In temperate countries, HVAC repair can be just as important as plumbing. In places where winters can be particularly frigid and summers mercilessly hot, your HVAC system is one of your few saving graces. As always, the HVAC repair cost depends mostly on what components need fixing.
Right now, HVAC repair costs average at around $300 throughout the world, but they can go well over $1,000 depending on the circumstances. To save yourself from some shock upon receiving the invoice, and to know which components you need to give the most maintenance to, read on.
Repair Prices by HVAC System Type
The cost of a service call is often fixed and count towards the first hour that the HVAC technician spends checking out your system. The minimum service call fee often depends on the state of the HVAC service industry in the area, as well as current economic factors. But the bottom line will most likely depend on the kind of HVAC unit you have.
Window air conditioning units
($50 – $150)
Often the cheapest AC units to repair, a window air conditioner unit usually costs as low as $50. Sometimes, when the compressor system has been damaged particularly badly, this can go up to $125. Whether it is a through-the-wall air conditioner or one of the quietest window air conditioners, issues with the thermostat can run you anywhere from $60 to $150, again depending on severity of damage.
It’s worth noting however that higher-efficiency units can cost more to repair. The more BTUs your air conditioner is rated at, the more expensive it is to get fixed. To avoid damages to your units, you must learn how to clean an air conditioner properly as maintenance.
Portable air conditioning units
($50 – $300)
Portable air conditioning units usually come in either smaller zone-cooling variants or those wheeled cooling towers that you might have seen in small convention halls or churches. The home appliance variants can usually be bought at bargain prices, but this can come at a hefty inconvenience. Most portable air conditioner models are usually meant to be replaced rather than repaired.
And indeed, repair costs can reach up to over $300, quite a bit more than the price of your average portable air conditioner unit. Since they’re usually entirely self-contained, a lot of components need to be packaged closer together. Thus, crucial parts like the drain can easily break.
Package HVAC units
($300 – $500)
The more compact of the two most commonly purchased types of HVAC, package units are a cooling system and a heating system rolled into one device.
Hence, quite a few complications can arise, which can cost the owner between $300 and $500 in repairs. The most common ones have to do with thermostats malfunctioning and the electric or gas furnace failing to ignite.
Split HVAC units
($300 – $500)
The most commonly purchased type of HVAC system along with package-style units. Split units are easier to maintain and repair because there are dedicated portions for heating and cooling,
However when trouble does arise, it can still be quite expensive. Average repair costs play around $300, but if the system is ductless, this can go up to $500.
A ductless unit has the advantage of requiring no ductwork repair at all. But seeing how expensive HVAC repair costs for ductless units can be, it would be more sensible to just purchase longer warranty periods if you prefer this type of HVAC.
Central HVAC systems
($200 – $500)
Due to their complexity, central air systems can fail due to a number of problems, and none of them can be repaired cheaply . The most inexpensive repair is thermostat replacement, which can cost $150 at the minimum. A full replacement can cost up to $500, however, depending on the complexity of the device.
Other common repairs include leakages, which can range between $200 to over $500, and drain line repair/replacement, which can cost between $200 to $300.
Repair Costs for Commonly Malfunctioning HVAC Components
If you know what component is failing in your HVAC unit, you can get a general idea of the price range for repairs and replacements.
Thermostats vary in complexity, ranging from traditional analog thermostats to highly precise digital ones. While digital thermostats are more economical in terms of power consumption, repairing or replacing these can cost up to $400 for the average WiFi-enabled smart thermostat, more if it is multi-zone programmable (around $600). There are also lower-tier digital thermostats that can cost as low as $25 to repair, but sometimes repair cost can go up to $100 depending on the model.
Analog thermostats lead to more electricity consumption, but repair/replacement cost can be as low as $20, but can go up to $75. Dedicated air conditioning thermostats are also usually cheaper to replace and repair.
Getting your furnace serviced by a qualified HVAC technician can cost around $140, but if your HVAC uses an electric furnace, you might need to pay up to $400. Furnace repair is usually not included in these rates, but they do often include the tune-up service fee. Fees can increase if you have been using a dirty air filter, since dirty air also makes the furnace dirtier and can even cause damage to it.
A full replacement can cost much more. Electric furnace units average at around the $2,000 mark, and can cost nearly $2,500 more to install. Gas and oil furnaces cost around $700-$1,800 per unit nowadays, and installation can cost from $1,000 to up to $6,000.
The heat pump and air handler
These components are responsible for circulating warm and cool air throughout the system. Thus, without them, the unit will operate at minimal capacity. Heat pump repair cost plays at around $650 these days. Air handlers typically cannot be repaired and need to be replaced. Air handler replacement cost ranges from $1,800 to $3,900, depending on the size of the space.
A new heat pump, on the other hand, usually costs around $2,800 – $3,100, including supplies, service fees, and permit costs. The major cost factors here include pump capacity, square footage, and whether the pump is adjustable, single-stage, or dual-stage.
Ductwork Installation Cost
Leaky ducts often cannot be easily patched up yourself or by a technician. Hence, replacements are usually in order. HVAC ductwork replacement costs can go up to $18 per square foot, not necessarily inclusive of other materials and construction costs.