Issues with the AC unit can be one of the more expensive repairs you’ll need to make to your car, depending on what the exact issue is. One of the most common issues is with the AC compressor, which works at the heart of the air conditioning unit and has several moving parts which can become faulty. Fortunately, fixing an AC compressor costs less than having these individual parts fixed or replaced so most garages will simply install a new unit rather than attempting complex repairs.
The cost of an AC compressor unit can range from $195 to $736 for the part itself, while the cost for parts and labor can be between $376 to $986. This will depend on the model of car and how much work is involved in the repair, with some units being substantially more difficult to replace than others.
Replacement AC Compressor Cost Comparison
The AC compressor replacement cost will vary depending on the model of car you drive, where you have it repaired and what kind of part you require. There will be substantial differences depending on what garage you go to and if you opt for aftermarket parts. Unlike some components, going with an off-brand AC compressor shouldn’t cause any issues with the functionality of your air conditioning unit.
Parts & Labor
$416 – $1022
Parts & Labor
$435 – $1216
Parts & Labor
$341 – $2126
$376 – 1687
$133 – $274
$184 – $520
What Is The Air Conditioner Compressor?
The air conditioning system is comprised of several components, such as the condenser, evaporator and the compressor. The AC compressor is one of the most important parts in the system, working like a pump to take the refrigerant, compress it and pass it on to the evaporator.
The compressor itself contains several moving parts, and these parts can often fail and cause the compressor to stop working. If these parts come apart they can disperse, causing debris to spread throughout the air conditioning system. When replacing the AC compressor, most garages will look to replace the receiver dryer and the orifice tube as well, as there is a risk there will be debris in those areas.
The clutch, bearing and electrical connector are essential for the AC compressor to work properly. A drive belt powers the clutch, which works to engage the compressor when the air conditioning in the car is switched on. If either of these components fail, the recommended practice is to replace the full compressor. This is often the most practical and the more cost-effective approach.
Another common fault with the AC compressor is the seals, which are prone to going bad. If the compressor starts to leak AC oil or refrigerant it can affect the seals, at which point the full compressor will need to be replaced as these seals cannot be replaced.
Benefits of Air Conditioner Compressor Repair
A fully functioning air conditioning system can be anywhere between a pleasant luxury and an absolute necessity, depending on the climate where you live. While in the past you were limited to opening the windows and just dealing with the wind and noise, over 80% of new cars are now fitted with air conditioning. The AC Compressor replacement cost is minimal compared to the amount of comfort and solace that a nice cool can provide on a hot summer day.
It allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature in the car, even in the warmest of climates. Most people with kids will be aware that there’s few things like a hot car to start an argument between siblings, so cool air can often mean cool heads! On a practical level, functioning air conditioning can keep the windscreen and other windows clear and free from mist. This can help significantly with visibility, particularly if you have a car full of people misting up the windows.
Finally, having the windows of a car can have an influence on the aerodynamics of a car. Keeping the windows up ensures this remains at an optimal level, reducing fuel waste and keeping noise to a minimum.
When Should You Have The AC Compressor Replaced?
There are various common symptoms that there may be an issue with your air conditioner compressor. The first and most obvious sign is that the air conditioning itself isn’t working properly, with little to no cool air coming out of the vents. Your local garage should be able to diagnose the fault for you, and isolate which component is causing the problem.
Sometimes you’ll find the vents are blowing hot air but not cool – again this could be an issue with the compressor so have it checked out.
Another common symptom is a clicking noise coming from the engine. If the AC isn’t being used regularly the seals and components can dry up as a result of insufficient lubrication. This can result in a loud clicking sound as the unit tries to function, which can lead to poor results from the AC unit. If you notice any unusual sounds coming from your engine, be sure to have it inspected.
What Is Done During An AC Compressor Replacement?
When you take your car to the garage with a suspected AC compressor issue, the mechanic will perform a few diagnostic tests.
They’ll check the overall pressure of the AC system, before checking for power and ground at the compressor itself.
If they find the compressor to be faulty, the first step is the removal of all the refrigerant in the system.
They will then remove the compressor, orifice tube, receiver drier and the expansion value to allow any debris and foreign material to be flushed from the system.
The new compressor will then be fitted, alongside the new orifice tube and receiver dryer if required.
The AC system will then be evacuated and recharged, before checking for any possible leaks in the system.
If the installation appears to have gone well, they will test the full operation of the system to ensure full functionality has been restored.
How to Save Money on AC Compressor Repair
As with most auto repair, you can usually save some money by ordering the parts online and performing the repairs yourself. Online parts retailers like NAPA, Walmart and Amazon mean consumers have access to car components far more readily than ever before, so if you do your research and feel comfortable working with your hands you can fix a lot of common problems.
If you’ve had the fault diagnosed as an issue with the AC compressor, the unit is fairly straightforward to remove (see the video below). The main challenge for an amateur mechanic is the removal of the refrigerant – not many people have access to the machine which performs this task. If you’re determined to do this work yourself, find a mechanic willing to drain the refrigerant for you, then finish the job yourself.
The other way is to simply shop around for the best possible price for the work. You can compare rough costs for parts and labor online, and you can get several quotes by just calling around local garages for an estimate. While it’s worthwhile going for a low price, be sure to go with someone you trust or who has a good reputation.
Sample AC Compressor Repair Costs
We’ve compiled a list of common costs for both parts and labor for some of the most popular car models in the country. While the actual cost will vary from place to place, these should give you a rough idea of what you can expect to pay to have your AC compressor replaced.
The typical ac repair cost is $360 with average ac repair prices ranging from $164 to $558 in the US for 2020.
Here are the average air conditioning unit repair costs in 2019 broke down by each individual air condition service.
AC Freon Leak Repair Cost
Freon leak repair costs anywhere from $225 to $1,600 depending on the amount of time it takes and the severity and location of the leak according to HomeAdvisor. Some freon leaks can take 8 hours or more to find and repair.
Air Conditioner Condenser Replacement Cost
Air conditioner condenser replacement costs about $575 with average prices ranging from $150 to $1,000 in the US for 2020 according to HomeAdvisor. But, you can expect to pay more if you have to replace the entire condenser coil with prices ranging from $900 to $2,800.
Air Conditioner Condenser Coil Replacement Cost
Air conditioner condenser coil replacement costs about $1,850 with average prices ranging from $900 to $2,800. Coil replacement is one of the most expensive ac repairs.
Air Conditioning Condenser Fan Motor Replacement Cost
Air conditioning condenser fan motor replacement costs about $700 with average prices ranging from $500 to $900. There is an extra $150 to $300 included in that estimate because the run capacitor will also need to be replaced.
AC Capacitor Repair Cost
DoItYourself says the average ac capacitor repair cost is about $135 with average prices ranging from $10 to $150. Generic units will cost less than brand name capacitors which can cost as much as $400.
AC evaporator coil replacement costs about $1,650 with average prices ranging from $600 to $2,700. Labor alone costs between $400 to $1,000 of the total estimate provided. Homeowners report paying a cost of $200 for a 1.5 ton evaporator coil replacement, and all the way up to $2,700 for a 5.0 ton evaporator coil replacement. Carrier evaporator coil replacement will cost anywhere from $400 to $1,300. An uncased evaporator will cost anywhere from $200 to $1,400 while a cased evaporator coil will cost about $350 to $1,750.
Air Conditioning Coil Leak Repair Cost
Air conditioning coil leak repair costs about $925 with average prices ranging from $250 to $1,600. HomeAdvisor says just about half of the price is due to labor and you might be able to replace your ac coil for a couple hundred dollars more.
AC Fan Motor Replacement Cost
AC fan motor replacement costs about $450 with average prices ranging from $300 to $600 according to BrowerMechanical. Experts warn that homeowners should replace the ac fan motor as soon as possible otherwise your compressor can go out which will cost upwards of $2,000.
AC Expansion Valve Repair Cost
AC expansion valve repair will cost about $450. It’s a relatively affordable service as it only takes about few hours or so to repair according to HomeAdvisor.
TXV valve replacement cost
PickHVAC says a TXV valve repair will cost about $362.50 with average prices ranging from $275 to $450. Failed thermostatic expansion valves and failed solder connects are typically due to poor installation rather than bad equipment.
Central AC Unit Repair Cost
Central ac unit repair costs about $330 with average prices ranging from $300 to $360 depending on the source you check. ThumbTack says you should expect to pay around $300 for central air condition repairs. Homeadvisor agrees with a similar average cost of central ac unit repairs at $360.
Home thermostat replacement costs about $171 with average prices ranging from $112 to $249 according to HomeAdvisor. The lowest price you could expect to pay is about $60 with the highest price upwards of $425 including parts and labor costs.
AC Service Call Cost
An ac service call will cost you $137.5 with average prices ranging from $75 to $200 according to HomeGuide. Service call fees are typically applied to your first hour of labor.
AC Drain Pan Replacement Cost
AC drain pan replacement costs about $319 with average prices ranging from $125 to $459 according to HomeGuide. The lowest price you could expect to pay is about $75 with the highest price upwards of $2,500 including parts and labor costs.
AC Filter Drier Replacement Cost
HomeGuide says home ac filter drier replacement will cost $52 to $159 without labor costs included.
AC Circuit Board Replacement Cost
According to HVAC, the average price to repair a circuit board is about $50 while the price to replace a circuit board is about $350.
HomeGuide says ac circuit board replacement costs about $375 with average prices ranging from $125 to $625.
AC Float Switch Installation Cost
An ac float switch only costs about $50 for the part. Pure says, that your ac repair contractor should be able to install it in less than an hour. With labor prices ranging from $70 to $130 an hour, you can expect to pay anywhere from $120 to $180 for ac float switch installation.
AC Tune Up Cost
According to Howell’s, the average cost of an ac tune-up is about $150 with prices ranging from $100 to $200 depending on your home size, type of ac system, and age of the unit. Experts suggest that getting regular tune-ups will help spot problems and avoid expensive ac repairs down the road. This yearly maintenance can help you from needing major repairs to your system and even give you peace of mind and save you money in the long run. Servicing your unit regularly can even help a home inspector to certify that your unit is working right in the event that you decide to sell your home.
Home AC Recharge Cost
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a home ac recharge is about $150 with average prices of a freon refill ranging from $100 to $350. However, you might have to pay a small recovery cost of $50 to $100 since r22 Freon is mandated to be captured and disposed of properly.
Air conditioner compressor replacement costs about $1,200 with average prices ranging from $800 to $2,800 according to AirConditionerLab. Signs of a bad air conditioning compressor include ac not as cold, ac blowing hot air, ac keeps tripping circuit breaks, ac is making loud noises, the compressor clutch is not moving, or the outside ac unit shakes during startup. Poor ac maintenance is the number one cause of home ac compressor failure.
Replacing a heat pump compressor costs about $1,950 with average prices of replacement ranging from $1,500 to $2,400 including labor in the US for 2020, according to CoolToday.com.
Other AC Repair Costs
Detection of refrigerant (Freon) leak and repair (ranges from $235 – $1,650) Average Refrigerant Leak Detection Service: $942.50
Replacement of relays, fuses, and/or circuit breakers (ranges from $20 – $310) Average relay, fuses and circuit breaker replacement $165
The hard start kit for the compressor (ranges from $110 – $260) Average hard start kit cost: $185
Drain pan for the evaporator coil, when available (ranges from $160 – $560) Average ac drain pan replacement cost: $360
Cost for Replacement of the motor fan for the condensing unit (ranges from $110 – $320) Average ac fan motor replacement cost: $215
Replacement of the condensate pump (ranges from $95 – $260) Average cost of condensate pump replacement: $177.5
Flush or repair the condensate drain line (ranges from Free – $260) Average condensate drain line flush cost $130
The circuit breaker (main fuse box) (ranges from $59 – $139) Average circuit breaker service cost: $99
The air handler’s motor’s fan (ranges from $320 – $550) Average cost to repair or replace air handler’s fan motor: $435
The condensing unit’s motor fan (ranges from $125 – $260) Average cost to replace condensate unit fan motor: $192.5
Contractor replacement, including switches of the capacitor (ranges from $65 – $125) Average cost to replace contractor and capacitor switches: $95 AVG
Power pack booster’s and hard start kits (ranges from $260 – $525) Average cost for power pack booster: $392.5
For set repairs & replacements of copper lines, could include refrigerant (ranges from $220 – $660) Average cost to replace refrigerant lines: $440
Replacement of condensing unit coil(this is not the evaporator coil) (ranges from $1650 – $2,350) Average cost to replace condensing unit coil: $2,000
Drain pans, metal or plastic (ranges from $260 – $585) Average drain pan replacement: $422.5
Installation of (1) Mini Split System A/C Unit (ranges from $2025 – $3,000) Average AC Installation cost: $2,512.50 AVG
Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Costs
Having a troubleshooting service call may cost from $70 to $190, depending on where you are located and the time of year that you call. The premium cost time for an HVAC professional is during the hot summer months.
