AC Compressor Cost: Price Guide

Tony Case
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How AC Compressors Work

A heat pump is a form of cooling system that is designed to transfer heat from one place in the environment to another location where the temperature is lower. Instead of converting the heat into some other form of energy, instead it moves the heat to another place. The transfer is typically powered by an electric motor, which is run by an electrical current, but it can also be powered by a gas motor as well.

In some systems, the heat pump is what is called a “reverse cycle”, which means that it uses an electrical current to move heat through the system from the outside air to inside your house. In the process, the heat is condensed into water and then put into a holding tank. This process is called a self-contained cooling system, which is also known as an internal combustion engine (generally gas).

In other places that don’t have labor expenses and taxes as high as in the United States, heat pumps are also a popular option because of the low installation cost and ease of maintenance.

In either case, the compressor is the main component of a heat pump and does exactly what the compressor in an air conditioner does. The difference is that the compressor in an air conditioner compresses the cool air into a smaller space and then puts it into your home. In a heat pump, it compresses the heat into a smaller space and then outside.

Types of AC Compressors

There are a number of cooling methods and materials used in ac compressors. Each type has its pros and cons, outlining what to consider in a particular application along with the cost. The main compressor types are as follows:

Ø R-22 Compressors: Used with compressors that run on R-22

Ø R-410A Compressors: Used for those running on R-410A

Ø Single Stage Compressors: The most common type of compressor, providing both cooling and refrigerant compression for the system

Ø Two-Stage Compressors: Add refrigerant to the compressor, which produces higher pressure before it is expelled into the system

Ø Three-Stage Compressors: A variation of the two-stage compressor, with two pressure levels in the output. Most

Useful in air-conditioning systems with larger capacities.

Ø Scroll Compressors: These use a scroll-bearing design that helps prevent compressor failure and extends the thermodynamic limits of the air-conditioning system, while improving energy efficiency. They can be used on both R-22 and R-410A systems.

Choosing Replacement Compressors

One of the most important parts in an air conditioning system is the compressor. It is the part that converts the refrigerant into pressurized gas so it can send the heat from the inside of the house to the outside by circulating it through the heating and cooling distribution network. However, the life cycle of the compressors is over and they need to be replaced, you should know what to look for in a new compressor and how much you can expect this kind of replacement to cost you. Finding this out is important so you're well-informed before you make the final decision.

There are basically two types of compressors you can choose from. They are the piston type and rotary screw type. Although there are models that are compatible for both modern and older models, the most cost-effective option to choose from is to use the one that is suitable for the type of your system. Once you have decided which one you're going to pick, you should get the replacement part and compare its cost with the replacement cost of an entire unit. If the cost of the complete unit is cheaper than the cost of the old one, you should get one and consider installing a generic brand to test it out.

AC Compressor Warranty Guide

If you´ve recently experienced the loss of your air-conditioning, you´re probably wishing you had an expert around to fix it for you. Of course, you're also wishing you had the cash or financing to pay for the repair. But what should you do first? If you have the time and the inspection process isn't pressing, you´d probably like to try out some DIY repair in the meantime. You might also be wondering how much an AC compressor costs.

If you were to go to a car parts store and look up an AC compressor, you'd be told that it isn't an easy job to change out an AC compressor. But the truth of the matter is that, if you have any sort of mechanic ies, you can do it. You do need to replace the compressor with one made by the same manufacturer, but it's not brain surgery. That sort of advice would be decent if you were trying to repair your own compressor, but you have to buy it from a supplier or auto parts store. In that cases, you can feel comfortable in doing it yourself.

AC Compressor Maintenance

Repair and Replacement Guide.

If you want to save on your electricity bill, you should have an AC compressor replaced if it is not working properly. You may also have additional costs if the compressor is outdated, so you should consider a revision regularly.

Some homeowners also have their unit replaced to reduce interior noise and increase efficiency and performance. If your AC compressor fails to operate, you will need a service provider to repair or replace it as quickly as possible. A damaged or underperforming unit can greatly affect your utility bill. So it's an important investment to have AC compressor replacement and repair services to keep your unit in top shape.

Plugged ducts; іf it's plugged, the blower will not work properly. You may have to call a professional to repair your HVAC system if the duct system is badly damaged and cannot be fixed.

Failing capacitor; іf you see green paint on your outdoor unit, the problem is most likely caused by a faulty capacitor. You may need to replace the capacitor of the unit if it's damaged.

Dirty or deteriorated condenser coils; іf you see dirt or leaves in the coils of your outdoor unit, you may need to clean the air conditioner and perform maintenance regularly.

Damaged refrigerant lines; іf they're damaged, you should replace them. If you don't do it, you'll experience abnormal air conditioning performance.

Signs of a Bad AC Compressor

With an old or outdated AC compressor, your system will eventually fail, but you can usually delay the inevitable by performing regular maintenance and checking your system for signs of wear.

