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How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC Compressor in Florida?

Generally, compressors are expensive to replace. In Florida, a compressor replacement can cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on your warranty status.

With the cost being so high, you might have questions such as:

  • What is a compressor?
  • How do I know if I need to replace it?
  • Why is the compressor so expensive to replace?
  • Can the compressor be repaired instead of replaced?
  • Should I replace my compressor or my whole AC system?

In this blog, we’ll break down the answers to your questions.

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Need a trusted HVAC technician to replace your compressor in the Bradenton or Tampa-St Pete area ASAP? Contact Climate Design.

What is a compressor?

The compressor is located in your outdoor unit and is the “heart” of your AC system. Its purpose is to circulate refrigerant, a chemical agent that removes heat from the indoor air throughout your home. You can think of the refrigerant as the AC system’s “blood.”

If the compressor breaks, your AC system becomes inoperable, and it cannot cool your home.

How can I tell if my compressor needs replacement?

These are the typical warning signs that your compressor needs replacement:

  • You hear strange noises coming from your outdoor unit
  • Your AC constantly trips your circuit breaker
  • You see refrigerant leaking from your outdoor unit

Since compressor replacements are expensive, we highly recommend hiring a trustworthy HVAC contractor who will install the new compressor correctly.

Why is the compressor so expensive to replace?

There are a variety of reasons why compressors are expensive to replace. The primary reason is that your AC system cannot run with a broken compressor. Since the compressor is so integral to the function of the AC, the part alone is expensive to replace.

The compressor replacement will cost more or less, depending on these conditions:

  • The size of the compressor: The bigger the AC system, the larger the compressor. More powerful compressors are more expensive to replace.
  • How long it takes to replace a compressor: It typically takes HVAC technicians 4+ hours to complete a compressor replacement. When labor time goes up, so does the cost.
  • What type of compressor you have: Compressor types consist of single-stage, two-stage and variable speed. Single-stage compressors are the cheapest to replace, two-stage compressors are mid-price and variable-speed compressors are the most pricey.
  • Whether your parts warranty is valid: Most AC manufacturers will cover replacing the compressor since it’s the heart of the system. To figure out if your parts warranty is still valid, go to your manufacturer’s website and search for your AC model number.

Can I just have my compressor repaired instead?

Unfortunately, compressors are hermetically sealed (airtight) by the manufacturer, so HVAC technicians cannot open a compressor for repair in the field. A faulty compressor requires a total replacement.

Would it be better to replace my compressor or the entire AC system?

Now that you know the cost of a compressor and why it’s so expensive, you may be wondering if it’s better to replace your entire AC system instead.

The answer is, yes. Sometimes it is more cost-effective to replace your whole AC system instead of just the compressor. It depends on the age of your system and the validity of your parts warranty.

We recommend replacing your compressor if …your AC is 1-5 years old. Most ACs are still covered by the manufacturer’s parts warranty at this point.

We recommend replacing your whole AC system if … your AC is no longer covered by the manufacturer’s parts warranty. Without the parts warranty covering the majority of your replacement costs, it might be more prudent to replace the whole system, especially if your AC has other issues or struggles to cool your home.

We recommend replacing your whole AC system if … your AC is 10+ years old. The average lifespan of an AC is 10-15 years so it could be smarter to invest in a new AC system than continue to sink money into a depreciating compressor.

Need a compressor replacement or a technical evaluation of your AC system? Contact Climate Design

We work around your schedule—not ours. We’re open all week long (even Sundays) and until 8pm. Get same-day service on all brands and models today!

Call us at (888) 615-5147 or schedule an appointment online.