How Much Does Air Conditioner Repair Cost?

National Average Range:

Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors near you

Get local cost

Updated: January 8, 2024

Reviewed by Joe Roberts remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

How much does it cost to repair an air conditioner?

Mechanical failures in your HVAC system are always distressing, especially when temperatures outside are in the high 90s. Unfortunately, getting the cool air flowing again isn’t as easy (or as cheap) as just unplugging your system and plugging it back in. You probably need to hire an HVAC technician to properly diagnose and repair your AC unit, which can cost between $462 and $860, on average.

HVAC repair costs greatly depend on what repairs are needed, though. Small repairs like tune-ups and air filter replacements usually cost less than $200, while the parts and labor costs for more intense jobs like replacing your air handler or your ductwork can sometimes exceed $3,000.

Other factors like the type of AC system you have, how old the system is, and the time of year you get your unit fixed will also significantly affect your costs. Because all of these details will be unique to you and your situation, you’ll only really know how much repairing your AC will cost after meeting with an expert. In this guide, we can give you a rough idea of what you’ll pay.

Keep reading, and we’ll break down the various cost factors, explain how they can impact your price, and teach you how to save money on your AC repairs.

Schedule your HVAC service ASAP

Factors that affect air conditioner repair costs

The type of repair service you need

Which repair service you need to get your AC running again is the primary determiner of your total costs. Below, we’ve made a table of common AC repairs and how much they cost. Remember, your actual costs may differ slightly from what we’ve listed. 

Air conditioner system repair costs by service type

Repair type

Average repair costs

Service call fee


Air conditioner tune-up


Air filter change/clean


Air handler replacement


Blower motor repair


Capacitor repair


Circuit board repair


Evaporator coil replacement


AC compressor replacement


Condensing unit replacement


Ductwork replacement


Expansion valve replacement


Fan motor repair 


Refrigerant leak repair


Refrigerant recharge


Thermostat replacement and repair


Service call fees

Most HVAC companies charge a service call fee to send a technician to inspect your AC unit. This ensures the company and the technician get paid for their time, even if the repairs are simple or you don’t agree to pay for the repairs your technician deems necessary. The average service call fee is $138.

Service call fees can vary depending on what company you hire and how busy they are, though, so spending anywhere between $99 and $180 for a service call is common.

Additionally, the service fee is just a portion of the total costs most people pay for HVAC repair. Depending on what repairs are actually needed and how long they’ll take, the repair company will add the costs for labor (which may be charged hourly) and parts on top of the service fee. 

AC tune-up

Like your car, your HVAC needs to be tuned up every so often to ensure it operates at peak efficiency. During a tune-up, a technician does preventative maintenance like cleaning the system’s coils, checking the condensate pump, and removing clogs in the drain line. Tune-ups generally cost between $91 and $165, depending on what’s needed.

AC tune-ups are preventative and optional, but getting them done annually will keep your energy bills low and your home’s air quality high. It will also help ensure your system lasts as long as it can. 

Air filter service

In general, you should change your air filters every three months, though factors like the presence of pets and how many hours a day your system runs can extend or shorten a filter’s lifespan.

If you notice reduced airflow from your AC system or the air inside your home feels more dusty and allergenic than usual, it’s probably time to change your filters. Luckily, this is one of the few AC repairs you can handle with your own two hands. 

To swap out your air filter, first find where it’s located. It will either be in a slot between where your air ducts meet your air handler or inside an air intake vent in your home. Once you’ve located your filter, remove it, get a new one of the same size from the hardware store, and install it. Pay special attention to the intended airflow direction when installing the new filter. There will be arrows on the side of the filter indicating the correct orientation.

If you don’t want to handle this AC repair job yourself, you can always hire a pro to do it for you. This typically costs between $99 and $180. 

Air handler replacement

Your air handler is the HVAC component that blows air throughout your home. If you hear your system running, but your vents aren’t supplying any air, a broken air handler may very well be the cause. Unfortunately, air handlers are some of the most expensive HVAC components. Replacing an air handler can cost between $2,016 and $3,668 on average.

That said, wholesale replacement isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, all that an air handler needs to run properly again is a new blower motor.

Blower motor repair

Inside your air handler, a blower pumps cool and warm air out through your house. You can think of the blower as the heart of the system. When the blower’s motor fails, airflow within your system halts completely. Repairing or replacing this vital component typically costs around $442, though prices often range from $286 to $520.

Capacitor repair

An AC’s capacitor provides the kickstart of electricity the system needs to start its motors. Without a functioning capacitor, a system can’t rev into action. Luckily, capacitors are relatively affordable to fix, with repair prices ranging between $197 and $359.

Circuit board repair

If the blower is the heart of your HVAC system, then the circuit board is the brain. It receives input from your thermostat and controls the rest of the system, directing every other component to turn on or shut off as needed to regulate your home’s temperature. If the circuit board fails, your furnace’s igniters won’t ignite, your fans won’t kick on, and your compressor won’t cycle.

