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Home AC Recharge Cost

Home AC Recharge Cost

National average
$350
(HVAC unit recharge of R410A and minor leak repair)
Low: $20

(HVAC unit recharge of R410A)

High: $1,500

(HVAC unit recharge of R410A and major leak repair)

Cost to recharge home AC 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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Home AC Recharge Cost

National average
$350
(HVAC unit recharge of R410A and minor leak repair)
Low: $20

(HVAC unit recharge of R410A)

High: $1,500

(HVAC unit recharge of R410A and major leak repair)

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

The average cost to recharge home AC is $350.

How Much Does It Cost to Recharge Home AC?

You never realize how much you appreciate your AC until you don’t have it. One of the most common problems with an AC unit is the need to recharge the refrigerant. AC recharge is only required if there is a leak. If the AC needs a recharge, the unit will only blow warm air, but it will be a gradual change. By the time you notice there is a problem, your house is already hot.

If the only problem is adding the refrigerant, the cost will be much lower. The average cost to recharge the freon in an AC unit is $150, but you will also pay a recovery fee of $50-$150 as the refrigerant must be disposed of properly, by law. The average cost of home AC recharge, ranges from $225-$500, with the average homeowner spending around $350 on 2.5 ton HVAC unit recharge of R410A and minor leak repair.

Home AC Recharge Cost

Cost to Recharge Home AC
National Average Cost$350
Average Range$225-$500
Minimum Cost$20
Maximum Cost$1,500


Home AC Recharge Cost by Type of Unit

There are three basic types of AC units: window, central AC system, and split AC system. Each type requires recharging after a leak at different costs.

Home AC Recharge Cost

Home AC Recharge Cost


Type of unitCost to recharge
Window AC$100 - $150
Central AC system$200 - $500
Split AC system$400 - $600


Recharge Window AC Unit

A window unit gets its name from being mounted 1 in the window of your home. These AC unites are an inexpensive alternative to central and split systems, but only cool one room at a time. Recharging the freon 2 in this type of unit will cost $100-$150.

Central Air Conditioner Recharge Cost

Central AC is the most complicated type of system. It has many advantages including cooling the entire house. So how much does freon cost per pound for central air (20)? Air conditioner freon refill cost can run $80-$140 per lb, and about $200-$500 for a whole unit to be recharged.

Charging Split AC System

This system is less expensive than a central air conditioner and has an advantage over a window unit as it heats as well as cools. The split AC system uses R410A unless it is an older unit. Older units use R22, however this is being discontinued in the near future. The cost of recharging the freon 2 in this style of unit is $400-$600.

Cost of Freon Per Pound

So how much is home AC freon per pound? R22 is currently being sold at $80-$140 per lb. However, you may not be able to get R22 at all as production has already been stopped. The problem is you won’t be paying for just the freon. If you need freon, there is a leak somewhere. The typical cost to repair a leak and recharge with R22 is $3,000-$4,000.

The alternative is to purchase a new system that uses Puron, otherwise known as R410A. You should expect to pay $4-$10 for air conditioner refrigerant cost per pound.

The common way of figuring how many pounds of refrigerant is needed per ton is 2-4 pounds per ton.

Freon Cost per Pound Chart

Freon Cost per Pound Chart


Size of unit in tonsNumber of poundsCost
2 tons4-8 lbs.$16-$80
2.5 tons5-10 lbs.$20-$100
3 tons6-12 lbs.$24-$120
4 tons8-16 lbs.$32-$160


Average Cost to Recharge Home AC

Hourly rates for a professional AC technician are $50-$150 per hour. It’s important that a professional takes care of the job because coolants are usually chemicals that should be handled with care. If you have an older system and need R22 freon 2, you will also be charged a recovery fee of $50-$150.

How Long AC Recharge Takes

Ordinarily, it takes 5-10 minutes to fill one pound of refrigerant. So, a 2.5 ton HVAC unit which requires 5-10 lbs., would take about 25 minutes to an hour and 40 minutes. All AC recharging must be done by a professional, by law. This law is part of the EPA section 608 of the Clean Air Act. The age of the unit is not a determining factor in the amount of time needed.

Signs of Low Refrigerant in Home AC

AC units will usually show a slow change in cooling ability when the coolant is leaking. A maintenance call or tune-up can reveal low refrigerant as the technician will be testing for freon levels before you see signs your AC needs freon or coolant. Some signs your AC needs to be recharged are:

  • If the vents are blowing room temperature air, your refrigerant may need to be recharged. This happens because, without refrigerant, your AC isn’t going to be able to manufacture cold air.
  • A frozen unit shows up as an actual ice build-up on the refrigerant lines outside the house leading to the compressor. Once you see this, your home is already warm inside.
  • A leak will present as a hissing sound in the refrigerant line. If the leak is large enough to make noise, you are losing the refrigerant at an alarming rate.

