How Much Does a Home AC Compressor Replacement Cost?

Typical Range:

$800 - $2,800

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 21, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost of an AC compressor replacement for a residential home with a central HVAC system is $1,800, although typical costs, including parts and labor, can range between $800 to $2,380. Compressors for smaller units, like window or mini-split systems, are more affordable at $100 to $400.

If your AC is blowing warm air and not cooling your house, you probably need a new AC compressor. Chances are, you’re noticing this in the summertime, so it’s important to get this fixed as soon as possible.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Replace an AC Compressor?

If you know that you need a new compressor, you’re probably wondering—how much are AC compressors? The cost will largely depend on whether it’s still under warranty and the BTU of the unit. Expect high labor costs because replacing an AC compressor is an intensive, time-consuming job.


Depending on the amount you need to fill the system, the cost of a home AC recharge or refill is $100 to $350. Older large R22 units can reach $600 or more.

In the case of compressor replacements, you may need to add coolant since it only escapes with leaks or damage. All systems installed after 2010 use R410a refrigerant. Older systems may use R22, but this is harder to source as manufacturers have stopped making it.


There may be a manufacturer’s warranty that covers your compressor replacement. These warranties are typically valid for 10 to 15 years. The warranty may include part or all of the costs of a new unit but typically doesn’t cover labor costs.

Additionally, home warranties can cover all or part of your AC system repair or replacement, but it varies widely according to your policy. You’ll need to check your policy to see what’s covered. Some policies also have a $2,000 to $3,000 cap on repair costs. Labor costs can range from $60 to $125 depending on your premium.


The size of your house affects your air compressor’s BTU. An average residential home needs 20,000 to 50,0000 BTUs. Here are the general prices of air compressors by BTU:

BTU Average Cost
0 – 10,000 $300 – $570
11,000 – 20,000 $325 – 1,000
21,000 – 30,000 $500 – $1,225
31,000 – 40,000 $600 – 1,320
41,000 – 50,000 $675 – $1,480
51,000 – 60,000 $810 – $1,420
61,000 – 70,000 $890 – $1,820
71,000 – 100,000 $1,490 – $2,600

Compressor Type

Single-stage compressors cost $250 to $1,200, two-stage compressors cost $1,000 to $2,000, and variable speed compressors are $1,500 to $2,800.


Choosing a different air compressor brand can save you $100 to $500 depending on the BTU and type you want. It’s a good idea to buy the same air compressor brand as your unit, but a pro can guide you on whether opting for a generic brand can help you stay within budget.

Keep in mind that some brands have the same parent companies, like Goodman and Amana. In these cases, you might consult with an AC expert about swapping out an Amana compressor with a Goodman and vice versa. This is the case also for Rheem/Ruud, Trane/American Standard/Mitsubishi, and York/Coleman.


The cost to replace an AC compressor is higher during peak summer months. Unfortunately, you’re most likely to notice an AC malfunction while using it, so expect higher costs. If you can hold off until the off-season, rates typically drop around September through March, depending on your location.


A compressor replacement is on the higher end of the spectrum when considering the average cost of AC repair. Labor costs $75 to $150 per hour, and an AC compressor replacement for central AC typically takes four to six hours. You can expect to pay $300 to $900 for labor.

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Cost to Replace AC Compressor per Ton

Air capacity and tonnage—typically referred to as “ton”— affects the cost of the part. One ton is the equivalent of 12,000 BTU. Parts and labor for a 2-ton compressor is $800 to $2,125. A 5-ton compressor replacement with parts and labor runs $1,110 to $2,320

AC Compressor Prices by Type of AC Unit

3 types of ac compressor unit costs compared, with central air ranging $500 to $1,480

Depending on the type of AC you have, the average compressor prices will greatly vary. Central air compressors cost $500 to $1,480, mini-split compressors are $375 to $625, and window unit compressors are $100 to $200.

3 types of ac compressor unit repair costs compared, with window ranging $250 to $425

With labor, you can expect to pay $800 to $2,380 for a central AC compressor repair, $600 to $1,000 for a mini-split repair, and $250 to $425 for window units.

Depending on the window unit you have, it may be more cost-effective to buy a new replacement when considering the costs of window ac repair. On the other hand, the costs of a mini-split installation run $2,000 to $14,500, so it’s probably better to replace the compressor if that’s the only issue.

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DIY Compressor Replacement vs. Hire a Pro

You’ll need to have a lot of experience and technical know-how to DIY an AC compressor replacement. This project requires electrical and wiring work, as well as mechanical tasks like brazing and piping. You’ll also need a recovery machine for draining the Freon in the system, an oxygen-acetylene torch for the copper lines, and a vacuum pump.

Your best bet may be to contact an HVAC professional near you. By hiring a pro to handle the work, you can make sure it gets done correctly and save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

Cost to Replace an AC Compressor Yourself

If you opt to replace the AC compressor yourself, it’ll cost $400 to $1,600 for the new compressor. Besides this, the tools and equipment are costly. If you need a refrigerant recovery machine, that’ll run you $550 to $5,000. An oxygen-acetylene torch ranges from $250 to $1,000 and a vacuum pump is $150 to $800.

Replacing a Compressor vs. Replacing the AC Unit

Replacing a compressor costs $800 to $2,800. If you’re paying out of pocket, you’ll want to pay close attention to the alternatives. If your compressor is out of warranty, it probably won’t last much longer. The typical life expectancy of an AC compressor is 12 to 15 years. For example, imagine your new compressor replacement will cost $1,600. In this case, it makes sense to shell out the extra $200 for a new condenser unit (assuming that your evaporator unit is fully functioning). For $1,800, you’ll get a new compressor, fan and condensing coil, and a 10-year warranty.

On the other hand, you might be better off replacing your entire AC unit. Central air installation costs vary but replacing a system with pre-existing ducts costs an average of $5,000. The final price depends on the size of your house and the difficulty of the project.


Can I replace an AC compressor myself?

Replacing an AC compressor requires a high level of electrical and mechanical skills, so it’s not recommended for the typical DIYer. Not only that, the tools and equipment you need for the replacement are very expensive.

Is it worth it to replace an AC compressor?

If your AC compressor is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, or if your home warranty covers it, it’s a good idea to replace it. However, if you have to pay out-of-pocket, consider replacing the entire condenser unit.

How do you know if your compressor is bad on an AC unit?

Common signs that your compressor is not working properly are:

  • Screeching, clunking, rattling, or rumbling sounds

  • Warm air blowing out of the AC

  • Less air blowing than usual

  • Leaking refrigerant

How can I save money on my AC compressor costs?

The best way to save money on air conditioner compressor costs is by maintaining it properly while it’s under warranty. AC service and maintenance costs are usually $75 to $200 per visit. You should also consider buying an extended home warranty that covers the cost of HVAC system repairs.

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