It’s nearing the middle of the hottest summer we’ve had in years, and when it is the least expected, not to mention badly needed, the central air conditioning unit goes on the blink. That is why it is so crucial to keep the maintenance up all year long on you’re A/C Unit, and to have you’re A/C system checked at regular intervals, ensuring that it will be in good working condition when you need it the most, without any unexpected breakdowns.
Occasionally, there are going to be repairs needed. The problems may be in the capacitor, or the evaporator, the condenser, and sometimes the refrigerant will run low and need to be recharged. Just about all of the people we’ve done work for, has done the math, and the calculations are showing that more than 75% of those who have had service by a professional in Central A/C Units, and had to have servicing done on their A/C Unit has had to spend between ($167 – $495) on the repair costs.
In fact, some of those who fall in that 75% range had to have repair services to some extent by a professionally trained Central A/C technologist and they have divulged to us that the amount they actually had to spend for their A/C Units Servicing was around ($318). If there is something wrong with your A/C Unit that you, yourself will not be able to fix, it is of great significance that you contact someone who, not only has the skills that are needed, but they also have the knowledge that was taught to them at the time they learned those skills.
If repairs is what your Central Air-Conditioner Unit is in need of, check out the following information, it will help to get the job done more quickly, economically, and professionally.
Home Air Conditioner Labor Costs
Labor charges for ac unit repairs will vary company to company but normally the repair cost for labor can run anywhere from $70 per hour to $130 per hour. Average air conditioning labor cost: $100. Many companies will use flat rate pricing guides for repairs. This means that a particular fix will cost a certain amount and that includes labor and parts. If your AC unit was working but stopped working after a few days, they probably did not find and fix all of the issues and the refrigerant has leaked out. It is possible that other parts have failed since they made the repairs. There are plenty of reasons why your unit may have stopped working. Contact the service manager for the company who fixed your unit and inform them what is going on. They may send the same technician back since they would be familiar with your system and know where the leaks are. You are welcome to request a different technician to be assigned if you feel that the job was not done properly.
Questions you should ask your AC contractor/technician
Will the company provide a written estimate before the work is done?
Does the company have 24/7 emergency service?
Is financing available for larger repairs?
How does the company charge for their services?
Will the technician inspect the duct system as well as the whole unit?
Does the company provide AHRI Performance Certification?
Does the HVAC repair company require the employees to undergo drug testing and background checks?
Will the company provide testimonials and references for you to review?
How many years has the company been in business?
If something is for free, are their conditions that need to be met to qualify for the special offer?
If the unit is still under warranty, is the HVAC professional certified to do warranty work for the brand of Air Conditioning unit that is owned?
What types of warranties and guarantees are offered for their work?
Are the technicians certified by any professional HVAC organizations?
Are they insured, bonded, and licensed?
How to Find Low Cost Air Conditioning Repair
The best way to find low cost air conditioning repair include:
Ask Friends and Family for Referrals
Your friends or family may have used a good ac repair company in the past. Try asking around to see if they know of an affordable contractor that can help.
Use Search Engines Like Google.com
Use Google.com to search for “low cost air conditioning repair” and look at the maps listings to find the best air conditioning repair company.
Use Online Directories to Find AC Repair Companies
Online directories like Home Advisor and Angie’s List provide lists of the best ac repair companies near you. Looking for the highest rated HVAC professionals? You will surely find them on these helpful websites.
Check out Groupon
Groupon offers a ton of low cost air conditioning repair services. Choose from all different types of ac repair and tune up deals they have for sale on their site to see if you can save money on your repair.
Home AC Replacement Cost
Cost factors include load calculation, energy efficiency ratings, and the brand.
Installation cost of an A/C Unit, notes, and other information:
The estimate for the cost is only a ballpark figure, the actual cost can differ according to the basic work performed, and the service conditions. The cost estimates include local materials, delivery of equipment, transportation, and the cost of preparing the site.
The cost of installation of a brand new A/C Unit?
Installation of brand new ac units range from $4,000 – $10,000. Average AC unit installation cost: $7,000. A basic 2-ton model will cost around ($4,000), A mid-range unit will cost ($7,000), and the highest cost ac unit replacement will cost ($10,000).
The average cost to buy each of the different brands of air conditioning units:
The average cost to buy a brand new ac unit is $2,442.50.
Aire-Flo – ($1,750)
Amana – ($2,650)
American Standard – ($3,300)
Armstrong – ($2,100)
Bryant – ($2,250)
Carrier – ($3,250)
Coleman – ($1,750)
Comfort Maker – ($1,800)
Frigidaire – ($2,950)
Gibson – ($2,350)
Goodman – ($2,200)
Heil – ($2,500)
Lennox – ($3,300)
Payne – ($1,500)
Rheem – ($2,600)
Ruud – ($2,500)
Tempstar – ($1,900)
Trane – ($3,400)
Whirlpool – ($1,950)
York – ($2,850)
Cost Factors Of Home Air Conditioning Repairs:
The A/C Unit is Leaking Refrigerant: It is not uncommon for the A/C Unit to stop working due to a leakage of the refrigerant. It is locating where the leak is, what’s causing it, and repairing the faulty part(s) that is going to cost, for both, the parts and labor. This can range between ($200 – $1500), and possibly more.
The A/C Unit’s Compressor is Broken (maybe beyond repair): occasionally, an A/C Unit’s compressor can break down. It may be beyond being repaired, meaning you will have to install a new compressor. Depending on the type and size you’re A/C Unit will need, this can cost you anywhere between ($1200 – $1700).
The A/C Unit’s Evaporator Coil is Malfunctioning: If there is a malfunction with you’re A/C Unit’s evaporator coil, it will cost somewhere between ($200 – $1500) to replace.
The A/C Unit’s Condensing Unit Coil needs to be Replaced: If you have never encountered this one before, let me tell you, it is a mind boggler. This A/C Unit’s part is quite possibly the most expensive part of the Unit. Replacing this part is also very time-consuming. If the Condensing Unit Coil is your Unit’s problem, money wise you will be looking upward from ($1600 – $2300) to have it fixed.
When the A/C Unit’s repairman is sent to diagnose someone’s A/C problem, the customer is going to be charged a service fee, and many people do not feel that they should be charged for this. However, let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a minute – Pretend that you are the repairman for a moment, now, do you think you should go out and diagnose these people’s A/C problems without getting paid? Didn’t think so!
The most basic problems to happen to your home’s A/C Unit
The HVAC system on your A/C Unit is not working correctly: This could be from problems in the power source, thermostat, and/or the controls, and to have this type of issue fixed it is going to cost you approximately ($140) to have it fixed.
Your A/C Unit is noisy when running: This usually only involves a little bit of adjusting and changing the valves and filters, costing about ($160).
Is your A/C Unit causing high energy bills?: If you perform routine maintenance and do some minor tweaks to your A/C Unit it might require you to put out a few extra dollars (approx. $110), but at the same time, it is going to keep your energy bill down drastically.
Having issues with the A/C Unit’s temperature control and/or thermostat?: Problems with controlling and regulating the temperature using the A/C Unit’s thermostat may require you to replace the thermostat, which will only cost you about ($175).
To prevent needing repairs to your A/C Unit
It is important to schedule regular routine check-ups for your A/C Unit to see a professional in order to minimize the chances of your unit having a breakdown. With maintenance up-keep being only a fraction of what repairs will cost remember to keep your filters clean and/or changed when they become dirty.
7 Signs that you may need to repair your air conditioner unit
Your unit isn’t working at all.
Before you call a professional to deal with the issue, you may want to look into a few things first. Check to see if your thermostat is set to cool. Ensure that your cooling temperature is lower than the temperature of the home. If everything is set up correctly, check the electrical panel to ensure that you have not tripped the breaker. If all of this checks out and your AC is still not working, then call a professional.
You hear your unit running but there is no cool air coming out of the vents.
If the thermostat has been set to a good temperature for your home and it is still too warm, your air conditioner is not doing what it should correctly.
Your AC unit is making weird noises.
You are most likely familiar with the noises that your unit makes normally. If you live in a warmer climate, then your AC unit is a normal noise that you hear as part of your daily life. When you hear weird noises, it is time to call for repairs.
Your AC smells bad.
Any unusual orders that are coming from your unit have indicated that there is mildew, dirt, or mold inside of the unit, which has been circulated through the air in your home. Bad smells are definitely more than just a nuisance. They are an indication that there is an issue that needs to be addressed right away in order to avoid health issues for your family.
Your AC unit is short cycling.
It is normal for your AC to cycle on and off to keep a set temperature through your home. Although, if you notice that your unit is turning off and on more frequently than normal and the outside temperature isn’t warmer than normal, it is very possible that your unit may be malfunctioning. Short cycling puts a lot of extra stress on your AC unit and can cause it to fail entirely if it isn’t handled quickly.
Water happens to be leaning around and in your AC unit.
While having some small amounts of condensation is normal for an AC unit, having excessive water is a sure indication that you have an issue. It is because your AC has electrical components which need to be protected from any water damage, and you will need to contact an HVAC professional.
Your unit is frosty or icy.
Just like excessive water is an issue, so it frost or ice in your AC unit. Restricted or blocked airflow can lead to ice buildup, which can cause your unit to literally freeze up.
If you have detected any of these signs that your AC unit is on the fritz, then it would be wise to call a professional AC repair professional. After all, the reason that you have an AC is for your comfort and if you are uncomfortable, then it would be time to call for help.
The following gives the different costs (from the lowest to the highest) on the repairs of a Home A/C Unit:
Low Range Home A/C repair costs in 2019 ($Free – $280) Average of $140 spent on low-cost A/C repairs
With the lowest cost of repairs on an A/C Unit being ($0 dollars to $280 dollars). I hope for your sake the repair you need will fall into this category. The cost is going to be (less than $100) if the problem is related to a circuit breaker or fuse. If you call in a professional the minimum cost to occur can range from ($50 – $100 dollars), that is why you should rule out the circuit breaker before calling in the professionals. This is something that you would be able to do yourself, and the cost for the fuse is only a few bucks.
Remember, even if it is a minor repair the A/C Unit should be repaired unless of course, you have the kind of money it takes to get the entire A/C Unit replaced. No matter how small the task is, anytime someone without experience messes with the A/C Units, it can be a dangerous situation. can still be a dangerous situation for anyone not experienced in doing it. Some of the other repairs in the lowest cost category are Thermostats, Pump Replacement, and cleaning/clearing the drain line. The parts and labor for repairs like these will cost between ($50 – $290), so the cost here will depend on what you’re being charged for the labor.
Middle Range Home A/C repair costs in 2019 ($110 – $600) | Average of $355 homeowners spent on A/C repairs
The list would be very long for all of the possible reasons that you’re A/C Unit might suddenly stop working, The majority of the repairs will fall into the category of middle range for the repair costs.
The repairs that will be in this range will include:
Evaporator Coils to the Drain Pans
Control Circuit Boards, Contactors
Recharges of Refrigerant
Among many others…
The cost of the middle range repairs are going to vary and will be depending on particular factors, such as:
The nature of the repair
How long it has been in this shape
The extent of the damage
You can look forward to the costs being between ($100 – $600).
Mid-High Range Home A/C repair costs in 2019 ($200 – $650) | Average Mid-High range AC repairs cost homeowners $425 in 2019
Power Pack Boosters
Metal Drain Pans
Hard Start Kits
Copper HVAC Line Set Repairs
And, many others…
Repairs of this type put them in the high middle range category, costing between ($200 – $650).
High Range A/C repair costs in 2019 ($235 – $2350) | Average high repairs costs for the A/C Unit $1,292.50
The following are the things that will be in the category of the highest repair costs of an A/C Unit, which will fall between ($235 – $2350). These things will be expensive to have repaired, and it is possible they will never happen to you, however, if they do, it might t be beneficial to easier, and more beneficial to just have the A/C Unit replaced.
The things that will cost you the most to have repaired on an A/C Unit:
A/C Unit is Leaking Refrigerant
A/C Unit’s Compressor is Broken (maybe beyond repair)
A/C Unit’s Evaporator Coil is Malfunctioning
A/C Unit’s Condensing Unit Coil Needs to be Replaced
All the things listed above will have you digging deep for the cost of repairs, or as previously mentioned, it might be more beneficial to replace instead of repairing it. Keep reading to find out what each of these things will consist of, and the cost to have them repair.
What should you look for in a professional service
Firstly, it is wise that have a company that specializes in HVAC services. Although there are many handyman companies that will do AC repairs, a company that specializes in heating and cooling will be the best option. AC unit repairs can cost a lot, depending on the issue, so it is best to work with a highly trained HVAC professional that will ensure that you get quality work.
Do your homework.
You should check the licensing and insurance requirements that are in your state. Research the background of the company that you plan to go with. Licensing information should be displayed on paperwork, marketing pieces, and on repair trucks.
