Factors that determine repair and replacement AC Compressor cost

by Team HomeServe |
AC Compressor Repair Cost

A cooling unit will operate as expected when its parts are in good condition, especially the AC compressor. When the compressor is faltering and requires repairs or a replacement, understanding the factors that determine AC compressor cost delivers peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know.


The compressor of your cooling system is the component that produces the cool air. Industry professionals describe it as the heart of the unit. If it is not functioning, you can turn the unit on, but no cold air will be produced. The compressor is so important because it creates high pressure with the refrigerant. Then, it pushes the refrigerant into the condenser where the refrigerant is transformed from a gas to a liquid. That process is what cools off the air sucked in by the cooling unit and then pushed out to its destination.

AC Compressor Replacement vs. AC Compressor Repair

Since the AC unit compressor is the heart of the cooling system, this AC part is an important investment. When you notice that cool air is not being produced or that the unit is making odd noises, you will need a professional to conduct a thorough inspection. They will take a look at the air filter to make sure that it is clean and then run a series of tests. Their goal is to exhaust all the possibilities before confirming that it is the compressor. Once determining that it is this AC part, there are some things to consider before taking the next steps. Most importantly, there is a difference between the AC compressor replacement cost and AC compressor repair cost. You should understand the factors that impact each to help decide which is best for your circumstances.

Before you make a decision, consider the following:

  • Age of the unit
  • How often it has required repairs in the past
  • The potential costs of each option
  • Whether or not you are ready for a new unit

Obviously, older units have older technology. If the unit is working to your satisfaction, it does not need to have the latest bells and whistles. It is worth noting that the latest cooling systems are energy-efficient, which delivers attractive savings. Finding yourself in a situation where you have to decide between repairs or replacement opens up a third possibility. You can simply replace the entire unit, too.

If this is the first time the compressor requires repair, it will be cheaper to repair than to replace. If this is the first time your cooling system requires repair at all, it is usually more cost-effective to opt for the repair than the replacement.

How much does a Home AC Compressor cost?

The cost of an AC compressor varies. The driving factors are:

  • Warranty
  • Capacity
  • Brand
  • Compressor type
  • Cost of living in your area

If your manufacturer’s warranty is still valid, it is worth checking how much of your anticipated repair or replacement costs it will cover. For example, if the problem is a manufacturer's issue, they may cover the entire AC compressor price in addition to the labor costs. If the AC unit compressor is no longer under warranty, it is an opportunity to explore the cost of the replacement as well as the repairs.

In general, the larger the compressor or the capacity of the unit, the more you should expect to pay for the replacement. The repairs will depend on the extent of the issues as well as the number of labor hours it will take to complete the job. A compressor and unit that has a capacity of up to two tons, for example, can cost between $445 to $925 plus a labor cost of up to $625. Based on an estimate like that, you can determine if it is more cost-effective to repair or replace.

The brand and the type also play a role. Some brands include a better warranty, so they are more expensive. A generic brand might have a less comprehensive or shorter warranty, but because the generic part is universal, it can fit in most models at a cheaper price. It allows the unit to get the job done.

Scheduling regular maintenance is a great way to maintain your cooling unit and potentially anticipate if your AC compressor is going to need a repair or a replacement in the near future. But before a repair or replacement is necessary, it’s a great idea to be prepared with a plan from HomeServe – as having one can help with the costs of covered repairs.