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Updated average cost to repair HVAC system


National Average

Average cost overall USA


Typical Range

Typically the cost range varies around these numbers


Low End

Low End Repairs cost around this number


High End

Major repairs can cost upto that much

Cost Estimation Guide

Updated and Current HVAC Repair Price Guide

Two out of every three homes in the US have an air conditioning unit and home owners spend billions of dollars annually to keep the units in a working order. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are one of the most important appliances in your home and you are very likely to discover quickly when they are not working.

While the United States uses more air conditioners that other nations combined, only 42% of home owners call a professional to perform a routine maintenance on their conditioning unit. Regular maintenance to a large extent can reduce the need to repair your unit and also keep your future costs down. Regular maintenance of your unit by replacing or cleaning the filter can make it more energy efficient.

HVAC experts are highly trained technicians who specialize in repairing, servicing and installing of all indoor cooling systems. There are lots of states that have regulations and provisions to protect customers and keep the industry in check but if you are hiring an HVAC maintenance service you are advised to arm yourself with the right information and hire a professional who meets all the requirements.

Air conditioner Unit maintenance

Like any other appliance, regular maintenance of your evaporative coolers, window units, central air systems, split AC systems will keep your unit in shape and helps you save a lot of money on energy and repairs. 40% of air conditioners that undergo regular maintenance last longer than units that are usually not maintained. No matter how much you spent on purchase, no matter the quality and guarantee your dealer gave you beforehand, your HVAC system needs to be subjected to a routine maintenance to save the life span from being drastically reduced.

Although most HVAC systems are under warranty and the warranty service covers issues, you will be required to add the price of the warranty to the initial cost. Continuous usage of the unit alongside aging and expiration of the warranty can call for the need to repair or replace a defective part of your unit. It’s always a smart choice to purchase an extended warranty ab initio to cover for future issues that may arise. Although it increases the initial cost of your upfront payment, an extended coverage helps you reduce cost and save a lot in the final analysis.

Maintaining your HVAC system requires a high level of expertise and knowledgeable experience. The evaporator and the condenser are the main components of your unit and they are sealed. These requires a high level of expertise and equipment in trying to service and repair them. To ensure that your unit works at optimum efficiency all summer, ensure that you have your routine maintenance scheduled. The periodic inspection, adjustment, cleaning and fine-tuning of your conditioning system with a reputable contractor usually cost between $150 and $450.

Choosing the right conditioning expert for your maintenance job is as important as anything else. Ensure that your HVAC contractor is a verified personality with the required licence and insurance. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) is a great threshold because they are certain to have sufficient data in terms of complaints, disputes or lawsuits regarding your proposed contractor.

Regular maintenance and check-up of your unit has a lot of benefit, they include;

  • Expect an optimum performance from your conditioner system all season long
  • Regular maintenance leads to a more energy efficient unit. Your system will consume less energy and allow you save more on your energy bill.
  • It gives you an opportunity to forestall a potential greater damage that could cost you a huge amount of money in future
  • It also gives you the unbeatable assurance that your appliance is in a good condition and every minute of your summer will be totally comfortable and enjoyable
  • Regular maintenance ultimately costs less when compared to how much will be spent on repairs.

What to ask your contractor before hiring their services.

For a smooth and hassle free HVAC maintenance, servicing, repair or installation, there is a checklist of inquiries you need to make. Your safety is of the utmost importance as well as maximizing every opportunity to save and a few questions might just do the trick. Some of the enquiries you should make includes;

  • Ask for a list of references regarding past jobs so that you can contact the clients and ask about the contractors’ performance and efficiency.
  • Ask if your contractor has handled similar jobs like yours, you can also be more specific. Ask if they have handled a similar job with the specific model of your conditioning unit.
  • Enquire about the estimated time of completion
  • Right from the initial contact, ask if there is any hidden charge or cost as regards their services
  • Ask if there is any insurance or guarantee that covers any injury to the personnel on board
  • Ask if there is a warranty that covers a possible damage to your system during the process of servicing, diagnosing or installing your conditioner unit.
  • You can also ask if the contractor is willing to provide a written agreement to that effect.
  • Agree on a fee and ask for their preferred mode of payment

Flat rates

A lot of HVAC experts charge a flat rate for maintenance and regular servicing because it is easy to calculate the time, defective parts, and labour required to get the job done. Regular maintenance will help your HVAC technicians spot and forestall a greater damage that is usually costly to fix down the line.