Make a list.
Before you even go to speak with an HVAC repair service, you should know the model of your system and the maintenance history. Check to see if your AC unit is still under warranty. So, make a list of what your concerns are to make sure that you don’t forget anything that is important for your repair professional to know.
Compare service packages and prices.
If it is possible, try to get at least three(3) estimates for any type of maintenance or repair work. All of your estimates should be in writing and provide you with a full description of the services that are provided and what will be used.
Check with your friends and family to get names of HVAC professionals that may be in your area or service your area. If that fails to get any results, contact the Better Business Bureau or your Chamber of Commerce for suggestions.
Check their certifications
Most HVAC professionals will belong to the SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Contractors’ National Association) or ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). Both of those sites will be able to provide you a listing of HVAC contractors that are in your area. You should look for contractors whose technicians are certified by NATE (North American Technician Excellence) and who are partnered with ENERGY STAR.
There are also a few additional things that you should look for as well. Such as if the repair technicians are presenting themselves professionally, are courteous, and if the company vehicles appear to be well maintained. These are the things that will indicate to some extent the type of workmanship that you can expect to get.
AC Repair Certifications
Your HVAC professional may also be able to help you verify that your system has been properly matched by providing you with an AHRI Certificate of Certified Product Performance with your request. This certificate will verify that the outdoor unit and indoor unit combination has been certified as a matched system by AHRI. For the higher efficiency systems, this certification may actually help you to get a rebate from your local municipality or utility if you have to replace your unit in part or whole unit. Not all areas will offer a rebate, but your technician will be able to give you information about the certification process. Fees for giving your unit the certification may vary, but most are inexpensive.
EPA 608 Certification
The EPA or Environmental Protection Agency does require that all technicians who open a system that contains a control refrigerant be certified to open the system. There are four different levels of certification, one which happens to be universal that allows an HVAC technician to work on any equipment that contains refrigerant. Your technician should be Level II certified or have Universal certification in order to work on your AC unit. Getting this information from your HVAC technician may actually be required in the event that you are working with a realtor to sell your home. The average cost for certification ranges between $50 and $250.
The average day of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technician:
The HVAC Technician Labor: Take into account the travel time of approx. thirty minutes each way to the person’s home for diagnosing their A/C Unit. Don’t forget to allow for the time the repairman is at their home working!
The cost of gasoline for travels: The repairman has to supply the gasoline for traveling to and from these people’s home. With gasoline being at, let’s say $2.70 per gallon.
How about the companies overhead?: When the company answered the phone and told someone that their repairman was on their way, that’s when the company became responsible for any, and all overhead. The overhead is the little things, such as the gasoline it takes traveling back and forth, and all the parts that are being hauled around in the company van. That brings us to the insurance that the company has to keep so its coverage stays in force to cover any possible loss. Keep in mind that none of this is directly related to the service call.
Also, you should keep in mind that for the most part, The companies that repair air-conditioners actually lose money on their service calls, as they don’t mind losing a little in order to gain a new potential customer.
With the vast amount of different kinds of A/C Units out there, it creates a long list of costs, fees, and charges. Here is a list of some factors to consider, and what you can expect on the charges for your (A/C Unit’s repairs):
What type of air-conditioning system do you have in your home?: There are single units which either heat or cool, and then there are the units that do both. Which type of unit do you have? Units that only cool will be less expensive to repair.
What fuel type is you’re A/C Unit?: The lowest costing A/C Unit repairs will be with the electrical types. A/C Unit’s that run off of natural gas or propane is going to be a little more costly.
How old is your A/C Unit?: The older models of A/C Units are not only more costly to repair, but they are outdated and are not so cost efficient. This is why replacing your older A/C Unit makes sense.
7 Tips for AC unit Maintenance
Change the filter.
This is the easiest and most effective way to keep your AC Unit running as smoothly as it should be is changing your filter once a month. When you change your filter regularly, you will reduce the burden on your system. A clogged or dirty filter will make your AC unit work harder than a clean filter would. Regularly changing the filter is easy on your system and budget as it will lower your utility bill and extend the life of your AC.
Keep the coils clean.
The fins and coils outside of your AC need to be clear of obstructions and kept clean. Leaves and other sorts of debris can sometimes accumulate around it. If there are obstructions present, then your unit will begin to work harder than it should. You are able to clean your unit with a broom and garden hose. DO NOT use a pressure washer, as the strong spray could cause damage to your unit. A little bit of housekeeping will go far to keep your AC working as it should.
Keep all the shrubbery trimmed that surrounds the unit.
If you have any type of planted shrubbery around the unit to hide it from view, ensure that you have left plenty of space around it for the AC unit to work without obstruction. If there is a slight obstruction, a quick trim should do the trick.
Ensure that the dryer vent is not angled towards your unit.
The lint from the dryer exhaust can cause issues for your AC unit. Be sure that lint is unable to get inside of the air conditioner by angling the dryer vent in the opposite direction.
Adjust the thermostat.
If you happen to be gone for long periods of time each day, then adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature for the time that you are gone. This will lessen the amount of time that your unit will work each day, and will lengthen the cycle of the unit. The additional benefit is that you will have a lower utility bill each month. Some of the new thermostats will allow you to program it to match your schedule so that your home stays cool when you are home. Optimizing the system’s usage will maximize life in the long run.
Check the ductwork and seal any open spaces.
Ensure that the doors and windows are sealed properly to help keep the home cool. You should perform a visual inspection of the ductwork every now and then to ensure that it is sealed correctly. If the ductwork isn’t sealed properly, cool air will escape before it gets inside of your home. The less cool air that escapes, the less your unit will have to work.
Schedule yearly tune-ups with an HVAC professional.
A trained HVAC professional will be able to detect most issues before the become major ones. This costs around $100 to $150 for routine maintenance calls, but the benefits will outweigh the cost by a lot. The typical tune-up consists of various tests to make sure that your units internal parts are working right, as well as a filter check and a refrigerant charge if it is needed. The technician will also clear the drain and clean the unit inside and out.
The government offers a tax credit for the following:
Tax credit offered for those who use a split system A/C Unit at $300, [must be a 16 SEER or a 12 EER].
Tax credit offered for Packaged A/C Units at $300, [must have a 14 SEER or a 12 EER].
If you live in a warmer climate, then your AC is one of the most essential pieces for your home. The best course is to have routine maintenance to make sure that the unit runs smoothly during some of the warmest months of the year. Having yearly tune-ups done by HVAC professionals will help to increase the lifespan of your unit as well. When repairs are needed, ensure that you hire an HVAC trained technician for the best results. When you follow these guidelines, it will make sure that you are cool and comfortable through the summer. We hope you enjoyed our article on the average air conditioner repair costs in 2019.
The national average cost to have your air conditioning unit or system serviced ranges from $50 to $140. What you pay depends on whether the technician performs a simple tune-up and cleaning, or if they discover any larger issues with your air conditioner that they need to repair.
When the heat index rises, retreating to an air-conditioner-cooled home beats the alternative of sweating it out. But keeping cool comes at a cost— and no, we’re not just talking about your energy bills. It also means taking care of your air conditioning with a regular AC service from a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician. In fact, regular maintenance on a unit might be a requirement to keep some manufacturer’s warranties from voiding.
Routine maintenance prolongs the life of window units, evaporator coolers (also known as swamp coolers), split AC systems, and central air conditioning systems. It also ultimately saves money on energy bills and keeps the home cooler — a triple win. Before you hire a technician to service your AC, get an estimate on air conditioning service and maintenance costs.
What’s in this cost guide?
AC service cost factors
Air conditioning repairs
Air conditioning replacement
What goes into an AC service call?
Common AC problems
Cleaning and filter changes
How to find an HVAC technician
Find an HVAC technician near you
What impacts AC service costs?
The total price you pay for AC service and maintenance will depend on the flat rate or hourly fee your contractor normally charges and, if there is a problem, what it costs to repair that specific issue with your air conditioning.
>>Get free estimates today. Here are the best HVAC technicians near you.
HVAC technician rates
For routine maintenance, most AC service technicians charge a flat rate of $50 to $140.
Some HVAC professionals charge an hourly rate for service work. Expect to pay $65 an hour on average. The hourly rate may apply to their travel to and from the job location, or it may solely apply to work done on-site (in which case, some contractors charge a separate travel fee to cover transportation costs).
Below are some example rates several HVAC technicians charge for AC service calls, and what their services include:
Gilman Cooling & Heating in Cape Coral, Florida
New customer tuneup special: $59
Standard air conditioning system tuneup: $89
Toasty’s Heating & Cooling in Farmington, Michigan
General maintenance for air conditioning unit: $79
Advanced maintenance for air conditioning unit: $138
The price includes chemicals for the system.
Atlantic Coast Contractors in Newport News, Virginia
Standard maintenance rate: $95
Clean outdoor evaporator and condenser coils with specialty cleaner.
Flush drain lines.
Install drain tables to reduce buildup (mold, algae, etc.) in drain lines.
Check refrigerant levels, capacitors and safeties.
Check and tighten electrical connections.
Inspect duct system.
Measure amp draw and electrical current.
Test backup electrical heat.
Clean burners on furnaces and inspect flue pipe.
Check blower wheel.
Lubricate all moving parts.
Winter (off season) special: $69 for all of the above
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Common repair costs
If your air conditioner needs repairs, the national average for labor and parts is $300. However, the actual amount you’ll pay to repair your air conditioner depends on the type of repair it needs:
National average cost
HCFC-22 (R22) refrigerant: $349 for 3 pounds
R410A refrigerant: $199 for 3 pounds.
Note: HCFC-22 refrigerant production will stop in 2020. Costs may increase as supply decreases. You must use the refrigerant specified by the manufacturer.
Repair refrigerant leak
$225 to $1,000
Clearing clogged condenser line
Replace a thermostat
$90 to $120
Replace the capacitor
$100 to $400
Install new circuit board
$120 to $600
Install new condenser fan
$400 to $500
Replace evaporator coil
Replace the compressor
$1,000 or more
$35 to $55 per linear foot to install, including labor and materials or $150 to $250 per duct run (typical homes have 6 to 10 runs)
>>See pros near you. Contact the best HVAC technicians today.
Replacing your air conditioning
Expect to pay $4,000 to $12,000 on average to install a new whole-house HVAC system. To install new ductless air conditioning, estimate $1,800 to $7,000.
In some cases, it’s more cost-effective to replace your AC system. If repair costs exceed $500, the unit is more than 10 years old, or it uses HCFC-22 refrigerant which will stop being produced in 2020, consider replacing instead of repairing your air conditioning.
What’s included in a routine AC service call?
AC service fees will cover a standard checklist to evaluate your air conditioner’s performance and conduct maintenance to prevent larger problems. Depending on the type of HVAC system you have, a technician will typically go through this AC service call checklist during a regular tune-up:
Turn on the system to check the accuracy of the thermostat.
Conduct a diagnostic test on your unit’s electrical terminals.
Measure amp draw and electrical current.
Check and tighten electrical connections.
Run through the electrical control sequence, ensuring the cooling and heating system can’t operate at the same time.
Measure airflow through the evaporator coil.
Inspect the coil fins. It’s common for these to become bent over time. Using a fine comb, the technician will brush them back into shape.
Clean outdoor evaporator and condenser coils with specialty cleaner (if you have an outdoor unit).
Clear any debris from the fan, condenser, and compressor in dual split systems or around window units.
Inspect window seals around window units.
Inspect ductwork in central AC systems and fix loose seals.
Inspect and flush drain lines if necessary.
Check for adequate refrigerant level and test for refrigerant leaks.
Check blower wheel and blades for proper air flow.
Lubricate the motor and other moving parts.
Inspect motor belts and pulleys for wear and tightness.
Replace or clean the air filter.
>>Hire a pro today. These are the best HVAC technicians near you.
Common air conditioner problems
During the tune-up, there are three common problems your HVAC professional might uncover:
It blows hot air. If your air conditioning is on but only warm air blows from the vents, your system may need a refrigerant recharge or there may be a leak in the line.
It won’t turn on or off. First, check to make your thermostat works. It may need new batteries. If that’s not the problem, there could be a failure somewhere in the electrical connection.
The AC unit is frozen. Several things may be going on. If the AC doesn’t have enough refrigerant, the coils can become too cold. If the fan is damaged, it can prevent air from circulating.
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How can you save money on air conditioning service calls?
Most air conditioning systems last 15 years on average (window units typically last about 10-12). Regular air conditioner maintenance and tune-ups can help your unit reach its full lifespan.
Regular cleaning and filter changes
Between service calls from an HVAC professional, make sure you’re cleaning or replacing the AC system’s air filter. Dirty filters can collect debris, block airflow, and clog the evaporator coil, which absorbs your home’s heat. If you use your AC frequently, do this cleaning task at least every month. If you have multiple pets, severe allergies, or experience high levels of dust (like during a home remodel), change it once every three weeks.
