How Much Does AC Repair Cost? (HVAC Projected Costs)

December 8, 2021

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Are you a homeowner asking, how much does AC repair cost? While HVAC service isn’t always the cheapest fix you’ll face around your home, you might be surprised at how affordable this work can be and especially if you schedule needed repairs quickly!

Residential AC repair costs average anywhere from $150 to $1500 or more, while most homeowners can expect to pay around $500 for needed fixes. These costs are affected by the age of the appliance, parts need replacing, and if your home needs secondary fixes such as ductwork cleaning.

Only an HVAC repair contractor near you can offer an accurate estimate for needed AC and furnace repairs, and advise on whether or not it’s time to replace an appliance instead. However, knowing a bit more about national averages can help you know what to expect when it comes to AC fixes.

cost of AC repair

You might also note some signs that it’s time to call for AC repairs for your home! Too often homeowners especially tend to overlook signs of AC damage, simply because they don’t recognize those indicators of needed fixes. You can then discuss this information with an air conditioning repair contractor as needed.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix an AC?

The cost to fix an AC will depend on the extent of damage and if parts need replacing, as well as the overall size and capacity of the appliance. Note a few national averages for standard services and new AC parts; remember that these are just averages and your actual costs will vary!

  • A compressor, as the name implies, compresses coolant so it then pulls heat from the air and vents it outside the housing unit. Replacing the compressor is often one of the most expensive AC repairs you might face, averaging $1300 to over $1800.
  • Air conditioning refrigerant doesn’t evaporate and shouldn’t “burn up” like oil or other fluids. However, damage to the air conditioner might cause a refrigerant leak. Finding and repairing that damage and recharging the refrigerant can cost anywhere from $250 to $1500 or more, on average.
  • When an air conditioner cycles on, the air is first run over an evaporator coil, which helps absorb heat and vent it outside the home. Replacing this coil might run between $900 to $1500, or more.
  • Today’s air conditioners have a number of wires and circuits that help parts communicate with one another and with the home’s thermostat. A circuit board controls these parts; replacing it usually runs about $150 to $600, on average.
  • An air conditioner uses a fan to circulate air over the evaporator coil and through the compressor. Replacing that fan or just its motor usually averages between $100 and $500.
  • The AC capacitor or contactor is what delivers energy to the system when it cycles on, much like your car’s battery. When this part fails, the AC won’t receive power and won’t cycle on. Replacing the capacitor might run as low as $90 or as high as $400 or more.
  • As an air conditioner removes heat from circulated air, it creates condensation. A condensate pump pulls this moisture away from the unit, emptying it out a special tube or hose. Replacing that condensate pump might run from $90 to $250 on average.
  • Sometimes the home’s thermostat needs replacing, not the AC itself! New thermostat installation might cost between $140 to $350 on average.

Diagnosing If Your AC Is Broken

An air conditioner doesn’t need to break down completely to need repairs! In some cases, the appliance might cycle on and even offer some cooling in your home, but still need new parts or full replacing. Check out some signs that your home’s AC is broken so you can schedule needed fixes as quickly as possible.

It’s blowing warm or lukewarm air

If your home’s air conditioner cycles on but doesn’t seem to circulate cool air throughout the house, first check the thermostat. Ensure it’s actually on the cool setting and not heat, and that you didn’t simply turn on the fan without turning on the cooling option!

ac repair

If the thermostat is not the issue, the air conditioner might have a compressor issue. In some cases, blocked vents or overly dirty ductwork can also keep cool air from flowing through the house as it should. These all indicate that it’s time for repairs or ductwork cleaning.

Schedule AC repair for low airflow

A clogged air filter can disturb airflow from your air conditioner. Replace the filter and note if that corrects the issue; if not, this can signal a damaged fan motor. Blocked vents and dirty ductwork can also result in low airflow, so your home might simply need duct cleaning rather than AC repair.

Frequent or insufficient cycling

During the hottest summer days, your home’s AC will naturally cycle on more often and might stay on longer, to keep air cool and dry. However, if you notice that the AC unit seems to cycle on more often than it should, or stay on even after the room is cooled sufficiently, this can signal needed repairs.

The same is true if the air conditioner doesn’t cycle on or stay on long enough for sufficient cooling! Wiring between the appliance and the thermostat might need replacing. The thermostat might be suffering exposure to harsh sunlight or another heat source so it doesn’t read room temperatures properly.

Note that frequent cycling of the air conditioner is especially damaging, putting the appliance through lots of unnecessary wear and tear. Don’t put off an inspection and needed repairs for this issue, but call a contractor if you notice improper and especially overly frequent cycling.

Cool yet clammy? Time for AC repair!

Air conditioners work to remove humidity from the air as well as heat. It often takes longer to vent excess moisture than it does heat; in turn, if an AC cycles off too quickly, the air might feel cool but damp or clammy.

In some cases this issue might signal that it’s time for a new thermostat, or the air conditioner might be underpowered for your home and local climate. A failing fan motor or other such issues can also mean cold yet clammy air. Whatever the case, call an AC repair contractor to address this problem.

Water leaks mean the AC needs immediate repair

As the air conditioner works, it creates condensation which is drained out a tube or hose and away from the appliance, as said. If this hose is blocked or damaged, this can mean water leaks inside the home. If you notice water stains on your home’s ceiling or around vents and registers, call an AC repair contractor for a full inspection and needed repairs.

Don’t overlook foul odors and odd noises

Your air conditioner might make a slight humming or “whooshing” sound as it works and as air passes through the home’s ductwork, but other noises often indicate that it’s time for repairs! Thumping and grinding noises can mean a loose or broken part, or something stuck in the compressor unit.

AC repair

High-pitched squealing typically indicates worn bearings that need replacing. Overly loud humming sounds can indicate a damaged fan motor struggling to work.

Odd noises can also indicate that it’s time for repairs. Damaged and broken parts, or thick dust in the home’s vents, can create a burning smell. A broken or clogged condensation hose risks water backup and, in turn, a musty or moldy smell.

Some unpleasant odors can also indicate that it’s time to clean out the home’s ductwork. Dead insects, mold, pest droppings, and other debris can create foul odors that then circulate through the home when the AC cycles on.

Check your utility bills!

A sudden spike in utility costs during summer months can indicate that the home’s AC unit is struggling to work. The appliance will then usually pull more power as a means of trying to force parts to operate, increasing your electric bills. If you cannot explain away rising power costs by way of a rate increase or increased AC usage, call a repair contractor for an inspection and needed repairs.

Should I Repair or Replace My AC?

In some cases it’s better to simply replace a residential air conditioner rather than repair it. One consideration is the age of the appliance; if your AC is reaching the end of its expected lifespan, you’ll probably need to replace it soon enough. Why invest in repairs for an appliance you’ll need to replace before too long?

new ac systems in Garland

A homeowner might also consider if the AC needs upgrading to something more fitting for your home. For example, an oversized unit might cool your home too quickly, constantly cycling off before it can remove humidity. An undersized unit might not cool all your interior spaces no matter how often or how long it runs!

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the real estate market anytime soon, you might think that a new AC or furnace is a poor financial investment. However, an outdated HVAC system might turn off potential buyers, or result in lowball offers. A new AC, furnace and air purifier can make your home more desirable and help it stand out from the competition so it’s then easier to sell!

Today’s air conditioners also offer more features than ever before! You might upgrade to a new unit that offers better insulation for quieter operation, variable speed compressors for greater control over the amount of cooling offered, and built-in air filters and self-cleaning options for improved indoor air quality. Today’s AC units also offer remote controls and Wi-Fi-enabled AC, so you can adjust the appliance from your smartphone.

Years an Air Conditioner Lasts

The lifespan of a residential air conditioner depends on the make and model, how often it’s used, and how well it’s maintained! Whether or not you keep the home’s ductwork clean and change the air filter regularly also affects how long the AC and furnace should last.

installed air conditioner in Garland

Most high-quality air conditioners last between 10-15 years on average. To ensure your AC unit lasts as long as possible, change the air filter every month you use it. Have the home’s ductwork cleaned every few years, to remove thick layers of dirt and dust.

Schedule maintenance to keep your AC running as long as possible

You might also schedule regular AC maintenance calls, which help ensure the appliance is running optimally. Maintenance tasks usually include:

  • Cleaning the unit including the fan and compressor. This removes dust, dirt, cobwebs, and other debris that cause added wear and tear on the appliance.
  • Replacing worn belts and bearings, which allow moving parts to operate freely. Replacing these parts once they show signs of wear keeps them from failing completely.
  • An AC repair contractor will also check for refrigerant leaks and make repairs as needed, and will test the refrigerant levels.
  • The thermostat is checked and calibrated as needed.
  • Outdoor grilles are cleaned as needed.
  • The condensation drain hose or tube is also checked for blocked, kinks, and other damage, and then cleaned or replaced as needed.
  • The evaporator coil is also checked for damage and needed repairs, and cleaned thoroughly.

Other tips for keeping your AC running as long as possible

To keep your air conditioner functioning for as long as possible, keep the compressor unit free of dirt and debris. An air conditioner vents heat out of that housing unit; if vents or the grille is blocked, this causes the unit to overheat. You also need to keep the condensation drain clean and clog-free as well.

You can also reduce wear and tear on your AC unit by ensuring your home is shaded as much as possible. Invest in window film that blocks heat but not light, if you prefer a bright interior space. Roof vents also let out heat and humidity, so ensure these are not blocked or damaged.

checking ac system

24/7 AC Repair Garland is happy to help our readers understand, how much does AC repair cost? If you need HVAC service for your home or office, call our experienced Garland AC repair contractors. We offer fast response times for emergency services and guaranteed work. For more information, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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