1. Typical Range: $800 to $2,800
  2. National Average: $1,200

On a boiling summer day, the last thing you want is for your home’s air conditioning to malfunction. The fix could be an easy repair or it might require replacing the compressor – which is responsible for cooling off the air in your house. If it turns out that replacing this essential part of AC system has become necessary then most people immediately wonder: how much will my new AC compressor cost?

Repairing an AC compressor can be costly, ranging from $800 to a maximum of $2,800; on average though, the national price for replacing a compressor is around $1,200. That may seem pricey at first glance but it’s still cheaper than installing a new HVAC system. Therefore unless your current system is more than 15 years old, you should strongly consider having the necessary repairs performed by certified professionals in order to gain both short-term and long-term savings!

What Is an AC Compressor?

The compressor in an air conditioner operates by pumping refrigerant through its coils and condenser unit, keeping the liquid under pressure while it passes through. This process pulls heat away from warm air, resulting in a cooler temperature inside your home. Once cooled down sufficiently, a fan then circulates the chillier air throughout all of your vents.

AC compressors can experience a variety of issues, from faulty electrical components to insufficient liquid refrigerant or motor failure. When faced with an irreparable compressor, the only option is replacement—a decision that should be left up to HVAC specialists.

Factors in Calculating AC Compressor Replacement Cost

The expenses to replace a compressor in an HVAC system is typically around the national average of $1,200. Yet, the total cost depends on various factors such as the size and type of your system, its brand name recognition, along with market prices for labor near you.

Compressor Size and Speed

The size of an AC compressor is determined by its BTU and tonnage. Whilst the greater the compressor, the higher it’s initial replacement cost may be – that price changes according to size. A 1.5-ton compressor could typically range between $500-$950 per ton when replacing, while a 5-ton would be cheaper at around $300-$550 per ton! Therefore, even though you’re paying more overall for a larger sized one; it works out less expensive on a “per ton” basis than smaller compressors do.

When deciding on an Air Conditioner, it is important to understand a compressor’s BTU rating as this tells you how much energy the AC unit uses within one hour. The greater the size of the unit, typically means that each BTU will be cheaper when replacement time comes around. For instance, replacing a 1.5-ton AC compressor costs between $0.04 – $0.08 per BTU; for larger 5-ton units cost closer to $0.03 – $05 per Btu and any 3-ton compressors sit somewhere in between these two price points too!

Compressor Type

In addition to other factors, the compressor type in your AC unit will have a significant effect on its replacement cost.

  1. Window unit: For a fraction of the cost, you can easily replace an air conditioning compressor in a window unit for only $100!
  2. Small central AC: For a modest sum of $400, you can have the compressor in your smaller central AC system, like those typically found in apartments, replaced.
  3. Mini-split: Homeowners should be prepared to spend an estimated $800 or more when replacing the compressor in a mini-split AC unit.
  4. Central HVAC: This AC unit is a common sight in many HVAC systems for homes of varying sizes, and the expense to replace its compressor typically hovers around $1,200 – roughly aligned with the national average.
  5. Larger units: Homeowners that have larger households and more expensive air conditioning units should expect to pay up to $2,800 for a replacement compressor.

Refrigerant Type

When investing in a new replacement compressor, you may find that it arrives pre-filled with liquid refrigerant. However, if the HVAC specialist needs to add more of this substance or completely fill up an empty unit, then your overall payment should include an additional fee ranging from $100 -$350 dollars.


If you’re looking to save money while shopping for a new air conditioner compressor, don’t be afraid to opt for generic alternatives. You could save up to $200 depending on your selection! While many of the top-rated AC brands accept non-brand compressors, if your unit is under warranty then it’s better safe than sorry and go with office manufacturer recommendation.


The cost of labor fluctuates from place to place, but generally speaking, the labor expense makes up half of the total bill. Replacing an AC compressor has a price tag ranging between $800 and $2,800; therefore its labor component could be anywhere in between $400 and $1,600. An exception is window units where it usually costs around one hundred to two hundred dollars. Hourly rates for professionals normally range from fifty to 150 bucks per hour.

Additional Costs and Considerations

Before looking for an “air compressor repair near me,” it’s essential to think about the cost factors that can add on to a typical air conditioning compressor repair. Depending on your unit’s brand and size, there are numerous elements you should keep in mind before seeking out the perfect technician. Here are just some of them worth taking into consideration when making this important decision.

Replacement vs. Repair

If the issue is minimal, fixing your compressor may be more budget-friendly than replacing it. Although a standard AC compressor replacement might cost up to $1,200 nationwide, repairs generally range from $100 to $250. However, the best choice between repairing or replacing the unit depends on both how much damage has been done and what caused it – so make sure that you consult with an experienced HVAC technician before making any decisions!

Warranty Coverage

If the AC or HVAC compressor is still under warranty, you may be able to enjoy a significant discount on its replacement cost. Manufacturer warranties generally range from five to ten years, but it’s important that you check your documentation carefully before assuming any coverage. By taking advantage of potential added protection against repair costs, you can save yourself time and money when dealing with system outages!

System Upgrades

As AC compressors approach 15-20 years of use, they may soon be near the end of their life. Homeowners looking for a more efficient unit could consider investing in a heat pump or mini split – though these systems might not work well with every house. For those wanting to upgrade their standard HVAC system, the cost ranges between $1,000 and $10,000; however if it’s just an AC replacement you need then expect around $4,000-$7500.


Unfortunately, AC problems are most common in the warmer months when HVAC technicians are swamped with requests. Fortunately, waiting until the cooler seasons to replace your compressor can provide you a more economical option!

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