.

Professional Recommendation

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 just the compressor and not your entire AC unit. If your system is less than 10-years old and has been maintained, you should be able to get a few more good years out of it by just replacing the compressor.

If your system is no longer under warranty, that likely means the system is getting older, leading to more future repairs. I recommend considering 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:

  1. Old age
  2. Lack of maintenance
  3. Restriction in the evap coil
  4. Power surge 

Old age

We have found that the most common reason a compressor fails is due to age. Once a compressor gets around 15 years old, they start getting worn out and eventually fail.

Lack of maintenance

Many people don’t know that lack of maintenance can kill an air conditioning compressor. You might be wondering how? When evaporator and condenser coils get extremely dirty, the AC has a hard time cooling your home. It has to run much longer and harder to get your home to the desired temperature. This puts a lot of 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 the freon. There is not much you can do to prevent this, but it does happen now and then.

Power Surge

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.

If you happen to be interested in learning more about an evaporator coil replacement cost or a new central air installation cost, look at these articles. Check out these posts to learn more about an AC unit or furnace replacement cost. If you need an AC repair, give us a call, and we can help. 


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