According to Angi, the average cost for AC unit repair in 2024 was between $130 and $2,000.¹ Repairing a central air conditioner can cost up to $4,200.² Consumers are often baffled when they receive their AC repair bill. The cost of fixing an air conditioner is often high and comes unexpectedly. 

But how does an AC contractor determine the price to charge? We’ll now explain their rationale for setting repair costs. 

AC Unit Repair Cost Factors

An AC repair company has considerable overhead. And the HVAC industry isn’t known for reasonable prices (inflation isn’t helping). Nevertheless, a contractor must factor in the following when determining repair costs:

Type of Unit

Air conditioners come in different shapes and forms. The cost to fix an issue often depends on the type of unit. Common types of ACs and repair cost ranges include:

  • Central AC ($100 to $4,200)²: Common issues include drain clogs, refrigerant leaks, dirty evaporator coils, and faulty thermostats.
  • Ductless Mini-Split ($150 to $1,000): Refrigerant leaks, frozen compressor coils, and circuit board malfunctions are often issues that need to be fixed. 
  • Heat Pumps ($200 to $3,500): Faulty valves, pipe leaks, frozen coils, dirty outdoor units, and malfunctioning heat pump components are common problems.
  • Window AC ($100 to $300): Frozen coils, faulty thermostats, and compressor malfunctions are common issues a technician must address.

Labor

Labor may account for up to 50% of your AC repair bill. An initial assessment may cost between $100 and $250. Once the contractor determines the type of repair needed, they may charge a flat fee for parts and labor. Or, they may charge for parts and anywhere from $100 to $250 per hour for labor, so the length of the job has a significant impact on the cost of AC unit repair

Location

Climate and cost of living can influence what an AC contractor charges for AC repairs. The same types of repairs can differ in cost from place to place. Expect to pay more for common repairs in areas where AC is in high demand. Also, if your area’s cost of living is high, your local contractor will likely charge more. 

Emergency Repair Fees

An AC contractor must often visit during off hours to make emergency repairs. Therefore, they will charge extra. To perform work after business hours, a technician may add $40 to $80 per hour to complete the same type of repair.¹

Parts

Most AC parts are not cheap and become more expensive the older your system gets. That’s a factor in deciding the cost of AC unit repair. Some of the parts your air conditioner might need during a repair, and their average costs, are as follows¹:

  • Thermostat: $15 to $300, depending on its type and features. Installation can cost $65 to $100 per hour.
  • Thermostatic Expansion Valve: $100 to $500, which includes the process of draining refrigerant.
  • Capacitor: $100 to $500 for replacing this part that helps start the system’s motor.
  • Circuit Board: $100 to $600 to repair or replace the AC system circuit board.
  • Blower/Fan Motor: $200 to $500 to replace the condenser fan motor; $400 to $700 to replace the blower motor.
  • Evaporator/Condenser Coils: $400 to $1,500 to replace the coils, especially if they’re not maintained well.
  • Compressor: At up to $2,000, the compressor is one of the largest and most expensive AC components to replace. 
  • Ductwork Repair: Fixing ducts can cost a few hundred to up to $2,000, depending on the extent of the repairs.

Deciding the Cost of AC Unit Repair Isn’t Easy

Your local HVAC company likely has a formula for determining the cost of repairs. But there are many elements to include. In addition to those mentioned above, permit and inspection costs may be added; these can increase your repair bill by a few hundred dollars. Some AC services, such as airflow inspections and electrical checks, cost extra. Also, replacing ductwork or major HVAC components often requires obtaining a permit and paying the required fee. Contractors must pass these costs on to the customer to remain profitable.

However, AC companies often extend discounts to customers who purchase maintenance service contracts. Following tips such as changing filters regularly, keeping debris away from the AC unit, not delaying minor repairs, and replacing worn parts can also lower long-term repair costs.

Call Grasshopper Heating & Cooling

We’re a leading AC repair company in Clifton Park, NY. Available 24/7, we can fix any problem and offer specials and financing to help you save. To learn more or schedule service, call (518) 545-3271 now.

Sources:

  1. https://www.angi.com/articles/how-much-hvac-repair-cost.htm 
  2. https://todayshomeowner.com/hvac/cost/ac-repair-cost/



company icon
Categories: