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8 Common Air Conditioning Repairs and How Much They Can Cost to Fix

May 14, 2021

A dependable air conditioner is one of the most productive parts of your home comfort system, especially when you live in the Bay Area Over its life span, even the best air conditioner is likely to break or malfunction.

The cost of repairs will depend on the size and severity of the problem. Let’s go over some of the most common air conditioning repair services and the average estimated costs1 to repair them.

1. Air Filter

The air filter is a crucial component for any cooling system. It sucks in dust and other debris, stopping it from circulating into your HVAC ductwork. Exchanging or cleaning the filter is fast and easy. Most of the time you can handle it without the help of a trained HVAC technician.

Disposable filters are most common. Depending on the type you use, it can be a few dollars for a flat filter or around $20 for a pleated filter. If you have a cleanable filter, the only cost is the water and time it takes to clean it.

Typically, your filter should be changed every month to three months. If you don’t swap it out frequently, your air conditioner will have to work longer to hold the set temperature. This can increase your monthly energy bills.

2. Thermostat

Your thermostat is how you use your air conditioner. If something is malfunctioning with the thermostat, you may think there’s a problem with the air conditioner itself. Sometimes resolving the issue is as easy as adjusting the settings.

If this doesn’t resolve the problem, an HVAC technician from Contra Costa Heating & AC can help. The cost of replacing your thermostat will begin with the model you choose. Smart models provide useful features and might help you save money in the long run. Updating your thermostat starts around $75, depending on hardware and labor.

3. Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is a key part of your air conditioner because it moves heat out of your home. If it’s broken, costs may include both repairing the leak and replacing any lost refrigerant.

Generally, replenishing your supply of coolant is between $100 to $350, but this number can be higher if your air conditioner is more powerful or uses R-22. Known by the more popular name Freon, R-22 is no longer used due to its harm to the ozone layer. Only recycled quantities are eligible for use, making it more expensive.

If your air conditioner needs R-22, has a leak or is getting older, your technician may point you toward our air conditioning installation in the Bay Area. We also serve surrounding communities.

4. Electrical Issues

Electrical components include the circuit board, as well as breakers and fuses. Damage or malfunctions can reach a large number of air conditioning systems like the motor, compressor or AC contactor.

Most electrical components cost around $75–$290 to repair or replace. The circuit board is more important and replacing it can be between $125–$625. Your Contra Costa Heating & AC technician will take a look at these parts throughout the diagnosis to learn if they’re the reason other systems can’t function normally.

5. Evaporator and Condenser Coils

Most air conditioners have two coils. The evaporator coil houses the refrigerant and soaks up the heat from surrounding air. Replacing this component costs anywhere from $675–$1,300.

The condenser coil condenses the coolant into liquid before dispersing the heat outdoors. Replacement costs are often around $581 or higher, depending on your specific air conditioner.

6. Drainage Issues

If your air conditioner is dealing with drainage problems, costs may include both water damage as well the repair or replacement of damaged parts. Affected parts might include:

  • Drain pan, which collects and drains condensed water. Replacement: $250–$575
  • Condensate drain tube, which drains the drain pan. Replacement: $100–$195.
  • The drain line, which may need to be flushed of mold, mildew or clogs. Service cost: $75–$250.

7. Ductwork Repair

Without your ventilation, cool air cannot move throughout your home. Cracks and leaks will need to be addressed to stop your cooling bills from increasing. Repairs most often cost between $300–$500. Installing new ductwork is more expensive but might offer greatly improved energy efficiency. This cost depends on the size of your home but most often runs several thousand dollars.

8. Service Calls and Tune-Ups

The cost of a service call will depend on your location and local demand. It’s typically around $70–$200, which includes travel and basic diagnostics. Other key aspects for consideration are labor and parts, which are often flat rates. Labor can run between $70–$130 per hour.

Emergency services are almost always more expensive, but worth it to lower the risk of interruptions to your comfort. An average emergency call may be around $315 for night, weekend or holiday visits.

Quality air conditioning maintenance runs anywhere from $85 to $110. Signing up for a yearly maintenance plan is usually less expensive, with an average rigid cost of $150 for two visits. Our service plan is an extraordinary value, because we can spot and fix problems quickly and inexpensively. This service may also reduce your chances of malfunctions and breakdowns.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

Our friendly, knowledgeable technicians will provide extensive information about your AC unit. In many cases, providing info you’ve learned beforehand will help us uncover the source of the malfunction.

Common signs you need air conditioning repairs include:

  • Unpleasant or loud noises. Listen for hissing, clanging or gurgling sounds.
  • Warm air or poor circulation. Electrical failure keeps cooling systems from working, while an obstruction in your ductwork reduces airflow. This can also be stemming from a dirty air filter.
  • Short cycling or inconsistent operation. Repeated starting and stopping adds more strain on your air conditioner. This is often caused by a dirty air filter.
  • Higher utility bills. Faulty components or clogs force your air conditioner to work harder. Watch your monthly bills for sudden increases.

If your repair bill exceeds $1,500, it may be a wiser option to request air conditioning installation instead. A new air conditioner is more energy efficient, which can save you money on cooling bills over time.

Your Contra Costa Heating & AC technician will help you make the right choice. Since 1970, we’ve been renowned for our honest, high-quality air conditioning repair in the Bay Area and dedication to outstanding customer service. Request your appointment by calling us at 510-343-9841 today!

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1Average air conditioning repair costs are sourced from 2020 HomeGuide estimates, which are based off nationwide averages. Your exact cost may vary.