rusty old central ac compressor

Compare Central Air Compressor Replacement Cost

Updated: Monday, September 24, 2018
The average cost to replace a central air conditioner compressor is around $645 if the parts are covered by warranty, and approximately $1,280 for replacement and installation without a warranty.

Low Estimate
$460 – $850
Average Cost Estimate
$650 – $1,250
High Estimate
$950 – $1,850
Covered by Warranty?
Yes / No
Compressor Type
Single Stage
Single Stage
Parts Cost
$0 – $250
$0 – $450
$350 – $750
Supplies Cost
$0 – $200
$150 – $200
$225 – $650
Installation Labor Cost
$300 – $400
$300 – $400
$300 – $400

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Note: The comparisons on this page cover the repair and replacement of an HVAC system central ac unit compressor, not a complete outdoor ac unit, or any other major components.

Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro | Web Compare | Shared Pricing

Overview of Central AC Compressor Replacement

One of the integral parts of your central air conditioning system, is the home ac compressor. The compressor is located within the outdoor condensing unit, and without it working properly, your house will not cool off. Replacing the AC compressor is a big project as far as hvac repairs are considered, and if your system is no longer under warranty or over 8 years old, you should also compare the cost a complete ac and coil replacement or just the evaporator coil as well, to see if it makes more sense to replace, versus repairing your home ac compressor.

On this page of, we’ll help you learn about the installation and replacement cost of a home hvac ac compressor. We’ll spell out how your home or product warranty could affect how much you pay, as well as informing you on whether to pay for the compressor repair, or replace the complete ac system. At the end of the page you can compare compressor replacement costs from other leading websites, and review what other homeowners like yourself have paid for their own repairs.

Related Cost Estimates

Parts and Supply Costs

Home AC Compressor Cost Variables

The cost of a replacement compressor for your home AC system is going to depend on a few factors. Most important, is whether or not the compressor is still covered under the manufacturer warranty, since the parts cost and labor are really are you’ll be paying for.

  • Whether Covered by Warranty or Not (Compressor warranty will cover parts cost, but not usually labor)
  • AC Compressor Size (Cooling BTU / Tons)
  • Type of Compressor (Single stage or 2-stage compressors)
  • Consumer Brand Ratings (Higher rated brands, usually equals a higher price parts)

Cost of Installation Supplies

Along with the home AC compressor itself, there may be additional supplies needed. In many cases, these additional supplies are not covered by warranty, even if the central air compressor itself, is covered.

  • $35 – $100 | Copper fittings and connectors.
  • $35 – $75 | Line filter or dryer.
  • $35 – $150 | Contactor, Capacitor, and/or hard start kit.
  • $15 – $25 | Misc silver solder, electrical connectors, etc.
  • $150 – $300 | Refrigerant recharge (R22 or 410A)

Permits and Inspection

  • $0  | Mechanical and Other Inspections
    Since this is a part repair, versus complete system change-out, you are not likely to need a permit or inspection for replacing your home compressor.

AC Compressor Installation Cost and Time

Even when a compressor is covered through your home AC manufacturer warranty, its rare for them to cover the cost of labor and/or diagnostic fees, unless it occurs within the first year of ownership.

  • $59 – $129 | Service and diagnostic fee to determine compressor was bad. (May be credited back to you after repair)
  • $60 – $90 per-hour | Service Technician
  • $60 – $75 per-hour | Service Helper

Completed Installation Time

In most cases, a technician can determine that a compressor is faulty within the first hour of a service call. While some might carry an assortment of 3-5 replacement compressors on their parts truck, many will need to go to a parts supply house to get a specific replacement for your home ac unit. If the compressor is covered by warranty, the part must come from the manufacturer supply house.

  • 2-4 hours | Diagnose, repair with part already on service truck.
  • 4-6 hours | Diagnose and have replacement compressor delivered from the repair company parts runner.
  • 6 hours or more | In cases where it takes the service technician longer than 6 hours to complete your repair. It’s likely that they had to run to the parts house themselves, removed and replaced broken compressor, etc.

DIY or Hire a Pro


In 90% of cases, this is a repair job you’ll have to have an HVAC professional do for you. If the unit is under warranty, a licensed HVAC service company may be required to perform the repair for you in order to handle the warranty paperwork and return the parts. While a DIY’er might be able to handle some of this job, there is simply too many tools and procedures that a handy homeowner is not going to be be prepared for.

  • Requires refrigerant certification. (And refrigerant)
  • Requires trade-specific tools and skills. (vacuum pump, high temp torch, brazing, etc)
  • Must be able to process warranty claims when applicable.

I consider myself an 8/10 on the handyman scale, and I would hire a pro to do this job every time.

I Suggest a Pro, What do you think?

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Compare Costs from Around the Web

To help you compare central ac compressor replacement costs, we’ve compiled a short list of estimated fees from other leading home service websites.

Cost Range
$460 – $1,850
Altitude Comfort $2,500 $2,200 – $2,800
Fast AC Service $1,950 $1,500 – $2,400
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Costs Submitted by Homeowners and Pro’s

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