Replacement costs for this HVAC component average between $258 and $469.

Evaporator coil replacement

When your AC system runs, the compressor pumps liquid refrigerant into an evaporator coil inside your home. The refrigerant in the evaporator coil absorbs heat from your indoor air and evaporates, thereby cooling the air. Then, the compressor pumps the warmed, gaseous refrigerant outside to your condenser (more on that shortly). This makes your evaporator coil an essential part of the air conditioning process, so if it malfunctions, your system can’t cool your home.

Replacing an evaporator coil costs between $1,392 and $2,533 on average, though sometimes all a coil needs is cleaning. Cleaning an evaporator coil usually only costs a few hundred dollars.

AC compressor replacement

Your AC’s compressor is the component that cycles refrigerant between the evaporator coil inside your home and the condenser outside. If the compressor fails, your system won’t create cool air. Average replacement prices range from $932 to $1,696.

Condensing unit replacement

Your AC’s condenser is an outdoor component where warmed refrigerant cools off before returning inside to gather more heat. Even if the rest of your system functions perfectly, a faulty condenser can completely halt the air conditioning process. Replacing a condenser with a new unit typically costs between $1,317 and $2,396.

Ductwork replacement

When you have a central AC system, ductwork channels air from the AC unit to the rest of your home. If there’s a breach in your ductwork, the whole system will run less efficiently, and some rooms may never get cool airflow.

Replacing ducts costs between $29 and $52 per linear foot, and most homeowners spend around $2,600 to replace all their ductwork. You may not need to replace everything, though. Depending on the type of ducts you have, how old they are, and how much you have to replace, you could spend anywhere between $1,884 and $3,428 to get your ducts in a row.

Expansion valve replacement

An air conditioning system’s expansion valve works with the compressor to control how much refrigerant enters the evaporator coil at once. If the expansion valve fails, it will significantly reduce the system’s power. Replacing a broken expansion valve typically costs between $268 and $487.

Fan motor repair

Like your air handler, your outdoor condensing unit also has a fan. This fan blows air through the condenser to keep it cool so the refrigerant can get cold again. If this fan’s motor malfunctions, your condenser won’t be able to return chilled refrigerant to your home. Repairing a fan motor costs between $336 and $611 on average.

AC refrigerant or freon leak repair

Since refrigerant (also known as coolant) is essential to the air conditioning process, refrigerant leaks can reduce cool airflow. Additionally, refrigerant is hazardous, meaning leaks can cause other, more urgent problems. Repairing a refrigerant leak costs between $636 and $1,157, but if you think your refrigerant is leaking, you should repair it ASAP.

Refrigerant recharge

If your refrigerant leaks, you’ll need to recharge your system’s refrigerant levels after the leak is repaired. Otherwise, your system won’t have as much coolant as it needs. Exact prices for a coolant recharge depend on how much you need and what type of refrigerant your system has but costs average between $189 and $344.

Thermostat replacement and repair

Your thermostat is your HVAC system’s user interface. It’s how you tell the system what temperature you want your home to be, so it’s the component you’re probably most familiar with. If your thermostat breaks, replacing it can cost as little as $197 or as much as $358, depending on the brand. And getting a deluxe smart thermostat that works with your smart home or AI assistant can sometimes cost more.

The type and power of your AC system

Not all AC systems have all of the components listed above. For example, window-mounted ACs, swamp coolers, and mini-split air conditioners don’t include ductwork. The type of system you have is also a partial indicator of its power. Central ACs typically have much more powerful components than window-mounted units, for example, and more powerful systems usually cost more to repair.

This is all to say that the type of system you have will impact how much you’re likely to spend on repairs. This table lists the average repair costs for different types of AC systems. Since these are just averages, you shouldn’t bank on paying these prices until you’ve met with a pro who can decide what’s wrong with your system. 

AC repair costs by system type

System type

Average repair costs

Central air conditioner


Ductless mini-split air conditioner


Packaged HVAC unit


Portable air conditioner


Swamp cooler


Window-mounted air conditioner


The age of your unit

If your air conditioner is over a decade old, it may cost more to repair than a newer unit. This is partially due to the scarcity of old parts. As tech improves and new HVAC systems are developed, manufacturers often stop making components for old air conditioners. This means the piece your old system needs to run properly might be rare or impossible to find. 

In some cases, this can result in repair prices that are hundreds of dollars higher than average. In others, it can mean that your system can’t be fixed, and you have to replace it

The location of your system’s components

The accessibility of your system’s components can also impact your repair costs. If any part of your AC is in a hard-to-reach place like your roof or a narrow crawl space, it will likely greatly increase your labor costs. 


The time of year you get your system repaired will also factor into your costs. Summer is the peak season for AC repair in most of the country, meaning that if you need to get your AC system fixed at the height of summer, you will join a long line of other customers who also need their ACs repaired.

