When your heating or cooling breaks down, one of your first thoughts is probably, “How much will it cost me to fix this?” Concerns about repair costs are very common among homeowners. However, you shouldn’t let budget worries keep you from getting the HVAC repairs you need. Knowing what you can expect can help you be prepared. Having a rough idea of how much your repair costs will be will help you keep your budget balanced and make smart choices for your HVAC system.
Average Costs to Repair Central Heat or Air
Overall, there is a huge amount of variety in repair costs for central heat or air conditioning. The typical homeowner usually pays somewhere between $285 to $500 for a central heat or air repair. On average, people pay $290 for each HVAC repair.
However, there is a lot of variation. Some repairs might be as low as $50 or as much as $7,000. The typical range of cost for a minor problem is somewhere between $100 to $175. For a major HVAC problem, your average repair will be between $750 to $1,500.
Factors That Affect HVAC Costs
Why can HVAC repair costs vary so much? There are several factors that can affect your final bill. The most common reason for a higher repair cost is simply that your repair takes more time. Many HVAC technicians are paid an hourly rate, so if a repair takes longer, they will need more money. This means that complicated, difficult repairs will always cost more money. Certain models and brands tend to be trickier, so the type of central heating and air system you have can affect costs. Usually, electric heaters are cheaper to repair than gas furnaces, and heat pumps can be pricier to repair than other HVAC systems.
Another reason for higher prices can be the value of the parts you need. Certain HVAC systems require pricier parts. Therefore, if you have to get these parts replaced, your repair will cost more. Your HVAC technician may give you the option of picking between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or non-OEM parts. Aftermarket parts can be quite a bit cheaper, but using them may void your warranty.
Keep in mind that the timing of your repairs also impacts costs. HVAC companies usually charge more for emergency repairs. If you need your heating or cooling fixed ASAP, it may be worth paying a little extra. For repairs at night, on weekends, or on holidays, you may have to pay up to double the usual hourly rate. Some companies may just charge a flat rate for emergencies instead of adjusting their hourly costs.
The final factor in price is just the company you select. You may find that certain repair companies in your town have higher prices than others. Often, pricier companies are ones with more experience or more specialized services. In some cases, going with the cheapest company you can find might mean you end up with rushed, shoddy work.
Estimates for Common Types of HVAC Repairs
One of the biggest impacts on cost will be the type of repair you need. The following covers some of the typical costs associated with common heating and cooling issues.
Capacitor replacement: Depending on the type of system you have, replacing this AC part can be anywhere between $90 and $475.
Refrigerant leak patch: If your refrigerant leaks, you’ll need to pay between $175 to $600 to patch the leak and refill the refrigerant.
New home air compressor: Replacing the compressor is often one of the priciest repairs. It can be between $1,350 and $2,300.
Condensing unit motor replacement: If the motor on your condenser fan dies, it will cost around $100 to $700 to fix the issue.
Condensate drain issues: These are normally quick repairs that cost around $85 to $200.
New coils: Replacing evaporator coils is a pricier repair that can be $1,500 to $3,000.
Flue pipe replacement: If this part of your furnace breaks, you can replace it for around $400 to $800.
Heat exchanger repairs: Repairing a broken heat exchanger is typically around $100 to 200. However, if it’s so broken it has to be replaced, expect to spend $500 to $1,500.
Thermocouple repairs: This type of repair is usually simple and fast. Most companies charge around $100 to $250.
New furnace ignitor: If your ignitor fails, it can be replaced for somewhere around $100 to $250.
Gas valve repairs: These costs vary a lot depending on the extent of the damage. It can be as little as $200 or as much as $1,000.
Combustion chamber issues: If you have a problem with oil entering your combustion chamber, fixing it will be around $200 to $600.
Broken thermostat repairs: If your problems were caused by a malfunctioning thermostat, expect to pay between $50 to $600 for repairs.
Ductwork replacements: Ductwork repairs and replacements are usually calculated based on how much needs to be fixed. Expect to pay between $10 to $17 per foot.
How Your HVAC Repair Is Calculated
When you take a look at an itemized repair bill, you will notice multiple different costs. Some companies might charge a flat rate of around $50 to $75. This covers the cost of the technician taking the time to visit your home and inspect your system. Next, there may be an hourly rate. This hourly rate is usually somewhere between $75 to $250 per hour. It is the amount you pay for the technician’s labor. In cases where parts need to be replaced altogether, you will also get a charge for the parts used on your HVAC system.
Many companies use different payment methods for different repair types. It is common for companies to offer a flat rate charge for small, common repairs. However, if the repair is more complicated or unusual, they usually charge an hourly rate instead.
What You Can Do to Find Affordable Repairs
Since the HVAC company affects the cost of repairs so much, it is a good idea to take the time to research different companies in your area. Ask companies about their usual fees to get an idea of how much the project will cost. Any reputable company will be able to give you an estimate before fixing the problem.
You can also ask them about their special deals or financing. For example, some companies offer discounts during off-seasons like fall and spring. Promotional deals can help you save a bit of extra money. For bigger, more complicated projects, it might be a good idea to get estimates before deciding which company to work with. This can help you compare costs and find the best company for your budget.
At Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating, we focus on providing quality HVAC repairs at affordable prices. If you are dealing with any heating or cooling issues, our team is happy to assess the problem and offer you an estimate. In addition to our HVAC repairs, we also assist Hanover residents with maintaining systems and installing new systems. Call now to get more details on our pricing.