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How Much Does a Central AC Compressor Cost?

Posted On February 28, 2024

When it comes to buying a central AC compressor, there are several factors that you need to consider. Each of these factors will affect the cost of the AC system.

In this article, we will explore these factors in detail, providing you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and find out how much a central AC compressor actually costs.

6 Things to Consider When Buying an AC Compressor

To understand the cost of an AC compressor, it is important to consider the following factors:

  1. Size and Capacity Compatibility with Existing HVAC System: The size and capacity of the AC compressor should match your existing HVAC system. An improperly sized compressor can result in inefficient cooling and higher energy bills.
  2. Energy Efficiency Ratings and SEER: The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) determines the energy efficiency of an AC compressor. Higher SEER ratings mean greater efficiency, but they also come with a higher price tag.
  3. Noise Levels During Operation: The noise produced by an AC compressor can be a significant factor to consider, especially if you prefer a quiet environment. Compressors with noise reduction features tend to be more expensive.
  4. Durability and Reliability: Investing in a durable and reliable compressor might cost you more upfront, but it can save you money in the long run. High-quality compressors are less likely to break down and require costly repairs.
  5. Warranty Coverage and Manufacturer Reputation: Consider the warranty coverage offered by the manufacturer. A reputable brand provides better warranty terms, giving you peace of mind in case of any issues.
  6. Compatibility with Refrigerant Type and Environmental Regulations: It’s essential to ensure that the compressor is compatible with the type of refrigerant used in your HVAC system. Additionally, consider the environmental regulations governing the use of certain refrigerants, as this can impact the cost of the compressor.

5 Factors Affecting AC Compressor Cost

Now, let’s explore the specific factors that directly affect the cost of an AC compressor:

1. Unit Price

The unit price of an AC compressor varies depending on the brand, type, and size. Higher-quality compressors typically come with a higher price tag. However, it’s important to note that a higher price doesn’t always guarantee better performance.

2. Compressor Type

There are different types of AC compressors available in the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Scroll compressors, rotary compressors, reciprocating (piston) compressors, screw compressors, and variable-speed compressors all come at different price points.

3. Size

The size of the AC compressor is determined by the cooling capacity required for your space. A larger compressor will cost more than a smaller one. However, choosing the right size is crucial to ensure optimal cooling efficiency and energy savings.

4. Brand

The brand of the AC compressor can significantly impact its cost. Well-established brands with a strong reputation often charge a premium for their products. It’s important to consider the brand’s reliability, customer reviews, and warranty coverage when making your decision.

5. Labor & Installation Costs

The cost of labor and installation should also be taken into account when calculating the overall cost of an AC compressor. Hiring a professional HVAC technician to install the compressor ensures proper installation and optimal performance, but it will add to the total cost.

5 Types of AC Compressors to Choose From

Now, let’s take a closer look at the different types of AC compressors available in the market:

  1. Scroll Compressors: Scroll compressors are known for their quiet operation and energy efficiency. They work by using two spiral-shaped scrolls to compress the refrigerant.
  2. Rotary Compressors: Rotary compressors are commonly used in small to medium-sized AC systems. They operate using a rotating motion to compress the refrigerant.
  3. Reciprocating (Piston) Compressors: Reciprocating compressors use pistons to compress the refrigerant. They are known for their durability and are often used in larger AC systems.
  4. Screw Compressors: Screw compressors are designed for heavy-duty applications and are commonly used in commercial and industrial settings.
  5. Variable-Speed Compressors: Variable-speed compressors adjust their speed based on the cooling demand, providing precise temperature control and energy efficiency.

Our AC installers in Bandon, Oregon can help you determine which type of compressor best fits your home and your needs. Call Alpha Heating & Air today or fill out our contact form to get a free estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Air Conditioners

What is the average cost of an AC compressor?

The average cost of an AC compressor can vary greatly depending on the factors mentioned earlier. It is best to consult with HVAC professionals or request quotes from reputable suppliers to get an accurate estimate.

Can I replace just the compressor in my AC unit?

In some cases, it is possible to replace only the compressor in an AC unit. However, it is recommended to consult with a professional to determine if this is a viable option for your specific system.

How long does an AC compressor last?

On average, an AC compressor can last between 10 to 15 years. However, proper maintenance and regular servicing can help prolong its lifespan.

Can I install an AC compressor myself?

Installing an AC compressor requires specialized knowledge and skills. It is highly recommended to hire a professional HVAC technician to ensure proper installation and avoid any potential issues.

Do all AC compressors use the same type of refrigerant?

No, not all AC compressors use the same type of refrigerant. The type of refrigerant used depends on the specific system and its compatibility.

Are there any energy-saving incentives available for purchasing an AC compressor?

Some utility companies and government agencies offer energy-saving incentives or rebates for purchasing energy-efficient AC compressors. It’s worth checking with your local authorities to see if any incentives are available in your area.

What is the warranty coverage for AC compressors?

Warranty coverage for AC compressors varies depending on the manufacturer and the specific model. It is important to review the warranty terms and conditions before making a purchase.

Can I upgrade my existing AC compressor for better energy efficiency?

In some cases, it may be possible to upgrade your existing AC compressor to a more energy-efficient model. However, it is best to consult with a professional to determine if this is feasible for your system.

What are the signs that my AC compressor needs to be replaced?

Signs that your AC compressor may need to be replaced include strange noises, reduced cooling capacity, frequent breakdowns, and increased energy consumption. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to have a professional inspect your AC system.

What maintenance is required for AC compressors?

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the coils, changing filters, and inspecting the system for any issues, is essential for the proper functioning of an AC compressor. It is recommended to have your system serviced by a professional at least once a year.

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