Ashburn, VA

How much does an AC capacitor cost?

$100 – $250 average cost to replace

Get free estimates from AC repair services near you, or view our cost guide below.

December 27, 2021

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 4 expert AC repair services on HomeGuide.

HVAC capacitor cost

AC capacitor replacement costs $100 to $250 total. AC capacitor prices are $10 to $50 for the part alone, plus $90 to $200 for the labor to replace. An HVAC unit's furnace, heat pump, or compressor motors and fans use start capacitors and single run or dual run capacitors.

AC capacitor replacement cost - chart
AC capacitor replacement cost - chart

HVAC capacitor cost
Capacitor type Total replacement cost
Standard start or run capacitor $100 – $250
High-end branded capacitor $300 – $400

AC capacitor replacement cost

The following table shows the average cost to replace the capacitor in a home AC unit.

AC capacitor replacement cost
National average cost $175
Minimum cost $80
Maximum cost $400
Average cost range $100 to $250

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

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AC capacitor cost

An AC capacitor costs $10 to $50 on average for the part alone. High-end branded capacitors cost $60 to $140 or more, depending on the type.

AC capacitor cost
Capacitor type Unit price (standard) Unit price (high-end brands)
Start capacitor $8 – $60 $70 – $140
Run capacitor $5 – $50  $60 – $110
Dual run capacitor $10 – $50  $60 – $110

*Not including labor.

Technician replacing AC capacitor
Technician replacing AC capacitor

Central AC unit single run capacitor cost

An AC run capacitor costs $5 to $50 on average for the part alone. The run capacitor delivers a continuous supply of electrical energy to the motor to keep it running smoothly. The compressor, condenser fan motor, and blower motor use run capacitors.

AC dual run capacitor replacement cost

An AC dual run capacitor costs $10 to $50 on average and combines two capacitors in the same casing to save space. Dual run capacitors can support two electric motors simultaneously and are typically used to power the compressor and condenser fan motor.

Air conditioner start capacitor cost

AC start capacitor prices are $8 to $60 on average. High-end branded models cost $70 to $140 or more. The start capacitor provides a short burst of energy to get the motor running as quickly as possible. Once the motor is up to speed, the start capacitor disengages.

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Furnace capacitor cost

Replacing a furnace capacitor costs $100 to $250. A furnace typically has two capacitors – a start capacitor to jumpstart the blower motor and a run capacitor to provide a steady supply of electricity to keep the motor running. Some furnaces use one dual-run capacitor instead.

Other furnace repairs cost $150 to $500 on average, depending on the system type, size, and part requiring replacing.

Blower capacitor replacement cost

Blower capacitor replacement costs $100 to $250 with professional installation or $10 to $50 for the part alone. Test the capacitor before replacing the blower fan motor as a faulty capacitor may cause motor problems. Blower motor replacement costs $300 to $900.

Heat pump capacitor replacement cost

Replacing a heat pump capacitor costs $100 to $250, including the part and labor. The heat pump capacitor jumpstarts the motor or compressor and keeps it running smoothly. Other heat pump repairs cost $150 to $2,000 or more.

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Capacitor price factors

AC unit capacitor cost breakdown
Factor Average cost
Capacitor part $10 – $50
Labor $90 – $200 
Total cost to replace $100 – $250

The following factors affect the price of AC capacitor replacement:

  • Brand – Branded replacement capacitors cost more than universal or generic parts.
  • Number of capacitors – Some HVAC systems have multiple capacitors that may require replacement at the same time.
  • Location and accessibility – Labor costs increase for HVAC systems in difficult-to-access attics, closets, or crawl spaces.
  • Warranty – The manufacturer's warranty may cover the cost of capacitor replacement.
  • LaborAC services charge $75 to $150 per hour.
  • AC repairs cost $125 to $450 on average. If the capacitor failure causes extra wear and tear on other parts, the system may require additional repairs.
  • Condenser fan motor replacement costs $200 to $700. HVAC techs recommend replacing the capacitor whenever the condenser fan motor is replaced.

Labor cost to replace an HVAC capacitor

Labor for AC capacitor installation costs $90 to $200 on average, depending on the system type, location, and accessibility. HVAC manufacturers typically require professional replacement for capacitors under warranty.

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Split AC capacitor cost

A split AC capacitor costs $100 to $250 with installation. A split AC system has an indoor air handler and an outdoor condenser unit. The indoor blower motor and the outdoor compressor and condenser fan motors typically use a combination of start and run capacitors or a dual run capacitor.

Window AC unit capacitor cost

Window AC capacitor prices are $100 to $250 for professional replacement or $10 to $50 for the part alone. Window AC units use the same start and run capacitors found in central AC and HVAC systems. New window AC installation costs $300 to $1,100.

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Frequently asked questions

What does an air conditioner capacitor do?

A capacitor collects and stores energy to start the HVAC system's motors and keep them running smoothly:

  • The start capacitor uses a burst of stored energy to supplement the home's electrical supply and start the motor. An air conditioner requires more energy to start up than the home's electrical system can provide on its own.
  • The run capacitor provides a steady supply of energy to keep the motor running after it starts.

How long do AC capacitors last?

An AC capacitor lasts 10 to 20 years, depending on its usage. Capacitors typically require replacement more often in areas that experience extreme temperatures or power surges.

A dirty condenser coil may cause the compressor to draw more amperage, wearing down the capacitor. AC condenser coil cleaning costs $75 to $230 and increases the system's lifespan.

How to tell if an AC capacitor is bad?

The following signs may indicate a bad AC capacitor:

  • Clicking or humming noises from the AC unit
  • AC stutters when turning on
  • AC fails to turn on at all
  • AC shuts off randomly
  • Burning electrical smell
  • AC not blowing cool air
  • Increased energy bills
  • The capacitor looks bulged, enlarged, or dented

If the start capacitor fails, the motor will have difficulty turning on. If the run capacitor fails, the motor may turn on but will display other problems such as overheating, vibrating, or humming.

What capacitor do I need for my AC?

The AC capacitor must match the unit's voltage and microfarad rating (MFD or µF). The easiest way to determine which capacitor your AC needs is to consult the owner's manual. If the manual does not specify the capacitor voltage and MFD rating, check the label on the capacitor itself.

How many capacitors are in an AC unit or heat pump?

An AC or heat pump has one or more capacitors, depending on the system type and size. The outdoor unit has two separate capacitors or one dual-run capacitor for the compressor and condenser fan motor. Some systems also use start and run capacitors for the indoor blower motor.

How long does it take to replace an HVAC capacitor?

Replacing an HVAC capacitor takes 1 hour on average but may take longer if the unit is in a difficult-to-access location.

How much does it cost to replace an AC capacitor yourself?

Replacing an air conditioning capacitor yourself costs $60 to $100, including the part and required tools and safety gear. Mishandling the capacitor can result in serious injury or death. Hiring a pro is the best option if you don't have extensive HVAC and electrical experience.

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Hiring an HVAC repair service for capacitor replacement

Before hiring an AC repair company near you to replace the capacitor, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.
  • Confirm whether the malfunctioning part is covered under the AC manufacturer's warranty.
  • Look for a NATE-certified technician with experience repairing air conditioners.
  • Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business longer than five years.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been repairing air conditioners?
  • Are you NATE certified or ACCA accredited?
  • Do you charge a diagnostic or service call fee? If yes, do you apply that fee to the repair cost if I hire you to perform any repairs?
  • Is the capacitor covered under warranty?
  • Does the estimate include the replacement part and labor?
  • What other costs should I expect?
  • How long will the repairs take?
  • Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
  • What does your warranty policy include?
  • What is your payment schedule?

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