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Air Conditioning Repair Cost

Air Conditioning Repair Cost

National average
$225
(unclogging the filter, rebooting the system, and cleaning the unit)
Low: $175

(unclogging the filter and rebooting the system)

High: $300

(cleaning out the drain and checking the coolant)

Cost to repair air conditioning varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors in your city.

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Air Conditioning Repair Cost

National average
$225
(unclogging the filter, rebooting the system, and cleaning the unit)
Low: $175

(unclogging the filter and rebooting the system)

High: $300

(cleaning out the drain and checking the coolant)

Cost to repair air conditioning varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors in your city.

The average cost of repairing an air conditioning is $225.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix an Air Conditioning?

Air Conditioning not only cools a living space, it also circulates and filters the air which helps to remove harmful pollutants such as mold and pollen. This helps allergy and asthma sufferers breathe easier by reducing the amount of airborne irritants in a home.

The average cost to repair an air conditioning ranges from $200-$250, with the average homeowner spending around $225 on unclogging the filter, rebooting the system, and cleaning the unit.

Cost to Repair AC

Air Conditioning Repair Costs
National Average Cost$225
Average Range$200-$250
Minimum Cost$175
Maximum Cost$300


AC Repair Cost Per Hour

An AC unit is a highly technical appliance with both high- and low-voltage circuits which can be deadly if improperly handled. Most HVAC technicians charge a basic service call fee which pays for diagnostics followed by additional fees for labor and parts. The fee quoted for parts usually includes the labor required to install the parts and the price of the parts. The fee for a basic service call averages $80-$300. If an hourly wage is charged, you can expect to pay $65-$125 an hour. Once a diagnostic assessment is made then the fee for parts and labor starts. Often, when an older unit starts to break down the damage and cost of increasingly labor-intensive repairs comes close to the cost of a full replacement.

AC Repair Cost by Type of Unit

There are several different types of AC units. Repairs range from simple to difficult, from cheap to expensive. Each type of system has its own unique set of common issues:


AC Repair Cost

AC Repair Cost


Type of unitCost to repair
Window AC$25-$125
Swamp Cooler$65-$500
Central Air$75-$500
Portable AC$100-$250
Ductless Mini Split$750-$900


Portable AC Repair Cost

A portable AC unit is normally mounted on the wall but can also be moved from one room to another. The typical problem with portable AC units is a clogged drain and costs range from $100-$250 for the repair.

Window AC Repair Cost

Window units are similar to portable AC units, but are mounted inside of a window. The compressors sometimes malfunction and repairs can cost $50-$125. Another fairly common issue with these systems is thermostat 1 failure at a cost of $25-$85 to repair.

Central Air Repair Cost

Central air, or HVAC, repair costs may end up being more due to a more complicated system. Repairs include clogged drain lines 2, which cost $75-$200 to repair, thermostat replacement at $75-$500, or refrigerant leaks or charges at $200-$500.

Swamp Cooler Repair Cost

A swamp cooler 3 unit is simpler than an HVAC unit and is not recommended for hot, humid areas. Repairs that contractors commonly see on these units are replacing belts at $65-$85, pads 4 at $125-$500, and the pump 5 at $200-$275.

Ductless Mini Split Repair Cost

These types of units are ductless, as the name implies. The main problem with them is the air handler 6 which can cost $750-$900.

AC Repair Cost by Type of Repair

Replacement costs can add up, so it is always a good idea to consider repairing the system rather than replacing parts. This is especially true if your AC unit isn’t that old. Repairs that you may need are:

AC Repair Prices Chart


AC Repair Prices Chart


Type of RepairCost
Clogged air filter$75-$195
Blower$100-$150
Circuit board$100-$150
Clogged AC drain$100-$150
Dirty outside AC unit$100-$300
Refrigerant recharge$125-$300
Expansion valve$150-$200
Capacitor$200-$250
Freon leak$200-$1,500
Coil leak$250-$2,000
Fan motor$450-$650
Compressor$600-$1,200


Fix Clogged Air Filter of Air Conditioner

A clogged air filter will cause your system to overwork and even burn out. Consumers can expect to pay $75-$195 as the contractor will charge a minimum service charge to clean or change the air filter.

