The compressor is called the “heart” of the aircon as it pumps the Freon (the blood in this case) throughout the coils embedded in the air conditioner. A breakdown in the compressor will make your AC unusable – and once it breaks, is replacing it a wise decision, or should you buy a new aircon?
Repairing or replacing the compressor of an aircon is a costly affair. Not only does the compressor cost as much as half of the price you bought the AC unit for, the labor cost is also significant owing to the complicated nature of the job.
In this article, we will discuss whether it is wise to repair the compressor of an aircon or not.
Can a damaged aircon compressor be repaired?
Compressors don’t quit early or easily – but when they do, it means a lot of headaches will be coming your way.
While yes, you can certainly repair a damaged compressor, it may not be worth it. Replacing an aircon compressor entails removing the Freon carefully so that it will not escape, then using a blow torch to remove the faulty compressor. After that, the technician will solder the replacement compressor, and then recharge the Freon. Needless to say, this will be expensive.
Note: Yes, you will need a technician for this; DIY-ing a compressor replacement is dangerous. If done poorly, the refrigerant gas might build up and cause an explosion. It might also escape and pollute the environment.
Most technicians will agree that replacing the whole air conditioner itself may be wiser than repairing or even replacing the compressor. After all, every subsequent repair will make your aircon more liable to break.
How much does it cost to repair or replace an aircon compressor in the Philippines?
As we’ve touched on earlier, repairing or replacing the compressor of an aircon is expensive.
Just the replacement compressor alone will cost you upwards of ₱5,000. If that hasn’t turned you off yet, the professional fee for the technician will cost you an additional ₱3,500 to ₱5,000+. The total repair cost is more than half of what you need to buy a new aircon.
Factors to consider
We will give you a few factors to help you decide whether replacing the compressor of your aircon will be worth it or not.
Age of the air conditioner
A properly maintained AC can last you 10 – 15 years. If the compressor breaks down by year 10 (give or take), it will be wiser to buy a new aircon than to struggle with replacing the current one’s compressor.
Lean towards repairing a younger unit (especially those still within warranty) than an older one. After all, if you repair a really old unit, it may eventually breakdown soon enough.
Repair history of your unit
Has your compressor or any other part of your air conditioner broken down recently?
If it underwent a major repair once in its life, or is being repaired constantly in the last few years, then it will be more economical to just replace the whole aircon.
Is your unit still under warranty?
Compressors usually come with a 5-Year warranty (inverter compressors come with 10+ year warranties). If the compressor breaks down within that time period, you will either be treated to a free repair/replacement of the compressor, or the whole aircon may be replaced free of charge.
If the compressor breaks down after the warranty has lapsed, then just replace the AC – at your expense now, unfortunately.
Cost of the unit
While doing a ₱10,000 repair to a ₱15,000 1.0HP window type aircon is certainly unreasonable, a ₱20,000 repair done to a high-end split type air conditioner that costs ₱60,000 doesn’t seem that bad of a trade.
As a rule of thumb, if replacing the compressor will cost you about half the price of the aircon you have, then it will be much wiser to replace the entire AC itself than having it repaired.
Also, if you are opting to repair your rair conditioner, remember that a totally replaced compressor, while being more expensive, will be more reliable than a refurbished one.
And please, do not even try to repair this on your own. You will put the safety of your family at risk if you muck it up.
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.