Table of Contents for this Page
- How Much Does Central AC Compressor Replacement Cost
- Installed Cost of a Central Air Compressor
- Average Total Costs
- Overview of Central AC Compressors
- Central AC Compressor Cost Factors
- Installation Supplies Cost Details
- Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
- Related Projects
- DIY or Hire a Pro for this Project?
- Comparison Costs from Leading Resources
- Common Questions and Answers about Compressor Replacement
Central Air Conditioner Compressor Installed Cost
The average installation cost to have your home ac unit compressor replaced varies, whether the unit is covered by the warranty or not. Under warranty, the average cost is around $840. Without being under warranty, expect the cost to be around $2,940.
AC Compressor installation cost generally includes; Removal and installation of the new ac compressor, all supplies like the capacitor, hard start if needed and refrigerant cost, and disposal of the old compressor.
Central AC Compressor and Replacement
One of the integral parts of your home central air conditioning system, is the ac compressor. The HVAC compressor is located within the outdoor condensing unit, and when it fails your house will not cool off. Replacing the 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 only your home ac compressor.
Note: Many central ac and heat pumps use the same type of compressor. This page applies to both central air and heat pump HVAC compressor replacement costs.
On this page of Costimates.com, 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.
Home AC Compressor Cost Factors
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 AC Compressor and Installation Supplies
Replacement AC Compressor Costs by Brand
The brand name on the side of your central air conditioner has an effect on the cost of replacing your compressor. While most manufacturers use similar parts, not all are the same. Higher quality brand simple cost a bit more.
The average installed cost below includes the compressor parts, replacement refrigerant (if not reclaimed) and all labor and disposal fees.
|Brand||Compressor Cost||Average Installed Cost|
|Carrier / Bryant / Heil||$640 – $1,200||$1,110 – $2,950|
|Trane / American Standard||$590 – $1,420||$1,000 – $3,150|
|Amana / Goodman||$490 – $1,390||$1,145 – $2,850|
|Lennox||$620 – $1,350||$1,230 – $2,850|
|Rheem / Ruud||$510 – $1,160||$1,020 – $2,650|
|York / Coleman||$575 – $1,090||$975 – $2,650|
|Whirlpool / Gibson||$640 – $1,375||$1,190 – $3,120|
Replacement Costs by Compressor Size
Next to the brands above, the size (measured in “tons) of the compressor in your central AC or heat pump unit is going to have an effect on the price you pay for replacement or repair. In basic terms, the bigger the AC compressor, the more it’s going to cost.
The average compressor replacement costs below include parts, refrigerant (if not reclaimed), installation labor and disposal fees.
|Compressor Size (Tons)||Compressor Cost||Average Installed Cost with Labor|
|1.5 Ton Compressor (18,000 BTU)||$420 – $650||$1,220 – $3,150|
|2 Ton Compressor (24,000 BTU)||$500 – $720||$1,300 – $3,650|
|2.5 Ton Compressor (30,000 BTU)||$630 – $810||$1,445 – $3,950|
|3 Ton Compressor (36,000 BTU)||$690 – $1,080||$1,610 – $4,450|
|3.5 Ton Compressor (36,000 BTU)||$740 – $1,160||$1,710 – $4,850|
|4 Ton Compressor (48,000 BTU)||$830 – $1,260||$1,770 – $4,950|
|5 Ton Compressor (60,000 BTU)||$910 – $1,430||$2,210 – $5,250|
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 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.
- $75 – $125 | Reclaiming the refrigerant in unit.
- $150 – $300 | Refrigerant recharge (R22 or 410A)
Permits, Inspection, Installation Labor Costs and Time
Not all states require permits and/or inspections for repair of HVAC units like this. If they are required, your HVAC contractor will let you know and schedule according to your availability.
- $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 Labor Cost and Time
Even when a compressor is covered through your home AC manufacturer warranty, its rare for them to cover the labor cost of an HVAC technician labor and/or diagnostic fees, unless it occurs within the first year of ownership. (Learn more about home warranties, and what they cover) You can expect to pay an average of $830 in labor costs, or somewhere between $420 – $1,400 in labor cost to replace a home ac compressor.
- $830 | Average Labor Cost for an HVAC company to replace your air conditioner compressor.
- $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 Labor Fee
- $60 – $75 per-hour | Service Helper Labor Fee
Completed Installation Time
In most cases, an HVAC repair 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 an approved 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 of labor to complete your repair. It’s likely that they had to run to the parts house themselves, removed and replaced broken compressor, etc.
We’ve found the projects below to be closely related to having the central ac compressor in your home replaced. You can also review all HVAC repair and installation cost estimates.
Pro Reviewed by Greg Robinson, B&E Air
Greg and B&E Air Conditioning and Heating have been serving the Charlotte NC HVAC installation and repair market for over 30 years.
All of the Cost Estimates here at Costimates are reviewed by licensed contractors in their service field. They are checked for accuracy of information, thoroughness, and overall fairness in it’s presentation. Our goal is to provide the best possible information to consumers.
DIY or Hire a Pro
In 90% of cases, this is a repair job you’ll have to hire an HVAC professional to 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.
Compare Costs from Leading Resources
- Home Advisor: $800 - $2,800, Average Cost Range
- HomeServe: $1,300 - $2,500, When Out of Warranty
- HomeGuide: $1,300 - $2,500, Not Covered by Warranty
- Four Seasons HVAC, Oregon: $1,000 - $3,000, Per Unit
- Advanced Air or Florida: $1,350 - $1,800, / Compressor Replacement
- InterCounty Supply: $1,500 - $3,000, Per Unit
Common Questions and Answers
How Long Does an HVAC Compressor Usually Last?
A well maintained heat pump or central ac unit compressor should last the lifetime of the unit itself, or 13-20 years. Early failure of a compressor is usually caused by another issue like an improperly sized system, low refrigerant, refrigerant leaks, power surges or outages that cause a short cycle, etc.
Should I Just Replace the AC Unit Versus Repairing the Compressor?
It really depends on the age of the unit and the cost of the repair. Any time your home HVAC system is more than 8 years old and the repair is more than $500, you should request a unit replacement quote. Expensive repairs on older AC and heat pump condensers can often lead to further repairs.
Are AC and Heat Pump Compressors the Same?
In most cases, yes. A heat pump and central air conditioners use the same compressor type to operate the system. The difference comes in the remaining components like the reversing valve, which changes the flow of refrigerant, depending on whether you want heating or cooling.