How much does AC repair cost?
$75 – $150 cost per hour
$150 – $650 average total cost to repair AC
$150 – $650 average total cost to repair AC
Get free estimates from AC repair companies near you, or view our cost guide below.
January 11, 2022Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 3 expert AC repair companies on HomeGuide.
AC repair cost
AC repair costs $150 to $650 on average, depending on the issue, labor, and the AC unit's warranty status. Large or complex air conditioner repairs cost $650 to $2,500+ to fix if out of warranty. AC technicians charge $75 to $150 per hour for labor plus parts to fix a central AC.
|National average cost||$360|
|Average cost range||$150 to $650|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Air conditioner repair cost guide
|Repair||Average cost to fix|
|AC service call / diagnostic troubleshooting||$75 – $200|
|AC tune-up||$70 – $200|
|AC freon or refrigerant leak repair||$200 – $1,500|
|AC refrigerant recharge||$100 – $600|
|AC air handler replacement||$1,500 – $3,400|
|AC blower motor repair||$300 – $900|
|AC capacitor replacement||$100 – $250|
|AC circuit board replacement||$150 – $700|
|AC coil cleaning||$100 – $400|
|AC compressor replacement||$600 – $2,500|
|AC compressor repair hard start kit||$100 – $270|
|AC condensate pump replacement||$100 – $450|
|AC condenser replacement||$300 – $4,200|
|AC condenser fan motor replacement||$200 – $700|
|AC contactor replacement||$150 – $400|
|AC disconnect box replacement||$150 – $500|
|AC drain pan replacement||$200 – $600|
|AC drain line flush cost||$75 – $250|
|AC evaporator coil replacement||$400 – $2,400|
|AC expansion valve replacement||$300 – $500|
|AC filter drier replacement cost||$200 – $300|
|AC fuse or breaker replacement||$75 – $300|
|AC line set replacement||$200 – $650|
|AC relay switch replacement||$100 – $300|
|Thermostat replacement||$140 – $350|
*Including parts and labor.
AC freon leak repair
AC leak repair costs $200 to $1,500 on average to find and fix the leak and refill the Freon. Refrigerant leak repair costs depend on the severity, leak test method, replacement parts needed, refrigerant prices, and the HVAC's location. An AC leak detection test costs $100 to $330.
Home air conditioner recharge
An air conditioner recharge costs $100 to $320 on average for AC units with R410A refrigerant or $180 to $600 for older AC units using R22 Freon. AC units never need more refrigerant unless there is a leak or the refill is part of a repair.
AC evaporator coil replacement cost
AC evaporator coil replacement costs $650 to $2,400 if not under warranty or $400 to $1,000 for labor and refrigerant if under warranty. The cost to replace an evaporator coil depends on the AC size, location, brand, coil type, and whether it is cased or uncased.
AC capacitor replacement
AC capacitor replacement costs $100 to $250 with installation, depending on the type and brand. Air conditioner capacitor prices are $10 to $50 on average for the part alone. An AC unit's compressor motor and fans use start capacitors and single-run or dual-run capacitors.
Air handler replacement cost
The cost to replace an air handler is $1,500 to $3,400 on average for the part with installation. The air handler is the indoor component in a split-system central AC that circulates conditioned air throughout the home via the ductwork.
AC condenser replacement
AC condenser replacement costs $1,200 to $4,200 if not under warranty or $300 to $1,200 for labor when under warranty, depending on the AC unit's ton size, SEER rating, and brand. Large condensers with the highest SEER ratings cost $3,000 to $5,000 or more.
AC condenser fan motor replacement
Replacing an AC condenser fan motor costs $200 to $700 on average if not under warranty or $100 to $300 when under warranty. Condenser fan motors typically require replacement instead of repair. Replace a faulty condenser fan motor immediately as the compressor may fail, resulting in more costly repairs.
AC blower motor repair
AC blower motor replacement costs $300 to $900 on average if not under warranty or $200 to $400 for labor if under warranty. The blower motor is located in the indoor air handler and pushes cool air through the ductwork to distribute it throughout the home.
AC circuit board replacement cost
AC circuit board replacement costs $150 to $700 if not under warranty or $100 to $300 for labor if under warranty. Air conditioner control board prices are $50 to $400 for the part alone, depending on the type and brand. Replacing an AC circuit board is cheaper than repairing it.
