AC Compressor Replacement Cost in 2023: A Complete Guide

ac compressor replacement cost

For you to learn all about the factors that contribute to AC compressor replacement cost, read this post. An AC compressor may be failing if your home’s air conditioner isn’t working properly. Here are tips on how to save money on an AC compressor.

A lot of information about air conditioners can be found on Linquip’s website. If you need an air conditioner compressor, we can help you find one. Read Linquip’s article “HVAC and Refrigeration Systems” to find out more about Linquip’s capabilities when it comes to these devices.

Is there any experience you have working with them? Linquip offers a wide selection of HVAC and Refrigeration Systems Products that will meet your needs. Do you need any special services for your air conditioner compressor? Would you like a guide if there is a problem with your device? You can access numerous HVAC and Refrigeration System Service Providers for FREE using the Linquip platform. Through Linquip, you can request a free quotation from all HVAC and Refrigeration System Suppliers and Companies for the cost of an AC compressor.

Having issues with your cooling system may make you wonder how much an AC compressor costs. The following sections will explain the factors that contribute to this expense, provide examples of costs, discuss DIY and professional options, and answer common questions.

Basics of AC Compressor Replacement

It can be very frustrating to have problems with your home’s air circulation. In the event of a major issue in your HVAC system, you’ll experience heat right away. The air conditioning compressor is a significant component of your HVAC system, but it is also expensive to replace. 

Compressors in air conditioners pump liquid refrigerant through condenser coils and coils, keeping it under pressure while forcing it through. As a result, the refrigerant draws heat out of warm air, causing the air to cool. A fan blows the cold air into the home through the vents.

The compressor’s motor can malfunction or be faulty due to insufficient liquid refrigerant, leaking refrigerant, or faulty electrical components. In the event that the compressor cannot be repaired, it must be replaced, and this decision must be made by an HVAC professional.

ac compressor replacement cost
Air conditioner compressor (Reference:

Residential AC Compressor Replacement Cost

An average whole-home air conditioner compressor replacement costs about $1,200. However, the cost varies depending on a few components. The main factors that affect your AC compressor’s replacement or repair cost include how large your home is and the type of HVAC system you have.

Replacement vs. Repair

When the compressor is in good working order, repairing it is often less expensive than replacing it. A standard AC compressor costs $1,200 nationally, but repairing one may cost $100 to $250. Based on the extent and cause of the damage, only a professional HVAC technician can determine whether a compressor can be repaired rather than replaced.

What Is the Lifespan of AC Compressors?

The life of an AC compressor depends on where it is located, how well it is maintained, and how often it is used. While AC compressors last 15 to 20 years in the northern parts of the U.S., they can last 8 to 10 years in the south. A regular maintenance schedule, regular checkups, and periodic filter changes will maintain the AC unit’s good health and extend its compressor’s life.

Replacement of an AC Compressor: Factors to Consider

A compressor replacement in an HVAC system generally costs around $1,200, but the final cost depends on the size of the system, the brand and type, and the going rate for labor in the area.

Compressor Size and Speed

Size is determined by BTUs and tons. The larger the compressor, the higher its initial replacement cost, but that price varies depending on its size. The cost to replace a 1.5-ton compressor runs from $500 to $950 per ton, while the cost of replacing a 5-ton compressor ranges from $300 to $550 per ton. As a result, the larger compressor costs less per ton than the smaller compressor, even though it has a higher replacement cost overall.

A compressor’s BTU rating indicates how much energy it consumes within one hour to cool a home. As a general rule, a new compressor will cost less (per BTU) if it is larger. In a 1.5-ton AC unit, replacing a compressor can cost between $0.04 and $0.08 per BTU. The cost of replacing a compressor in a larger 5-ton unit would range more towards $0.03 to $0.05 per BTU, while the cost of replacing a 3-ton AC compressor would be somewhere in between.


Replacement costs will also be affected by the type of compressor in the AC unit.

ac compressor replacement cost
HVAC system (Reference:

Window unit: Replacing the compressor on a window unit could cost less than $100.

Small central AC: A compressor can cost as little as $400 to replace in a small central air conditioner, such as one found in an apartment.

Mini-split: Replacing the compressor in a mini-split AC unit may cost homeowners the equivalent of $800 or more.

Central HVAC: A central air conditioning unit is commonly found in small to medium-sized homes, with a compressor replacement cost right around $1,200 on average.

Larger units: Replacing a new compressor for a large house or high-end air conditioner could cost you up to $2,800.

Refrigerant Type

It is possible that a new replacement compressor comes pre-charged with liquid refrigerant. However, if the HVAC professional needs to add refrigerant or fill the unit from an empty state, expect to pay between $100 and $350 more.


Replacement compressors do not necessarily need to be brand-specific in many cases. It is likely that the AC unit will be fitted with a brand-specific compressor if it is still under warranty.


Most communities charge half of the final bill for labor, but in general, expect it to be between $800 and $2,800 for a complete AC compressor replacement. Labor costs are between $400 and $1,600 for an AC compressor replacement. A window unit compressor replacement typically costs $100 to $200. A typical labor rate is $50 to $150.

Warranty Coverage

Depending on why the compressor went out of commission, the manufacturer may cover the entire cost of replacing the compressor if it was still under warranty. Typically, warranties last between five and ten years, but they do not always cover all costs. You should verify that your compressor is still covered by a warranty to see if you can benefit from it.

System Upgrades

It is common for AC compressors to malfunction around the end of their useful life, which is about 15 to 20 years on average. This is the perfect time to upgrade to a more efficient system, such as a heat pump or minisplit. However, these systems aren’t suitable for everyone’s home, so some homeowners may want to upgrade their standard HVAC system. Purchasing a new central air conditioning unit can cost between $4,000 and $7,500, and replacing an entire HVAC system can cost between $1,000 and $10,000.


