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What's the Cost to Replace an AC Compressor in Phoenix?

May 11, 2018

home ac compressor replacement in phoenix

Did a tech say you need to replace your AC compressor?

If so, the cost to replace an AC compressor in Phoenix ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.

After seeing that expensive range, you probably have a few questions like…

We’ll answer each of these questions in detail below...

Let’s go into more detail about each of them...

Need a new compressor ASAP?

Why does a compressor cost so much?

A compressor is expensive because…

  1. The part itself is pricey: The bottom line is that without a compressor, your AC can’t cool your home’s air. Because it’s such an important part of your AC system, the compressor naturally costs more.
  2. Replacing a compressor takes 4–5 hours and requires extensive skill connecting the surrounding AC components to the new compressor, so labor is also costly.

A compressor replacement is expensive no matter how you look at it. However, the cost to replace your compressor can vary depending on the following factors:

  • The size of your air conditioner: The “bigger” your AC, the more expensive your replacement compressor will be. ACs are sized by “tonnage,” which measures how much cooling they can provide in an hour. So, the more tonnage your AC has (typically anywhere from 1–5 tons), the bigger—and more expensive—compressor you’ll need.
    • The type of compressor you choose
    • 1-stage compressor (least expensive)
    • 2-stage compressor (mid-priced)
  • Multi-speed or variable-speed compressors (most expensive): A compressor motor can run on different “stages” or speeds, depending on the model you get. Below is a snapshot of the different types of compressor speeds:

Two-stage and multi/variable-speed air conditioners cost more, but they also provide more even cooling and lower monthly energy bills.

Note: You’ll likely need to upgrade the indoor part of your AC unit (the blower) if you’re upgrading to a 2-stage or multi/variable-speed compressor.

Is my compressor replacement covered under warranty?

Maybe. It all depends on whether or not your AC warranties have expired.

You see, when you first bought your AC, it came with 2 types of warranties:

  1. A limited parts warranty, which typically lasts 5–10 years after installation
  2. A limited labor warranty, which typically lasts 1–2 years after installation

Let’s look at what these two warranties offer and whether your compressor is included under either of them.

Limited parts warranty

A limited parts warranty covers the cost of replacement parts but not the labor required to install them.

Typically, a limited parts warranty covers the cost of a replacement compressor for 5–10 years (depending on the manufacturer). However, if you purchased a more expensive “extended” parts warranty, then your compressor may be covered for 10–15 years.

Note: To determine whether or not your limited parts warranty has expired, find your AC model number and search for it on the manufacturer's website. You may have to contact the manufacturer directly if you can’t find the warranty info online.

Warning: It’s easy to “void” your parts warranty...

In order for an AC manufacturer to honor your warranty, you have to meet certain “fine-print” requirements. If you don’t, then the manufacturer may consider your parts warranty void and not cover your compressor replacement.

Most AC manufacturers require that…

  • You registered your AC with the manufacturer within 60 days of your AC installation
  • You regularly maintained your AC (at least once per year, by a certified AC technician)
  • You only used replacement parts from the manufacture when you needed repairs (if you used cheaper, off-brand alternatives, then they may not honor your warranty)

Limited labor warranty

A limited labor warranty is provided by the contractor that installs the AC and covers any labor costs needed for repairs (but not the cost of the replacement part).

Typically, a limited labor warranty will cover the cost of labor for a compressor replacement for 1–2 years after the AC was installed (depending on the contractor who installed the AC). If you purchased an extended labor warranty, that timeframe could increase to 3–5 years.

Note: To determine whether or not your labor warranty has expired, contact the contractor who first installed your AC.

Can I just have my compressor repaired?

Unfortunately, if the issue is definitely the compressor itself (and not the surrounding components) you can’t repair a compressor because it’s “hermetically sealed,” meaning it can’t be opened in the field—it must be sent back to the manufacturer and opened with special equipment.

Even if the manufacturer can refurbish your compressor, it will take 2 weeks or longer for you to get it back from the manufacturer, which means you’ll be without an AC in the meantime. So most often the only practical option is to replace the compressor altogether.

Should I replace the compressor or get a new AC?

The age of your air conditioning system determines if you should replace the compressor or AC altogether.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • If your AC is 1–3 years old, replace the compressor. It’s likely still covered under warranty, so it’s probably cheaper just to replace the compressor instead of the full AC.
  • If your AC is 3–10 years old and is AC is breaking down a lot, or it’s not cooling your home well, then consider replacing the entire AC (especially if your AC is over 7 years old).
  • If your AC is 10+ years old, then you’ll definitely want to replace the entire AC. Air conditioners typically last 15 years maximum, so if you cross the 10-year mark, it’s better to invest your money in a new AC system.

Need a new compressor in the Phoenix area?

We’ll give you a fair and honest quote with upfront pricing, so there won’t be any surprises when you get the bill.

Learn more about what to expect when you hire us by visiting our AC service installation page.

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