Don’t Junk It: 3 Situations Where Compressor Repair Makes Sense

Posted on: 16 September 2021


You probably know that your compressor is one of the costliest and most critical items in your air conditioning system. This component is so expensive that many people recommend replacing the entire air conditioning system whenever it fails. Unfortunately, replacing a whole central air conditioning system isn't cheap, and you usually can't replace the condenser unit by itself.

While repairing isn't always cost-effective, there are some situations where replacement isn't the way to go. If you find yourself in one of these three scenarios, you may want to discuss repair options with your contractor before replacing your condenser unit or central air conditioning system.

1. You're Under Warranty

Air conditioning warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but most cover parts for at least several years. Compressor failures during warranty periods are rare, but they do happen. Unfortunately, your warranty may not cover labor, so there's a chance you'll still need to pay some money out of pocket to repair your system.

However, even if you need to cover labor costs, it's seldom worthwhile to replace a system that still has any manufacturer warranty coverage remaining. In these cases, your best option to repair your condenser unit will depend on your manufacturer's recommendations. Typically, manufacturers will either provide parts to repair the compressor or provide a new one.

 2. Your System Is Less Than Ten Years Old

Since warranty coverage varies, it's possible to have an air conditioning system that's relatively young yet no longer guaranteed by the manufacturer. A well-maintained central air conditioning system can last over fifteen years, so one that's less than ten years old can still have plenty of life left. The high cost of compressor repair is therefore worthwhile since you'll enjoy the benefits for many more years.

It's also worth remembering that air conditioner efficiency tends to improve somewhat slowly. Replacing a 15-year old system with a newer model can mean substantial efficiency gains while replacing a 5-year old system will have fewer benefits. Since a new system isn't likely to offer much more efficiency, a total replacement won't necessarily save you much money.

3. Parts Are Cheap and Readily Available

Finally, it's worth considering the price and availability of repair parts. Repairing an old compressor might be cost-prohibitive in part because the components are hard to come by. If the compressor fails again, you'll be on the hook for another expensive repair. On the other hand, repairing a newer compressor with cheap and available parts is likely to cost you far less money.

Deciding what to do about an expensive component like an AC compressor is never easy. You should work with air conditioning repair services if you need help determining the best solution for your particular situation.