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How Much Does HVAC Service Cost?
HVAC service often refers to both HVAC service plans (also known as HVAC maintenance plans) and non-routine HVAC service visits (i.e., service visits for HVAC failures and issues).
In either case, homeowners will find that HVAC services are surprisingly affordable in most situations.
HVAC Annual Service Contract Cost
HVAC service plans are programs offered by HVAC companies to keep your HVAC systems running optimally throughout the year. Both your heating and cooling systems are vital to the comfort of your home, and these plans work to keep them running like they should.
HVAC service plans typically include two service visits throughout the year. The first service visit is in the springtime, focusing on the AC system to prepare for the hot summer months. The second preventative maintenance call occurs in the fall to ensure the furnace (or other heating system) is running optimally in preparation for the frigid winters.
On average, HVAC service contracts with two scheduled tune-ups per year cost between $150 to $200. However, this tune-up cost will vary depending on the HVAC system(s) in your home and your location.
Is an HVAC Service Contract Worth it?
HVAC service contracts are worth their cost nearly 100% of the time. They are generally an affordable way to maximize the lifespan of your HVAC system. Tune-ups every year help prevent expensive equipment failures, which saves you money in the long run.
Preventative HVAC maintenance also brings peace of mind to homeowners. It provides a greater confidence level that their AC unit won’t stop working in the summer, and their furnace will keep churning out warm air in the dead of winter.
HVAC service plans also usually include preferential treatment like priority repair services, extended warranty terms, repair discounts, and other benefits.
HVAC Repair Service Costs
HVAC service repair costs vary by the type of equipment, brand, type of equipment failure, and repair needed. Other factors, such as warranty and location play a factor in the cost as well. Additionally, air conditioning repair and furnace repair costs are vastly different. Let’s walk through some of the nuances in these costs below.
Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Repair Costs
Air conditioning units and heat pumps typically have similar repair costs. The reason for this is that they actually work in similar ways. Air conditioners use the vapor compression refrigeration cycle to remove heat from the house and pump it outdoors.
Air-source heat pumps use the same type of process but include a reversing valve to run the process in reverse and provide heat to the home. As such, they include most of the same components (minus the reversing valve the heat pumps have).
Here are the average costs of major central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps repair:
- Condensate drain pan replacement – $275 to $600
- Condensate drain tube cleaning – $90 to $300
- Condensate drain line and pump replacement – $250 to $500
- Condenser coil replacement – $2,000 to $3,000
- Evaporator coil replacement – $1,500 to $2,500
- Refrigerant leak repair – $250 to $1,600
- Clean air filters – $100 to $200
- Refrigerant leak recharge – $300 to $800
- Compressor replacement – $2,000
- Blower motor repair – $240 to $700
- Electrical component repairs (relays, fuses, capacitors, etc.) – $100 to $300
Furnace Repair Costs
Furnace repair pricing varies by the type of failure, and the repair needed. The repair costs include the cost of labor and the replacement HVAC components. Furnace repairs cost between $50 to $1,700 on average.
Here are the average costs of specific repairs:
- Filter cleaning or replacement cost – $100 to $200
- Ductwork cleaning – $200 to $550
- Flame sensor or thermocouple repair and cleaning – $100 to $200
- Thermostat replacement – $70 to $750
- Transformer – $100 to $200
- Control board replacement – $250 to $700
- Heat exchanger repair – $900 to $1,600
- Ignitor replacement – $175 to $300
- Gas valve replacement – $350 to $800
- Burner cleaning – $175 to $450
- Draft inducer motor repair – $150 to $500
- Fan motor replacement – $400 to $1,400
- Pilot light replacement – $80 to $200
- Fan limit switch replacement – $50 to $150
Not unlike AC repair, furnace issues are never the same, so it’s impossible to know what type of failure your heating system could need in the future.
However, the most common furnace repairs are thermostat replacement, blower motor repairs, fan limit switch repair, flame sensor replacement, and circuit board replacement or repair.
Factors That Affect HVAC Repair and Service Costs
Besides the type of repair on the HVAC system, many other factors will affect the total maintenance cost. The season, equipment warranty, and whether or not you have an HVAC service contract will all affect the pricing. Let’s walk through the impact each of these factors has on costs.
When HVAC service is in peak demand, the pricing may be slightly higher during that period. For example, air conditioner service may cost a premium during the hottest month of summer compared to early spring.
If you think about it, HVAC contractors are extremely busy during this peak period of AC breakdowns. The extra cost helps offset the extra labor the HVAC contractor has to pay (including a higher hourly rate for the much-needed overtime pay to make sure everyone in the community is staying cool).
In general, HVAC service costs might be 5-15% greater during the busy seasons and will cost even more if you need emergency services – like on the weekend or middle of the night.
HVAC Service Contract
HVAC service contracts provide many homeowners in the US with preferential repair service if something breaks down and a reduced cost on the repair.