  • If your energy bills are high, it is possible you have a coolant leak that needs to be fixed and recharged.

  • If the AC runs and runs but the house never gets cold, you may need to have the refrigerant recharged.

Home AC Refrigerant Leak

If you need a recharge on your AC, you have a Puron or freon 2 leak. Your system is constructed in such a way that the refrigerant will be contained within the unit, unless there is an AC refrigerant leak. It is important to talk with your contractor about having a leak. his issue must be fixed or your freon will need to be recharged again soon. Fixing a leak can be between $100-$400.

Freon Alternatives

In 1992, the EPA determined that hydrochlorofluorocarbons were harmful to the environment and began a campaign to eliminate the use of them over time. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are the chemicals contained in the freon recharge home AC product. If your system was manufactured before 2010, it may be using R22 to cool. In 2020, all production of R22 will cease. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get the product, it just means that it will be more difficult to obtain and will be very expensive. Professionals can use recycled R22 but the idea is to eventually phase it out entirely. Systems that use freon are no longer being sold. There are several alternatives:


Freon Alternatives Chart

Freon Alternatives Chart


Refrigerant alternativeAverage cost per pound
R404A$3-$5
R410A$4-$10
R134A$5-$7
R407C$12-$15


R404a Recharge

The refrigerant R404A was successfully used to replace R502, another freon that is damaging to the environment. However, R404A is less popular as it has a higher global warming potential than R410A. The cost is $3-$5 per lb.

R410a Recharge Cost

Otherwise known as Puron, R410-A, is the most popular type of coolant. It is more environmentally friendly than R-22. R410A costs an average of $4-$10 per lb.

R134a Recharge

This refrigerant’s properties make it less likely to deplete the ozone and will not contribute to global warming. Expect to pay $5-$7 per lb.

R407c Recharge

R407C is a non-ozone depleting refrigerant that does contribute somewhat to global warming. R407C is more expensive at $12-$15 per lb.

R22 vs R410a

R22 has been banned from production as of 2020 due to its environmentally unfriendly properties. It contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons, a harmful chemical. It is a major ozone depleter and contributes to global warming. R410A is the better option and has widely replaced R22. R410A is a hydrofluorocarbon and studies show it does not deplete the ozone. The cost difference between the two is R410A costs $4-$10 per lb. while R22 costs $80-$140 per lb.

Type of refrigerantCost per pound
R410A$4-10
R22$80-$140


Additional Considerations and Costs

  • The EPA now requires that anyone who handles or purchases refrigerant after 2018 to be trained and licensed.
  • Consumers who are hiring a professional to recharge, repair or install an air conditioning system should choose certified HVAC technicians.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to recharge home AC?

The average cost to recharge is $225-$500. However, it depends on the size of your unit. Another thing to consider is the fact that if you need to recharge, you have a leak that will need to be fixed.

  • Do home air conditioners need to be recharged?

There is no need to recharge an AC unless it has a leak.

  • How much is AC refrigerant per pound?

R22 coolant is currently being sold at $80-$140 per lb. due to the fact that it is no longer being produced. R410A will run you $4-$10 per lb.

  • Can you add freon to your home AC?

It is illegal to handle or purchase your own freon 2 or coolant. The EPA requires that individuals who work with any type of coolant be trained and licensed in the correct procedure to handle these chemicals.

  • How do you know if your AC is low on freon?

When your AC is low on freon or coolant, you will experience such problems as the unit running but the house never gets cold, ice appears on the refrigerant lines, a hissing sound starts coming from the refrigerant line, or warm air is coming through the vents.

  • How long does freon last in home AC?

Freon, or any other refrigerant, does not wear out or lose its functionality. The AC system is sealed and the coolant continuously recycles unless there is a leak.

  • Is freon banned in the US?

Freon is not banned from use, but is no longer legal to produce or import. Its most popular replacement is Puron or R410A.

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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.
1 Mounted: A support on which something is attached or hung
2 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"

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

Contractor recharging home AC unit.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Athens, GA
-9%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Banning, CA
-6%
Brewster, MA
+5%
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%
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%
Lockport, IL
+25%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Mishawaka, IN
-9%
New York, NY
+77%
Newark, NJ
+27%
Orem, UT
-25%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Reno, NV
0%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Seattle, WA
+9%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources