The first thing most people think about when their air conditioner breaks down is how much it’s going to cost. Will it be hundreds? Thousands? How much of a hit is my wallet going to take?
As much as people want to get the unit up and running asap, especially during hot weather, the expense is completely unexpected and can add stress to an already stressful situation.
But the news isn’t always bad. A/C units have come a long way, and sometimes the problem is something simple like a fuse, circuit breaker or drain line. Even if it is a more substantial problem—such as a condensing coil, compressor, or refrigerant issue—the cost may not be as high as you think.
Nevertheless, air conditioning repair is never a desirable expense, and it’s important to have an idea of how much it will cost you.
Lowest cost repairs ($0 – $290)
Hopefully, your repair falls into this range. If the problem is related to a fuse or circuit breaker, the cost should be less than $100. Calling in a professional will usually incur a minimum cost of anywhere from $50 – $100, so it’s important to make sure it’s nothing obvious like a circuit breaker. If you’re able to locate and replace a blown fuse yourself, the cost of the part will only be a few dollars—but even a minor air conditioning repair can be dangerous if you aren’t experienced.
Other repairs in the lowest price category include a new thermostat, a pump replacement, or clearing the drain line. Depending on the necessary parts, and the rate charged for labor, these repairs could cost anywhere from $50 – $290.
Mid-range repairs ($120 – $650)
When an A/C stops working, the list of possible culprits is long. Many of them fall under the mid-range in terms of repair cost.
The lowest cost repairs in this range include control circuit boards, capacitors, contactors, evaporator coil drain pans, and refrigerant recharges. However, the cost of these repairs can vary significantly depending on the exact nature and extent of the problem. Expect these issues to run anywhere from $110 all the way up to $600.
Repairs in at the top of the mid-range include metal drain pans, fan motors, hard start kits, power pack boosters, and copper Line-Set repairs. If your issue lies here, you might pay anywhere from $200 – $650.
Highest cost repairs ($225 – $2300)
These are the air conditioning repairs you hope you don’t have to face, but which sometimes are necessary. Air conditioners often stop working because of a refrigerant leak. Assessing the extent of the leak, finding the source(es) of the problem, and repairing faulty parts can cost as low as $200, but as high as $1500 or more.
If the problem is being caused by a malfunctioning evaporator coil, the fix could cost around $400 on the low end, or right up to $1000 in some cases.
Sometimes a compressor inside your unit is broken beyond repair, and a new one must be installed. This repair can run the gamut from $1200 – $1700, depending on size and type of compressor your A/C unit needs.
Replacing a Condensing Unit Coil is another doozy—perhaps the most expensive A/C repair there is. This is different than an evaporator coil. It’s an expensive part, and installing it takes time. If your problem is a bad Condensing Unit Coil, you could be looking at anything from $1600 – $2300 to complete the fix.
Keeping the cost down
A malfunctioning A/C is a nuisance—particularly when the expense comes at a bad time. You want to do whatever you can to keep the cost down.
One of the best things you can do is find a reliable, reputable HVAC service provider to have a look at your malfunctioning system. There are companies out there that oversell the problem and try to get you to pay for repairs you don’t need. There are companies that provide an honest assessment but simply charge too much. The most reputable companies offer an honest assessment and fair, affordable rates.
Has this article helped you gauge the possible costs of A/C repair? We’d love to see your questions or comments in the box below.