AC Blower Repair Cost

This is a motor that makes the fan blades move inside the unit so the house stays cool. The AC blower 7 is vital to the system as it decreases hot air and pushes cool air out. Repair will most likely cost $100-$150.

AC Circuit Board Repair Cost

The circuit board is the electronic system that runs your AC. You could say it is the brains of the operation as it makes decisions as to the correct voltage to be used in certain circumstances. Repairing costs $100-$150.

Fix Clogged AC Drain Cost

Drain lines 2 become obstructed by dirt, leaves and other debris. Blockages can result in mold and mildew, which cause smells and humidity in your home. The cost to fix a clogged AC drain is around $100-$150.

Dirty Outside AC Unit

The outdoor unit of your HVAC system is referred to as the condenser. Cleaning the condenser involves vacuuming debris such as grass, leaves, and dirt from the outer section of the unit. Next, the technician will use a soft brush to straighten the fins and then clean them. The fan will be removed and all of the interior of the unit cleaned. All parts inside the unit will be lubricated. This service will cost you $100-$300.

AC Recharge Cost

The cost to have freon 8 recharged is $125-$300. Refrigerant recharge is usually done after a leak is repaired as the levels are low.

AC Expansion Valve Repair Cost

This part changes the liquid refrigerant into a vapor. Once the refrigerant is converted to vapor, the expansion valve pushes it into the evaporator. Cost to repair is on average $150-$200.

AC Capacitor Repair Cost

The capacitor supplies the energy for your system to start. It sends a thrust of energy to start or to keep a motor going. The capacitor works with the compressor, outside unit, and the blower 7 motor. Average cost to repair is $200 - $250.

AC Freon Leak Repair Cost

Freon is the cooling refrigerant that runs your AC. If there is a leak, fixing the leak could cost anywhere from $200-$1,500. The cost is dependent on the severity and location of the leak.

Air Conditioner Coil Leak Repair Cost

The evaporator coil on your AC is used to remove heat from the house and release it into the condenser to be cooled. The cost to repair is about the same as replacement, at $250-$2,000 so depending on your system’s age it may be wiser to replace it.

AC Fan Motor Repair Cost

The fan motor is the part that cools the refrigerant to keep your unit from becoming too hot. It does this by cooling the heated refrigerant, which then travels through the AC coils. Repair costs range from $450-$650.

AC Compressor Repair Cost

Your compressor is the pressure system that increases the temperature of the refrigerant. Located outside the house, it is often referred to as the “heart” of the system. Because it is so important, repairs are often costly at $600-$1,200. If your unit is old, it may be wise to consider replacing the compressor at a cost of $1,000-$2,500.

Cost to Replace Parts of an AC Unit

AC units are made up of many parts that all work together to make the entire unit work efficiently. Just like human bodies, if one part isn’t working correctly, the system will break down or have to work harder to cool the home. Some common parts that need to be replaced are:


AC Unit Replacement Cost Chart

Ac Unit Replacement Cost Chart


Replacement partCost
Fuse$15-$300
Relay$20-$300
Thermostat$50-$450
Condensate pump$100-$160
Capacitor$100-$300
Circuit board$100-$500
Blower$150-$600
Fan motor$200-$675
Expansion valve$250-$450
Evaporator coil$250-$2,000
Compressor$1,000-$2,500


AC Fuse Replacement Cost

Fuses in an AC unit are just like fuses in a car, if they get overloaded, the fuse blows. Cost to replace fuses is $15-$300.

AC Relay Replacement Cost

Relays are used to send voltage to the different parts of the system to turn on and off. Replacing a relay costs $20-$300.

AC Thermostat Replacement Cost

To keep your home the temperature you want, the thermostat 1 continuously monitors the temperature inside the house. AC thermostat replacement varies according to what bells and whistles it has, but the range is $50-$450.

Condensate Pump Replacement Cost

Condensation forms when the air is pushed through the evaporator coil. This condensation must be removed so the system will not become too moist. The condensate pump 5 removes the water. Cost to replace this part is $100-$160.

AC Capacitor Replacement Cost

The capacitor reserves electrons to supply energy for the system to be able to start when needed. Cost to replace is $100-$300.

AC Circuit Board Replacement Cost

The circuit board runs the electrical system of your AC. Replacement costs are $100-$500.

