How Much Does AC Repair Cost?
$170 - $640
$170 - $640
Updated May 26, 2022Reviewed by After Hours Home Improvement, LLC, Reid Gravitte, Certified Electrician, Plumber and HVAC Specialist.
Most homeowners pay $404 in AC repair costs, typically ranging from $170 and $640 for common fixes to blowers, valves, or a system recharge. Prices for this project vary greatly by issue, part, project complexity, or company. Repairs to a small window AC unit will cost less than fixing a central AC system or replacing ductwork, which can top $12,300.
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|Typical Range||$170 - $640|
|Low End - High End||$75 - $2,400|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 58,418 HomeAdvisor members.
There are many factors that could affect how much your AC repair will cost, which are broken down by category below.
A troubleshooting service call can vary from $75 to $180, depending largely on your geographical location and the time of year you need them. HVAC professionals’ time is at a premium during the hot summer months, with some pros charging as much as $200 per hour.
Your HVAC professional can perform a yearly tune-up of your system for around $80 to $100. This yearly maintenance helps head off major repairs to your system and provides you with peace of mind and considerable savings in the long term. Additionally, regular servicing can help a home inspector certify your unit is working properly if you decide to sell your home.
Home AC recharge costs can be as low as $100 or upwards of $600. The cost varies greatly depending on the size of your unit, the refrigerant you use, the cost of the refrigerant, and the amount you need. Six pounds of R-22 could run you about $500. Plus, new regulations to phase out R-22 have bumped up the price. As far as labor costs go, recharging shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.
Expect to pay $1,200 or up to $2,800 for the cost to replace an air conditioning compressor. If you notice that your AC is blowing warm air, being noisy, or vibrating when starting, your compressor could be to blame. A professional replacement should only take a few hours.
An air conditioning compressor repair hard start kit runs between $100 and $250. Depending on the damage, installing a new compressor often makes more sense to ensure a long-term fix.
A pro can detect an AC gas leak and repair it for between $225 and $1,600. The amount of time this project takes depends on the location and severity of the leak. Some damage can take more than eight hours to detect and fix.
Installing a new air handler system sits between $700 and $5,600. An air handler works with existing systems to circulate hot and cool air depending on your needs. In general, air handler installation costs fluctuate based on the size, type, and local labor rates.
A new AC condenser costs runs between $900 and $4,000 for the part and installation—often almost as much as replacing the unit itself. But this price can vary depending on the unit. It should take a pro less than a day to complete this project—about four hours on average. Ask a pro if you can repair your air conditioner condenser instead of a full replacement for a fraction of the price.
The price to replace your duct system is about $2,000 for installation alone. To install a duct system and new HVAC system, expect to pay between $9,200 and $12,300 for a 2,500 to 3,500 square foot home, or $25 to $40 per square foot. This project can take several days, depending on the amount of ductwork needed.
An AC blower repair can cost as little as $150. If a pro determines it’s beyond repair, then replacing a blower motor costs $250 to $800 or up to $2,000 for a high-end model. The price depends on what kind of blower motor you need, as premium models cost more money. The amount of time for this project varies, with most replacements taking about three hours.
Entirely replacing the expansion valve costs $100 to $500. Repairing an AC expansion valve is relatively affordable depending on the repair. Your pro may refer to this as a TXV expansion valve. This project should only take a few hours.
Maintenance on an inverter AC unit costs about Condenser Replacement
Still, inverter AC units are more energy-efficient and can save as much as 50% to 60% in energy costs. So, this system may be worth it in the long run.
It costs between $15 and $300 to replace fuses, circuit breakers, or relays in an AC unit. These projects are relatively fast, and most take just a couple of hours to complete.
Replacing a thermostat costs between $60 and $440, including the parts and labor. The cost to repair a thermostat is slightly less expensive. A replacement should take a professional less than two hours to complete.
The cost to replace a capacitor ranges from $120 to $475. This quick project should take less than an hour when done by an experienced professional.
The cost of replacing an evaporator coil on an air conditioning unit averages about $1,000, with the typical range usually falling between $600 and $2,000. Evaporator coils can take upwards of eight hours to replace, so most of the cost of replacement goes towards labor.
Circuit board replacement for an air conditioner averages between $150 and $700. Generally, replacing an AC circuit board is cheaper than replacing it, and if yours is under warranty, you may only have to pay for the labor to replace it which usually costs $100 to $300.
The cost for a new drain pain typically runs around $200 to $600, depending on the type. Drain pans catch the condensed water that falls from an air conditioner while it’s running and directs that water into the drain line so the unit doesn’t leak. Temperature changes can cause the drain pan to crack, which is the most common reason for replacement.
There are many different types and sizes of air conditioners, and the cost to replace each differs accordingly.
|Repair Cost by Type||Average Cost Range|
|Window||$50 – $125|
|Central||$100 – $500|
|Swamp Cooler||$125 – $500|
|Geothermal||$200 – $700|
|HVAC Package||$300 – $500|
|Ductless Mini||$750 – $900|
On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $50 and $125 to repair a window AC unit.
Repairing a window unit is generally less expensive than repairing a central air conditioning unit because they’re significantly smaller.
The average cost to repair a central AC unit is $100 to $500. Central AC units cool air at a central location and then distribute the cooled air to different areas via fans or ductwork.
Homeowners can expect to pay an average of $125 to $500 to repair a swamp cooler. Swamp coolers blow air through a wet material to add moisture to the air.
The average cost of repairing a geothermal air conditioning unit is between $200 to $700. Geothermal air conditioning units are generally out of sight, with lines buried in the basement or the yard.
HVAC repair costs can vary widely but cost an average of $300 to $500. HVAC units heat, ventilate, and air condition a home.
The average cost to repair a ductless mini is $750 to $900. A ductless mini AC unit does not need air ducts to operate as it works to cool a single room at a time.
Since air conditioners are fairly complex appliances, there are a number of items that could impact how much you pay to repair your unit. These include:
Brand name parts versus generic
Accessibility of the unit
When you need repairs done (the season)
During regular business hours, air conditioner technicians usually charge $75 to $150 per hour. For emergency after-hours or holiday visits, you can expect to pay between $160 and $250 per hour. The service call fee, which is a flat fee that repair companies charge to send someone out and diagnose the problem, runs between $75 and $200; however, most companies will apply that fee to the repair costs if they find an issue.
Central air conditioner replacement generally runs between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the size of your home which affects the size of the unit you’ll need, the brand, and the SEER rating. If you’re installing ductwork along with the central AC unit, expect to pay $6,000 to $12,000.
When deciding whether to repair or replace your air conditioner, you should opt to replace the system if:
The repair cost multiplied by the system’s age in years is more than $5,000
Your unit requires frequent repairs
The repair cost is more than 50% of what a new unit would cost
Your unit is more than 10 years old
The air conditioner uses R-22 Freon, a harmful coolant which is being phased out
If you notice any of these signs, there’s a chance that your air conditioner is malfunctioning. Call an AC repair pro in your area to diagnose and fix the problem.
Your air conditioner is not working at all
You can hear the motor running, but there is little or no cool air coming from the vents
Your AC unit is making odd noises
Your air conditioner smells bad
Your air conditioner is short cycling (turning on and off more frequently than usual)
Water is leaking around your unit
Your unit is frosty or there’s ice accumulating on it
An experienced DIYer should be able to take care of many small repairs. However, it’s best to call a pro if electrical work is involved. And you should definitely ask for help if the project involves working with refrigerant, which is a toxic material that often requires a license to handle.
Be sure to do your homework before hiring a professional service. You’ll want to check:
State licensing and insurance requirements.
Your HVAC system’s history and any warranties. The average manufacturer's warranty is 5 years.
Prices and service packages from different contractors.
Referrals from friends and family.
Professional certifications, associations, and partnerships. Including but not limited to:
Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA)
Certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
Partnered with ENERGY STAR
Try to stick with a company that specializes in HVAC services. While some general handyman companies can provide a low-cost alternative to many projects, a company that focuses on air conditioning and heating is usually a better option. Take a look at this guide for more tips on hiring a contractor.
Are they licensed, bonded, and insured?
Are their technicians certified by any professional HVAC organizations?
What types of warranties and guarantees do they offer for their work?
If your unit is still under warranty, is the HVAC pro certified to do warranty work for the brand of AC you own?
If there is a “free” offer, are there conditions you must meet to qualify for it?
How many years has the company been in business?
Will they provide testimonials and references for you to review?
Does the HVAC repair company require its employees to undergo background checks and drug testing?
Does the company provide an AHRI Performance Certification (for commercial units)?
Will the technician inspect the duct system as well as the unit itself?
How does the company charge for services?
Is financing available for larger repairs?
Does the company have a 24/7 emergency ac repair service?
Will the company provide a written estimate before starting the work?
Your HVAC professional can provide you with an AHRI Certificate of Certified Product Performance upon request to help you verify that your system matches. The certificate verifies that the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has certified your outdoor unit (condenser) and indoor unit (evaporator) combination as a matched system. This is only common and required for commercial spaces, not residential.
For higher efficiency models, this certification may help you obtain a rebate from your utility or local municipality. Not all areas offer a rebate, but your technician will likely be able to provide information about the certification process. Fees for performing this certification vary but are generally very expensive. Talk to your local HVAC professional to see if the cost of the rebate is worth the cost of the certification.
EPA 608 Certification
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that technicians who work with controlled refrigerants carry certification. There are four levels of certification. Your HVAC technician should be “level two certified” at a minimum. Being “universal certified” is even better. It’s a good idea to obtain this certification information from your HVAC technician. You may need it in the future if you decide to sell your home. Costs for certification average $40 to $240.
Though a broken AC may continue to work for a time, it’s best to get any problems fixed as soon as possible. Ignoring warning signs can make a small problem worse and cause more expensive repairs in the long term. Have your unit repaired promptly to avoid major damage or a high utility bill.
The average cost to replace a central air conditioner is about $5,000. This price can rise to as much as $12,500, depending on the size of your home and how complicated the ductwork is.
Generally, an AC lasts between 12 and 15 years. But this number varies depending on how often you use the unit. The more use the system gets, the faster it will wear out. After 15 years, it’s a good idea to call an AC installation professional for a new unit.
Freon itself can be very dangerous. But a normal leak in your home shouldn’t hurt you as long as you exercise caution. Avoid the refrigerant and make sure the area around the leak is well-ventilated. Do not directly inhale the gas, and make sure to stay away from the leak if it is in an enclosed space. Too much exposure can lead to refrigerant poisoning and even death.
Depending on how much you need and the type of unit, you’ll pay about $100 to $350 for a Freon refill. The cost of Freon includes labor and the refrigerant itself, which will vary by refrigerant type.
The cost to find and fix an AC leak is between $225 and $1,600.