Should I Replace The AC or Just The Compressor?

Find out whether you should replace just the AC compressor or opt for a full AC replacement. Get expert advice on AC replacement decisions at Sandium. Make it right now!

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
Should I Replace The AC or Just The Compressor?

It can be fairly expensive to replace an air conditioner’s compressor. Most Bay Area homeowners prefer replacing the entire unit. Based on this, purchasing a new air conditioning unit can be a major expense. Keep reading to learn more on whether to replace the whole unit or the AC compressor.

Age of the Air Conditioner

The typical air conditioner works for 10 – 15 years. It is wise to replace a unit with a broken compressor if it is over 10 years of age. The closer an air conditioner gets to the decade old mark, the more likely it is for various parts to begin breaking down and malfunctioning. Its likely that other parts may begin showing signs of break down and old age even if you replace the compressor.

You should also consider the performance of your air conditioner. Most newer models are energy efficient as compared to the older ones. You would not have to pay as much in energy bills. A major perk of upgrading the entire unit is that you would reduce your monthly energy consumption significantly. The savings may just end up paying for the new investment over the years.

Warranty of the Air Conditioner

You should consider replacing the compressor if the air conditioner is still under warranty. The new compressor won't cost you anything in this case. Stemming from this, you would still be required to pay for the labor on getting the replacement. Don’t forget to get a quote on the time, materials, and labor required for replacing the compressor. You should know that this is a time-consuming job and challenging job.

You should replace the AC unit if it is past warranty. You can always opt for getting a new compressor. However, the cost of new compressor usually doesn’t justify its replacement. It is generally more cost effective to replace the entire unit. In addition, you would have to bear the expenses of labor and materials. The final cost may be in close range with installing a new air conditioning unit.

You should consider that a new compressor may not have an extensive warranty. It may come with a limited warranty of 1 – 2 years. You may find yourself in the same situation in a short time frame. You may face the same issues without the security and benefit of a warranty for offsetting the cost.

Cost of Replacement

You need to consider the cost of replacing an AC unit and a compressor as well. Depending on the speed of the compressor and the size of the air conditioning unit, you may need to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $1,600 for replacing the compressor. This is a lot when you compare it with the price of a condenser unit. Most condenser units cost around $1,800. This houses the compressor, condensing coil, and fan.

The best part is that a condenser unit comes with a 10-year warranty (typically) while a compressor unit may just have a 1-year warranty. A new air conditioner will start from somewhere around $2,800 with a 10-year warranty. This will consist of the evaporator unit and the condenser unit. If you want a heating and cooling system (furnace and air conditioner) you may be able to get a new system starting from $4,000.

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