A broken air conditioner is the last thing anyone wants to deal with, especially during the sweltering summer heat. Just think about it—you are enjoying your summer afternoon inside your home, getting cooled air from your air conditioner, and then it suddenly breaks down.
Although no one wants to find themselves in such a scenario, it’s something that can happen to any homeowner who owns an air conditioning unit at any moment. So, what should you do when your AC breaks down? The first thing that comes into the minds of most people is calling an AC technician to see if the unit can be repaired.
Repairing your AC is much cheaper than replacing it. However, this must be done by an experienced technician if you want the repairs to be done professionally.
The cost of repairing an AC
The average cost of repairing an AC unit ranges between $150 and $2,000. However, most homeowners spend around $350 for cleaning their unit, unclogging the filter, and rebooting the system. The lowest amount you should expect to spend for professional AC servicing, including changing the filter is around $175. However, you can spend $500 on the higher end for changing the coolant and drain cleaning.
For troubleshooting service calls, you can spend an average of $75 to $180. However, this depends on your location, as well as the time of the year. Typically, AC technicians charge premium rates during the summer months—some technicians can charge up to $200 per hour for such calls.
The average cost for annual AC tune-ups ranges between $80 and $100. While most homeowners ignore these simple maintenance practices, they help to avoid major repairs to AC systems, in addition to offering peace of mind, as well as notable savings in the long term.
With that said, it’s important to note that the cost of repairing an AC is not fixed, since there are factors that can increase or decrease the cost of AC repair.
Factors affecting AC repair cost
Age of the air conditioner
AC units have an average lifespan of 15 years. With time, the units start to wear out and slow down. So, the older the AC unit is, the more costly the repair will be. And, although the extent of the damage plays a major role in the average AC repair cost, the age of the unit also contributes to the cost.
With that said, if your AC unit is more than 10 years old, replacing it would be the best option. Most technicians go with the 50% rule. If the repair costs will cost you more than 50% of the unit’s price, consider replacing it.
One thing with AC problems is that they crop up at the worst possible times—the reason being most people don’t use their AC units until the summer or late spring seasons. These are the seasons when constant cool air is desperately needed.
Now, since AC technicians know that they are in high demand during these seasons, they charge higher rates compared to the other seasons. Also, the cost of repairing an AC unit can increase in case you need emergency repairs—like during weekends, holidays, or during the night.
Size and efficiency
Modern AC systems come with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 and above. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the air conditioner. And, the more energy-efficient your AC unit is, the lower the repair costs. Please note that even if your system is still energy-efficient, and your repair bills are high, you will still save money on your utility bills.
Besides, larger AC units require more repair work than smaller AC units. Because larger homes require larger AC units, the repair cost for such homes is higher. With that said, the size and energy efficiency of the unit also affect the repair costs.
According to the experts from Hartman’s air conditioning repair company, there are numerous AC maintenance tasks that you should consider if you want your AC unit to last longer and remain energy efficient. Moreover, regular AC maintenance prevents frequent repairs, which in turn lowers your AC repair costs. Some of the most recommended AC maintenance tasks that you should never forget include:
- Annual checkups
- Cleaning and changing filters
- Cleaning coils
- Closing open spaces
The level of damage
The cost of repairing an AC differs depending on the extent of the damage. For instance, replacing a filter can cost you around $20, whereas major repairs like repairing a refrigerant leak can cost up to $1,600. With that said, the more significant the damage is, the more the repair cost. This is because it takes more time and materials to repair complex damages.
The applied force
If your AC unit has less work to do, it will last longer. Therefore, opening your windows or regularly adjusting your thermostat can help you lower or prevent AC repair and maintenance costs. So, when you are away from home, raise your thermostat. This also applies to when you go on vacation. Never apply a lot of force, like lowering the temperature whenever it’s not needed. Doing so will not only help you to reduce your utility bills but will also help you to increase the lifespan of the system and lower repair and maintenance costs.Last modified: September 14, 2021