Ashburn, VA

How much does an AC condenser cost to replace?

$300 – $1,200 replacement cost under warranty
$1,200 – $4,200 replacement cost not under warranty

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December 27, 2021

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

AC condenser replacement cost

AC condenser replacement costs $1,200 to $4,200 if not under warranty or $300 to $1,200 for labor when under warranty. AC condenser unit prices are $850 to $3,000 for the part alone, depending on the coil type, brand, tons, and SEER rating. AC condenser coil replacement alone costs $900 to $2,300.

AC condenser replacement cost - chart
AC condenser replacement cost - chart

AC condenser replacement cost
Repair type Average cost
Condenser coil replacement $900 – $2,300
Full condenser unit replacement $1,200 – $4,200

The condenser coil is one part within the condenser that can be replaced:

  • AC condenser coil prices are $600 to $1,400 for the unit alone.
  • AC coil replacement labor costs $300 to $900.

Average cost to replace an AC condenser unit

The following table shows the average cost to replace an AC condenser unit that is not under warranty.

Average cost to repladce AC condenser unit - chart
Average cost to repladce AC condenser unit - chart

Average cost to replace an Home AC condenser
National average cost $2,900
Minimum cost $1,000
Maximum cost $5,600
Average cost range $1,200 to $4,200

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

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New AC condenser coil prices

AC condenser unit cost by ton

AC condenser prices are $850 to $3,000 for the unit alone, depending on the tonnage and seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Large condensers with the highest SEER ratings cost $3,000 to $5,000 or more, but are the most efficient.

AC condenser unit cost by ton
AC size Unit price Total replacement cost
1.5 ton $850 – $1,100 $1,200 – $2,300
2.0 ton $950 – $1,300 $1,300 – $2,500
2.5 ton $1,000 – $1,700 $1,300 – $2,900
3.0 ton $1,100 – $1,900 $1,400 – $3,100
3.5 ton $1,200 – $2,200 $1,500 – $3,400
4.0 ton $1,300 – $2,500 $1,600 – $3,700
5.0 ton $1,600 – $3,000 $1,900 – $4,200

Outside central AC condenser unit replacement
Outside central AC condenser unit replacement

AC condenser coil prices by brand

AC condensers from popular brands like Trane, Lennox, and York cost $850 to $3,000 on average for the unit alone, depending on the size, efficiency, and warranty.

AC condenser coil prices by brand
Brand Average unit price Total replacement cost
AirQuest $900 – $2,600 $1,200 – $3,800
Carrier / Bryant / Heil $850 – $2,500 $1,200 – $3,700
Coleman / York $1,400 – $3,000 $1,700 – $4,200
Goodman / Amana $900 – $2,700 $1,200 – $3,900
Lennox $1,200 – $2,500 $1,500 – $3,700
Mr. Cool $850 – $1,800 $1,200 ­– $3,000
Oxbox $1,100 – $1,900 $1,400 – $3,100
Payne $1,000 – $1,700 $1,300 – $2,900
Rheem / Ruud $1,000 – $2,500 $1,300 – $3,700
Trane / American Standard $900 – $3,000 $1,200 – $4,200

Central air conditioner condenser prices by coil type

Central AC condensers use coils made of copper or aluminum tubing surrounded by metal fins that release heat. The coil and fin shape and material affect the cost and efficiency.

Air conditioner condenser prices by coil type
Coil type Price range Features
Fin-and-tube $850 – $1,300
  • Copper or aluminum tubing running through flat fins
  • Standard; most common
  • Large
  • Least efficient
  • Delicate fins bend and damage easily
Spine fin $1,400 – $2,700
  • Aluminum tubing wrapped in thousands of tiny fins
  • More efficient heat transfer
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Fewer leaks
  • Only used in American Standard and Trane units
Micro-channel $2,500 – $5,500
  • Flat, thin tubs with tightly packed fins
  • Compact
  • Superior heat transfer
  • Uses 50% less refrigerant than standard coils
  • Corrosion-resistant

Split AC condenser cost

A ductless mini-split AC condenser costs $900 to $5,100 to replace, depending on the size. A mini-split condenser is located outside like a traditional split AC system condenser but can connect to up to five indoor air handlers.

Window AC condenser prices

Window AC condenser prices are $300 to $1,100 with installation. Replacing a window AC unit is recommended if it is no longer under warranty and does not adequately cool the room after cleaning the filter and coils.

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Home AC condenser replacement cost factors

  • Unit size – Condenser sizes range from 1.5 to 5 tons. Larger units cost more to replace.
  • Coil material – Copper coils cost more than aluminum coils but are stronger and easier to repair.
  • Age – Replacing a condenser over 10 years old typically requires replacing the entire AC system to ensure the indoor and outdoor components are compatible. A new AC unit installation costs $2,500 to $7,500.
  • Efficiency rating (SEER) – Higher efficiency units cost more upfront but save money over the long term.
  • Noise level – A condenser unit's noise level ranges from 50 to 100 decibels (dB). Quieter units cost more.
  • Compressor type – Two-stage compressors cost more but are more efficient than single-stage units.
  • System type – Replacing a packaged system costs more than replacing the condenser in a split AC system. Packaged air conditioners contain all the AC system components in one unit, while split AC systems have an indoor unit and an outdoor condenser.
  • Accessibility – Replacing an AC condenser in an obstructed area requires more labor.
  • Brand or generic – Well-known brands like Carrier, Trane, and York cost more than smaller, lesser-known brands.
  • Warranty – Manufacturer warranties typically cover the part but not labor. Some home warranties only require the homeowner to pay the service call-out fee.
  • Permit – Replacing an AC condenser requires a permit. Permits cost $25 to $200, depending on location.
  • Time of year – HVAC companies charge more during busy hotter months and may offer discounts during cooler seasons.
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AC coil replacement labor cost

The labor cost to install an AC condenser unit is $300 to $1,200, depending on the size, type, and accessibility. Labor to replace only the condenser coil costs $300 to $900. HVAC technicians charge $75 to $150 per hour.

AC coil replacement labor cost
Part Labor cost to replace
Condenser unit $300 – $1,200
Condenser coil only $300 – $900

Cost to replace air handler and condenser

Replacing an air handler costs $1,500 to $3,400 on average. Replacing the air handler and condenser together is recommended unless the air handler is less than 5 years old, has no problems, and is under warranty.

The AC condenser and air handler work together and must be compatible:

  • Mismatched size, SEER rating, or manufacturer leads to significant problems like reduced efficiency and early system failure.
  • Replacing only the indoor or outdoor half of the AC system may void the warranty.
  • Most indoor units more than 10 years old cannot work with new condensers due to the phase-out of R-22 refrigerant and new SEER standards.

Cost to replace condenser and evaporator coil

Replacing an evaporator coil costs $400 to $1,000 under warranty or $650 to $2,400 not under warranty. The evaporator and condenser coils work together to cool the home:

  • The evaporator coil – also called the indoor coil – extracts heat from the indoor air and transfers it to the refrigerant inside the coil. The heated refrigerant gas travels to the outdoor unit.
  • The condenser coil – also called the outdoor coil – disperses the heat outdoors before the refrigerant returns to the indoor unit.
Replacing the evaporator and condenser coils at the same time is recommended. The coils must match in ton size and SEER to prevent reduced efficiency and premature system failure.

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Common AC condenser repair costs

AC condenser repair costs $100 to $1,000 or more, depending on the problem. The most common AC condenser issues are coolant leaks, dirty coils, and compressor failure. Replacing the condenser unit is the best choice if the repair costs more than 50% of the replacement cost.

AC condenser repair costs
Repair Average total cost
Coil leak $200 – $1,500
Line and radiator blockage $75 – $250
Condenser relay switch $75 – $300
Control board $150 – $700
Condenser unit fan motor $200 – $700
Cleaning AC coils $100 – $400
Compressor replacement $600 – $2,500
Capacitor replacement $100 – $250
Condensate drain line flush $75 – $250
Condensate pump $100 – $450

Condenser coil leak repair cost

Condenser coil leak repair costs $200 to $1,500. Leaking refrigerant leads to decreased cooling and may damage other parts if left unresolved. Condenser coil leaks are often caused by corrosion or vibration when the unit is forced to work harder due to dirty components.

AC line blockage repair cost

Cleaning a condenser coil costs $75 to $230 on average and prevents most line blockages. A blocked condenser coil forces the air conditioner to work harder, increasing energy bills and wearing out parts faster. The condenser coil may require replacing if cleaning the coil does not unblock the line.

Condenser relay switch replacement cost

The cost to replace an AC relay switch is $100 to $300 with professional installation or $10 to $30 for the relay alone. Replacing the relay typically takes less than one hour once the problem is identified. The relay turns on the outdoor condenser unit.

Home AC condenser control board cost

AC control board replacement costs $150 to $700 on average. The condenser control board sends power to the unit. Age is a common cause of control board failure.

