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How Much does a Home AC Compressor or Replacement Cost

The modern air conditioners and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems bring a qualitative and comfortable change to our daily life. The AC is a source of convenience, happiness, and comfort even during the scorching summer heat and provides for optimal air temperatures and coolness at all times indoors. However, not many people know how an air conditioner actually functions to provide cooling. The user only has to enter a given temperature reading in the thermostat, and the air conditioner follows the instructions to provide the cooling in almost no time.

While there are many components, parts, and, subsystems within an air conditioning system, the AC compressor can be termed as the heart of your air conditioner.

The Role of a Compressor in Your Air Conditioner-

The air conditioner contains a continuously moving refrigerant or coolant that changes its state from liquid to gas at any given temperature. As we know, when more pressure is applied to any system or substance, its temperature will increase if it is now allowed to expand. The compressor is located in the outdoor/outside unit of the air conditioner and sits outside the room and home. The compressor exerts pressure on the refrigerant so that its temperature turns to be higher than the air of the surroundings. When this happens, the heat from the coolant or refrigerant is expelled into the outdoor air and surroundings.

Now because there is a pressure difference, the refrigerant which is now in the form of gas will return to the coils of the condenser. The temperature and pressure of the refrigerant will drop when air moves along the condenser coils, and which will result in a liquified refrigerant again. At low pressures, the refrigerant keeps on moving and displacing the refrigerant at higher pressure. The process remains continuous until the thermostat finds through its sensors that the home and the room have reached the desired temperature according to the users’ inputs. At this point, the system is shut off automatically.

What Causes Issues with Compressors-

Compressors are one of the most reliable components of an HVAC system as they should be durable and efficient because they remain functioning as long as the air conditioner does. Their function is also critical to cooling. Still, in some cases and instances, the AC compressor may fail.

Loss of lubrication-

compressors are found to fail when there is not enough lubricating oil present on the moving parts of a compressor. The lubricating oil of the compressor may leak in very small amounts through the fissures or gaps in the body of the compressor, over a period of time. Therefore, restoration of the optimum amount of lubricating oil in the compressor is important for its proper functioning.


Sometimes the expansion valve of the compressor may get blocked due to the build-up of acidic substances and sediments. The compressor has to overwork in these circumstances and fails early.

Dysfucntioning of exhaust fan-

Lastly, when the exhaust fan of the compressor does not function adequately or fails, the compressor also fails. The build-up of dirt and grime may also be a cause of compressor failure.

Repair or Replacement Cost of an AC Compressor-

The repair cost of an AC compressor will depend on the extent to which it has been damaged, which inadvertently depends on the reason for the failure. Issues with the compressor can easily be detected when there is a loss of cooling, or when frequent circuit breaks occur. In the latter case, the compressor has to overwork and puts up more load on the system.

If the compressor fails within the warranty period, the cost of replacements is covered. In other cases, the cost of replacement may range between $ 900 to $ 2500. The cost includes installation costs. The repair cost may also vary because the extent to which a compressor is damaged also varies.

It is always good to get the system serviced and maintained from time to time to ensure that any fault is found of early, lubricating oils are restored, and other important aspects are cared for. Joining a long-term AC service plan will also ensure that any repair or replacement cost is also subdued for you.

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