AC Blower Replacement Cost

This is a motor that turns the blades to push air through the system. Replacement cost is $150-$600.

AC Fan Motor Replacement Cost

The fan motor prevents the unit from overheating by cooling the heated refrigerant. Replacement will run you $200-$675.

AC Expansion Valve Replacement Cost

The expansion valve is used to decrease the pressure in the liquid refrigerant and change it into vapor. Replacing an expansion valve will cost $250-$450.

Evaporator Coil Replacement Cost

An evaporator coil’s purpose is to push all of the heat from inside the house into the condenser to be cooled. Cost for replacement is $250-$2,000.

AC Compressor Replacement Cost

The compressor creates pressure in the refrigerant to increase the temperature above what it is outdoors. Compressors cost about $1,000-$2,500.

Signs Your Air Conditoner Needs Repairs

Your AC unit may be malfunctioning if you notice the following problems:

  • Air not cooling.
  • Unit continues to turn on and off.
  • Higher than normal energy bills.
  • Water leaking around the unit.
  • Your air conditioner won't turn on.
  • Little or no air coming out of the vents.
  • Unit makes excessive noise.
  • Ice buildup on the unit, lines, or compressor.
  • Unit freezing up from a freon 8 leak.
  • Humidity is not being pulled out of the indoor air.
  • Musty smell if humidity in the home rises above 60 percent.
  • The lights in the home dim when the unit starts.

Emergency AC Repair Cost

One of the mosts frustrating parts of living in an area that is hot and/or humid is the fear of the AC going out during those hot months. Most AC repair companies do emergency AC repairs. However, you will most likely pay more for a night, weekend, or holiday visit. If your compressor goes out and it is 90 degrees outside, you will pay whatever it costs for an emergency visit. Emergency AC repair costs can run around $300 or more, depending on the repairs needed.


Professional repairing an air conditioner


Repair vs Replace a Home AC Unit

Often the fee to repair a unit is far cheaper than to replace the system. Most AC units will last at least ten years with regular maintenance. During that time frame, it may require minor repairs and parts replacements. New AC models also come with a 10 year warranty for parts but the warranties do not cover labor.

The cost of major or big repairs often exceeds the cost of purchasing a new unit. Repairs can range from $50-$2,500, particularly if your unit is older. In such a situation, it is usually in the homeowner’s best interest to purchase a new unit that comes with a complete warranty instead of nursing along an older, inefficient unit that continues to suffer from broken or malfunctioning parts. Purchasing a new unit will range from $3,750-$10,000. Cost factors of a new AC system include the size of the unit your home requires, the brand and type of air conditioning system you buy, and any add-ons such as extended warranties, upgraded ductwork, and a high SEER 9 rating.

New AC models are highly energy efficient. Newer models feature what is known as a ‘SEER 9’ rating. The term SEER 1 stands for ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating 9 1.’ To figure out an AC unit’s SEER 1 rating, a ratio of cooking in British thermal units (BTU) is figured with the energy consumed in watt-hours. AC units older than 15 years usually have a SEER 1 rating of 6 or less but the new AC models boast SEER 1 ;ratings of at least 14 and some even have 18 or higher. A new unit will provide considerable energy savings compared to an older model.

AC Maintenance Cost

An AC unit requires either yearly or biannual maintenance. In many cases, maintenance must be performed by a licensed AC company to maintain the unit’s warranty. The average cost of this regular AC maintenance is $100-$150. During a maintenance call, an HVAC technician will inspect and clean the inside and outdoor units, change or clean the filter, and clean out the unit’s drains. The HVAC technician will also check the system’s coolant levels to make sure the unit is functioning properly.

There are several steps that a homeowner can take to maintain their AC unit:

  • Regularly check the air filter for accumulated debris.
  • Change or clean the filter if it looks overly dirty between maintenance calls.
  • Remove all vegetation overgrowth or fallen leaves from around and on the outdoor unit.
  • Turn off the power at the circuit breaker and hose off the outdoor unit to remove any accumulated debris.