This can result in higher service fees, higher hourly rates, and higher prices for replacement parts. 

In general, spring is one of the best and most affordable times to get your AC repaired since fewer people will urgently need to repair their ACs, and your outdoor components won’t be buried under snow. 

AC repair pricing tiers

The budget option

After your technician assesses your air conditioner, they’ll likely have a list of recommended fixes and upgrades for your system. And while some of these fixes will be essential, some will probably just be nice-to-haves, not need-to-haves.

Opt for the minimum necessary repairs and skip any optional upgrades to save as much money as possible on your AC fix. Discuss the difference between the two thoroughly with your technician so you get everything you need. You should also specify to your technician that you want the most affordable—as opposed to the fanciest or most efficient—replacement parts for your AC.

If you prioritize affordability this way, your AC won’t operate anywhere close to peak efficiency and might not last as long as it could. But it will probably limp along and keep your home cool for a few more years. 

The mid-range option

If you have the necessary funds and you’ve hired a well-rated, trustworthy technician, it’s best to get all the updates to your system they deem necessary. This could cost you a few thousand dollars, but it will ensure your air conditioner runs like a well-oiled machine for as long as possible. That is, as long as you keep up with routine maintenance.  

The high-end option

If you already have a high-efficiency AC unit that only needs a new blower motor, fuse, or condenser coil to start running perfectly again, there isn’t a reason to ask your technician for more than that. However, if your technician comes to you with a laundry list of necessary fixes, it might be best to install a new AC system.

A new AC will likely cost you somewhere between $1,000 and $7,000 depending on the system type and how powerful it is, but it will almost certainly last much longer than a decades-old unit you’ll have to repair multiple times in the coming years. 

Additionally, getting a high-end replacement AC will increase your home's energy efficiency and bring your energy bills down noticeably. Over a high-efficiency air conditioner’s life, it can save you enough money to pay for itself and then some. 

How to pay for your AC repairs

Installer financing

HVAC companies often offer financing plans so customers can get the necessary fixes without breaking the bank. Of course, installer financing does come with interest, so you’ll pay more if you finance than if you pay for everything outright.

That said, the terms and conditions of installer financing are usually more favorable than taking out a loan. So, if you have to go into debt to pay for your AC repairs anyway, it might be your best option. When you meet with your technician, ask them about their company’s financing and compare it to your other options. 

Loans and credit options

If the terms of your installer’s financing don’t agree with you, you can also take out a personal loan from a financial institution. Personal loans often come with steep interest rates, and they can harm your credit score if you default on them, but they’re a little less risky than home equity loans.

Home equity loans usually have better interest rates than personal loans since they’re based on the value of your home, but when you take one out, you borrow against your house. If you default on the loan, your lender could take your home from you. 

Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are a similar option. Opening a HELOC gives you access to a revolving line of credit you can use repeatedly to fund home improvement jobs. The credit is secured by your home, so failing to pay off your debt could mean you lose your house. 


If your AC is still under its manufacturer’s warranty or your home warranty covers it, your repairs could be hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars cheaper than average. Under especially comprehensive warranties, all of your repair costs may be covered. Before you call your technician, check the terms and conditions of your warranties so you know what to expect. 

Other factors to consider

Keeping your system clean

Regularly cleaning every component you can easily access is one of the best things you can do to extend your air conditioner’s lifespan. This can be as simple as routinely dusting your return vents, removing leaves and other debris from around your condenser, and replacing your air filters.

Not only will this help your system run more efficiently and lower your monthly bills, but it will also reduce strain on all your HVAC components and help them last much longer. 

Tuning up your system

As we said earlier, annual tune-ups for your air conditioner are highly recommended. They will keep your system humming along efficiently and help prevent more costly maintenance down the road. 

For example, if your air ducts or filters need to be cleaned, your entire system will need to work harder to pump air through your home. This can result in much bigger—and more expensive—problems like broken motors and blown fuses down the road.

The bottom line is that paying a technician a couple hundred bucks annually can prevent the need to spend thousands of dollars on repairs later. 

DIY fixes

There are a small handful of HVAC problems that most homeowners can take care of themselves. These include replacing air filters and patching up small duct leaks. If your AC isn’t blowing cold air and you need to save as much money as possible, check out our list of DIY fixes to common AC problems

None of these fixes will be as good as professional solutions, and they aren’t guaranteed to solve the problem since AC diagnosis is complicated and best left to pros. But they might help your system run until you can afford to hire a technician. 

The cost of air conditioner repairs

Now that you know how much it can cost to fix your AC, it’s time to schedule your inspection and find out exactly what’s wrong. You can try to troubleshoot your system yourself ahead of time. Still, many common AC ailments have similar symptoms, so it’s almost impossible for amateurs to accurately diagnose what’s wrong with their ACs. This, along with how reliable professional fixes are, makes hiring HVAC technicians worth the money. 

Get a repair quote from an HVAC professional