AC contactor replacement prices
AC contactor replacement costs $150 to $400 with installation or $10 to $60 for the part alone. Most home air conditioners use a 2-pole contactor with a 24v coil. A bad contactor causes the AC to stutter as it tries and fails to engage the system.
Cost to replace AC relay switch
Replacing an AC relay switch costs $100 to $300 with professional installation or $10 to $30 for the relay alone. The relay turns on the AC's outdoor condenser unit.
AC drain pan replacement cost
Replacing an AC drain pan costs $200 to $600, depending on the type and material. The condensate drain pan catches the excess moisture dripping from the evaporator coil and funnels it into the drain line to prevent water leaks. Drain pans are prone to cracking due to temperature changes.
AC compressor repair cost
AC compressor replacement costs $600 to $1,200 when under warranty of $1,300 to $2,500 if out of warranty. AC compressor costs depend on the size, type, and brand. AC compressors cannot be repaired on-site and require replacing instead.
An AC compressor hard start kit costs $100 to $270 with installation and gives the compressor an extra boost on startup. A hard start kit may rescue a failing compressor or extend its lifespan.
AC fuse / breaker replacement cost
Replacing an AC fuse or circuit breaker costs $75 to $300, depending on the type and location. The fuse protects the AC unit from electrical damage by stopping the flow of electricity whenever an overload occurs. When a fuse blows, the outdoor AC unit will turn off.
Home AC flush cost to unclog the drain line
A home AC flush costs $75 to $250 to unclog the condensate drain line. Mold, mildew, dirt, and debris cause clogs in the drain line. If the drain line is not flushed regularly to prevent clogs, water collected in the drain pan overflows, causing water damage.
AC expansion valve replacement cost
Replacing the expansion valve on an AC unit costs $300 to $500, including parts and labor. The thermostatic expansion valve is also called the TEV, TXV, or service valve and controls the amount of coolant that enters the AC's evaporator.
AC line set replacement cost
The cost to replace an AC line set is $200 to $650, depending on the length and location. The line set carries refrigerant from the outdoor condenser to the indoor evaporator coil through the wall or foundation. A line set typically requires replacement if a weld doesn't stop the leak.
AC disconnect box cost
Installing an AC disconnect box costs $150 to $500. The National Electric Code (NEC) requires the installation of a disconnect box within sight of the outdoor condenser unit. While servicing the AC, the technician flips the disconnect switch to cut electricity to the AC system for safety.
Cost factors to fix an AC unit
The following factors affect the cost of AC repairs:
- AC unit size – Replacement parts for larger AC units cost more.
- Brand vs. generic – Generic replacement parts cost less than brand-name parts but may void the manufacturer's warranty.
- Location / Accessibility – Labor costs increase for AC systems that are difficult to access.
- Refrigerant – Some AC repairs require adding more refrigerant. R410A refrigerant costs $50 to $80 per pound installed, while R22 Freon prices are $90 to $150 per pound.
- Warranty – The manufacturer's warranty may cover the cost of replacement parts. Most warranties do not cover labor.
- Home warranty plan – Most home warranties cover the HVAC system, though the homeowner may be responsible for the service call fee.
- Season – AC repairs are typically cheaper during the spring or fall.
- DIY vs. professional – Experienced homeowners can handle minor repairs like unclogging the drain line or replacing a fuse. Call a licensed HVAC technician for any repairs involving refrigerant, which is toxic and may cause severe illness or death if mishandled.
- Additional HVAC repairs cost $150 to $450 on average, depending on the part and location.
Labor cost for air conditioning repair
AC technicians charge $75 to $150 per hour for labor during regular business hours and $160 to $250 per hour for emergency repairs during the night, weekend, or a holiday.
A home AC service call costs $75 to $200 to diagnose the problem. Most companies apply the service call fee toward the repair costs.
|Service call-out fee||$75 – $200|
|Standard hourly rate||$75 – $150|
|Emergency hourly rate||$160 – $250|
An AC tune-up costs $70 to $200 and prolongs the system's lifespan. Annual or semi-annual tune-ups may prevent the need for costly AC repairs.
Central AC thermostat replacement
Central AC thermostat replacement costs $140 to $350 on average with installation, depending on the type, brand, features, and wiring required.