According to the Department of Energy, the average household spends 6% of its energy costs on home cooling, but this maintenance task can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15%.
Ask about discounts
Be sure to ask about new customer rates. Getting your system serviced in the off-season (so, not in the middle of a summer heat wave), when HVAC companies are looking for business, can also save you some money.
Consider a long-term contract with your HVAC professional
Most HVAC service providers offer discounts for multi-season or long-term contracts, which usually bundles your furnace maintenance and air conditioning maintenance together. The contractor will inspect the furnace in the early fall, before the start of the winter season, to make sure your system heats adequately. Then, before the start of summer, they will make sure your AC runs smoothly and efficiently, so you stay cool all summer long.
Another perk of signing a long-term contract is that if something does go wrong unexpectedly, most HVAC service providers ensure that contract clients get priority attention, without the added emergency cost. During a heat wave, that can mean the difference between languishing for days or instant relief.
>>Don’t Delay. Hire a HVAC technician near you today.
How to find a good HVAC technician
You can’t just hire anybody to service your AC — you need to hire someone who is qualified, reputable and affordable. Take these steps to ensure you hire the best pro to service your AC:
Compare HVAC technicians online. Going online allows you to quickly find and view the top HVAC technicians in your area.
Read reviews and ratings. You’ll get a sense of the technician’s reputation and capabilities by reading the customer reviews.
Check their credentials. Make sure the pros you’re considering have the proper licenses and certifications. Check your state and local governments’ websites to see what the requirements are in your area.
Get free estimates from at three to five technicians. You should always get quotes from several pros you’re considering to ensure you’re paying the best price for your AC service.
For more tips on how to hire a pro, visit Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring guide.
Find an HVAC technician near you
Before your air conditioning sputters and gives up, contact the best HVAC technicians near you to get free estimates.
HVAC repairs cost between $150 and $450 on average with most homeowners spending $319 on AC service, and $268 on furnace service. HVAC contractors charge an hourly rate of $100 to $150 with a minimum service call fee of $75 to $200, which applies towards the first hour.
HVAC Repair Cost
National Average Cost
$144 to $451
Table of Contents
HVAC Repair Costs
HVAC Service Costs
HVAC Service Price List
HVAC Maintenance Cost
Frequently Asked Questions
Hiring an HVAC Repair Contractor
AC Repair Near Me
HVAC Service Costs
On average, HVAC service costs $144 to $451 for most AC and furnace repairs with minimum service call rates of $75 to $200. If you’re not sure what’s the problem an AC diagnostic costs about $89, whereas a tune-up runs $100.
HVAC Service Cost
$100 – $150
$75 – $200
$85 – $110
$85 – $110
Emergency Hourly Rate
$140 – $250
If additional heating and cooling repairs need to be made, that will impact the cost, but if you keep your furnace and central air conditioning system well maintained, it will save you money in the long run. The air conditioning repair costs will also change depending on how big your house is and the brand and type of heating and cooling system you have installed.
HVAC Hourly Rate
HVAC repairs typically cost $100 to $150 per hour with most homeowners spending an average of $144 to $451 for HVAC service. The HVAC labor rates must cover the wages of the technician, the cost of travel (gas, truck payment, insurance), and even the cost of the office staff.
HVAC Service Call Rates
Most HVAC companies charge a minimum service call, which ranges between $75 to $200. In most cases, that fee will be deducted from your bill or applied as the first hour of labor. Be sure to ask the HVAC technician before scheduling an appointment.
HVAC Tune-Up Cost
An HVAC tune-up costs about $85 to $110 on average. An HVAC technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean all filters, blow out the dust and dirt, and repair any worn-out parts. Alternatively, an HVAC annual service costs $150 to $300, and one or two tune-ups are included. For an extra cost for parts, they will refill refrigerant, if needed, and swap out fan blades.
HVAC Flat-Rate Charges
Many HVAC contractors charge a flat rate for common or small repair jobs. Receiving a flat rate in your cost estimate will save you money because even if the repair takes longer than anticipated, you will still only be charged the quoted price.
HVAC Emergency Service Costs
HVAC emergency services typically cost double or triple the regular rate for a service call at $140 to $210 per hour on the low end and $400 to $600 on the high end. Some HVAC contractors only charge an extra $40 to $80 hourly for after-hours and weekend visits.
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HVAC Service Price List
Below are standard HVAC services in two different price lists, one for AC service jobs, and one for furnace service jobs.
AC Service Costs
Home AC service costs $319 on average with most homeowners spending between $125 and $459 on most central air conditioning system repairs. Check out our air conditioner repair cost guide for detailed information on each job.
Air Conditioning Service Cost
$75 – $200
AC Diagnostic Cost
$85 – $110
$85 – $110
Home AC Compressor Replacement
$1,300 – $1,900
AC Refrigerant Recharge
$250 – $750
Repair Refrigerant Leak
$200 – $1,500
AC Capacitor Replacement
$120 – $150
Evaporator Coil Replacement
$675 – $1,300
Evaporator Coil Leak Repair
$1,300 – $2,000
AC Fan Motor Replacement Cost
$225 – $700
AC Condenser Replacement Costs
$1,360 – $1,810
Condenser Coil Replacement Cost
$1,900 – $2,900
$100 – $165
Condensate Drain Tube
$100 – $195
AC Contactor Replacement
$150 – $350
AC Drain Pan Replacement
$150 – $350
AC Circuit Board Replacement
$150 – $350
Fuses, Circuit Breakers, or Relays
$75 – $290
$75 – $575
Flush Drain Line
$75 – $250
AC Compressor Repair Hard Start Kit
$100 – $195
AC Lineset Replacement Cost
$165 – $625
Home AC Filter Drier Replacement Cost
$208 – $296
AC Duct Work Repair
$2 – $4 per foot to repair $35 – $55 per foot to replace
Replace AC Unit
$3,350 – $5,912
Furnace Service Costs
Furnace service costs $268 on average with most homeowners spending between $125 and $355 on most repairs. HVAC technicians charge between $100 and $150 per hour for furnace repair. To get your heating system tested, diagnostic fees generally run about $90.
Furnace Service Costs
Repair Blower Motor
Repair Flame Sensor
Repair Heat Exchanger
Repair Circuit Board / Pressure Sensor
Replace Blower Motor
Replace Damper Motor
$85 – $325
$300 – $400
Replace Flame Sensor
Replace Heat Exchanger
$1,300 – $2,050
Replace Circuit Board / Pressure Sensor
Replace Gas Valve
Replace Smart Valve
Replace Draft Inducer
$150 – $450
$2,150 – $5,900
HVAC Duct Repair Cost
Repairing the ductwork in your home costs about $2 – $4 per linear foot compared to the $35 – $55 per linear foot it costs to replace existing ductwork. The total for replacing ductwork can cost $1,500 – $4,000 with most homes containing 30 to 90 feet of ducting.
HVAC Inspection Cost
An HVAC inspection typically costs $50 to $125. The inspection is crucial in making sure the new system has been installed or repaired correctly and will operate efficiently. Inspectors also ensure the system will meet the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) testing and verification requirements. HVAC needs to be inspected as part of the permitting process.
HVAC Cleaning Cost
Cleaning out your air ducts and HVAC system costs from $300 to $1,000 on average, or about $35 per duct. HVAC professionals recommend cleaning your air ducts every 2 to 5 years. Cleaning your HVAC unit increases the energy efficiency of your system and keeps your energy bills down.
HVAC Permit Cost
An HVAC permit costs about $220 on average. Permits are necessary anytime you open walls or any major work like installing an HVAC system. A reputable, state-licensed contractor will always know your local permit requirements before starting work on your home. Neglecting to get a permit can hold up the job, and you can be fined as well.
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HVAC Maintenance Cost
HVAC maintenance costs can be as low as $15 per month, or about $150 to $300 yearly and include twice annual tune-ups, cleaning, and heating and AC adjustment. Most HVAC maintenance contracts and service plans offer priority scheduling and discounts on service repairs. Letting any problems linger can raise your utility bills, or even worse, release dangerous VOC’s into your home.
HVAC Maintenance Tips
There are some basic things you can do yourself to keep your HVAC unit well maintained.
Replace the filter – Consider purchasing new, high-efficiency, pleated filters. They carry an electrostatic charge which grabs the smallest particles before they can enter your system. This filter should be changed every 90 days.
Maintain a 2-foot clearance around the unit and clear any debris – Keep air flow going by keeping the area around the outside unit free of sticks, leaves, and even grass from the lawnmower. Don’t make the system work harder than it has to.
Inspect and clean the condenser fan blades – Make sure they are free of accumulated dust and dirt. Carefully wipe them off. Keeping them clean keeps the air in your home cleaner.
Lubricate the condenser fan motor – Look for oil ports and give each one a few drops of SAE 20 to keep things lubricated. Don’t add oil to any place that does not have a port or indication that oil is needed.
Shade the compressor unit / Form-fitting cover for winter – Protect the unit from extreme weather with a cover.
Clean the indoor evaporator coil, drain pipe, and evaporator trap – Drain and pour bleach water into the condensate drain to keep mold and bacteria from taking up residence in hard-to-reach places. Rinse with water from a garden hose.
Seal any leaks in the ductwork and also consider insulating it all to help avoid or reduce condensation.
Ensure your thermostat is working correctly, and change the temp according to the season.
Electrical Repair Components
Learning about all the electrical components in your HVAC system such as a heat pump, fuses, or compressor will help you navigate who to hire, and how much the job should be.
Capacitors – Single-phase motors in air-conditioning units use capacitors to start the compressor. The capacitor stores energy, like a battery does, to have power available to the compressor when the thermostat tells it to turn on. Over time, capacitors can wear out, and when they do, you’ll notice the motor running hotter. Before that happens, you want to get those capacitors changed to prevent further damage to your system.
Compressor – Also known as the condenser coil, the compressor is responsible for taking the warm air out of your home and releasing it outside. It cools the inside of the house by compressing the refrigerant, and then a fan blows air over the compressor, and that brings the cooler air into the home. You should protect the compressor with an awning to provide shade and then clean it out once a year with a garden hose (after you turn the power to the outdoor unit off). You want to keep the compressor in good working order because repair/replacement can run to $1,900.
Contact/Relay – The contact/relay is the switch that turns on the compressor. When you set the thermostat to a specific temperature, and that temperature is reached, the thermostat signals the contact/relay and the system turns on. Over time, the contacts can pit and then and stop working correctly.
Furnace Circuit Board – The circuit board is the brains behind the whole operation. If your furnace is stopping and starting continually, the problem could be in the circuit board. A dirty fuse can get dirty over time. Have your HVAC technician check your circuit board.
Fuses – Fuses are designed to keep the electrical current at a safe level. If the current exceeds a safe level, the fuse breaks the current and trips the circuit breaker. Better a breaker trips than your entire HVAC system ruined because of it. If your furnace or AC is tripping breakers regularly, it needs to be checked.
Gas Valves – Control the flow of gas in a system, whether it be on a gas furnace, or controlling the flow of liquid gas refrigerant. Valves can get dirty and, as a result, become stuck in an open or closed position. When this happens, nothing else will happen. The valves need to be cleaned or replaced.
Indoor Fan Motor – This is the motor that operates the fan inside your home. It keeps the air flowing through the vents and into your rooms. The biggest problem for this fan motor is the indoor dust that settles on it. If this fan starts making noises, it’s time to call the professional.
Outdoor Fan Motor – This motor runs the fan that keeps the outdoor unit cool as it runs. Keeping the compressor cool prolongs its life and keeps your home cool. If the motor is overheating, it may stop working, and that endangers the compressor. If you touch the outdoor unit and it is warm on your hand, you should turn off the unit and call an HVAC company.
Pipe Repair Areas
Drain Lines– Drain lines need to be cleaned once a year to remove dust and dirt that finds its way into the system. Put this on your list of chores to do when you change the battery in your smoke alarms.
Indoor Coil– The indoor coil works at absorbing the heat from the air in your home. It, too, can become dirty and clogged, but it can be hard to access. If you notice warm air coming from your vents, or your system doesn’t seem to work as well as it has been, give your HVAC company a call. The indoor coil may need to be cleaned.
Outdoor Coil – Also known as the condenser coil, it’s located in the outdoor part of your system. As the heated refrigerant arrives, the condenser coil removes the heat to the air blowing over the top of it, and the refrigerant cools again, turning into a liquid, and heads back into the indoor coil to start the process all over again.
Refrigerant Metering Device– This part is responsible for sending the correct amount of refrigerant to the evaporator coil. If the metering device malfunctions, the amount of refrigerant used will not be right, and the system will not function properly.
RestrictionReversing Valve – These valves typically don’t malfunction, but when they do, it may be because the valve is stuck or leaking. Both scenarios are not DIY-able; they need to be repaired by a qualified HVAC technician.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Necessary to Service an AC Every Year?