Here are a couple things you can do to help diffuse premature compressor failure:

Use Clean Filters Regularly to Remove Particle Build-Up

A dirty or clogged AC filter is perhaps the most important factor in premature compressor failure. That’s because the filter protects the metal coils within the compressor from the elements. In very dry climates, dirt and debris, piled up on the filter, can reduce the air flow by up to 30%. This, in turn, reduces the amount of refrigerant inside the coil.

Use the Right Surge Protector

You should always choose a surge protector for your AC compressor that provides protection from power surges or electrical spikes. If a power surge occurs, the surge protector will reduce the voltage to your compressor and help save the motor from getting damaged.

Check for Loose Lugs and Broken Springs

One of the first things to do when you hear a high-pitched squealing noise from your AC compressor, is to inspect the compressor wire lugs and the compressor housing. Make sure all of the fasteners are tight, and the compressor is not in direct contact with another metal object. Also, look for loose springs that may be inside the compressor.

Common Causes of AC Compressor Failure

  • Cooling system sediment can build up as the result of improperly treated water (if you use an inhibitor, make sure the tank is emptied as needed).
  • Bearings: The compressor's bearings may have failed. In this case, the rotating shaft of the compressor will be worn.
  • Electrical circuit burnout: The motor may have electrical burnout due to faulty wiring or fuses.
  • Seized or damaged compressor: Parts inside the compressor may seize, preventing the motor from operating correctly. The air conditioning compressor may also have been improperly mounted.
  • Improper alignment of the shaft: The shaft of the compressor may be improperly aligned, preventing the rotor and compressors from working together. The installer should be able to inspect the alignment of the shaft to determine whether this is the problem.
  • Defective compressor: Not all problems are the result of a mechanical failure. In rare cases, the compressor may be defective and needs to be replaced.

AC Compressor Replacement & Repair Costs

What to do if your central air conditioning compressor breaks? What are you supposed to do? How do you know what the cost is? And when you go to hire a contractor, what are you supposed to look for? These are all excellent questions, and ones that you have every right and reason to ask.

First of all, you should know that there is no "right way" when it comes to looking for air conditioning compressor replacement and repair – what is right for you may not be right for the next person. Keep in mind that a repair can be much more costly them a replacement when all is said and done. This is why it is so important to have a contractor come out, give you a thorough breakdown of the issue, and provide you with a quote based on repairing and replacing your system.

When looking for an air conditioning compressor replacement and repair company, it is important to not only get estimates from multiple companies, but also to get references from those companies. You also want to make sure that you get a good breakdown of what will be done, what will be replaced, and what will be repaired. You will also want to make sure what kind of warranty is included with your AC system, and to ask if any parts that you are going to replace will be re-used.

Under Warranty

Thank You.

Shop around and get prices for a replacement, then call your local dealer and ask them to match or beat that price. Or if you don’t want to deal with the hassle, just have your car dealer do the installation. The warranty on the part is going to cover the actual replacement, but if they charge you for labor, they can only charge you what’s allowed under the part warranty. They can’t make up a profit selling an AC compressor replacement. Time is money, and they need to make a living too, so if you can get the labor done for free, you have a lot of leverage to get the price of the AC compressor down.

No Longer Under Warranty

Add an Extended Warranty

Many electronics have an extended warranty that you can add when the product eventually goes out of warranty. The cost of these warranties can vary and will depend on the machine.

Many credit card companies offer extended warranties on a variety of electronics. Though this is not a sure-fire way to cover a high-priced item, it can be a relatively cheap way to keep your machine from costing you thousands of dollars.

You can get low-cost insurance on most electronics, whether you have to buy the item directly from a manufacturer or are searching for the best price on a used machine. Often when you purchase electronics, they come with a complimentary warranty if you pay for the warranty.

Make sure you read all small print that comes with extended warranties. If you are paying for a one-year warranty and there is a minimum amount of time a machine has to be used in order for you to be covered, make note of it.

Also, be aware of how you're covered. If you need to pay for the repair and get reimbursed later, that means you're paying the full cost of the repair out of your own pocket. If your machine is covered today and the warranty will not cover the machine tomorrow, consider buying an extended warranty to make sure you're always covered for a given price range.

Size and Type of Compressor

The first step in producing accurate AC compressor pricing is determining the specific model and size of the compressor itself. In most cases, residential AC compressors are rated in horsepower ranging from 0.5 to 1 horsepower and standard industrial compressors are measured in peak tons ranging from 3 to 25 peak tons. To determine the type of compressor in a given system, simply multiply the horsepower by 0.833 or the peak ton by 1.25 to determine the appropriate tonnage.

For a stand-alone unit, the cost of the compressor is usually 60% to 65% of the cost of a packaged unit. This is due to the fact that the cost of motor, frame, and other components that make up a packaged unit account for only 40% to 45% of the total cost of a fully functional packaged unit.

