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How Much Does It Cost To Replace an AC Compressor?

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Updated April 2024

The air conditioning unit is a staple in many homes, especially in regions where the climate leans towards the sweltering side, like Arizona. But what happens when the heart of your AC system—the compressor—fails? Your first question is likely, "How much is this going to cost me?" Understanding the financial implications of replacing an AC compressor is crucial, whether you're a first-time homeowner or a seasoned property owner familiar with home repairs.

Replacing an AC compressor costs between $2,100 and $5,200. The compressor is one of the most expensive repairs on a unit, and you may want to discuss alternatives. We typically recommend replacing any aging air conditioner when the repair cost exceeds the 50% replacement cost. The cost to replace an AC compressor can reach that threshold, so have one of our NATE-certified technicians walk you through the value proposition of repair versus replacement.

The large range in pricing can be a challenge when trying to stay within budget on a repair. There are many factors that affect the total price, such as:

Always have an HVAC professional assess your unit and help you get the most out of your repairs.

Need help with a broken AC unit?

Call in Phoenix's most trusted HVAC company — George Brazil. We'll repair your air conditioner quickly and back it with the area's best warranties when you sign up for our maintenance service.

Type of Compressor

Five common types of compressors are used in air conditioners: centrifugal, screw, scroll, reciprocating, and rotary. For a whole-home air conditioning system, costs vary between $300-$2,400 or more for just the compressor.

Rotary compressors are typically found only in window units and are often not worth repairing. Spending $100 on a new compressor when a new air conditioner only costs $150 isn't usually the best idea. Keep in mind that the lower-cost compressors are often used in lower energy efficiency units, so the cost to use these air conditioners is higher.

Refrigerant Type

Freon is the generally used term for all refrigerants used in air conditioning, but not all types are created equal. Older freon is environmentally hazardous and may require a disposal fee in addition to the refill cost. Replacing a compressor may or may not come prefilled with refrigerant.

System Size

The larger your home, the more powerful the air conditioning unit needed to cool that home. If you have a home with a big footprint, expect your total costs to be on the higher end of the price range for a new compressor. More specifically, the higher the tonnage of your AC unit, the larger your compressor and the higher the cost for a replacement. Expect a 5-ton compressor to cost more than double what you'd pay for a 1.5-ton. The compressor alone can cost upwards of $2,600 or more.

However, the cost doesn't scale directly. A small compressor might cost $800, but for double the price, you'll get a compressor powerful enough to help cool triple the space.

Warranty Coverage

Another major factor in determining the cost of an AC compressor is whether or not you have warranty coverage. You may only pay for labor if your unit is under a manufacturer's warranty. That knocks off the cost of the new compressor. With the George Brazil Worry-Free Home Comfort Package, you have 10 years of coverage for parts and labor, meaning a new compressor wouldn't cost you a dime.

The scope of your warranty can play a significant role in determining your out-of-pocket costs. Call the company that handled the installation if you have a newly installed unit. They may offer guarantees for a set period that reduce or eliminate the cost of a new compressor. If you're out of warranty, you'll likely have to pay for everything, totaling up to several thousand dollars.

The Contractor You Hire

One of the most significant variables affecting the cost of replacing your AC compressor is the contractor you choose to hire. The expertise, reputation, and labor rates of contractors can vary widely, and these elements directly influence the project's overall cost.

A more experienced contractor might charge a higher hourly rate, but their wealth of knowledge often translates to quicker and more efficient work. This can actually save you money in the long run, as a seasoned professional is less likely to make errors that require costly corrections.

In Arizona, fast isn't something you'll want to sacrifice when it comes to your air conditioning. After all, 110+-degree weather is the new summer norm, which makes air conditioning a critical home system. Getting cheap work isn't always the best investment for home improvement projects.

When shopping for an HVAC contractor, look for a company with:

  • Transparent pricing
  • Solid customer reviews
  • Free estimates
  • Great warranties
  • Fast response times

Need a new compressor or new air conditioner?

Let the 5-star HVAC pros at George Brazil take a look. We'll fix your AC in a single visit or help you install a new AC unit if that's the best option.

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