It is most likely that your AC compressor will need to be replaced during the heat of the summer. If you wait until later in the fall or winter to replace it, you may be able to get a better deal.

AC Compressor Types

AC units come with a variety of compressors. Although the actual type does not play a significant role in the cost of replacement, it is useful to understand the meaning of the HVAC technician when he mentions one of these compressors.

Scroll Compressor

There is no contact between spirals in scroll compressors, so friction is not created, and no lubrication is required in order to operate smoothly, unlike many compressors. It has its limits, so it is commonly found in small spaces (such as apartments). For the replacement of a small scroll compressor, expect to pay $400 to $800.

Reciprocating Compressor

Reciprocating compressors are piston-driven compressors that compress air via moving pistons. Reciprocating compressors are typically used in large commercial buildings and are noisy when running.

Rotary Compressor

In a rotary compressor, liquid refrigerant is compressed by a roller inside a cylinder. It is relatively efficient at cooling air, and replacing this compressor will cost between $800 and $2,800.

Screw Compressor

In many households, screw compressors are preferred due to the quieter cooling process caused by their spiral screw action. This makes them a popular choice for home use. For an average replacement of a new unit, expect to pay around $1,200, depending on its size and quality.

Centrifugal Compressor

A centrifugal compressor pressurizes and cools the air using high-speed impellers. It is also referred to as a multi-stage compressor because it runs air through multiple cycles before leaving the compressor. There is a cost associated with replacing this type of compressor, so it isn’t found in many homes; it’s typically used for commercial purposes.

Problems Associated with AC Compressors

A compressor is one of the most important components of an AC system, and if you don’t know anything about your compressor, you should learn the signs that indicate it needs to be replaced. Your AC may not need to replace its compressor entirely on a 100-degree day. Sometimes, it just needs to be repaired. Understanding the symptoms of a bad AC compressor will assist you in troubleshooting it.

Dirty Filters

Clogged and dusty filters impede the passage of cool air, thereby slowing the AC compressor.

Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat batteries, sensors, or another issue could be causing your AC to stop working or stop blowing cool air if your AC stops working or is not blowing cool air.

Inconsistent Temperature

Inconsistencies in temperature can occur in different parts of the house when an AC compressor isn’t functioning properly. As a result, the farthest rooms in the house will likely be the warmest. This is because the compressor isn’t strong enough to produce enough cool air to reach the farthest areas.

Compressor Blockage

Your AC compressor can be impacted by something blocking the compressor unit. The compressor should not be obstructed by yard debris, overgrown shrubs, or anything else.

Diminished Air Flow

The compressor often expels weak air as it struggles to produce cool air for the ducts. As a result, temperatures will fluctuate throughout the house, and the AC unit will cycle. It is possible for the compressor to fail to shut off for hours if it is functioning at a deficient level.

Compressor Noise

There is a possibility that loud noises are a sign of a faulty part or a breakdown of the AC unit. 

It is common for residential air compressors to make a low humming sound when running. The loudness of the unit depends on its location-an attic unit often makes more noise than one located outside. The compressor may cause problems if you hear different sounds when the AC is running, such as knocking or rattling.

Excessive Cycling

If the AC shuts off briefly, only to turn back on after a few minutes, it’s an indication that the system isn’t working correctly. The cause could be ducting leaks, open windows, or an old compressor.

Leaking Refrigerant

There are several problems that can result from leaking refrigerant, including a lack of cool air, lack of airflow, frequent cycling, and even a hissing sound if it leaks rapidly. Depending on the cause, the technician may be able to fix the problem fairly easily, after which the refrigerant in the system can be recharged. However, if the problem is caused by a worn-out compressor, the compressor will probably need to be replaced.

DIY vs. Professional AC Compressor Replacement Cost

HVAC unit owners who are knowledgeable about installing and servicing them can save half the cost of replacing a compressor themselves. However, even then, it might not be the best idea to do so. It is ostensibly cheaper for the DIYer to replace the compressor than for a professional technician to charge $1,200 for the compressor itself (plus any needed materials and supplies). Nevertheless, manufacturer’s warranties may not cover problems after installation because the compressor did not undergo professional installation.

ac compressor replacement cost
AC compressor replacement (Reference:

If you replace the compressor yourself and run into a problem, you’ll still need to hire a professional. In addition, if you replace the compressor yourself and run into a problem, you’ll still need to hire a professional to finish the job.

Additionally, in the event that refrigerant has leaked and must be recharged, a licensed professional is required to do the job due to EPA restrictions.

There are few homeowners who know about air conditioners and compressors, which makes it easy for fly-by-night companies to take advantage of them. Taking the time to ask the following questions can help you determine if you’re hiring a company that’s committed to your best interests.

  • Contact your local building authority and find out what licensing requirements exist in your community, and make sure the company’s documentation meets those requirements.
  • There’s no reason to hire a new company, but if you’re not familiar with air compressor prices, you might want to hire one with five or more years of reputable service.
  • A typical guarantee for labor is 6 months to 1 year, and for materials, the guarantee should be 1 year. If the guarantee is 3 months or less, it should raise a red flag.
  • What is the estimated completion time of the job?
  • Can you provide proof of insurance?
  • Are there any referrals you can provide?
  • Is there a service plan available?
  • If there is a warranty or rebate, will you complete the paperwork?

Download PDF for AC Compressor Replacement Cost

Downloading the PDF file will make it easier for you to read and refer to in the future. The following link will get you started with the download. Compressor Replacement Cost

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