Yes, for the HVAC system to run efficiently, the AC needs to be cleaned, and the filter replaced every year. It’s a good idea to do this every spring, right before summer starts.
How Often Should You Have HVAC Serviced?
HVAC contractors recommend having your HVAC serviced once per year at the minimum. It’s a good plan to have the AC serviced in the spring, and the furnace serviced in the fall. An added benefit of having it serviced annually is the visual inspection done by an HVAC technician, who will spot potential issues before they become pricey problems.
How Long Do HVAC Units Last?
A properly installed HVAC unit will last 15 to 25 years if it’s well maintained. Without proper upkeep, HVAC systems could fail in as little as 10 years or less.
Consider installing a new HVAC system if your units are older than 10 years old, and the HVAC repair bill would be more than 30% of the cost of a new AC and furnace combo. HVAC replacement costs between $4,820 and $12,350 depending on the size of your home and if you need to replace the ductwork.
Do HVAC Technicians Give Free Estimates or Quotes?
Most reputable HVAC technicians will offer free estimates with an in-person service call. Beware of HVAC contractors who try to give you a free quote over the phone, as it may not accurately reflect what they will discover once they check out the system. Even if there is a charge for the cost estimate, that amount will usually be applied toward your balance due, should you decide to hire that contractor.
Are HVAC Service Plans Worth It?
HVAC service contracts are only worth it if you can purchase one for a reasonable price. At $150 to $500 per year, most homeowners avoid service contracts based on the limited services offered. If you have a new HVAC system that’s still under warranty, a service plan is not needed.
Do some shopping around and find out the cost of the different plans available. One perk usually included in a service plan is priority booking. You also get the yearly maintenance work done without having to do it yourself, and many HVAC contractors offer discounts when you’re on the annual plan.
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Hiring an HVAC Repair Contractor
HVAC systems are quite complicated, and all the separate parts need to work together seamlessly to be energy efficient. There are a few things you should look for when hiring an HVAC contractor, either for repair or for replacing your system.
Make sure they are licensed by the state you live in and make sure the license is current.
They should be bonded and insured for at least $500,000.
Look up online reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Choose a company that has been repairing HVACs for at least five years.
They should inspect your system to give an honest, accurate estimate.
Be sure you’re comfortable with the brand they intend to install.
Choose one with a good warranty on labor costs.
Ask if this company does background checks on the technicians who will be in your home.
Questions To Ask
What are their emergency/after-hour rates?
Are estimates free, and if not, is the amount you pay for the estimate applied to your balance if you hire them?
Do they have a maintenance plan, and how much does it cost?
Are they available to answer questions before you buy?
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted HVAC technicians:
The total price to repair your air conditioning depends mostly on what part of it you need to fix.
Your rates will be based on whether the technician needs to replace parts or add refrigerant, how far you are from the HVAC shop and seasonality (rates tend to be higher in the summer). The total for all of this is called a service call fee. As a rule, the older the unit, the more expensive a repair is likely to be.
Below are some cost factors you might encounter:
Type and amount of refrigerant
The gas in the air conditioning system is sometimes referred to as Freon, which is a generic term for the class of AC refrigerants or coolants typically used. It’s essential for cooling the air that blows out of your air conditioner.
There are two types of refrigerant your unit might use: Freon, also known as R-22, and Puron, also known as R410A. Since 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun phasing out R-22, which does damage to the ozone, and R-22 refrigerant will be completely obsolete by 2030. So if you bought your AC in 2005 or later, there’s a good chance yours uses R410A refrigerant.
Replacing or topping off refrigerant is a common AC repair. For this, you will have to pay for your HVAC professional’s service call, as well as the supply of refrigerant they use.
>> Talk to a Pro Today: Compare HVAC Pros in Your Area
David Earls of Cobalt Home Services says his rates for refrigerant replacement depend on whether your AC uses R22 or R410A. He typically charges $349 for three pounds of R22 and $199 for the same amount of R410A refrigerant, which has replaced R22 in newer AC systems.
Note that R22 and R410A cannot be used interchangeably. If your AC unit uses R22 refrigerant currently, you will have to replace it with R22 and cannot substitute it with R410A refrigerant in attempt to lower the price of your repair.
Detecting and repairing a refrigerant leak
It is fairly simple and routine maintenance to replace your AC refrigerant. However, fixing a refrigerant leak is a larger issue in an AC system. You might have a leak in your AC unit if you hear strange noises from your air conditioner, notice your AC’s output has decreased or see dirt on the AC lines. Leaks commonly impact the following parts of your air conditioner:
If you have a leak, your technician will be able to locate and fix it. The repair cost to detect and fix a refrigerant leak could be anywhere from $225–$1,000 or more, depending on the extent of the problem.
Repairing a clogged drain line
Water leaks can also occur, and the cost to fix it depends on the cause and extent of the leak.
Typically, this is caused by a clogged drain line. Fortunately, clearing your drain line is a pretty straightforward procedure. After locating the clog, your contractor will pour a cleaning solution down the PCV drain line.
If a water line from the condenser becomes clogged, it will cost about $150 to clear it.
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When components can’t be repaired, you will need to replace them. This cost is commonly covered by warranties. However, if you don’t have an AC warranty, or your original one has lapsed, you may have to pay out of pocket for these new parts.
Purchasing a new component will add to your total cost of air conditioning repair. Below are the average prices of common air conditioning replacement components. This cost will be on top of the rate you pay your HVAC technician to repair your AC:
Thermostat. This sets and controls the desired temperature. The cost to replace a thermostat is generally between $90-$120, with the price of a new thermostat ranging from $20-$40 for something basic, to $100-$250 for a wifi enabled thermostat.
Capacitor. This stores the electric charge used to start the system. The price of a replacement capacitor will be around $100–$400.
Circuit board. This serves as the system’s central nervous system. The price for a new circuit board typically runs between $120–$600.
Condensing fan motors and lines. These carry the refrigerant from coil to compressor. A new condensing fan will typically cost between $400-$500.
Evaporator coil. This is the part that absorbs heat from your house. A replacement evaporator coil is about $710.
Compressor. This is the pump, or “heart” of an air conditioner. A new one can be $1,000 and up.
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Replacing the entire air conditioning system
If the value of an air conditioning unit is beyond its repair cost, you will need to replace it and install a new HVAC system. Fortunately, a replacement is cheaper than installing air conditioning for the first time in your house, since you’ll already have the ductwork and infrastructure to support it.
>> Fix Your Central Air: Hire a HVAC or AC Repair Specialist Today
When ductwork is already in place, labor costs to install a new system are about $600, according to Faye Hogoboom, owner of Air Necessity, based in Cape Coral, Florida. The AC unit itself and all parts, copper lines and fittings increase the total price to about $1,800. In total, they charge $2,400 to replace an existing HVAC system.
If the installation job requires putting in more ductwork or additional electrical wiring, the costs increase even more. To learn more, get the full breakdown on HVAC installation costs.
If a duct system doesn’t already exist, ductless air conditioners are an alternative to laying down new ducts. You can place them in your entire house, or just one room, so they’re a great alternative if you don’t want to extend your ductwork to just one or two rooms, but still want to cool them.
Air Conditioning not only cools a living space, it also circulates and filters the air which helps to remove harmful pollutants such as mold and pollen. This helps allergy and asthma sufferers breathe easier by reducing the amount of airborne irritants in a home.
The average cost to repair an air conditioning ranges from $200-$250, with the average homeowner spending around $225 on unclogging the filter, rebooting the system, and cleaning the unit.
Cost to Repair AC
Air Coindtioning Repair Costs
National Average Cost
$200 – $250
AC Repair Cost Per Hour
An AC unit is a highly technical appliance with both high- and low-voltage circuits which can be deadly if improperly handled. Most HVAC technicians charge a basic service call fee which pays for diagnostics followed by additional fees for labor and parts. The fee quoted for parts usually includes the labor required to install the parts and the price of the parts. The fee for a basic service call averages $80-$300. If an hourly wage is charged, you can expect to pay $65-$125 an hour. Once a diagnostic assessment is made then the fee for parts and labor starts. Often, when an older unit starts to break down the damage and cost of increasingly labor-intensive repairs comes close to the cost of a full replacement.
AC Repair Cost by Type of Unit
There are several different types of AC units. Repairs range from simple to difficult, from cheap to expensive. Each type of system has its own unique set of common issues:
Portable AC Repair Cost
A portable AC unit is normally mounted on the wall but can also be moved from one room to another. The typical problem with portable AC units is a clogged drain and costs range from $100-$250 for the repair.
Window AC Repair Cost
Window units are similar to portable AC units, but are mounted inside of a window. The compressors sometimes malfunction and repairs can cost $50-$125. Another fairly common issue with these systems is thermostat 1 failure at a cost of $25-$85 to repair.
Central Air Repair Cost
Central air, or HVAC, repair costs may end up being more due to a more complicated system. Repairs include clogged drain lines 2, which cost $75-$200 to repair, thermostat replacement at $75-$500, or refrigerant leaks or charges at $200-$500.
Swamp Cooler Repair Cost
A swamp cooler 3 unit is simpler than an HVAC unit and is not recommended for hot, humid areas. Repairs that contractors commonly see on these units are replacing belts at $65-$85, pads 4 at $125-$500, and the pump 5 at $200-$275.
Ductless Mini Split Repair Cost
These types of units are ductless, as the name implies. The main problem with them is the air handler 6 which can cost $750-$900.
AC Repair Cost by Type of Repair
Replacement costs can add up, so it is always a good idea to consider repairing the system rather than replacing parts. This is especially true if your AC unit isn’t that old. Repairs that you may need are:
Type of Repair
Clogged air filter
Clogged AC drain
Dirty outside AC unit
Fix Clogged Air Filter of Air Conditioner
A clogged air filter will cause your system to overwork and even burn out. Consumers can expect to pay $75-$195 as the contractor will charge a minimum service charge to clean or change the air filter.
AC Blower Repair Cost
This is a motor that makes the fan blades move inside the unit so the house stays cool. The AC blower 7 is vital to the system as it decreases hot air and pushes cool air out. Repair will most likely cost $100-$150.
AC Circuit Board Repair Cost
The circuit board is the electronic system that runs your AC. You could say it is the brains of the operation as it makes decisions as to the correct voltage to be used in certain circumstances. Repairing costs $100-$150.
Fix Clogged AC Drain Cost
Drain lines 2 become obstructed by dirt, leaves and other debris. Blockages can result in mold and mildew, which cause smells and humidity in your home. The cost to fix a clogged AC drain is around $100-$150.
Dirty Outside AC Unit
The outdoor unit of your HVAC system is referred to as the condenser. Cleaning the condenser involves vacuuming debris such as grass, leaves, and dirt from the outer section of the unit. Next, the technician will use a soft brush to straighten the fins and then clean them. The fan will be removed and all of the interior of the unit cleaned. All parts inside the unit will be lubricated. This service will cost you $100-$300.
AC Recharge Cost
The cost to have freon 8 recharged is $125-$300. Refrigerant recharge is usually done after a leak is repaired as the levels are low.
AC Expansion Valve Repair Cost
This part changes the liquid refrigerant into a vapor. Once the refrigerant is converted to vapor, the expansion valve pushes it into the evaporator. Cost to repair is on average $150-$200.
AC Capacitor Repair Cost
The capacitor supplies the energy for your system to start. It sends a thrust of energy to start or to keep a motor going. The capacitor works with the compressor, outside unit, and the blower 7 motor. Average cost to repair is $200 – $250.
AC Freon Leak Repair Cost
Freon is the cooling refrigerant that runs your AC. If there is a leak, fixing the leak could cost anywhere from $200-$1,500. The cost is dependent on the severity and location of the leak.
Air Conditioner Coil Leak Repair Cost
The evaporator coil on your AC is used to remove heat from the house and release it into the condenser to be cooled. The cost to repair is about the same as replacement, at $250-$2,000 so depending on your system’s age it may be wiser to replace it.
AC Fan Motor Repair Cost
The fan motor is the part that cools the refrigerant to keep your unit from becoming too hot. It does this by cooling the heated refrigerant, which then travels through the AC coils. Repair costs range from $450-$650.
AC Compressor Repair Cost
Your compressor is the pressure system that increases the temperature of the refrigerant. Located outside the house, it is often referred to as the “heart” of the system. Because it is so important, repairs are often costly at $600-$1,200. If your unit is old, it may be wise to consider replacing the compressor at a cost of $1,000-$2,500.
Cost to Replace Parts of an AC Unit
AC units are made up of many parts that all work together to make the entire unit work efficiently. Just like human bodies, if one part isn’t working correctly, the system will break down or have to work harder to cool the home. Some common parts that need to be replaced are:
AC Fuse Replacement Cost
Fuses in an AC unit are just like fuses in a car, if they get overloaded, the fuse blows. Cost to replace fuses is $15-$300.
AC Relay Replacement Cost
Relays are used to send voltage to the different parts of the system to turn on and off. Replacing a relay costs $20-$300.
AC Thermostat Replacement Cost
To keep your home the temperature you want, the thermostat 1 continuously monitors the temperature inside the house. AC thermostat replacement varies according to what bells and whistles it has, but the range is $50-$450.
Condensate Pump Replacement Cost
Condensation forms when the air is pushed through the evaporator coil. This condensation must be removed so the system will not become too moist. The condensate pump 5 removes the water. Cost to replace this part is $100-$160.
AC Capacitor Replacement Cost
The capacitor reserves electrons to supply energy for the system to be able to start when needed. Cost to replace is $100-$300.
AC Circuit Board Replacement Cost
The circuit board runs the electrical system of your AC. Replacement costs are $100-$500.
AC Blower Replacement Cost
This is a motor that turns the blades to push air through the system. Replacement cost is $150-$600.
AC Fan Motor Replacement Cost
The fan motor prevents the unit from overheating by cooling the heated refrigerant. Replacement will run you $200-$675.
AC Expansion Valve Replacement Cost
The expansion valve is used to decrease the pressure in the liquid refrigerant and change it into vapor. Replacing an expansion valve will cost $250-$450.
Evaporator Coil Replacement Cost
An evaporator coil’s purpose is to push all of the heat from inside the house into the condenser to be cooled. Cost for replacement is $250-$2,000.
AC Compressor Replacement Cost
The compressor creates pressure in the refrigerant to increase the temperature above what it is outdoors. Compressors cost about $1,000-$2,500.
Your AC unit may be malfunctioning if you notice the following problems:
Air not cooling.
Unit continues to turn on and off.
Higher than normal energy bills.
Water leaking around the unit.
Your air conditioner won’t turn on.
Little or no air coming out of the vents.
Unit makes excessive noise.
Ice buildup on the unit, lines, or compressor.
Unit freezing up from a freon 8 leak.
Humidity is not being pulled out of the indoor air.
Musty smell if humidity in the home rises above 60 percent.
The lights in the home dim when the unit starts.
Emergency AC Repair Cost
One of the mosts frustrating parts of living in an area that is hot and/or humid is the fear of the AC going out during those hot months. Most AC repair companies do emergency AC repairs. However, you will most likely pay more for a night, weekend, or holiday visit. If your compressor goes out and it is 90 degrees outside, you will pay whatever it costs for an emergency visit. Emergency AC repair costs can run around $300 or more, depending on the repairs needed.
Repair vs Replace a Home AC Unit
Often the fee to repair a unit is far cheaper than to replace the system. Most AC units will last at least ten years with regular maintenance. During that time frame, it may require minor repairs and parts replacements. New AC models also come with a 10 year warranty for parts but the warranties do not cover labor.
The cost of major or big repairs often exceeds the cost of purchasing a new unit. Repairs can range from $50-$2,500, particularly if your unit is older. In such a situation, it is usually in the homeowner’s best interest to purchase a new unit that comes with a complete warranty instead of nursing along an older, inefficient unit that continues to suffer from broken or malfunctioning parts. Purchasing a new unit will range from $3,750-$10,000. Cost factors of a new AC system include the size of the unit your home requires, the brand and type of air conditioning system you buy, and any add-ons such as extended warranties, upgraded ductwork, and a high SEER 9 rating.
New AC models are highly energy efficient. Newer models feature what is known as a ‘SEER 9’ rating. The term SEER 1 stands for ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating 9 1.’ To figure out an AC unit’s SEER 1 rating, a ratio of cooking in British thermal units (BTU) is figured with the energy consumed in watt-hours. AC units older than 15 years usually have a SEER 1 rating of 6 or less but the new AC models boast SEER 1 ;ratings of at least 14 and some even have 18 or higher. A new unit will provide considerable energy savings compared to an older model.
AC Maintenance Cost
An AC unit requires either yearly or biannual maintenance. In many cases, maintenance must be performed by a licensed AC company to maintain the unit’s warranty. The average cost of this regular AC maintenance is $100-$150. During a maintenance call, an HVAC technician will inspect and clean the inside and outdoor units, change or clean the filter, and clean out the unit’s drains. The HVAC technician will also check the system’s coolant levels to make sure the unit is functioning properly.
There are several steps that a homeowner can take to maintain their AC unit:
Regularly check the air filter for accumulated debris.
Change or clean the filter if it looks overly dirty between maintenance calls.
Remove all vegetation overgrowth or fallen leaves from around and on the outdoor unit.
Turn off the power at the circuit breaker and hose off the outdoor unit to remove any accumulated debris.
Additional Considerations and Costs
Insurance such as homeowners insurance does not cover HVAC repairs. In some situations, a home warranty insurance plan may include the cost of repairs.
If your air conditioning unit is not working then you should check the thermostat 1 and the circuit breaker before calling an HVAC repair company. The thermostat may be experiencing problems or the breaker might have tripped. Checking such things helps you avoid paying for a service call when it’s not needed.
When you call to make an appointment with an HVAC professional you should know the type of equipment that is installed in your home. Make note of the brand name, the model of the unit, and the approximate age of the system. You should also let the company know if the unit has any warranties or if you have a home warranty on your house that covers the HVAC system. If you have an AC FAQ booklet then you can read through the booklet to determine the possible cause of any of the unit’s symptoms.
Don’t ignore any early warning signs that your unit might be experiencing trouble. Even if the problem seems to be minor, if you delay repair then the problem could just get worse. You could end up paying higher energy bills, replacing even more parts, ending up with a fully broken system for a while before you can get an appointment, and/or ultimately having to replace your whole system instead of making a small repair.
Any HVAC company that you call to work on your equipment should be certified. Ask for the company’s NATE AHRI, and EPA 608 certifications. NATE stands for the North American Technician Excellence certification. The AHRI is offered by an independent, third-party organization called the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). The EPA 608 certification authorizes HVAC service technicians to work with refrigerants.
Before you make an appointment to have an HVAC service technician come out to your home you should always ask about the company’s financing for larger projects. You should also ask if the company gives free written estimates and if they provide any warranties on their parts or labor.
How much does it cost to fix an air conditioner?
A service call will average from $80–$300. An after-hours service call costs even more depending on the company. Once the technician is at your home you will be faced with the additional cost of labor and any parts used to repair the unit. The overall cost of a service call and the fee to unclog a drain averages $150-$290.
How do you unfreeze an air conditioner?
If your air conditioner has accumulated ice on the unit then there is a problem. You will need to turn the unit off and let the ice melt away. While the ice is melting, you will need to call an HVAC company to come diagnose the problem and fix the unit so it no longer freezes up.
How do I reset my air conditioning unit?
You can trip the breaker that operates the AC unit to reset it.
Why is my air conditioner not cooling?
Your air conditioner may have a part malfunction or be low on freon.
How much does it cost to replace an air conditioning unit?
Depending on how extensive of a change out you need, the size of the unit, and if any ductwork is required then you will pay between $6,000 and $12,300.
How much does it cost to run an air conditioner for an hour?
An air conditioner will use 3000 to 5000 watts of power every hour and typically run for 9 hours per day in hotter months. The average cost of electricity in the US is $0.127 per kWh, so the average hourly running cost is $0.38-$0.53.
How much does it cost to replace a coil in an air conditioner?
According to CostHelper extensive auto, air conditioner repairs can cost between $1,000 and $4,000 with the average being $2,050.
We have assembled a list to help assist you in pricing common AC repair costs.
AC Inspection & Diagnostic Cost
Repair Pal states that on average you should expect to pay between $88 and $111 for an air conditioner diagnosis. This price does not include environmental fees or taxes.
Minor Car AC Repair
For a simple or minor AC repair, you should expect to pay between $150-$800 with an average being $475.
Major Car AC Repair
On average, a major AC repair will set you back $2,500 with a range between $1,000-$4,000 depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Car AC Compressor Repair & Replacement Cost
On average the labor cost to install a new ac compressor is $400 but costs can range from $300-$500 according to Buy Auto Parts. As for the AC compressor your mechanic estimates, you should expect to pay $500 – $1,900 for the parts alone.
Labor cost: $400, range $300 – $500
New AC Compressor cost: $1,200, range $500 – $1,900
New Compressor & Labor cost: $1,599, range $610-$2,588
Air Conditioning System Installation Cost
On average to install a new air conditioner for your automobile will range between $1,500 – $4,000 with an average cost of $2,750.
Recharge Car AC Cost
Pep Boys lists AC recharge costs between $99.99 and $139.99 depending on which service level you suggest.
Car AC Hose Repair & Replacement Cost
Car AC hose repair or replacement costs between $486 and $514 with labor being between $103 and $131 as stated by Repair Pal.
Car AC Compressor Clutch Replacement Cost
According to Bridwell Automotive, on average a car ac compressor clutch costs $475 to replace but ranges between $200-$750.
The cost to repair a broken air conditioning unit can vary depending on the specific problem and the brand of air conditioner being serviced. However, the average cost for AC repairs, according to thousands of projects above, is $300. Nonetheless, we have seen certain air conditioning repair services run as low as $53 or as high as $900.
Of course, with occasional maintenance and quick resolution for the most common repairs, your AC unit should last a very long time, up to 20 years if you’re lucky.
AC Unit Repair Cost Factors
Of course, there are certain factors that can increase or decrease your air conditioner service cost. Those factors include:
Efficiency & Size
Extent of Damage
The average lifespan of an AC unit is 15 years. Just like us, AC units get beat up and slow down over the years. As such, the older the unit is, the more expensive your repair will be. While the extent of the damage will certainly play a bigger role in your average HVAC repair bill, age will factor in.
If you’re unit is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing the air conditioner. Many pros go by the $5,000 rule. Multiple the repair cost by the age of the unit. If it’s over $5,000, replace; do not repair.
Sadly, HVAC issues seem to come up at the worst times. That’s because most of us do not use the air conditioner until summer or late spring. Clearly, these are the months cool, constant air is most appreciated. Believe it or not, other homeowners are going through the same dilemma.
Since HVAC pros know they’re in high demand in the summer, they tend to charge more than a repair required in January or October. Essentially, just like a plumber, they charge extra for emergency repairs. As demand goes up, so does supply.
Efficiency & Size
In 2006, a new HVAC rule went into affect for residential air conditioners, requiring all to have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher. As you might expect, the more efficient the unit is (or newer), the lower your average AC repair cost will be. Keep in mind, if for some reason your high-efficient repair bill is high, you’re still saving on energy costs every month through your electric and gas bills.
Additionally, larger-sized units require more work than smaller units. Since larger homes require larger units, there really is no way around the size of your air conditioner. As such, size is sadly one cost factor you can’t alter.
The less work your system has to apply, the longer it will last. Therefore, adjusting your thermostat or opening the windows can greatly deter and lower certain AC maintenance and repair costs.
When you’re not home, raise the thermostat. When you leave for vacation, raise the thermostat. Don’t apply so much force (e.g. lower temperatures) when it’s not needed. This will not only lower the lifetime cost of the unit, but extend it as well.
We will get into specifics later, but there are plenty of recommended maintenance items all homeowners should strongly consider if you want you to extend the lifespan of your AC unit. Furthermore, regular maintenance prevents certain repairs less organized homeowners see every few years. Some easy and highly recommended AC unit maintenance tasks include:
Close Open Spaces
Extend of Damage
All AC repairs were not created equal. While a new filter could cost as low as $20, a refrigerant leak repair can cost up to $1,600. Just like any aspect of the house, certain repairs will mostly depend on the damage. Clearly, the more serious issues will cost more. That not only means more time for the HVAC pro, but more complexity and materials as well. Sadly, neither come without a hefty markup.
Cost of Common AC Repairs
There are plenty issues that come up with any AC unit and fortunately, there are agreed-upon ranges for each and every one. While some of these projects may cost more than $900, just know that you can always reduce the price by shopping around for the right HVAC contractor.
Refrigerant Leak Repair: $200 – $1,500
AC Refrigerant Recharge: $250 – $750
Control Circuit Boards: $100 – $590
Fuses, Circuit Breakers or Relays: $75 – $290
New Thermostat: $115 – $470
Outdoor Condensing Unit Fan Motor: $200 – $650
Condensate Drain Line Flush: $75 – $250
Compressor Replacement: $1,350 – $2,300
Replacement Condensing Unit Coil: $1,900 – $2,900
Metal or Plastic Drain Pans: $250 – $575
Condensate Pump Replacement: $240 – $450
Condenser Fan Motor: $450 – $750
Just like a car, your air conditioning unit will share when it’s in need of repair. The longer you wait to fix it, the more likely the unit will completely shut down.
The most common signs that the air conditioning unit may soon break down include loud or strange noises coming from the unit or warmer than normal air being released. In addition, if your unit smells bad, is frosty or water is leaking, chances are, you’re in need of repair. When the air conditioning unit displays these symptoms, contact a local HVAC pro. Just like a low tank of gas, it’s better to gas now versus running out in the middle of a 95-degree July afternoon.