Condenser fan motor repair

Replacing a condenser fan motor costs $200 to $700 if not under warranty. Common signs the condenser fan motor is not working are longer cooling time, increased utility bills, or loud noises from the outdoor condenser unit.

Cleaning dirty AC components

Cleaning AC coils costs $100 to $400 on average. AC coils need annual cleaning to maintain efficiency and reduce utility costs. Hire an HVAC technician to clean the AC as the evaporator and condenser coil fins are fragile.

HVAC duct cleaning costs $200 to $800. Cleaning the ducts extends the HVAC system's life and provides better, healthier indoor air quality.

Air conditioner compressor repair

Replacing an AC compressor costs $1,300 to $2,500 if not under warranty or $600 to $1,200 for labor if under warranty. Air conditioner compressors cannot be repaired on-site and must be replaced instead.

Central AC condenser capacitor repair

Replacing an AC condenser capacitor costs $100 to $250 on average, including parts and labor. Replacing the capacitor is the only option when it fails. A humming condensing unit or the condenser fan not spinning when the AC system is on may indicate a failed capacitor.

Other condenser repair costs by part

Other AC system components may need repair or replacement when replacing the condenser:

  • Condensate pump – Replacing a condensate pump costs $100 to $450.
  • Drain line – Flushing the AC drain line costs $75 to $250.
  • Drain Pan – Replacing a drain pan costs $200-$600.
  • Replacing a thermostat costs $140 to $350.
  • Replacing a circuit breaker costs $150 to $200.
  • An AC tune-up costs $70 to $200. Annual HVAC maintenance plans cost $120 to $360.
  • An AC service call to diagnose the problem costs $75 to $200. Some companies apply this fee to the repair cost.

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Frequently asked questions

What is an AC condenser coil?

An AC condenser coil works with an evaporator coil to remove heat from the home's air and release it outside.

Steps of the AC cooling cycle:

  1. Liquid refrigerant cools the indoor evaporator coil.
  2. The cooled evaporator coil absorbs heat from the home's airflow and transfers it to the outside condenser unit through a copper line.
  3. A compressor converts the heated gas back to liquid form in the condenser coil.
  4. The refrigerant releases the heat outside as it changes from gas to liquid.
  5. The cooled refrigerant then travels back to the evaporator coil to begin the cycle again.

What size AC condenser unit do I need?

The new AC condenser should match the size of the current unit. To find your existing condenser's size, divide the 2-digit number within the condenser's model number by 12. Replacing the entire AC system is required if updating to a larger condenser unit.

How long do AC condensers last?

AC condensers last 10 to 20 years on average. Factors affecting an AC condenser's lifespan include:

  • Climate and usage – AC systems in northern states typically run for 1 to 3 months per year, while AC's in southern homes may run for 10 months or more.
  • Proper maintenance – Routing filter changes and annual tune-ups prolong the AC's life.
  • Correct AC sizing – An improperly sized unit turns on and off more often, reducing the AC's lifespan.

How long does it take to replace an AC condenser?

Replacing an AC condenser takes 4 to 8 hours on average. The unit size and AC system type affect the installation time. Larger condenser units take longer to install than smaller-sized units.

Should I repair or replace my AC condenser?

Consider replacing the whole AC system instead of repairing the condenser if:

  • The AC unit is more than 10 years old.
  • The condenser is no longer under warranty.
  • Repairing the condenser costs 50% or more of the cost of a new AC.
  • The system uses R-22 freon. Replacing a condenser unit that uses R-22 refrigerant requires replacing the indoor unit at the same time.

Do home warranties cover AC coils?

Most home warranties cover the HVAC system, which includes the AC coils. The homeowner is typically responsible for the service call fee. Always confirm the coverage details within your policy, as home warranties vary by company and location.

Where is the condenser coil located?

The condenser coil is located in the outdoor AC condenser unit behind the thin metal wiring or "fins."

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Getting AC condenser coil replacement cost estimates

Before hiring an AC repair service, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.
  • Confirm whether the condenser is covered by a manufacturer's warranty.
  • Look for a NATE-certified technician with experience in AC condenser repair and replacement.
  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
  • Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for more than five years.
  • Ask for references.
  • 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. Use a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • What experience do you have with AC condenser repair?
  • Is it better to repair or replace the condenser, and why?
  • Do I need to replace the indoor unit at the same time?
  • What size AC condenser do I need?
  • How long will the repair or replacement take?
  • How long should a new AC condenser last?
  • Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it include?
  • What is and is not included in the estimate?
  • What additional costs should I expect?

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