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When spring and summer are creeping up in the area, it is essential to do a routine check of your air conditioning unit. If something is wrong, and you feel as if your system is not up to par, compressor failure is one of the main culprits when it comes to problems with your home air conditioning unit. Unfortunately, the compressor for an air conditioning unit is the most expensive part of the unit to get replaced. As one of the major components of your household unit, you can expect a range of higher prices when you need to replace it.

Understanding that the compressor consists of several parts, it is no surprise that it may cost more than expected.  Professionals can help address any problems you may be having with your homes air conditioning unit including diagnosing the problem, so you understand exactly what needs to be repaired.

First, check the warranty on the system.  Many warranties will last between five and ten years.  Most manufacturers may back their new units with a 10-year parts warranty and a labor warranty of one year.  The warranties may cover several parts of the air conditioning system including the humidifier, compressors, coils, thermostats, heat exchangers and internal components of your AC system.

Though it may cover your compressor issue; these costs do not include the labor costs for having someone out to maintain your system, repairs from a non-certified repairman or other parts that do not affect the performance of the system itself unless it falls within one year of installation.  If you discover that your system is still under warranty, which is great!  You will save a lot of money by reaching out to the manufacturer or the company that installed, and they will be able to replace it at little to no cost.

If you find that your compressor is failing after two to 10 years after installation, the compressor is still considered to be under warranty but, the labor costs may need to be paid by you.  Labor itself may cost upwards of $1,500 or more depending on the air conditioning unit and location, but it’s always best to call or request an online quote when going this route.

It is important to note that some air conditioning manufacturers may not honor the warranty claims if the unit has neglected or lacking in maintenance over the period after installation.


There are many factors when it comes to replacing the compressor of your home’s air conditioning system.  As mentioned above, the warranty will determine if you are paying a fraction of the cost compared to what you would pay if your warranty is expired.

  • The air conditioning compressor size
  • Type of compressor used in your home’s system
  • Consumer rating of the brand of your system

There are several sizes of compressors depending on the size of your home and what it requires to cool it.  Cooling BTU / Tons is just one variable that will factor in the total cost.

Next, is the type of compressor used within the AC unit; there are two types: a single stage or a two-stage compressor.  Looking at the price difference between the two, the average cost of a single stage can be up to 300$ less than what would cost for a two-stage compressor.

Finally, we see that consumer rating of the brand can play a role in the cost.  Brands that are rated higher may also require higher costing parts.


There are additional supplies that are needed when it comes to fixing your AC system.  Even if the warranty is covering the compressor itself, the supplies that are necessary to do the job are still required such as copper fittings and connectors, line filter or dryer, contactor, capacitor and hard start kit, electrical connectors or miscellaneous silver solder and recharging or replacement of the refrigerant.

On the low side, an estimate of above items is around $270, and on the high side, you are looking to spend about $650 on supplies alone.


Unless the compressor fails within the first year of installation, you’ll be paying installation costs.  To determine that the issue with the AC unit is truly the compressor, a service fee on average is around $120.  After that, a service technician or service helper may charge anywhere from $60-$90 per hour.

Depending on your technicians available stock they have with them, this can factor into how long it takes the replacement and installation of the compressor.  On the low end, with all parts of the service truck, this job can be done between two to four hours.

If the compressor is still under warranty, it must come straight from the manufacturer’s supply which may include having it delivered at the job site taking anywhere from four to six hours.  If the installation time is looking to be around six hours or longer, it may be because the technician had to remove the compressor, go to fetch the parts needed to complete the job as well as come back to your home to finish installing the new compressor.

If the compressor within the unit goes out around seven to eight years after it was installed, but coils and condenser remain in good shape, it is only a matter of time until the entire unit will need to removed and replaced with another.  Consider the labor costs and the age of the system; if it is close to being rendered useless, and you’ll have to replace it anyway, it may be time to look into getting an entirely new system if your budget allows for it.


If you find yourself in the position nearing the end of the lifespan of your air conditioning system and are now searching for a new system, there are several out in the market to fit a variety of needs and budget-friendly.

Do some research to find one within your budget, but a ballpark range can cost anywhere from $1,900 up to $5,000.  A list below will give you an idea of well-known brands that are reliable in both cooling and heating within your home with a track record of having excellent performance as well as keeping energy costs down.

Looking at budget options in the under $3000 range include:

If you can spend a little more, the under $4500 range include:

  • American Standard
  • Bryant
  • Carrier
  • Lennox
  • Trane
  • York

There are several routes to go if you suspect a problem with your homes air conditioning compressor.   A professional will be able to either perform repairs, help with warranty information, or can help you replace your entire system.

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