Dangers of Postponing Repair
Delaying any repairs around the house comes with potential risks. Whether it’s additional repair or replacement costs down the line, safety concerns or an increase in utility bills, it certainly pays to fix your AC unit when you first recognize an issue.
If you see any of the signs mentioned above, that means your AC unit is operating with a limp. More strain means your entire AC system could completely shut down at any time. If that happens, you could be hit with a $4,700 bill to install a new air conditioner. The average AC repair bill of $302 sounds much more pleasant.
Increased Utility Bills
Just like running a marathon, we perform better at full strength. If we’re not feeling great, it’s that much harder to finish the race. Similarly, when you set your thermostat to a certain temperature, the system is tasked with maintaining that temperature throughout the room. Working at full strength, the system can easily maintain that temperature (as long as it’s not below 60 degrees or above 80 degrees). However, when injured, the system may struggle to keep the room at your desired temperature. As such, it’s working harder, which means higher utility bills.
No Air Conditioning
HVAC pros are busy, especially in the summer. Just because you need an AC repair right now, that does not mean an HVAC pro will be available. Additionally, if they are free, your cost to repair the AC unit just went up. Emergency situations call for changes in schedules, surprise road trips and many other sudden situations. As such, air conditioning contractors tend to charge more.
How to Maintain AC Unit
Rather than waiting for a repair to come along, why not prevent the repair in the first place? To do so, you must maintain your air conditioning unit, even if there are no signs of trouble. Luckily, each of the following maintenance tasks are easy, cheap and quick:
Change the filter: A new filter can cost as little as $20. Since this is the most effective way of maintaining your AC system, there is no reason not to change your filter. Homeowners should change your AC filters whenever it gets dirty. Depending on the filter, you may have to change it once every six months or once every month. Each filter should indicate how long it will last.
Change the thermostat: Do not waste energy when it is not needed. When you’re at work or away on vacation, increase the temperature. Remember, less strain on your system means less money out of our pocket.
Clean coils: Leaves and debris can infiltrate your AC coils and fins outside your unit. If they do, your AC unit has to work that much harder to maintain your desired temperature. Therefore, make sure you clean your coils and air ducts once in a while to avoid higher utility bills.
Close open spaces: Make sure there are no open spaces near your doors, you’re your windows or in your ducts. If there are, they need to be sealed immediately. After all, you’re not paying to air condition the exterior of the home.
Schedule annual checkups: While there are certain telltale signs that AC repair is needed, more complex issues are under the hood. As such, we highly recommend scheduling an annual tune-up with an HVAC professional. For as little as $100, they could save you hundreds in repairs.
What to Look for in A Repair Company
In general, it’s best to stick with an air conditioner repair company that specializes in HVAC services. While many companies offer general household repair services, such as plumbing, HVAC and more, you’ll be better served by going with a company that specializes in air conditioning and heating.
Before you reach out to local HVAC companies, jot down a few notes. Know the model of your unit and see if it’s under warranty. If so, call the manufacturer first. Then, get multiple quotes for the project in question. Never get less than two quotes for any home remodeling project. Once received, compare all and make sure all include the same work. Check referrals and certifications before making a final decision.
HVAC Company Certifications
Besides basic licenses that all technicians should have, here are other certifications that make certain HVAC pros stand out. They include:
NATE Certification: This certification is not required in the business, but in order to obtain, the pro had to have passed a knowledge-based exam on a specialized HVAC category.
Excellence Certification: This certification is very similar to the NATE certification, but requires at least two years of professional HVAC experience.
EPA 608 Certification: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that all technicians who open a system containing a controlled refrigerant be certified to do so. As such, make sure you ask your pro if they have a Universal or Level II EPA Certification.
Find A Pro
Life without air conditioning is not fun. It’s a luxury we sadly take for granted. Following the recommended maintenance tasks above and knowing the average costs of all AC repairs ensure that luxury never goes away.
If you’re in need of an HVAC tune-up, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four HVAC companies for free!
AC unit repairs for small jobs such as a tune-up, refrigerant recharge, fan motor repair, or capacitor replacement costs $125 to $459 on average. Most AC repair services charge between $70 and $130 per hour, and some have a minimum service call fee or a flat rate of $70 to $200 on average.
For more extensive AC repairs such as replacing the compressor, evaporator coil, or condenser coil ranges from $500 to $2,000 on average. Your final cost depends on the problem and the price of the replacement part.
Average AC Repair Cost
National Average Cost
$125 to $459
In general, repairs on an AC unit will include repair and cleaning of an evaporator coil leak or ductwork, or replacement of small or large unit parts. Regular tune-ups can keep your central air conditioning unit functioning properly by catching problems early. If your AC unit is getting close to fifteen years old, it might be less costly to replace the unit rather than keep repairing and replacing parts.
Central air repair costs vary depending on the price of the part(s) that needs to be replaced and the number of hours it takes to fix. Here are common air conditioner problems and the average HVAC service costs charged by professionals.
A home troubleshooting AC service call costs between $70 and $200 depending on your location and the current demand. This callout fee is the minimum charge, but will likely be put toward the total cost of fixing your AC unit. Always ask about the AC service fee and if it is applied to your final bill or if it will remain a separate charge.
Labor costs for a central air repair service are between $70 to $130 per hour. Most companies have set prices for common repairs which include labor and parts, but if you have a non-common problem, you may be charged an additional labor fee. Ask before having the technician come out to your home.
For emergency air conditioning unit repair, service calls cost can run as high as $315 for a technician to come out on the weekend, during the night, or on a holiday.
Air Conditioner Tune-Up Cost
An AC tune-up cost will be about $85 to $110 for the one to two hours of work, or about $150 for a yearly maintenance agreement whereby it’s checked after each winter and summer. A regular six-month service visit can keep your air conditioner working efficiently and your energy bills in check. It can also extend the life of your AC unit. During a service visit, the technician will:
Adjust the refrigerant levels
Clean the coils and drains and remove debris
Lubricate any moving parts
Inspect the condensate drain
Check the thermostat and refrigerant levels
Inspect and repair the electrical parts
Replace air filters
Some AC companies are willing to give you a monthly payment plan for regular maintenance visits and give a 10%–20% discount on repairs.
Home AC Compressor Replacement Cost
The cost of an AC compressor replacement is $1,300 to $1,900 on average. The compressor is the part that changes the liquid gas into cold air coming into your home. When the air conditioner starts blowing warm air, you have a compressor problem. The more of a charge the compressor loses, the higher the strain you place on the compressor, which can cause it to fail and leak refrigerant.
Signs of a Bad AC Compressor
The signs of a bad AC compressor can be quiet and subtle. Things like a diminished or warmer air flow from the vents, or noises when you turn it on, can point to a bad AC compressor. Your HVAC contractor will know for sure, but turn your AC off and don’t run it until it’s looked at.
Signs of a Bad AC Compressor Bearing
If you turn on your AC and hear a grinding noise, it may be a sign of a loose bearing. A squealing noise indicates a leaking bearing. Both issues need to be fixed before more permanent damage occurs.
AC Refrigerant Recharge Cost
An AC refrigerant recharge costs $250 to $750 on average. If the air conditioning unit is running, but the air coming out feels warm, you may need a refrigerant refill. Any time repairs are made to the AC unit, the refrigerant must be recharged. Refrigerant is a cooling liquid that runs through the coil and cools your home. This repair should take 1-2 hours.
Signs of Low Refrigerant or Freon in the AC
Sometimes refrigerant levels drop, and you’ll know if they do because you might hear a hissing or bubbling noise or notice an ice buildup on the outside unit. Higher electric bills is another sign of low refrigerant because the AC unit has to work harder.
AC Capacitor Replacement Cost
Replacing the AC capacitor costs $120 to $150 on average. There’s no exact AC capacitor price list, as most cost $10 to $23. If you choose to purchase a branded part, the repair could run as much as $400. A capacitor stores energy and sends it out when the motor needs to start. It’s a reasonably quick fix and should be completed within an hour.
Signs of a Bad AC Capacitor
A bad AC capacitor will lead to symptoms like a humming noise, a delay in coming on once the thermostat clicks, and high electric bills.
AC Evaporator Coil Replacement Cost
On average, an AC evaporator coil replacement costs $675 to $1,300. If your AC unit is frosty, the evaporator coil is most likely frozen. Also, if the air conditioner smells bad, there could be bacteria buildup on the coil. The cold liquid (refrigerant) inside the coil absorbs the heat away from your home. It will take from 2–4 hours for an HVAC technician to replace the air conditioner’s evaporator coil.
Evaporator Coil Leak Repair Cost
An AC evaporator coil leak repair costs $1,300 to $2,000. Pinhole leaks in the evaporator coil can develop as a result of VOCs combined with the moisture in the air. Acids will form and adhere to the coil, causing slow leaks. If your AC unit starts blowing warm air, it might be an indication that you have a leak.
AC Fan Motor Replacement Cost
An AC unit fan motor replacement costs $225 to $700 to repair, with the condensing unit fan motor part costing $60 to $135. The fan motor is essential to blow the cold air into your home. Without a blower motor to run the fan, the cold air will keep your AC unit cool but not much else. This repair takes up to two hours.
Home AC Condenser Replacement Costs
An AC condenser replacement cost is between $840 and $4,210 on average. The condenser contains a heat-exchange system that cools and condenses the refrigerant into liquid before it enters the coil.
Condenser Coil Replacement Cost – Replacing the condenser coil costs about $580 to $3,610. The coil part costs $130 to $450. There are two coils in your AC unit. One of them is the condenser coil, and it is located outside. This is where the heat is removed from the refrigerant.
Condensate Pump – The cost to replace a condensate pump is between $100 and $165 with the part usually costing about $45. As your AC unit runs, it produces condensation which the condensate pump removes.
Condensate Drain Tube – It will cost about $100 to $195 to replace the condensate drain tube, with the tubing costing about $20 to $40. This drains the condensation the condensate pump is removing.
Signs of a Bad AC Condenser
You may have a bad AC condenser if you start feeling warm air come through the vents, or if you notice your power bills have been going up, but your home is not as comfortable as it was. Another sign may be strange noises when you turn the AC on. Listen and try to determine what kind of sound it is so you can tell the technician when you call.
Cost to Replace AC Contactor
The cost to replace the AC contactor is about $150 to $350, and the part costs $10 to $45. The contactor controls the electricity going to the different components of the AC contactor. This can take about an hour to replace.
AC Drain Pan Replacement Cost
On average, an AC drain pan replacement costs $250 to $575. Before the water hits the drain tube, it collects in the drain pan, and from there it goes down the drain tube. Over time the drain pan can crack, causing leaks, and it needs to be replaced.
AC Circuit Board Replacement Price
Replacing an AC circuit board costs $125 to $625. For parts, the AC circuit board ranges from $100 to $150. The circuit board sends power where it’s needed—it’s the brains of the outfit, and usually fails with age. It usually takes about an hour to repair. HVAC systems contain PCBs in the condensing unit and the air handler.
AC Duct Work Repair Cost
The cost to repair AC duct work runs between $300 to $500 on average. It’s the ductwork that delivers cold air to each room in your house, and if it develops cracks which leak, they need to be repaired. Having faulty ductwork makes your system work harder with worse results. Your house will not be adequately cooled, and your energy bills will go up. Installing new ductwork for the entire home will cost an average of between $8,900 and $12,300.
Additional Central AC Repair Costs
Fuses, Circuit Breakers, or Relays – The cost to repair or replace fuses, circuit breakers, and relays is about $75 to $290. These things control the flow of electricity through your AC system, making sure there are no shorts or surges which could damage your whole system.
Thermostat Replacement – The cost to replace a thermostat runs about $75 to $575. The thermostat itself can range from $10 to $280 depending on the number of features you want. Your thermostat is what keeps the room temperature stable. If you set the thermostat for 75 degrees, it will turn the AC unit off and on to maintain that temperature.
Flush Drain Line – The cost to flush the drain line is about $75 to $250. The drain line can become clogged with dirt, small leaves, and debris from the surrounding air.
AC Compressor Repair Hard Start Kit – The cost of an AC hard start kit is from $100 to $195. The hard start kit reduces the time it takes for your AC unit to turn on. If your AC unit has a hard time starting up and turns off sooner than you think it should, it needs attention.
AC Lineset Replacement Cost – The AC lineset replacement cost is $165 to $625. The line set runs the refrigerant through places that are difficult to get to—in walls, under the slab foundation, and under stairs. If it leaks, it will need to be replaced.
Home AC Filter Drier Replacement Cost – Home AC drier replacement will cost $52 to $159 for just the part, and labor is extra. The filter traps moisture and contaminants so they won’t be introduced into the air circulating in your home. The filter drier removes that moisture to keep the filter working effectively.
