If your air conditioner compressor is not working as expected, you might have to start looking for a new one. This article will cover everything you need to know about the typical AC compressor replacement cost, including examples of different types and brands of compressors and other factors affecting the price, such as the size of your AC unit, whether it has a warranty, and the cost of labor.
What is An Air Conditioner Compressor?
The compressor is the heart of your AC unit. This vital component helps keep your home cool and comfortable during the hotter months. The air compressor is placed in the outdoor unit of your AC, and it circulates refrigerants through the coils to facilitate the heat exchange process.
The AC compressor basically powers the air conditioner so it can absorb heat and push back cool air. The larger your home is, the bigger the AC unit (and compressor) you will require. An average 2,000 square feet home usually needs a 4-ton AC unit that consumes about 44,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units).
When Do You Need an Air Compressor Replacement?
There are many issues that can cause your AC compressor to fail, so the first step when considering a replacement should always be to determine the cause of the problem.
When a part or process fails, the only options will be to do a (usually costly) AC compressor repair or carry out a complete AC compressor replacement. Issues that can be fixed include, for example, a clogged air filter, blocked suction lines, or problems with lubricant. Some faults, however, are just impossible to repair and will require a completely new AC compressor.
How Your Air Conditioner Type Affects the Cost to Replace an AC Compressor
- Residential air conditioners can be single-stage, two-stage, or have variable-speed compressors. To do a compressor replacement, you will need to choose a new model of the same type you have. It’s also best if you use an air conditioning compressor of the same brand.
How Much Does an AC Compressor Replacement Cost?
Your AC compressor replacement cost will depend on a few different things, such as the brand of your system, the cost of labor, and the warranty. A new central AC unit usually costs between $3,000 and $12,000, while replacing an AC compressor should range between $2,500 and $3,000.
One thing to consider is that once you replace your AC compressor, you will also have a new warranty coverage (usually lasting between five and ten years). So, if your air conditioning unit is old, it might be worth replacing the whole system.
New AC Compressor Brand
- AC compressor prices vary depending on the brand. For example, Carrier compressors are $450-2,000, Copeland $600-2,300, Lennox $600-2,300, York/Coleman $550-1,500, and Mitsubishi $450-2,200.
Compressor Replacement Labor Cost
- Your AC compressor cost estimation should also include installation costs. These usually make up 30% to 50% of the total price (or between $400-1,200 on average). You can also calculate the labor cost as between $75 and $150 per hour. Do not forget to include any extra necessary parts.
AC Compressor Warranty
- Most AC compressors come with a warranty. You should always check if yours is still covered, but keep in mind most of them will only include parts replacement, not labor. Still, a warranty can cut your AC compressor replacement costs in half.
Can You Replace your Home AC Compressors Yourself?
AC compressors can rarely be repaired on-site. Most of the time, they will require to be replaced entirely. You can’t just pop out the old AC compressor and bolt a new one in. If you want to replace an AC compressor, you will need to call an HVAC professional to do it for you. These components are complex and will require specialized tools and training.
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