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Home /  Appliance Maintenance / How Much Does it Cost to Replace an AC Compressor?
last_updated_date Last updated: August 10th, 2023

How Much Does it Cost to Replace an AC Compressor?

PUBLISHED: Oct , 11 2022 • 6 MINS READ

An AC consists of several parts, and the compressor is the heart of an AC unit. That’s why the replacement of this part is expensive. Usually, an AC compressor replacement may cost you $800 to $2,800, sometimes even higher.


There are a lot of conditions that determine the total cost of AC compressor replacement. But don’t worry! This detailed post will help you understand the expenses of replacing an AC compressor. Keep Reading!

Types of AC compressors & their replacement costs


The AC compressors help control the refrigerant’s chemical reaction and make the indoors comfortable. There are several reasons why the cost of replacing a home AC compressor varies, and the type of compressor you choose is one of them. Here we have listed the four main types and their replacement costs. Take a look:


Scroll compressor

It is a device for compressing refrigerant or air. Many brands install scroll compressors in their ACs. This is because it has fewer moving parts and less torque variation than other types. This equipment is also known as a scroll pump or scroll vacuum pump.

Replacement cost: $400 to $800 + $100 to $150 labor charge


Rotary compressor

This type of compressor uses the rotating action of a roller installed inside. The roller is inside the cylinder, and it compresses the refrigerant. This compressor is also known as a rotary hermetic compressor. This type has fewer parts, making it an efficient option.

Replacement cost: $800 to $2800 + $100 to $150 labor charge


Screw compressor

It is a displacement compressor with rotating screws to compress air. This compressor will work at high efficiency at full load and medium efficiency when partially loaded.

Replacement cost: $1200 + $100 to $150 labor charge


Reciprocating compressor

It is a positive-displacement AC compressor that uses a crankshaft-powered piston and cylinders. A piston compressor uses either a single-stage or a two-stage process to compress air. The air doesn’t change to liquid even with its decreased volume and increased density.

Replacement cost: $400 to $800 + $100 to $150 labor charge

Factors affecting an AC compressor replacement cost


The AC replacement cost depends on several factors, and sometimes the cost may go out of your budget. But, with proper planning and decision-making, you can reduce the total cost.


The AC unit’s capacity is in tons, and the total cost depends on it. Choosing a larger size will cost you more as it can deal with more refrigerant. Go for a bigger unit only if you have larger rooms or space for cooling.


When it comes to a brand, you need to remember a few things. Central AC units work in tandem with similar compressor brands. The compressor’s brand must be an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part or generic. The better the reputation and experience of the brand in the market, the higher the pricing will be.

Types of AC

The cost of the compressor also depends on the AC type. The following list will give you an idea of it.

  • Central AC/HVAC system
  • Ductless Mini-Split AC
  • Dual/Hybrid AC
  • Window AC
  • Floor Mounted AC
  • Portable AC
  • Geothermal AC

Some compressors need lubrication, except the scroll type. Some have more pistons, and some have fewer parts. These differences affect the price too.


Labor costs may vary depending on the circumstances. For example, the place you live, the experience and skills of the technician, and the total time taken for the installation.The average labor charge is between $100 and $150.


While replacing the compressor, you will have to change some of the parts, such as:

Capacitor ($10-$200)

Condenser coils ($400-$1,200)

Fan motor ($300-$600)

Evaporator coil ($700-$3000)

You can always get the inexpensive one if you know the nearby spare parts dealers. Your mechanic can contribute a lot to lowering these expenses as well.


The time of AC compressor replacement is also a significant factor in the total cost. You’ll see an increase in prices during the summer because that is when people need AC the most. The rates are lowest during the months between mid-January and March. And another off-peak time is between late September and November.

When do you need an AC compressor replacement?


You will notice a few obvious signs when the AC compressor needs repair or replacement. And when you see them, take appropriate measures to fix or replace them immediately. If you don’t take the necessary actions, it could affect the entire air conditioner and damage it.Check out the following signs saying you need to replace the AC compressor.

Excessive noise

It is the sign that says, ‘replace your AC compressor.’ When the noise becomes louder, there is a danger of explosion or the parts detaching from the AC. It could harm people nearby. There could be a loose fan, broken cylinder/heat pump, or damaged roller.

Leaking refrigerant

Leaking is another sign of a damaged compressor. It means the rubber seals around the valves and other fittings are wearing out due to age. In this case, the fittings cannot stop the leakage of the refrigerant.

Varied temperature

Have you ever noticed that you set the AC for a lower temperature and felt – the room is still hot? If this happens, you need to consider calling your mechanic. With age, the power and ability of the AC compressor decrease, and it needs a boost. The best way to deal with it is to replace the compressor with a new one.

Other AC compressor problems


Apart from the points mentioned above, there are a few more things you must also look for.

Faulty thermostat

A thermostat’s function is to regulate the temperature as per the need. And when it’s broken, the result is a decrease in the energy efficiency of the AC. Misreading the current room temperature is the biggest issue in this situation. The only way to solve this issue is by replacing the thermostat or the compressor.

Compressor blockage

A clogged compressor or condenser is a bad situation. It will result in the loss of refrigerant, warmer air being released, and other problems. It will be challenging to stay in the room even for 5 minutes. In this situation, you need to turn it off and call the technician.

Dirty filters

Clogged air filters are the worst enemy of AC. If you are not cleaning or replacing the filter immediately, it could cost you more issues. The final result is a high maintenance cost and a decrease in the system’s ability and durability.

Tips to save on AC compressor replacement


Still, people want to know more about the tips and tricks to reduce the total replacement cost. There are a few steps you can take to cut the replacement cost of your compressor, such as:

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Final words

Replacement of AC compressors is necessary after a period of usage. However, there’s no need to worry. You can reduce the total cost with proper planning, maintenance, and insurance of the compressor with a good home warranty company.

Again, the abovementioned tips will help you reduce the cost, but you need to make the right decision at the right time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the Average Cost of an AC Compressor Replacement?


The average AC compressor replacement cost can be between $800 and $2,800. However, you can minimize it by following a few simple maintenance tips.


How Long Does a Home Air Conditioner’s Compressor Last?


The compressor from a reputed brand must last as long as 12 to 15 years. With proper maintenance, you can extend its life.


What Questions Should I Ask the Technician About Compressor Replacement?


There are a few questions that’ll help you understand the professionalism and experience of the technician.

  • How many AC compressors has he replaced to date?
  • Is he certified to do the job?
  • Do the new parts meet the manufacturer’s standards?
  • Is he licensed and insured?
  • What is the backup plan for damage during the job?
  • What does his warranty policy say or include?
  • His payment schedule/procedure/working hours..

Is a Home Warranty Worth it for AC Compressor Replacement?


Home warranties are the best way to secure your house appliances and gadgets. A/C compressors should run for a minimum of 12 to 15 years, and the home warranty ensures it does. It is a win-win deal for both. And don’t forget about the service at your doorstep policy making you more comfortable—save traveling time and cost.


What Are the Ways to Maintain an AC Compressor?


Proper maintenance is the best way to keep your AC compressor in good condition. Replacement of some parts is necessary, and it will keep happening now and then. You can use the following tips to run the compressor for years.

  • Keep a yearly schedule for the technician to visit and do the maintenance work.
  • Change/removing/ the recommended parts as directed by the technician.
  • Choose only OEM parts for replacement.
  • Choose a good home warranty company and insure the products.

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