What’s the Average Price of a Central Air Compressor?

Whether you’re upgrading an existing HVAC system or installing one for the first time, it’s good to have some idea about what you’ll spend on key components. Let’s start with the central air processor, the heart of any HVAC system. A quick search online might suggest that $1,500-2,000 is a reasonable starting budget for parts and labor, but typically these sources are referring to residential air conditioning.

What about the needs of businesses? It’s harder to find relevant information, and for good reason: the criteria for business HVAC systems are both more varied and more exacting in nature. That’s why, like most contractors, we encourage you to contact us directly and discuss your unique needs with us. Because when it comes to your business, there’s a better question than wondering what’s average:

What’s the best available solution for your specific needs?

Residential HVAC often employs a more “one size fits all” approach, which makes it easier to quantify in general terms and averages. On the other end of the spectrum, HVAC systems for multistory buildings and massive warehouses often demand specialty solutions.

The industrial-grade air compressors required in these situations can cost upwards of $10,000-15,000 apiece. But what about small to medium-sized businesses? Though you may not need industrial-grade equipment, your business will almost certainly benefit from a more personalized plan. Consider some of the unique needs of businesses:

  • maintaining multiple zones of climate
  • quick response to thermostat changes
  • quiet, unobtrusive operation
  • larger total space to cover

It’s easy to see how the average residential solution falls well short of these needs. But you can at least gain some idea of how powerful the compressor should be. This mainly comes down to the total space covered and the climate your business resides in.

For example, in San Jose and surrounding areas, a good rule of thumb is to seek 0.5 tons of capacity in the compressor for every 300-400 square feet of your business. However, you’ll ultimately want more than a rough estimate, to avoid both overspending and underserving the needs of the building’s occupants.

If you’re ready to take the guesswork out of the equation, call us at 408-295-2182. We’re happy to help you discover a solution which is anything but average.