The Average HVAC Repair Costs: A Guide on What to Expect

| September 11, 2019 | Comments (0)

Two workers on the roof of a building working on the air conditioning unit.

Did you know that heating and cooling accounts for 40% of the average U.S. household’s yearly utility bills?

That’s right! That’s how big an energy-guzzler your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is.

As if that’s not enough, problems with an HVAC system can make it consume even more energy. The same goes for an older, less-efficient air conditioner. If your AC is more than 10 years old, a newer, more energy-efficient model can save you 20% to 40% on cooling costs.

But what if you have a relatively new system, how much would your HVAC repair costs be?

This depends on a wide array of factors, from the specific HVAC problem to where exactly in the country you live. Don’t worry though, as we’ve compiled cost estimates for the most common HVAC repairs. Keep reading so you’ll have an idea before you call a heating or air conditioning pro!

Factors That Will Affect Your HVAC Repair Costs

There are many variables that influence the repair costs for HVAC units, such as location. It’s best you know what these main factors are so you can find ways to lower your service call bills.

Cost of the Parts

The need for part replacement will dictate your HVAC repair cost. For instance, air filters are the cheapest to replace, with some on Amazon being under $50. You can DIY an AC air filter change, but make sure you swap it with a new one at least once every three weeks if you have pets.

Expect a higher price tag though if your unit needs a major component replacement. Take a replacement evaporator coil for instance, which has an average price range of $520 to $1,850.

Labor

Some HVAC technicians have a flat rate, while others charge by the hour. Meaning, the bigger the repair or replacement project is, the costlier it is.

Your location also impacts labor rates. If you’re a resident of one of the most expensive states to live in, expect your HVAC repair bills to be higher.

Expertise

More experienced AC repair specialists may charge more than their inexperienced counterparts. But their top-quality, fast, and efficient services outweigh that higher price.

The Day and Time You Set for the Service Call

Your furnace or air conditioner repair cost can also go up depending on the exact day and time you get  it serviced. Weekend and holiday service calls are usually more expensive than regular working weekdays. Some HVAC techs can also meet your requested evening visit, but you should also expect to pay more.

 

What You Can Do Before Calling in the Pros

Before you ring up your local HVAC repair techs, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can do first. You might have only overlooked things like a tripped breaker, which is why your HVAC unit isn’t turning on.

That said, try to do the following first before setting up an HVAC service call.

Check the Circuit Breaker

Check your main electrical panel or the breaker switch to ensure it’s on the “ON” side. If it’s on the “OFF” side, someone may have accidentally switched it off or it may have tripped. Slide the switch back to the “ON” position.

Inspect the Thermostat

If the circuit breaker was on the “ON” position all along, it may be the thermostat that’s set to “OFF”. Or, the batteries are dead and you only need to replace them with a fresh set.

Examine the Filter

Is your heater not blowing warm enough air? Or perhaps it’s your air conditioner that’s circulating weak conditioned air?

Either way, the possible culprit is a filthy air filter. A clogged filter can prevent the unit from conditioning the air to the desired temp. If the filter in your heater or AC has become too dirty, replace or wash it.

Clear Blockages from the Exterior Unit

Because it’s exposed to elements, your HVAC’s outside unit is prone to blockages. Think leaves, dust, mud, and even trash like plastic containers. If any of these covers the exterior unit, your HVAC won’t get the proper airflow it needs to work efficiently.

As such, check this part of your system first before you contact repair technicians. Give it a thorough wash using a hose with a spray nozzle attachment. Be sure to turn the power off first to prevent electrical hazards.

If you’re still experiencing the same HVAC problem after doing these steps, then it’s time to call the pros. Make sure to compare the quotes they’ll give you on the phone or via email with the ones we’ve listed here.

Refrigerant Recharge and Leak Repairs

If you only need a refrigerant recharge or refill, you can expect a bill ranging from $100 and $150. If your issue, however, is an R22 refrigerant leak, expect your AC repair cost to be higher. In this case, it may make more sense to replace your AC since the EPA will phase out R22 come 2020.

Thermostat Repair or Replacement

Your HVAC system’s thermostat is that knob that lets you control temperature settings. When this fails, it either won’t change the temperature level, or it won’t turn the entire system on at all.

Luckily, repairing a thermostat can be quite cheap, with the usual prices ranging from $103 to $279. Sometimes, you may only need to change the batteries, which can be for less than $5. If it’s completely broken, a replacement would cost only slightly more.

AC Capacitor Replacement

Capacitors are small, cylinder-like components used by an air conditioner to store energy. They either send jolts of energy to power up the AC motor or do this to keep the motor operating. They may be small, but they are vital to the AC’s compressor, motor, and exterior fan functions.

If an AC capacitor burns out, hiring a pro to replace it can cost you around $120 to $150. If you want the technician to use branded parts, expect your costs to go up to $400.

AC Compressor Replacement

The average cost of hiring a pro for an AC compressor replacement is about $1,360. If you go by the DIY method, you can bring your costs down to around $440.

Take note that an AC compressor is one of the major components of an air conditioner. After all, it’s the one responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout the system. Without the compressor, the refrigerant can’t do its part in the heat exchange process.

That said, it’s best to leave this job to a licensed HVAC technician. The DIY method is too risky since the steps may also involve handling refrigerant.

AC Condenser Repair

If the compressor circulates refrigerant, the AC condenser liquefies that gas refrigerant. The condenser allows for this state change and also plays a crucial role in cooling down the gas. Once the liquid refrigerant has cooled, it moves on to the evaporator, which then blows it out (as cooled air).

With such major functions, it’s not surprising that AC condenser repairs can cost more than $1,000. However, it can also be as low as $150, depending on what the issue is and if there’s no need for replacement.

Blower Repair

The blower motor in an HVAC system powers the fan blades that then moves air throughout the unit. In ACs, the motor takes warm air from the building and then releases cool air through the vents. In heating units, the motor removes cool air inside the home and then replaces it with heated air.

If this part of your AC fails, Home Advisor reports that the cost to repair it can be as low as $150. If the blower requires a replacement, your final bill may be between $500 and $1,300. This huge price difference is due to some blower models being more expensive.

In heating systems, replacing a failed blower motor can cost you anywhere from $400 to $600. That price usually includes both parts and labor. If your heater is a newer or more high-end model though, a blower motor replacement can cost you up to $1,300.

Ductwork Cleaning and Maintenance

Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the HVAC system itself but with the air ducts. Over the years, your ductwork can accumulate dirt, dust, debris, and all sorts of filth. If you live in a high-traffic, more polluted area, or if someone in your house smokes, your air ducts are sure to be dirty.

As for cost, the average range is around $260 to $480. Your final bill will depend on how contaminated and how big your home’s duct network is. Cleaning technicians may also charge you less if your ductwork is easy to access.

The good news is, air duct cleaning is only a once-a-year maintenance task. For homes in less-polluted areas, this cleaning is only necessary once every two to five years.

Get Those HVAC Repairs Done ASAP

Now that you know the average HVAC repair costs, the next step is to call multiple repair technicians. You want to have at least three repair cost estimates to compare. This way, you can figure out which company offers the most affordable services.

Once you’ve chosen an HVAC repair company, set up your service call ASAP! The longer you put off HVAC repairs, the worse the problem will get. Besides, delaying the needed repairs will only make your electricity bill go up.

Ready for more nuggets of wisdom to keep your home comfy, cozy, and safe? Then please feel free to check out the rest of our blog posts!

 

Writer profile:

Alexander is a writer and admin  at https://www.dfives.com/

Category: Construction, Home Exterior Improvements, Home Maintenance, Remodeling

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