- Replacing a basic programmable thermostat costs $100 to $340 for the unit and labor.
- A smart thermostat with installation costs $200 to $450.
Central air duct replacement cost
Replacing ductwork costs $1,400 to $5,600 on average, depending on the home size, age, duct type, and number of vents. Duct replacement costs $270 to $500 per duct run or $25 to $55 per linear foot. Ductwork typically lasts 10 to 20 years before it needs replacing.
Air duct cleaning costs $300 to $700 on average for the whole home or $25 to $45 per vent. HVAC pros recommend cleaning ductwork every 3 to 7 years to improve air quality and AC efficiency.
Cost to repair vs. replace central air conditioner
AC replacement costs $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the unit size (tons), SEER efficiency rating, and brand. Installing central air with new ductwork costs $6,000 to $12,000.
Consider replacing instead of repairing a central air conditioner if:
- The AC is more than 10 years old.
- The AC uses R-22 Freon.
- The AC requires frequent repairs.
- The repair cost is at least 50% of the cost of a new AC.
- The repair cost multiplied by the system's age in years exceeds $5,000.
How to tell if your AC is broken
Look for these signs your AC is malfunctioning and needs repairs:
- Warm air from the vents
- Weak or limited airflow
- Excessive humidity in the home
- Stale or musty odors
- Knocking, clicking, or gurgling noises
- System cycles on and off frequently, also called short-cycling
- AC runs often but doesn't cool the home
- Poor energy efficiency with increased utility bills
Frequently asked questions
Do you tip an AC repair guy?
You don't need to tip an AC repair technician unless they exceed your expectations. Consider tipping if the technician works in extreme heat or cold. AC repair techs appreciate it when homeowners offer drinks or allow the use of a bathroom in the home.
How long does it take to repair an AC?
Repairing an AC takes as little as 1 hour or up to 8 hours, depending on which part requires fixing or replacing. Flushing the drain line or replacing a fuse typically takes one hour, while complex repairs like evaporator coil or compressor replacement may take a full day.
How long does an air conditioner last?
An air conditioner lasts 12 to 15 years on average if properly maintained. The AC unit's lifespan depends on the quality, environment, and usage. Improperly sized air conditioners or units located in areas with extreme heat typically have a shorter lifespan.
Who fixes air conditioners?
A licensed HVAC technician fixes air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, and ductwork.
Getting air conditioning repair quotes
Before hiring an AC repair service near you, be sure to:
- Get quotes from at least three HVAC companies to compare.
- Look for NATE-certified or ACCA-accredited technicians with experience installing and repairing air conditioners.
- Confirm the technician is EPA Section 608 certified to handle refrigerants.
- Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide and Google.
- Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business longer than five years.
- Avoid companies that give over-the-phone repair estimates without visiting the home to diagnose the problem first.
- Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
- Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead for work completed.
- Be cautious of cheap AC repairs as they are often a sign of low-quality parts, unnecessary part replacements, or inexperienced HVAC technicians.
Questions to ask AC repair services
- How long have you been repairing air conditioners?
- Are you NATE certified or ACCA accredited?
- Are you EPA Section 608 certified to handle refrigerants?
- Do you charge a diagnostic or service call fee? If yes, do you apply that fee to the repair cost?
- Is the replacement part cost covered under warranty?
- Are you certified to perform warranty repairs for my AC brand?
- Should I repair my AC or replace it instead, and why?
- How long will the repair take?
- Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
- What does your warranty policy include?
- What is your payment schedule?
- Do you offer financing for larger repairs?
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted pros:
- Pray, Richard. "2020 National Construction Estimator." PDF file. (2020).
- Thomson, James A. "2020 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator." PDF file. (2020).
AC tune-up, maintenance, and service costs. (2021).
How much does an AC Freon leak repair cost? (2021).
How much does an AC circuit board cost to replace? (2021).
How Much Does A Home AC Compressor Replacement Cost? (2020).
How much does an AC condenser cost to replace? (2021).
How much does an AC capacitor cost? (2021).
How much does an AC or furnace blower motor replacement cost? (2021).
How much does an AC evaporator coil replacement cost? (2021).
How Much Does A Home AC Recharge or Freon Refill Cost? (2020).
How much does it cost to clean AC coils? (2021).
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