Got a busted AC compressor? Your first question is probably: “Alright, how much is this going to cost me?”
Well, the cost to replace an AC compressor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is usually between $1,350 and $1,800.
We know, that’s a lot of money. So much that you’re probably wondering…
Should you replace the entire AC unit instead of just the compressor?
Well, it depends on the age of your compressor.
If your compressor is less than 1 year old…
We recommend just replacing the compressor.
If your AC compressor is less than a year old, it’s mostly likely still covered under your parts and your labor warranty. This means you shouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket to replace the compressor.
How to find out if your unit is still under warranty:
- Parts warranty: Check your owner’s manual or the AC manufacturer’s website to see what your warranty covers and if it’s still valid. You can also Google “(Brand) air conditioner warranty” to find the information you’re looking for.
- Labor warranty: Check with the contractor who installed your unit. They’ll be able to tell you if your compressor installation labor cost is still under warranty.
If your compressor is more than 10 years old…
You’re probably better off replacing the entire AC system.
Replacing the compressor in an AC that’s pushing (or already passed) the 10-year mark most likely isn’t worth the investment. Most ACs only last about 10–15 years, meaning if other parts on the unit haven’t broken yet, they’re going to soon.
Plus, you should consider replacing your old unit with one that’s more energy efficient. According to Energy.gov, you could save 20–40% on your cooling costs by doing so.
If you do upgrade to a more efficient unit, we recommend replacing your AC whole system, not just the outside unit.
You see, your system is most efficient when your inside and outside units have the same SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). SEER is the measurement of how efficient an AC is—the higher the SEER, the more efficient the AC. When your units have different SEER ratings, it puts a lot of stress on your system and may even cause the system to die sooner than expected.
If your compressor is somewhere in the middle…
If you’re not sure whether you should replace your compressor or the whole system, think about these factors:
- Does your system need frequent repairs? If so, your AC might be on its last leg. It won’t be worth shelling out money for a new compressor now, just to have to pay for more expensive repairs down the road.
- Does your system use R-22 refrigerant? R-22 is an outdated refrigerant that’s being phased out of the market. If your AC uses this type of refrigerant, it’s best to upgrade.
- Do you have a hard time keeping your home cool? That’s a sign your AC is getting old, or that something is broken. You should consult a professional to find out what the problem is. If it’s a severe problem, you’re probably better off getting a new system.
- Are your cooling bills higher than they used to be? Again, this is a sign something’s not working right. If it’s a big problem, it might be better to replace your AC system altogether.
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you might want to replace your entire system.
If you’re not sure what you should do, give us a call. We’re happy to answer any questions you have or give you a free quote to install a new AC system.
Looking to just replace the AC compressor?
If you just want to replace the compressor, your cost will depend on these factors:
- Size of the AC unit
- Compressor speed
- The AC contractor you hire
Let’s go over each of these cost factors in more detail.
Cost factor #1: Size of the AC unit
The “size” of an AC unit refers to its cooling capacity (tonnage), not so much its physical dimensions. The larger the tonnage of your AC, the more it will cost to replace the compressor.
Residential AC units are measured in tons and typically range from 1–5 tons, including half sizes (1.5 tons, 2.5 tons, etc.). Higher ton AC units have more powerful compressors, so they’ll be more expensive to replace.
Cost factor #2: Compressor speed
Compressors with more speeds are more expensive to replace.
AC compressors have three cooling speeds:
- Single-stage (13–15 SEER) compressors have one speed: high.
- Two-stage (16–19 SEER) compressors have two speeds: high and low.
- Variable-speed (20+ SEER) compressors have unlimited speeds.
While the compressors above are ranked from least expensive to most expensive to replace, they’re also ranked from least efficient (most expensive to run) to most efficient (least expensive to run).
Cost factor #3: The AC contractor you hire
Who you hire to replace your AC compressor has a big impact on your cost. Sure, you could find a contractor to replace your compressor cheap, but you get what you pay for.
You’re better off hiring a qualified AC contractor that will back their service if something goes wrong.
We recommend you hire a company that:
- Has been around for at least 10 years
- Has good online reviews and a reputation for quality work
- Includes a labor warranty with the compressor replacement
Not sure what you should do? Contact a Minneapolis-St. Paul tech
If you need more help deciding whether you should replace your compressor or entire AC system, just contact us.
We’ll answer your questions and give you a free quote to replace your compressor or AC system.
Why choose MSP?
- We commit to giving every customer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all the work we do.
- We’ve been around for 100 years, so we know how to properly repair and install AC systems.
- We hire the best technicians, meaning you’ll get the best AC service.