Hourly Rate

On the other hand some HVAC experts usually charge an hourly rate for their services. The hourly rate may cover their travel expenses to and fro the location of the job or it may just be limited to the onsite activities. In a case where the cost doesn’t cover the amount incurred on the journey, most contractors usually charge a separate fee to cater for their transportation. On the average, the hourly rate usually charged by an HVAC expert usually rangers between $65 and $80 and this usually covers the cost of any new part installed.

What to expect during the maintenance of your HVAC system

During your servicing and maintenance process there are a couple of things you should expect. After the HVAC expert has arrived at your location the first thing they do is to conduct a general inspection of your unit as a whole. These also includes an into-detail cleaning and fine-tuning of all components. A professional inspection and cleaning of your conditioner system usually includes the following

  • Lubrication of all moving parts like blower fan motors, fan blades, and the condenser fan.
  • Verification of refrigerant levels to ensure that they are all correct and the addition of Freon if there is a need.
  • Performance of several safety and security checks on the system as a whole.
  • Inspection and cleaning of the evaporator coils.
  • Inspection and fine-tuning of any contactor, wiring or related connection.
  • Examination and testing of all capacitors and relays within the system.
  • Examination of the condensate drain to determine if it is unclogged and drains properly.
  • Cleaning of the condenser coil.
  • Inspection of the outdoor disconnect.
  • Inspection of all condenser fan blades as well as motor.
  • an amperage start up testing on the compressor to measure efficiency

The standard maintenance rate to have these done will cost between $100 and $300.

The amount also vary depending on your location.

Many HVAC companies and contractors also provide service contracts for annual preventive maintenance and this is highly beneficial. Some of the benefits includes:

  • Yearly preventive maintenance that includes examination and adjustments.
  • A great discount on your overall maintenance price.
  • Discounts may also extend to cover parts and labour cost.
  •  Higher priority on their service call list.


Repairing existing HVAC system

 There are several reasons why you may need to repair or replace your HVAC systems. If your unit isn’t serving the purpose of controlling the temperature of your home like it is supposed to then you may need to repair it. If your AC won’t start up at all or there is a limited airflow, this may call for a repair. These signs are usually traceable to power control failures, thermostat issues, ductwork problems, drainage issues, dirty filters or the problem may lie within the refrigerant.

For a conditioner system that has been in use for over a decade, the cost of repairing is usually $500 upwards. For defective parts of an air conditioner like refrigerant, contactor relays, and compactors, the amount usually falls within $180 and $600

While sometimes your system can be repaired, replacing the old unit may be more cost efficient. The usual culprits of a conditioning unit repair is the electrical setup and the piping component.

Replacing your HVAC system

In some cases you may need a replacement like when you have just expanded your house by a few blocks. You may discover that your old unit isn’t sufficient to serve or maybe a new technological advancement has led to another breakthrough in features that can serve you better with more comfort and quality air.

Replacing your HVAC system is largely a function of taste. The market is filled with a wide range of products from notable brands and the cost of replacement depends on the choice you make. The price of some of the most popular and reliable brands includes


The average HVAC system of this brand usually costs between $3,900 and $4,800.

One very popular model for all climates is Amana's Premium AGP15 Gas/Electric product. This appliance uses electricity for cooling and gas for heating. The louvered compartment around the compressor helps in protecting it from the elements as well as dust, dirt and debris. 15 SEER, 80% AFUE, available in 2 to 5 tons.

American Standard

The American Standard HVAC system ranks as one of the markets most popular and most dependable in terms of quality. It usually cost between $3,800 - $4,900.

