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How Much Does AC Condenser Replacement Cost?

Typical price range: $1,200 – $4,200

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Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 04/22/2024

Your air conditioner’s condenser unit houses the system’s most important mechanical parts and costs anywhere from $1,200–$4,200 to replace. You’ll pay less if your unit is still under warranty or if you just need to repair a part. However, some breakdowns require the replacement of the entire unit. This guide outlines replacement costs for the condenser unit and its major components.

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Typical Price Range: $1,200 – $4,200
Modern HVAC air conditioner unit on concrete slab outside of house.
AC Condenser Replacement

Replacing an AC condenser costs $1,200–$4,200 on average.

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HVAC heating and air conditioning residential units or heat pump
AC Condenser Repair Cost

The cost of this common AC repair is between $100 and $650.

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Outdoor HVAC Unit
AC Condenser Installation

Installation for an AC condenser costs $300–$1,200 on average.

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What Are Signs That You Need AC Condenser Replacement?

The signs that your condenser needs replacing are similar to the general signs that you need to call an HVAC technician. However, it’s almost certainly a condenser problem if you suspect something is wrong with the outdoor unit of your AC system. Look for these signs:
Leaked fluid around the outdoor unit
Loud noises coming from the outdoor unit
Overheating of condenser parts
Reduced cool air or overall airflow coming from your indoor vents
An automotive AC condenser shows many of the same signs when it malfunctions. Take your car to an auto repair shop if you suspect the system is leaving puddles of refrigerant under your car when it’s parked.
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How Much Does the Average AC Condenser Replacement Cost?

Replacing an air conditioning condenser costs $1,200–$4,200 on average. You may only have to pay for installation costs if the unit is still under warranty, reducing the price to $300–$1,200. Here are the key factors affecting replacement cost.

  • AC capacity: The more powerful the unit, the more expensive it is to replace.
  • Coil type: Condenser coils are one of the most expensive parts to replace. Their costs vary by design. 
  • Condenser part: Some parts within the unit are relatively inexpensive. Others cost almost as much as the whole unit.

AC Condenser Replacement Cost by Ton

Air conditioning size is measured in tons. That doesn’t refer to how much the AC unit weighs but how much air it can cool in a certain amount of time. Most residential air conditioners measure between 1.5 and 5 tons. Here are the price ranges for condenser replacement based on system power.

AC SizeMaterial CostMaterials and Installation

1.5 tons

$850–$1,100

$1,200–$2,300

2 tons

$950–$1,300

$1,300–$2,500

2.5 tons

$1,000–$1,700

$1,350–$2,900

3 tons

$1,100–$1,900

$1,400–$3,100

3.5 tons

$1,200–$2,200

$1,500–$3,400

4 tons

$1,300–$2,500

$1,600–$3,700

4.5 tons

$1,450–$2,750

$1,750–$3,950

5 tons

$1,600–$3,000

$1,900–$4,200

AC Condenser Replacement Cost by Part

Your air conditioner’s condenser unit houses the most important mechanical parts of the system. You can replace many of these parts if they break.

Condenser PartMaterial Cost

Capacitor

$220–$500

Compressor

$1,000–$2,500

Condenser coil

$850–$2,700

Condenser fan blade

$100–$200

Condenser fan motor

$200–$700

Contactor

$175–$400

Full condenser unit

$850–$3,000

Relay switch

$75–$300

AC Condenser Replacement by Coil Type

Refrigerant heats up into gas before passing through your air conditioner’s condenser coils and cooling back down to liquid form. The condenser coils are one of the system’s most expensive parts to replace.

The most common coil type has a fin-and-tube design, which is the least expensive but also the least efficient and easiest to damage. A spine-fin design is more efficient and less likely to leak, but only a few brands use it. The most efficient type of condenser coil has a micro-channel design, which requires less coolant and is highly corrosion-resistant but costs the most.

Coil TypeAverage Cost

Fin-and-tube

$850–$1,300

Micro-channel

$2,500–$5,500

Spine-fin

$1,400–$2,700

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Here are some other things to consider when budgeting for condenser replacement.

Condenser parts from well-known AC brands cost more, but using generic parts might void your air conditioner’s warranty.

Aluminum coils are less expensive, but they’re easier to damage and don’t last as long as copper.

You may need to replace the entire air conditioning unit if the condenser is more than 10 years old.

HVAC technicians charge $75–$125 per hour for labor, and replacing a condenser usually takes about four hours.

You can purchase condensers that operate more quietly, but they cost more.

SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is a measure of energy efficiency. Anything above 14 is considered good. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the condenser price.

Packaged HVAC systems house all parts in a single unit. These cost more to fix than split AC systems with an outdoor unit.

HVAC companies charge more in summer when they’re busiest. You’ll also pay a rush fee of at least $100–$200 if you need emergency AC repair.

Manufacturer’s warranties usually cover parts but not labor. A home warranty may cover repair or replacement part costs if your AC condenser fails because of wear and tear.


How Much Does AC Condenser Repair Cost?

The total cost for common AC repair jobs is between $100 and $650. Here are some common condenser problems and how much they cost to fix.

Repair JobAverage Cost Range

Coil cleaning

$100–$400

Coil leak

$200–$1,500

Condensate drain line flush

$75–$250

Condensate pump repair

$100–$450

Control board repair

$150–$700

Line or radiator blockages

$75–$250

A coil leak may be a simple, relatively inexpensive problem to fix. However, it gets pricey if there’s a substantial freon leak, and the technician needs to recapture and dispose of the loose refrigerant, which is toxic to people and the environment.

AC Condenser Price for Parts

You can repair instead of replacing many of the condenser’s parts, including expensive parts such as the AC compressor and condenser coils. However, some components are as expensive to repair as they are to replace.

Condenser PartMaterial Cost

Capacitor

$300–$400

Compressor

$600–$1,200

Condenser coil

$200–$475

Condenser fan motor

$550–$650

Contactor

$100–$400

Other Air Conditioner Repairs

The condenser may not be the only problem with your AC, particularly if it’s an older system. Here are some other common repair and replacement costs.

Repair JobAverage Cost Range

Air filter cleaning or replacement

$75–$200

Air handler replacement

$1,500–$3,400

Circuit board repair or replacement

$200–$600

Drain clog removal

$100–$150

Ductwork repair

$500–$1,200

Expansion valve replacement

$250–$380

Evaporator coil replacement

$200–$6,000

Filter drier replacement

$300–$500

Fuse replacement

$35–$300

Heat pump repair

$250–$950

Thermostat repair or replacement

$150–$550

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How Does an AC Condenser Works?

The condenser unit’s main job is circulating refrigerant through your AC system. As the refrigerant moves through the interior portion of the system—called the air handler—warm air passes heat to the refrigerant, turning it into gas. This gas is pumped into the outdoor condenser unit, where the compressor condenses it back into a liquid and cools it off. The condenser fan blows excess heat away from the coils, and the refrigerant goes back indoors to cool off more air.

Window units and ductless mini-splits work the same way, which is why parts of those units need to be outside. The heat from the air in your home transfers to the refrigerant, which then travels to the condenser to cool back down. The condenser won’t work if it leaks coolant, can’t condense the refrigerant, or the fan can’t cool down its coils.


Should You DIY vs. Professional AC Condenser Replacement?

Replacing an AC condenser is a professional job because it requires specialized tools and knowledge. You may be able to do some simple jobs yourself, such as cleaning debris out of the coils. You can also do some minor troubleshooting before calling an HVAC technician. Check your circuit breaker for blown fuses and your thermostat for malfunctions before assuming something’s wrong with the AC.

Most importantly, perform regular maintenance on your cooling system and change your air filter as often as the manufacturer recommends. A clogged air filter will affect performance and force your air conditioner to work harder.



how to save
Although you can’t replace a condenser yourself, you can take some steps to reduce costs.

Choose an energy-efficient condenser with a high SEER rating.

Ensure the condenser is easily accessible to reduce the technician’s time doing non-specialty work.

Familiarize yourself with your condenser’s warranty, including what it covers and how long it lasts.

Have major HVAC repairs done in the off-season when labor costs are lower, if possible.

Help your condenser last longer by reducing the stress on your AC system. Change your filter regularly and get your annual tune-up.

It’s usually time to get a new air conditioner if the cost of repairing the unit or replacing a major part multiplied by the age of your air conditioner is greater than $5,000. For example, you’ll probably save money by replacing the whole unit if the condenser replacement costs $1,400, but the system is nine years old ($1,400 x 9 = $12,600).

Think long-term and choose materials like copper coils that cost more up-front but last longer and are more efficient.


Is Replacing Your AC’s Condensor Coil Worth The Cost?

The condenser is a vital part of your home’s air conditioning system. Though a problem with it doesn’t necessarily mean expensive repairs, replacing its components can get pricey.

Homeowners should ensure their air conditioners get regular maintenance and tune-ups to prevent condenser replacement. Remember that replacing a condenser can be as expensive as replacing the whole air conditioner. Consider buying a new AC unit if your system is more than 10 years old.

Get Estimates from HVAC Maintenance Experts in Your Area
Typical Price Range: $1,200 – $4,200

FAQ About AC Condenser Replacement Cost

Can I replace the AC condenser only?

Yes, you can replace only your air conditioner’s condenser unit. However, you may save money by replacing the entire air conditioner if the system is more than a decade old.

How much will it cost to replace an AC condenser?

A new condenser unit costs between $850 and $3,000, depending on the size of the air conditioning system. The total cost to replace an AC condenser is usually $1,200–$4,200, including labor and installation. 

How long should an AC condenser last?

A well-made, high-efficiency condenser unit can last 15–20 years, but air conditioners typically have a lifespan of 12–15 years.

Are there ways to increase the lifespan of an AC condenser?

You can increase the lifespan of your air conditioner’s condenser unit by keeping it free of debris. This means trimming grass, vines, shrubs, and other plants near the unit and keeping yard debris away, so it doesn’t get stuck in the fan or coils. You may also consider occasionally opening and cleaning the paneling.

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