The Cost To Replace An AC Compressor

If you are having issues with your Air Conditioner compressor you may be wondering what it would cost to have it replaced. You have come to the right place because I will go over the pricing but I will also give you some reasons why it costs what it does.

First, let’s make sure you understand the difference between the compressor and the condenser.

The compressor is the motor that is inside the condenser. Pictured below is the compressor motor. it’s the motor that pumps the refrigerant through the refrigerant lines. The picture below shows what a compressor looks like.

cost to replace a compressor motor in a ac
cost to replace a compressor motor in a ac

A condenser is the whole outdoor unit that the compressor motor fits inside of. if you are looking for prices on a condenser I have another article giving prices for that. This post is about getting pricing on the replacement of your ac compressor motor. Pictured directly below is a condenser and NOT a compressor. If you are looking for prices on condensers I have another blog post that goes over that in detail.

picture of a ac condenser unit
picture of an ac condenser unit

How long does it take to replace a compressor motor?

replacing a compressor motor will typically take between 4-8 hours. The reason for the wide time differential is because of multiple reasons that may make the job more difficult and time-consuming. Sometimes the location of the unit can add a lot of difficulty to installing the compressor motor. Obviously, if the compressor motor is in a difficult location the cost to replace it will be higher.

Some HVAC technicians will say 4 hours is way too much time to replace a compressor motor. However, I have seen people do it in 1 or 2 hours but they either skip steps or don’t take their time on really important steps.

Some really important steps when replacing a compressor motor.

Flushing the copper refrigerant lines really well with a flush kit and or just Nitrogen. This is a time-consuming process and quite often it is skipped. When it comes to the time and cost of replacing a compressor if a contractor was going to cut corners this is one major step that could save the contractor money but cost you big time in the very near future.

Sometimes the compressor had a burn out which will send particulates through the whole system. If this is the case the contractor should flush all of the condenser and the evaporator coil out.

All of the steps described above as well as a few others take time and material. You should be wary of a contractor that changes out the compressor really fast or for a low cost. If you plan on the repair lasting for many years to come it’s important to make sure the repair is done correctly and backed by written guarantees from a reputable company.

The cost to replace a Goodman, Rheem, Ruud, or Amana compressor motor.

I classified the pricing on these together because the cost of the compressor motor is about the same across the board on these models. The labor is also about the same so the pricing will be similar with a few exceptions.

As of 2023, the price to replace a compressor on one of these brands above will fall between $2500 – $3500 dollars. This would be the cost if the compressor motor is just a single stage.

If the compressor motor is a 2-stage the cost will go up some. If the compressor is a 2-stage the part is going to be around $800 dollars higher so you can expect to pay around $3200 – $4200 depending on some variations.

The cost to replace a Trane, Carrier, or Lennox compressor motor.

The cost to replace one of these premium brands is more expensive because the compressor motors are more expensive. Trane, Carrier, and Lennox compressors typically are more expensive than the other brands. These can start at $3500 and go as high as $5000 fully installed for a single-stage compressor.

If they are a 2-stage compressor you can expect to pay a little more starting at $4000 to about $5900 dollars.

Here is what’s included in the cost to replace a compressor motor.

The cost to replace a compressor motor is much more than just the compressor cost and the direct labor. The job will require new refrigerant, nitrogen, a dryer on the refrigerant line, and the labor involved in doing the extra steps required to ensure a quality repair.

The cost to replace an ac compressor should include the new refrigerant. The reason new refrigerant should be installed is because there may be contamination in the old refrigerant.

Cost to replace an in-warranty compressor.

If the compressor is under warranty without a labor warranty all that will be charged is the labor and most likely the refrigerant. The labor will range between $1200 – $1900 to have the in-warranty compressor changed out. The Refrigerant isn’t covered under the parts or the labor warranty and is almost always an additional charge. The refrigerant will be anywhere from $80 – $150 per pound depending on how many pounds you need will be your total.

The cost to replace an in-warranty labor & material compressor.

If your compressor has a labor and parts warranty some companies will cover the whole job and you won’t have to come out of pocket for any of the charges. Some company policies still require the homeowner to pay for the refrigerant.

In conclusion

This is an important job and the most important decision you can make is who and what company will be doing the work. Make sure you choose a company that puts all of its warranties and guarantees in writing. Also, make sure the company has a reputation to protect. What good are the written warranties if the company doesn’t care about protecting its reputation? I don’t know of any company that has a name to protect that would risk ruining that reputation from one bad job.

If a reputable company puts in writing that they provide a warranty and back up their work then they most likely will do that.

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