The Gold series of the brand continues to be their top selling HVAC line. The resilient steel construction with the variable nature of the speed fan helps in shielding the system saving you about 40% on your energy bill down the line. The corrosion resistant blower also ensures the longevity of your system. Similar to its counterpart Amana, it has 14.25 SEER, 80% AFUE, available in 2 to 5 tons.


Replacing your HVAC system with a Trane product will cost between $3,500 - $4,600

The brands XL13c is a combination of aesthetics and performance. The cabinet has been designed to fit perfectly in any architectural style. It also contains a stainless steel heat exchanger and an overall sturdy system crafted to perform for years. Available from 1.5-5 tons. 13 SEER, 80% AFUE.

HVAC Labour cost factors

If you need to replace your HVAC system with a new one, the highest cost to be incurred is likely to be on labour. One of the very first thing you contractor does is to size up your home. This is usually done to determine how large your space is in an attempt to select the system most suitable enough. The major determinants of you installation cost includes

  • electric rate for kilowatt hours (kWh)
  • tonnage size
  • SEER- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
  • estimated hours of usage for the month
  • number of BTUs
  • number of hours of the day unit will be in use
  • level of the unit
  • number of systems in the home

In case have a custom job that requires some special needs, you can get a quotation from your HVAC contractor.

However, it is important to task yourself with the responsibly of calculating and understanding the bottom line of all factors that contribute to the total cost of installing your new HVAC system before you proceed to make payment. These gives you an edge because there are instances where the estimated cost brought forward by your contractor differs from you own figures – this calls for comparisons and questioning.

The cost of purchasing your new HVAC system combined with the average cost of installation means you will be parting with thousands of dollars. The implication of this is that every opportunity to save is welcome and you wouldn’t want to short-change yourself with an unintentional miscalculation. For an accurate HVAC installation cost, you can secure the services of an energy auditor for a more bull’s-eye figure.

Extra HVAC system costs

There are a couple of costs that has a high likelihood of not being included in the initial cost of your HVAC installation. You may however want to factor these in if they apply to your situation. You should ask your HVAC contractor whether or not these costs have been factored in the initial estimate. If they have been included and the situation doesn’t apply, you can as well ask for a review of the prices quoted. They include

  • If a permit or licence is required from your local city or area building department. The conditioner system will also need to be inspected by a delegate of the building department to ascertain if the system makes the cut.
  • If you reside in older apartment that has a special type of ceiling or lead paint, an additional cost may incurred to test, remove, or replace the materials accordingly.
  • If additional work is required as a result of the processes involved with the installation  – electrical work, plumbing, removal of an existing system, installing the HVAC system at a different location, restructuring the surfacing or framing of the apartment, or fine-tuning any existing systems up to code – it will also have a bearing on  the cost


Simple DIY HVAC culture

On your own part, there are simple routines you can perform if you are looking to enjoy a cool season throughout the hot summer. These things result in an all year round comfort and better efficiency alongside a low energy cost. You don’t need to have a degree in the electrical or electronics field to do these simple maintenances.

The first thing you should pay attention to is ensuring that nothing stands in the way of your vent. The obstruction of airflow usually limits the efficiency of your conditioner unit. Things like vines, homeware, flowers and any shrubbery should be kept away from your unit.

On the inside of your apartment, ensure that your vent isn’t clogged or stifled. This can be achieved by engaging in a periodic dusting and cleaning of the louver vents. For your conditioner to also function at an optimum efficiency no furniture should be placed in a position that impedes airflow from the vent system.

These simple routine don’t cost a thing and they are usually very helpful in prolonging the life of your unit.

Maintenance repair or installation? – Call a professional

Although there are several articles and step by step description of how to service, repair or install an HVAC system, the best practice is to hire the services of a professional. While all your tool box contains might be a screwdriver, crowbar and a plier, a professional HVAC expert has all the necessary equipment and tools as well as the cognate experience required to get the job done.


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