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Common AC Problems
There are some telltale signs of common AC problems.
How to Tell if Your AC Is Broken
The AC unit won’t turn on.
No cool air coming is out of the vents.
The thermostat display is blank.
Strange noises are coming from your AC system.
The indoor unit is leaking water.
It keeps turning on and off.
There’s a bad smell coming from the vents.
Your utility bills are unusually high.
Many common AC problems occur that only a professional can fix, and this should be done before more permanent damage happens.
AC Won’t Turn On
First, check the circuit breaker. It’s possible it has just tripped. If you flip the circuit breaker and the AC still doesn’t come on, it may be a thermostat problem.
The AC Unit Is Running, but the Air Coming Out of the Registers Doesn’t Feel Cold
This could be a problem with the control board, or perhaps the refrigerant is the cause of the problem. Either problem requires an HVAC contractor to solve the problem.
The Air Conditioner Is Making Weird Noises
Your AC unit has a language all its own, and certain noises mean specific things.
Screaming – or a high-pitched screaming sound at the outside portion of your AC unit. The most likely problem is the compressor. Turn off the AC unit and call your technician.
Knocking – a sound in the outside unit is probably caused by something that fell into the unit like a stick, and it’s hitting the fan. Turn off the AC and call the professional.
Metal on Metal – this is in the outside unit and probably means the fan motor bearings have gone bad. The fan motor needs to be replaced.
Gurgling – it’s possible there is a refrigerant leak, or perhaps the drain line is gurgling as water goes through it.
Clicks (when AC is on) – they get faster as time goes on, and it’s possible there is an obstruction in the fan.
Clicks (when you’re trying to turn on the AC) – a sign of an electrical problem. Call your HVAC technician.
The Air Conditioner Smells Bad
When air conditioners start putting off a bad smell, they have one of two problems.
A moldy, mildew smell – there could be a bacteria/mold buildup on the evaporator coil or in the ductwork.
A rotten egg smell – it’s possible a pest crawled inside and died. Call your local pest control technician, and they can take care of it.
The AC Unit Is Short Cycling – Shuts off or Turns on Too Soon
Short cycling is when the air conditioner stops short of completing a full cooling cycle. There are a few possible reasons for this.
A dirty air filter
Frozen evaporator cells
Low levels of refrigerant
Electrical problems within the system
Try These DIY Solutions
Replace the air filter and try again. If it’s still short cycling, go to the next step.
Visually inspect the evaporator cell. If there is ice present, let it melt and then try again. If the short cycling continues, you’ll need some professional help.
Water Is Leaking Inside & Around Your Unit
If water is leaking, it’s most likely the condensate drain is leaking. A leaky unit something that needs to be taken care of quickly because the water can eventually leak into your home.
My Utility Bills Are Abnormally High
There a few reasons why your utility bills can be abnormally high and probably not cooling your house efficiently.
Leaking ductwork – if cold air is leaking out of the ductwork in the attic spaces, it’s not keeping your home cool. This causes the thermostat to keep telling the AC unit to put out cool air, and with the unit running longer and trying harder, the energy bills go up.
Refrigerant is low – if the refrigerant levels are low, the unit will have to work harder to cool the air.
Your AC Unit Is Icy or Frosty
The evaporator coil is most likely frozen. The cause is generally a lack of airflow over the evaporator coil, which is caused by a plugged filter. Without airflow, moisture from the air will collect on the evaporator coil and freeze. Turn off the AC unit, let the ice melt, change the filter, and try again. If it still happens, call the HVAC technician, because something is probably wrong with the condenser coil.
Additional Signs Your AC Is Going Out
If we do regular maintenance to the HVAC system, we can catch problems before they become major ones.
Signs of Bad AC Thermostat – It could time to replace the thermostat if the system won’t turn on or off. If you notice the room temperature doesn’t seem to match with the setting, or if there is no display at all, you could need a new thermostat.
Signs of a Lightning Strike to an AC Unit – If lightning happens to strike your AC unit, it will cause a major power surge, which could result in permanent damage to your AC. Lightning will blow out fuses, and parts will need to be replaced.
Dangers of Postponing Repair
When it’s time to fix the air conditioner, delaying the inevitable could result in more damage to the AC unit, higher power bills, and an uncomfortably warm house in the middle of summer.
Increased Utility Bills – When the AC starts to have problems, it has to work harder and longer to create cold air. This results in increased utility bills and might be the first sign that your AC needs attention.
Warm House – You may notice that your house isn’t as cool as it is typically. Get the AC checked out just in case it needs maintenance.
AC Replacement Costs – Replacing your AC unit is a significant project. A simple change-out (not replacing any ductwork) will run about $5,000–$8,000 and should take just a day to do it. If you have to replace ductwork, it will take 3–5 days and cost $9,200–$12,300.
Strained Systems Overheat – When your system is dirty, and filters are plugged, and perhaps refrigerant is low, it will not be working at optimum efficiency and could overheat. This makes they HVAC system work harder, creating a cycle that doesn’t end. An overworked system will also cause your energy bills to rise. It’s possible that the size of AC unit you have is not big enough for your house. If the system is too small, it will have to work harder and may overheat. Generally, an HVAC system costs $4,820 to $9,350 to install a 5-ton unit for a 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot home.
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AC Maintenance Cost
There are some things you can do yourself to keep your AC working and in good condition, or you can pay an AC maintenance cost of $150 to $300 to have it done for you once or twice a year.
Schedule Annual AC Maintenance and Tune-Up
An AC unit maintenance cost can be $50 to $110 for a single visit, or you can sign up for a maintenance plan with your local heating and air conditioning company. That will cost about $150 to $300 a year. You’ll get one or two maintenance visits per year, plus another service call, a discount on parts, and usually some other perks. Some companies offer priority appointments to their maintenance plan members.
How to Maintain an AC Unit
Keep the Coils Clean – Keep the outside unit clean. Brush away dirt and leaves, and keep it free from obstructions or anything poking into the unit. A gentle spray with your garden hose—not a pressure washer—will keep the inside free of dust.
Ensure Your Dryer Vent Is Not Pointed Toward Your AC Unit – If your outside unit is near the dryer vent, make sure the vent is pointed away from the AC. The lint from the dryer can get inside the AC unit and cause problems.
Change the Filter – Change the filter once a month. A dirty, clogged filter will cause your AC to work harder, which will cost you more.
Check Your Ductwork and Seal Open Spaces – Seal air leaks around doors and windows, and check the ductwork for air leaks as well. This ensures all cool air is delivered to the inside of your home, and once there, it stays there. The AC unit will not have to work harder to keep your home cool, thus keeping energy bills down and decreasing wear and tear on the unit.
Keep Surrounding Bushes and Shrubbery Trimmed – Keep landscaping from encroaching on the unit. Allowing good airflow will go far towards the proper operation.
Replace or Adjust Your Thermostat – Program the thermostat to keep your home cool while you’re home but set the temp higher if no one is home, such as during the daytime working hours. You’ll use less energy, reduce wear and tear on your AC unit, and have lower energy bills. If your thermostat is not programmable, consider replacing it.
Central AC Energy Saving Tips
You can do many things to save energy during the hot summer months. Saving energy reduces your power bill and keeps your AC running effectively.
Open your windows when it cools down to regulate heat. Use drapes or UV-blocking window film to help reject heat and add privacy.
Set your thermostat as high as you possibly can. The inside and outside temperature should be as close as possible. The wider the range between the two temperatures, the harder your system will work.
Use fans to circulate the cool air and provide air flow, which is cooling in itself. Ceiling fans help with this. Turn them off when you leave the room.
Avoid using the oven on hot days, and cook outside on the grill instead.
Purchase energy-saving lightbulbs that do not give off heat.
Instead of using the dryer, hang clothes on the line to dry using the outdoor sun and wind.
Lower the temperature of your water heater. You don’t need such hot water in the summer, so you’ll keep your home cooler and save money on power bills.
Starting in 2016, a new HVAC standard requires all residential AC units to have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher. New AC units are highly energy efficient with SEER Ratings of 14 to 18 while AC units older than 15 years typically have a SEER of 6 or less. A brand new model will provide substantial energy savings compared to an older unit.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Tip an AC Repairman?
As a general rule, AC repairers are not tipped, but there is also no rule against it. If you’ve had a particularly helpful technician who has gone the extra mile, there is no insult in offering him or her a tip.
How Much Does Freon AC Cost?
Freon and other refrigerants cost $80 to $115 per pound. To buy Freon, you need a level two certification since refrigerants are a controlled substance.
How Much Does an Air Conditioner Freon Refill Cost?
The cost to hire an air conditioner service to refill your Freon is $170 to $410 on average. The repair should take 1 to 2 hours at an average hourly rate of $70 to $200.
The cost to repair a portable air conditioner is $75 to $150, with most problems being caused by a clogged filter, the compressor overheating, or the unit being too large for the room size.
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AC Repair Free Estimate
Most HVAC companies will come to your home to investigate the problem and give you an AC repair free estimate before they work on the issue. If they do charge for an estimate, most of the time they will credit that amount back to you.
What to Look for in an AC Service
A professional HVAC contractor should be licensed by the Contractors State License Board in your state. Checking for licensing is easy to do online.
They should come out to your home to give an estimate. Someone who gives you an estimate over the phone should be avoided.
An accurate estimate will be in writing.
Check their BBB, HomeGuide, and Google reviews.
Use a service company that’s been in business for three years or more.
Check to see if they are members of their industry’s professional organizations, such as North American Technician Excellence (NATE), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), or the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).
Air Conditioning Questions to Ask
Are they licensed, insured, and bonded? AC repair companies should be licensed by the state and carry a minimum of $500,000 liability insurance.
Are their technicians certified by professional organizations such as AHRI, EPA 608, or NATE? Membership in professional organizations shows their desire to stay on top of new trends, products, and laws.
Has the company obtained an AHRI Performance Certification? The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the trade association covering the manufacturing of HVAC products. Having this certification assures your customers that the equipment they use is safe and reliable.
What types of warranties or guarantees are offered? Before you sign the contract, know exactly what kind of warranty they offer. Does it apply to labor or parts, or both? Is their work covered or just the new parts?
If your AC is under warranty, is the company certified to do warranty work for the brand you own? It’s possible that having an unqualified technician work on your AC unit will void the warranty. HVAC technicians and employees are trained to work on different brands of AC, so make sure they are trained on your brand.
How long has the company been in business? The length of time they’ve been in business speaks to the satisfaction of their clients. Having a physical address generally means they are serious about their business and plan to stay around. The longer they have been in business, the more experience they have.
Does the company provide a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week emergency service? When it’s time to hire an HVAC company, choose one that offers 24/7 service. If you have an emergency, you want to be able to call someone who already knows you and your AC system.
Does the company have any testimonials and references for you to review? A company should always be able to provide references and encourage you to check them. They should also have testimonials available on their website, although these might be cherry-picked.
Does the HVAC repair company regularly undergo background checks and drug testing for employees? Always make sure you know which technician is going to work in your home. They should have a badge with their picture on it, and the person who gave you the estimate should give you the name of the person who will be in and out of your home. It can be hard to ask questions about a background check and drug testing, but the safety of your family depends on it.
Will the technician inspect the entire air conditioning system including the ductwork? The technician should inspect the duct system to look for leaks and problems. Inspecting the AC unit only is half the job.
How and when does the company charge for services? Know precisely how and when the company expects to be paid. Some may require a down payment on larger jobs. If they only accept checks, but you planned on using a credit card, you may be stuck when it’s time to pay the bill.
Are financing options available for larger repairs? Many HVAC companies offer to finance for more expensive repairs. Ask about this ahead of time and know exactly what the terms are.
If the company advertises a “special offer,” are there conditions which must be met to qualify? A company often offers a “fixed right, or it’s free” warranty. This is not usually attached to any conditions other than the repair being done correctly.
Will the HVAC company provide a detailed written estimate before the work begins? If that answer is no, then move on to the next estimate you’ve received. If a company will not put anything in writing, that should wave a red flag about their honesty and integrity.
Here are the top certifications to check for when hiring an HVAC specialist. At the minimum, your technician should be “Level II Certified” or have a “Universal Certification” to work on your central air conditioner.
Having this certification tells you that your technician is properly trained and will match you with the right products. They will be able to give you a certificate of certified product performance, which states that the indoor and outdoor unit are correctly matched and functioning properly.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires that anyone who opens a system containing refrigerant be certified (trained) to open that system. Refrigerants like Freon are controlled substances and can be dangerous for untrained hands. Your technician should have a Level Two certification.
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification ensures the person working on your system knows what they are doing. Each person who wishes to be a certified technician must pass the NATE test. You can check on the technician who is working in your home by going to their website and entering the NATE ID belonging to him. www.natex.org
While an excellence certification is not required to be an HVAC technician, it does provide another level of validation. The excellence certification assures you of the technical competency of your technician.