As of 2015, the average cost to repair an air conditioner with a failed compressor is $1,500 to $2,400. Many variables affect the total, with the size of the unit being the major factor. If the system is over 10 years old, system replacement is usually the most economical choice.
Common causes of compressor failure include overheating, operating with low coolant and a bad run capacitor. A dirty condenser can cause the system to overheat. Cleaning the condenser and allowing the compressor to cool sometimes allows the system to begin cooling again. Having a heating and cooling professional service the unit ensures it operates with the correct level of coolant during the peak cooling season. Bad run capacitors cause the motor to cycle quickly and fail.