How much does an HVAC inspection cost?

$150 – $500 average cost to inspect AC, furnace, & ducts

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December 27, 2021

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 2 expert HVAC inspectors on HomeGuide.

HVAC inspection cost

An HVAC inspection costs $150 to $500, depending on the system size, location, and type. A furnace, air duct, or AC inspection alone costs $50 to $180 each. An HVAC inspection checks the safety and function of the ductwork, heating, and air conditioning systems, and is recommended before a new home purchase.

HVAC inspection cost - chart
HVAC inspection cost - chart

HVAC inspection cost
Inspection type Average cost
HVAC inspection (AC, furnace, & ducts) $150 – $500
AC inspection $70 – $150
Furnace inspection $70 – $130
Air duct inspection $80 – $180

Average home HVAC inspection cost

The following table shows the average cost for an HVAC inspection.

Average home HVAC inspection cost
National average cost $300
Minimum cost $50
Maximum cost $600
Average cost range $150 to $500

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

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AC inspection cost

An AC inspection costs $70 to $150 on average, and does not include cleaning, maintenance, repairs, or refrigerant. An AC tune-up costs $70 to $200 and includes cleaning, filter replacement, and system maintenance to improve efficiency and prevent expensive repairs.

Furnace and heating inspection cost

A furnace inspection costs $70 to $130, not including cleaning, maintenance, or repairs. A furnace tune-up costs $150 to $500 and includes cleaning and maintenance to keep the system running smoothly. A gas-fueled heater has more components to inspect than an electric furnace, requiring additional service and safety checks.

Air duct inspection cost

An air duct inspection costs $80 to $180 and verifies the need for duct cleaning or repairs. Some technicians use a digital camera to scope the air ducts and record their condition. Service providers often apply the inspection cost toward the price of duct cleaning or repairs.

A duct leakage test costs $250 to $400 and takes about one hour. The HVAC technician uses airflow monitors, pressure sensing devices, fog machines, and temperature checks to determine if the duct system leaks air and loses energy.

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HVAC inspection cost factors

The following factors affect the cost of an HVAC inspection:

  • Home and system size – Larger homes have multiple units or multi-zone systems, each with a separate thermostat and components to examine.
  • Unit location – Labor costs more for systems in difficult-to-access areas like attics and crawlspaces.
  • Unit type – Roof vent, attic fan, and air duct systems have fewer components to evaluate than air conditioners or boilers.
  • Systems included – A complete HVAC inspection requires more service checks than an AC or furnace inspection alone.
  • Level of inspection – A basic home inspection only confirms that the system heats and cools, while a thorough HVAC inspection reveals underlying problems.
  • Region – Regional labor rates and the technician's experience level affect the cost.
  • Off-season rates – HVAC companies typically offer discounts on inspections in the spring and fall before the busy seasons begin.
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Technician inspecting HVAC system and testing components
Technician inspecting HVAC system and testing components

HVAC inspection checklist

Most contractors follow an HVAC inspection checklist that involves testing the following components:

  • Adjusting and lubricating all moving parts
  • Blower motors and compressors
  • Wiring and electrical connections
  • Evaporator and condenser coils
  • Condensate drain pump and line
  • Refrigerant levels
  • Thermostat settings
  • Furnace controls, including start and shut-off
  • Heating components (boiler, furnace, or heat pump), including gas or oil connections, gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger
  • Venting

HVAC inspection report and next steps

After an inspection, technicians provide an HVAC evaluation report explaining the system's current status. The report outlines recommendations for upgrades, repairs, or replacements, which may include:

During real estate transactions, buyers and sellers use an HVAC home inspection report to negotiate repair or replacement costs.

HVAC tune-up service or maintenance plan

An annual HVAC tune-up or maintenance reduces energy bills, minimizes the need for repairs, and extends the system's life and energy efficiency.

Service type Cost Frequency Includes
HVAC inspection $150 – $500 Before a real estate transaction or as a second opinion for repair work Professional inspection of the entire heating and cooling system and ductwork to confirm it is functioning properly.
Seasonal tune-up $70 – $200 Twice a year in spring and fall Professional inspection and cleaning to ensure the system effectively cools or heats the home. Includes the following services:*

  • Cleaning the coils
  • Flushing the drain line
  • Replacing damaged electrical parts
  • Checking refrigerant levels
  • Testing safety features
Annual maintenance plan or service agreement $120 – $360 Regularly scheduled maintenance visits throughout the year Professional routine maintenance tasks and tune-ups. Benefits include:

  • Discounts on parts and repairs
  • Priority service and reduced service costs if the unit breaks down
  • Increased HVAC system lifespan
  • Improved air quality
DIY preventive maintenance $10 – $70 Every 1 to 3 months
  • DIY routine maintenance, including:
  • Replacing air filters
  • Checking for leaks and noises
  • Cleaning the exposed parts of the HVAC system

*Not a comprehensive list. Services depend on the provider.

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Frequently asked questions

How often to have an HVAC inspected?

Have an HVAC system inspected once or twice per year, depending on the climate and the system age and type. Get a thorough inspection:

  • Annually to keep heating and cooling systems working at peak performance
  • Every six months for systems more than 10 years old
  • Every spring and fall in areas with extremely hot summers or cold winters
  • Before buying or selling a home to evaluate the HVAC system's health
  • As needed for a second opinion on HVAC repairs

What are signs you need an HVAC inspection?

Warning signs that an HVAC inspection is needed include:

  • Weak or inconsistent airflow
  • Strange odors or sounds
  • Thermostat malfunctions
  • High utility bills
  • Inability to maintain a comfortable temperature in winter or summer
  • Poor air quality or increased allergies and respiratory issues
Tell the inspector about the history of the HVAC unit, including any recent maintenance or malfunctions.

How long does an HVAC inspection take?

A comprehensive HVAC inspection takes 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the home size, number of service checks performed, and the system size, type, and location.

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Finding and hiring an HVAC inspector

Before hiring an HVAC inspector near you, be sure to:

  • Look for a NATE and EPA-certified HVAC contractor that has been in business for more than five years.
  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Get at least three estimates to compare.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Never pay in full upfront. Follow a payment plan and do not make the final payment until fully satisfied.

Questions to ask

  • How many years have you been inspecting HVAC systems?
  • Are you NATE certified or ACCA accredited?
  • Are you EPA Section 608 certified to handle refrigerants?
  • What is included in the HVAC inspection?
  • Are any routine maintenance services included with the inspection?
  • Do you offer discounts for multi-year service contracts?
  • Will you provide a list of references with contact information?
  • May I have a copy of your insurance policy for my records?
  • Do you guarantee your work or offer an extended warranty?

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