For example, a homeowner without a service contract could pay 10-25% more for an HVAC repair than a homeowner with an HVAC service contract. In some cases, certain repairs could be covered entirely by the service contract.
Furthermore, HVAC maintenance plans can “reduce” your HVAC repairs by preventing failures altogether.
HVAC Unit Warranty
Depending on the age of your air conditioning system or furnace, certain repairs and replacements could be covered under that manufacturer’s warranty.
Many leading brands such as Carrier, Trane, Lennox, American Standard, Bryant, Rheem, Daikan, Goodman, Blueridge, etc., offer 10-20 year warranties on their equipment.
However, there’s usually variability in the warranty terms. For furnaces, the general repairs could be covered for ten years, while primary and secondary heat exchanger warranties could be 15 to 20 years or lifetime, as an example.
AC unit warranties have variability as well, with compressors often having a lifetime warranty and general repair warranties lasting 10-20 years.
With so many differences between warranty lengths between manufacturers and differences between the warranty of a specific component, it could be challenging to keep track. That is why it is essential to register the warranty of any HVAC system right away then and save the information stored in a safe location.
How Can You Save Money on HVAC Service?
The easiest way homeowners can save money is by having an HVAC service contract. With an active service agreement, anything from routine maintenance to significant repairs can be covered entirely or at a reduced rate.
The most significant of an HVAC contract is that a licensed HVAC technician completes the preventative maintenance and tune-ups at proper intervals. This means the HVAC professional can catch minor problems while servicing and nip them in the bud before they transform into expensive equipment failures.
Homeowners can save money on HVAC service plans by opting for longer service contracts (i.e., pay a yearly flat rate instead of a monthly service fee). Additionally, they can (and should) check their HVAC system monthly for leaks, abnormal noise, and dirty filters.
All of these simple routine checkups by homeowners help to catch any issues right away and limit the strain on your HVAC system. This means fewer failures, better energy efficiency, lower energy bills, and lower cost of ownership for the homeowner.
The Importance of Preventative Maintenance
Whether it is scorching heat, sub-zero temperatures, or high humidity levels, extreme weather conditions put excessive stress on your HVAC system. As such, your HVAC system is in constant stress all season long before being unused for many months during its “off-season.”
The long stretches of high demand mixed in with absolutely zero use for months on end could lead to equipment failures unless preventative maintenance is completed during the off-season – i.e., spring for air conditioners and fall for furnaces.
Preventative maintenance ensures that your heating and cooling system runs efficiently when you need it and with no downtime in the cold winters and hot summers.
Benefits of HVAC Service
HVAC plans have many benefits; here is what makes them so valuable:
- Gives homeowners peace of mind that their HVAC has no issues
- Keeps the HVAC system running efficiently and with no interruptions
- Increases efficiency, which reduces the energy costs
- Extends the lifespan of the HVAC system
- Keeps the warranty valid (if the manufacturer requires routine tune-ups)
- Priority HVAC repair service
- Affordable contracts with monthly or yearly payment terms, reduced repair costs, and more
Risks of Ignoring HVAC Maintenance
Not performing routine HVAC maintenance can have serious consequences. Just missing a single routine service visit can put the HVAC unit in jeopardy as a minor issue can be missed, which leads to equipment failure.
For example, during an AC service call, the HVAC technician may notice the refrigerant levels are a little low, leading to a discovery of a small refrigerant leak. This is a quick and relatively inexpensive repair. But, If the leak were to go unnoticed for an entire year, it could lead to excessively low refrigerant levels, which would provide less cooling to your home.
The AC unit would keep running for long periods without successfully cooling your home. This puts stress on other components, which can then break down through wear and tear as well. Therefore, a minor repair gone unnoticed could lead to a very expensive one down the road.
Sure, you can skip the HVAC service call and hope no issues will arise with your system. Even if nothing goes wrong, your HVAC system will be running less efficiently than it would with a tune-up.
When to Call an HVAC Specialist
Homeowners should call an HVAC specialist any time they notice an issue with their HVAC system. Sometimes these issues are obvious; other times, they are more subtle. Here is what all homeowners should look out for:
- Abnormal noise
- Reduced heating or cooling performance
- HVAC units running excessively or louder than normal
- Water leaks
- Low air flow
- Bad smells
- Gas leak smells
- HVAC unit fails to turn on or has trouble starting
Why Choose Blue National HVAC?
Blue National’s HVAC technicians are trained to know what type of maintenance your HVAC equipment needs and the exact time of year it is needed.
Our skilled team can plan preventative maintenance calls and tune-ups before the peak heating and cooling seasons arrive. That way, when the first hot or cold day arrives you’ll be sure to have an ideal temperature inside your home.
Our technicians have years of experience and are certified to perform maintenance on all types of HVAC systems. They are available at a competitive rate and available 24/7, 365 days a year – so give us a call today!