How Much Does it Cost to Replace an AC Capacitor?

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated February 17, 2022
Photo: Courtesy of Angi member Kathy W.

Highlights

  • Budget roughly $60 to $300 to enlist an HVAC pro to replace an AC capacitor.

  • To DIY the job, you’ll pay between $60 and $100 for the part and tools required.

  • With proper maintenance, your AC capacitor should last throughout the lifespan of your HVAC system, or around 20 years.

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Your AC capacitor cost will depend on the unit’s price and the labor required for installation. This guide reviews all the AC capacitor prices, options and cost factors involved in this essential HVAC repair.

Your air conditioner’s capacitor stores energy to give the unit a jump-start when it’s time to begin a new cycle of cool air. If the capacitor goes bad, your system might quit on you when you need it most (which is always, of course). Don’t sweat it though, as this is a relatively quick and inexpensive fix.

How Much Does an AC Capacitor Cost?

As a standalone part, AC capacitor prices typically range between $9 and $45. Your final cost depends on the type of unit your HVAC system requires (more on this below).

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC Capacitor Professionally?

If fumbling around makes you want to break out in a sweat, a local AC professional can help. A professional fix can range anywhere between $60 and $200, plus the cost of the unit. This covers not only wages, but transportation, tools, and union dues as well.

Average CostHigh-End CostLow-End Cost
$170$400$120

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC Capacitor Yourself?

If you pride yourself on being handy, you can replace an AC capacitor yourself for around $60 to $100, including the cost of the unit and the tools you’ll need for installation. This can potentially save you around $60 to $200 in labor costs, but taking matters into your own hands requires preparation and extreme caution.

For those who don’t already have the tools tucked away in the garage, you should budget around $50 in addition to your air conditioner capacitor cost. It’s important to ensure that everything you use is insulated, as you’ll be working with electricity. Below are the basic tools you’ll need for the task.

Tools Required and Average Cost

Tools RequiredAverage Cost
Insulated Screwdriver$15
Nut Driver$5
Safety Glasses$10
Electrician’s Safety Gloves$20
Total$50

Aside from that, your only other expense is the time it takes you to research AC systems, prepare, and carry out the work yourself.

It’s important to note that this isn’t one of those DIY tasks that you can figure out as you go. You should not attempt it unless you’ve done your homework and are fully equipped with the proper safety gear and understand electrical best practices, and understand the inner workings of an AC unit.

The AC capacitor could also leak toxic liquids or even burst, causing serious injury. At the very least, you might end up damaging your HVAC system if you aren’t sure what you’re doing.

To save time and eliminate possible risks, contact an air conditioning repair specialist in your area. 

Air Conditioner Capacitor Replacement Cost Breakdown

  • Unit Cost: $9–$45

  • Labor Cost: $60–$200

  • Final Cost*: $69–$245 

Your home AC capacitor cost will vary based on the price of the unit and the labor required to install it.

Labor

A local HVAC expert will charge between $60 and $200 to replace your capacitor.

*Keep in mind that many professionals will charge a flat rate for an AC capacitor replacement. A more common cost range to expect is $120 to $250.

AC Capacitor Unit Type

The cost of an AC capacitor cost varies depending on the type of unit you need. Run, start, and blower capacitors tend to be the least expensive. Dual-run and heat capacitors could cost an extra $20 or more. Here is a breakdown of AC capacitor prices by style:

AC Capacitor TypeTypical Cost Range
Run Capacitor$8 – $30
Dual-Run Capacitor$15 – $45
Start Capacitor$9 – $25
Blower Capacitor$9 – $12
Heat Pump Capacitor$15 – $25

FAQs

hvac air conditioner in front of brick wall
Photo: Thelma Lanteigne / EyeEm / Getty Images

How do I know if my capacitor isn’t working?

Unless you’re well-versed in how air conditioning units work, an HVAC malfunction isn’t always easy to diagnose. You might be wondering if it’s time to repair or replace your AC system altogether, or if only the capacitor is to blame.

Here are a few telltale signs of a failing capacitor:

  • High energy bills

  • Bulging appearance

  • AC is not blowing cold air

  • Audible clicking noise

  • AC takes a while to start after turning it on

You can try to troubleshoot AC problems yourself, but you might not recognize the true root of the issue. The safest bet is comparing quotes and having a pro take care of it for you.

Can I save on my air conditioner capacitor cost by installing the unit myself?

Yes, you can potentially save $60 to $200 by handling your own installation. However, you should only attempt this if you're equipped with the proper knowledge and protective gear to carry it out safely.

How can I maximize the lifespan of my capacitor?

Your AC capacitor should last throughout the lifespan of your HVAC system, or around 20 years, but there are a few factors that can cause it to fail prematurely. For example, if the voltage rating of the capacitor doesn’t match the AC’s needs, then it’ll likely be kaput before its time. It also helps to keep your outdoor unit out of direct sunlight, as prolonged heat exposure might cut your capacitor’s lifespan short.

For the health of your unit, as well as your entire system, stay proactive with an annual tune-up from an HVAC company near you.

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