DIY vs Professional HVAC Technician

There are many reasons to consider a DIY solution that might not be obvious. Some consumers may not initially realize that tasks such as repairing an A/C can be performed at a level that is comparable to the level of evidence required for an experienced mechanic. This is not to say that the consumer is capable of doing it as well as a professional, but rather, the consumer can perform tasks such as replacing an A/C compressor without having any experience at all, or with little experience.

The method by which the HVAC compressor is replaced, for example, is as easy as following a step-by-step approach that may be offered along with the installation kit. The steps are easy to follow, and the visual aids associated with any aftermarket installation kit is more likely to be as clear and concise as the ones that would be provided to a certified technician.

How to Replace your AC Compressor

As you probably know, AC compressors are the heart of any air conditioning system. When a compressor fails it is part of your home's central air conditioning that needs to be replaced. It is an extremely expensive part and you don’t want to simply ignore a failed compressor.

However, if you don’t have the time or money to get it fixed right away, you can keep your system running. DIY experts recommend replacing the belt to keep your system going, but it can only do so much. At some point, you will have to replace the compressor to have your system work like new.

The lifespan of an AC compressor is 20 to 25 years depending on its usage and care.

Here’s what you have to look out for when looking for an AC compressor. With proper care, handling the compressor won’t be a problem.

The cost of a new AC compressor can be super high. If you want to find a better price, we recommend using eBay, because it contains thousands of listings with savings of up to 70% off. You might have to compromise on the warranty, but it's worth it. However, if you do want a brand new one, then we suggest you use our price comparison system to find the best deals online.

How to Save Money on AC Compressor Repairs

When your air conditioning system begins to fail, the cost of repairing the compressor is often quite substantial. Because of this, many people experience the high cost of a repair and make the decision to replace the system entirely. However, there are a few things that you can do that will keep your repair costs low.

Determining the cost of replacing your AC compressor is a better idea than just automatically repairing it. You can check with some garages or appliance stores and discover prices for different brands and models of air conditioners. This will give you an idea of what you could expect to pay for a replacement, and you can use this price as a starting point when determining the cost of your compressor repair.

Before your AC compressor fails completely, there are some things that you can do to slow the progress of the leak. By taking the necessary steps to seal the air leak, you may be able to prevent the compressor from completely failing. Then you could avoid paying for a replacement entirely.

Check the fins on the condenser. They should be parallel with the outer casing, otherwise, the AC compressor will not be able to keep up the necessary level of performance.

Check the condenser for water damage. If the condenser is covered in rust or other debris, it will need to be clean in order to perform properly. You can use a soft brush to wipe off the condenser.

Safety Maintenance Tips

There are some simple steps you can follow to keep vintage AC units running for years to come.
If you have a vintage air conditioner, you need to know the basic safety maintenance tips for vintage AC units. A vintage air conditioner is a unit that was manufactured more than 20 years ago, so chances are that you might think that a repair would be expensive. But that's not true in every circumstance.

If you decide to repair your unit, you need to remember that you can do it easily and cheaply. And we are going to show you how to do it.

The first thing you need to do is get a professional diagnosis. Contact a company such as Joe Maddox, who will send an experienced technician to review the unit and give you the most accurate estimate for repair. A professional will check your unit's electrical, refrigerant, and heating components. All of this can lead to a cost estimate that includes the repairs needed to operate the unit safely. A professional can also help you save money by suggesting whether or not it's best to replace the air conditioner instead of repairing the unit.

The second thing you need to do is decide if the repair cost estimate is within your budget. If you decide it is, then you should consult with the company. They can provide you with repair manuals and instructions for safely replacing the broken parts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to find an AC compressor?

The AC compressor can be found in any auto parts or supply shop, or at the local dealership. However, because of shipping costs or availability, you may need to locate a part supplier closer to you. Many online parts suppliers such as 1A Auto also carry a large inventory of AC compressors.

What are other parts of the AC compressor?

Many times, even just one part is available. If the kit includes all of the necessary parts, then your job will be much easier; however, if the AC compressor kit is missing a few parts, you will have to troubleshoot the compressor to make sure everything is working smoothly.

What are the steps to locating and replacing an AC compressor?

To find and replace your AC compressor, you should first seek out a repair shop. They are trained to diagnose and repair your AC compressor quickly and efficiently. If your repair shop does not have the needed part, you may be able to order it online and the shop will put the parts together.

Do I need to drain my car’s antifreeze before I start?

The procedure for draining the antifreeze and cooling system depends on the type and year of your car. Look up the make and model of your car and consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions and tips.


Thank you for reading our article on the cost to install an AC compressor. We hope that it was helpful to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a message.

Be sure to check out our other guides:

  • AC Replacements
  • AC Repairs
  • Air Conditioning Systems
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