“Why does it cost so much to replace my compressor under warranty?”
That is a good question that we get quite a few times whenever we have that situation. Just because your compressor is under parts warranty it doesn’t mean everything else is covered. You will see a price that says labor but it is really more than just labor.
We have to uninstall the old compressor, install the new compressor, solder back in, and make the new fittings. We also have to get all the refrigerant out of the unit and dispose of it. We have to pay somebody to get rid of it after you dispose of it at their house. You then take it back here (the office) when you pump it into a bigger tank and that tank gets taken away by another company that properly disposes of refrigerant. Once the compressor is bad or damaged or has a burnout, that refrigerant is no good for it anymore. All of that has to be done and you have machinery to do it with. Obviously, all the machinery cost money, all of that refrigerant disposal costs money and then we have to go back with new refrigerant that is clean. We also have to weigh that refrigerant in. You have to use a micron gauge to pull a vacuum on the system to make sure there is no moisture and anytime you open a closed system, like your HVAC, they have a filter dryer. The dryer catches any impurities in the system before it gets to the critical components. Anytime you open a system that has to be replaced as well. You go through all these steps to make sure it is installed properly which will probably take you 4 or 5 hours depending on the location.
I have told customers before there is a lot of corners you can cut in installing a compressor, coil, or something major like this. You can cut corners, you can not use a micron gauge, and you can leave moisture in the system and not take it out. It is going to work for a little while and then you are going to have another failure. You can also not properly dispose of the refrigerant. A lot of companies, I don’t know what they do with their refrigerant, but it is not collected so they violate EPA laws by disposing of it correctly. It is cheaper to not do that, it is cheaper not to have all this equipment to make sure it is done properly. It goes back to the reason it costs so much is because, for us anyway, it is a quality installation. We stand behind it. Yes, the compressor is under warranty but there is a lot that goes into replacing it. It is a critical component, it is the heart of the system. To replace it correctly and to spend the time it takes to make sure it is done correctly, costs money. You have to have all these tools in place. You can pay for it now, like I always say, or you can pay for it later but you are going to pay for it.
If you have someone not doing a quality install of that compressor and cutting corners, then you are going to pay for it again sooner, than later. We take the time to do it correctly, yes it does cost a lot more money, and you have to go through a lot more steps. If you are really interested in this, you can You Tube soldering a unit or soldering copper you should be flowing nitrogen in that line that way you don’t have soot and solder, everything that can pass down in the system. We do that — now, does nitrogen cost money? Yes, it does, that is another corner you can cut to make the price cheaper. It goes back to you get what you pay for.
Your friend in comfort and energy savings,
Derek Cole is the General Manager of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®, an independently owned and operated franchise based in Laurinburg, North Carolina since 1953. He has more than 15 years of experience in the HVAC industry and has created two You Tube broadcasts, The Comfort Experts and #AskDerekCole, filled with tips and tricks on saving energy and being comfortable. He was named the Top 40 under 40 in the HVAC industry by the News magazine and featured in Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise Player Spotlight. Derek has also been seen on CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, and Bloomberg Business sharing about One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®.