Professional checking the air filter of an air conditioner


Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Insurance such as homeowners' insurance does not cover HVAC repairs. In some situations, a home warranty insurance plan may include the cost of repairs.
  • If your air conditioning unit is not working then you should check the thermostat 1 and the circuit breaker before calling an HVAC repair company. The thermostat may be experiencing problems or the breaker might have tripped. Checking such things helps you avoid paying for a service call when it’s not needed.
  • When you call to make an appointment with an HVAC professional you should know the type of equipment that is installed in your home. Make note of the brand name, the model of the unit, and the approximate age of the system. You should also let the company know if the unit has any warranties or if you have a home warranty on your house that covers the HVAC system. If you have an AC FAQ booklet then you can read through the booklet to determine the possible cause of any of the unit’s symptoms.
  • Don’t ignore any early warning signs that your unit might be experiencing trouble. Even if the problem seems to be minor, if you delay repair then the problem could just get worse. You could end up paying higher energy bills, replacing even more parts, ending up with a fully broken system for a while before you can get an appointment, and/or ultimately having to replace your whole system instead of making a small repair.
  • Any HVAC company that you call to work on your equipment should be certified. Ask for the company’s NATE AHRI, and EPA 608 certifications. NATE stands for the North American Technician Excellence certification. The AHRI is offered by an independent, third-party organization called the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). The EPA 608 certification authorizes HVAC service technicians to work with refrigerants.
  • Before you make an appointment to have an HVAC service technician come out to your home you should always ask about the company’s financing for larger projects. You should also ask if the company gives free written estimates and if they provide any warranties on their parts or labor.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to fix an air conditioner?

A service call will average from $80–$300. An after-hours service call costs even more depending on the company. Once the technician is at your home you will be faced with the additional cost of labor and any parts used to repair the unit. The overall cost of a service call and the fee to unclog a drain averages $150-$290.

  • How do you unfreeze an air conditioner?

If your air conditioner has accumulated ice on the unit then there is a problem. You will need to turn the unit off and let the ice melt away. While the ice is melting, you will need to call an HVAC company to come diagnose the problem and fix the unit so it no longer freezes up.

  • How do I reset my air conditioning unit?

You can trip the breaker that operates the AC unit to reset it.

  • Why is my air conditioner not cooling?

Your air conditioner may have a part malfunction or be low on freon.

  • How much does it cost to replace an air conditioning unit?

Depending on how extensive of a change out you need, the size of the unit, and if any ductwork is required then you will pay between $6,000 and $12,300.

  • How much does it cost to run an air conditioner for an hour?

An air conditioner will use 3000 to 5000 watts of power every hour and typically run for 9 hours per day in hotter months. The average cost of electricity in the US is $0.127 per kWh, so the average hourly running cost is $0.38-$0.53.

  • How much does it cost to replace a coil in an air conditioner?

A coil replacement averages $660-$1,250.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Thermostat 1 Thermostat: A device that senses and regulates temperature by turning heating and cooling devices on and off
2 Drain lines: The pipe through which the condensation removed from your home by the AC unit drains out of the house
3 Swamp cooler: A system for cooling the air in a home by passing warmer outdoor air over wet pads. This causes the moisture on the pads to evaporate, cooling the air. The cooler, moister air is then directed into the house
glossary term picture Padding 4 Pads: A cushion placed under a carpet to absorb impact, thus extending the life of the carpet
glossary term picture Pump 5 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
6 Air handler: A unit that distributes heated or cooled air to the different areas of the home. Air handlers do not heat or cool the air, but instead pull the heat out of the air and direct it outside in the summer and inside in the winter. Air handlers are often part of a heat pump system
glossary term picture Blower 7 Blower: An accessory that makes a fireplace more efficient by circulating the warm air in the fireplace to other areas of the home
8 Freon: A brand name for the types of refrigerant commonly used in air conditioning systems. It is also often used as simply another word for "refrigerant"
9 Seasonal energy efficiency rating: (Also known as Seer) An acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, measure of heat pump and air conditioning efficiency (as defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute in its AHRI 210/240 standard).

Cost to repair air conditioning varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Technician inspecting a broken air conditioning unit

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Adelanto, CA
-1%
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Arvada, CO
-3%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Athens, GA
-9%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Coldwater, MI
-21%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Hartford, CT
+23%
Hesperia, CA
-1%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntington Beach, CA
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Laurel, MT
-12%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
New York, NY
+77%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Reno, NV
0%
Riverton, WY
-26%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Bernardino, CA
-1%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Seattle, WA
+9%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources