How Much Does AC Repair Cost?

Typical Range:

$168 - $610

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 54,291 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated March 14, 2022

Reviewed by After Hours Home Improvement, LLC, Reid Gravitte, Certified Electrician, Plumber and HVAC Specialist.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Average AC Repair Cost

Most homeowners pay $387 in AC repair costs, ranging from $168 and $610, but be prepared to pay upwards of $450 to $1,000, depending on your repair. Prices for this project vary greatly by issue, part, project complexity, or company. The cost per hour can be anywhere from $35 to $200. Keep in mind that many contractors calculate rates based on the job, and not hourly labor. For example, repairs to a small window AC unit will probably cost less than fixing a central ac system.

You can DIY many repairs to your air conditioning unit, but it is best to let a pro take care of any projects involving Freon. A licensed professional should deal with this dangerous substance.

Air Conditioner Repair Cost Calculator

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National Average $387
Typical Range $168 - $610
Low End - High End $75 - $2,100

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 54,291 HomeAdvisor members.

Air Conditioner Repair Cost Guide

Common Problem Average Cost to Fix
Refrigerant leak detection and repair $225 – $1,600
AC refrigerant recharge $100 – $800
Circuit board replacement $120 – $600
Replace fuses, circuit breakers or relays $15 – $300
Thermostat replacement $115 – $470
AC compressor repair hard start kit $100 – $250
Capacitor or contactor replacement $90 – $475
Home air compressor replacement $1,350 – $2,300*
Evaporator coil replacement cost $650 – $1,200
Condensing unit fan motor replacement cost $100 – $700

*depending on size and type

AC Repair Estimate

A troubleshooting service call can vary from $75 to $180, depending largely on your geographical location and the time of year you need them. HVAC professionals’ time is at a premium during the hot summer months, with some pros charging as much as $200 per hour.

Your HVAC professional can perform a yearly tune-up of your system for around $80 to $100. This yearly maintenance helps head off major repairs to your system and provides you with peace of mind and considerable savings in the long term. Additionally, regular servicing can help a home inspector certify your unit is working properly if you decide to sell your home.

Home AC Recharge

Home AC recharge costs vary greatly depending on the size of your unit, the refrigerant you use, the cost of the refrigerant, and the amount you need. The cost can be as low as $100, but be prepared to pay $600 or more. Six pounds of R-22 could run you about $500. New regulations that phase out R-22 mean the product is increasing in price.

The cost of recharging shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.

Replace an AC Compressor

Expect to pay $1,200 or more for the cost to replace an air conditioning compressor. If you notice that your AC is blowing warm air, being noisy, or vibrating when starting, your compressor could be to blame. A professional replacement should only take a few hours.

AC Compressor Repair

An air conditioning compressor repair hard start kit runs between $100 and $250. Depending on the damage, installing a new compressor often makes more sense to ensure a long-term fix.

AC Freon Leak Repair Cost

A pro can detect an AC gas leak and repair it for between $225 and $1,600. The amount of time this project takes depends on the location and severity of the leak. Some damage can take more than eight hours to detect and fix.

Air Handler Replacement Cost

Installing a new air handler system sits between $2,200 and $3,800. An air handler works with existing systems to circulate hot and cool air depending on your needs. Learn more about air handler installation costs.

Air Conditioner Fan Coil Leak Repair Cost

The quote to replace a fan coil or condensing unit should be about $2,000. The length of time for this project varies but should take about a day or less to complete. Though some instances may allow you to repair a fan coil leak, it’s often best to replace it altogether.

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Condenser Replacement

A new AC condenser costs $1,750 on average to install. But this price can vary depending on the unit. It should take a pro less than a day to complete this project—about four hours on average. Ask a pro if you can repair your air conditioner condenser instead of a full replacement.

AC Duct Replacement Cost

The price to replace your duct system is about $2,000 for installation alone. To install a duct system and new HVAC system, expect to pay between $9,200 and $12,300. This project can take several days, depending on the amount of ductwork needed.

AC Blower Repair

An AC blower repair can cost as little as $150. If a pro determines it’s beyond repair, then replacing a blower motor costs $250 to $800 or up to $2,000 for a high-end model. The price depends on what kind of blower motor you need, as premium models cost more money. The amount of time for this project varies, with most replacements taking about three hours.

AC Expansion Valve Repair Cost

Repairing an AC expansion valve is relatively cheap, depending on how damaged it is. Entirely replacing the valve costs up to $450. This project should only take a few hours.

Inverter AC Repair Cost

The maintenance and repair cost on inverter air conditioners is higher than on a regular unit. Inverter AC is more energy efficient than regular units and can save as much as 50% to 60% in energy costs. So, this system may be worth it in the long run.

AC Fuse, Circuit Breaker, or Relay Replacement Cost

It costs between $15 and $300 to replace fuses, circuit breakers, or relays in an AC unit. These projects are relatively fast, and most take just a couple of hours to complete.

AC Thermostat Replacement

Replacing a thermostat costs between $115 and $250. The cost to repair a thermostat is slightly less expensive. A replacement should take a professional less than two hours to complete.

AC Capacitor Repair

The cost to replace a capacitor ranges from $120 to $475. This quick project should take less than an hour when done by an experienced professional.

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AC Repair Cost by Unit Type

Window

Repairing a window unit is generally less expensive than repairing a central air conditioning unit. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $50 and $125 to repair a window AC unit. 

Portable

Portable AC units are stand-alone units that can be moved from room to room to cool different areas at different times. Homeowners can expect to pay an average of $80 to $250 to repair a portable unit.

Central 

Central AC units cool air at a central location and then distribute the cooled air to different areas via fans or ductwork. The average cost to repair a central AC unit is $100 to $500.

Swamp Cooler

Swamp coolers blow air through a wet material to add moisture to the air. Homeowners can expect to pay an average of $125 to $500 to repair a swamp cooler.

Geothermal 

Geothermal air conditioning units are generally out of sight, with lines buried in the basement or the yard. The average cost of repairing a geothermal air conditioning unit is between $200 to $700.

HVAC Package

HVAC units heat, ventilate, and air condition a home. HVAC repair costs can vary widely but cost an average of $300 to $500

Ductless Mini

A ductless mini AC unit does not need air ducts to operate as it works to cool a single room at a time. The average cost to repair a ductless mini is $750 to $900. 

How Do You Tell If Your AC Is Broken?

If you notice any of these signs, there’s a chance that your air conditioner is malfunctioning. Call an AC repair pro in your area to diagnose and fix the problem.

1. Your air conditioner is not working at all.

First, make sure the thermostat is set to “cool.” Then, confirm that your designated cooling temperature is less than the temperature of the room or home. If everything appears to be in good shape, examine the electrical panel to be sure you do not have a tripped breaker. If nothing appears to be out of place and the unit is still not working, get in touch with an air conditioning professional.

2. You hear the unit running, but there is little or no cool air coming out of your vents.

If you’ve set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature and your home is still uncomfortably warm, your air conditioner is not doing its job correctly.

3. Your air conditioner is making strange noises.

You are likely familiar with your unit's typical noises as it cycles. So, when you hear something that sounds off or different, it is time to call for repairs.

4. Your air conditioner smells bad.

Unusual odors coming from your unit indicate there is dirt, mold, or mildew inside. This can circulate contaminated air through your home. Bad smells are more than just a nuisance. They indicate a problem you should address right away to avoid health issues for your family.

5. Your air conditioner is short cycling.

It is perfectly normal for your air conditioner to cycle on and off to maintain a set temperature throughout your home. However, if you notice that it is turning on and off more frequently than usual for no apparent reason, then your unit may be malfunctioning. Short cycling puts extra stress on your air conditioner and can cause it to fail if not handled quickly.

6. Water is leaking in and around your unit.

While a small amount of condensation is normal, excessive water in your unit indicates problems. Contact an HVAC repair professional for help. This job involves electrical components better left to the pros.

7. Your unit is icy or frosty.

Ice or frost in your air conditioner is problematic. Blocked or restricted airflow causes ice buildup, which can cause your unit to freeze. It can also lower Freon levels, requiring a unit recharge.

Can You Postpone a Repair?

Though a broken AC may continue to work for a time, it’s best to get any problems fixed as soon as possible. Ignoring warning signs can make a small problem worse and cause more expensive repairs in the long term. Have your unit repaired promptly to avoid major damage or a high utility bill.

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DIY vs. Professional AC Repair

An experienced DIYer should be able to take care of many small repairs. However, it’s best to call a pro if electrical work is involved. And you should definitely ask for help if the project involves working with refrigerant, which is a toxic material that often requires a license to handle.

Be sure to do your homework before hiring a professional service. You’ll want to check:

  • State licensing and insurance requirements.

  • Your HVAC system’s history and any warranties. The average manufacturer's warranty is 5 years.

  • Prices and service packages from different contractors.

  • Referrals from friends and family.

  • Professional certifications, associations, and partnerships. Including but not limited to:

    • Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)

    • Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA)

    • Certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE)

    • Partnered with ENERGY STAR

Try to stick with a company that specializes in HVAC services. While some general handyman companies can provide a low-cost alternative to many projects, a company that focuses on air conditioning and heating is usually a better option. Take a look at this guide for more tips on hiring a contractor.

Questions to Ask AC Repair Services

  • Are they licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • Are their technicians certified by any professional HVAC organizations?

  • What types of warranties and guarantees do they offer for their work?

  • If your unit is still under warranty, is the HVAC pro certified to do warranty work for the brand of AC you own?

  • If there is a “free” offer, are there conditions you must meet to qualify for it?

  • How many years has the company been in business?

  • Will they provide testimonials and references for you to review?

  • Does the HVAC repair company require its employees to undergo background checks and drug testing?

  • Does the company provide an AHRI Performance Certification (for commercial units)? 

  • Will the technician inspect the duct system as well as the unit itself?

  • How does the company charge for services?

  • Is financing available for larger repairs?

  • Does the company have a 24/7 emergency ac repair service?

  • Will the company provide a written estimate before starting the work?

AC Certifications

AHRI Certification

Your HVAC professional can provide you with an AHRI Certificate of Certified Product Performance upon request to help you verify that your system matches. The certificate verifies that the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has certified your outdoor unit (condenser) and indoor unit (evaporator) combination as a matched system. This is only common and required for commercial spaces, not residential.

For higher efficiency models, this certification may help you obtain a rebate from your utility or local municipality. Not all areas offer a rebate, but your technician will likely be able to provide information about the certification process. Fees for performing this certification vary but are generally very expensive. Talk to your local HVAC professional to see if the cost of the rebate is worth the cost of the certification.

EPA 608 Certification

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that technicians who work with controlled refrigerants carry certification. There are four levels of certification. Your HVAC technician should be “level two certified” at a minimum. Being “universal certified” is even better. It’s a good idea to obtain this certification information from your HVAC technician. You may need it in the future if you decide to sell your home. Costs for certification average $40 to $240.

FAQs

What is the average cost to replace an air conditioner?

The average cost to replace a central air conditioner is about $5,000. But it can be as much as $12,500, depending on the size of your home and how complicated the ductwork is.

How long does an air conditioner last?

Generally, an AC lasts between 12 and 15 years. But this number varies depending on how often you use the unit. The more use the system gets, the faster it will wear out. After 15 years, it’s a good idea to call an AC installation professional for a new unit.

Are Freon leaks dangerous?

Freon itself can be very dangerous. But a normal leak in your home shouldn’t hurt you as long as you exercise caution. Avoid the refrigerant and make sure the area around the leak is well-ventilated. Do not directly inhale the gas, and make sure to stay away from the leak if it is in an enclosed space. Too much exposure can lead to refrigerant poisoning and even death.

How much does it cost to put Freon in a central air unit?

It costs between $60 and $100 to put Freon in a central air system. The price varies based on the size of your unit and the type of refrigerant you use.

How much does it cost to fix an AC leak in a house?

The cost to find and fix an AC leak is between $225 and $1,600.