HVAC Repair Costs: Service, Maintenance & Hourly Rates 2020

HVAC repair cost is $85 - $150 per hour plus the cost of parts, if needed. Cost varies based on the cost of living where you live and the size of the heating and air conditioning company. All cost factors are discussed later.

Emergency HVAC repair cost is $135 per hour or more. These are repairs made after normal business hours – evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.

HVAC Repair Costs Range

The specific cost of heating repairs and air conditioning repairs are listed below.

HVAC repair and servicing starts at $85-$150 per hour. This is the minimum service call fee and covers labor for the first hour or repairs. HVAC repair costs are determined by the price of the parts plus the amount of time the repair is expected to take.

Minor Repairs

Average Repairs

Expensive Repairs

Hourly Rate

$100 - $175

$285 - $500

$750 - $1,500+

$85 - $150

Most HVAC repair costs start at about $85 for minor repairs such as a hot surface igniter or capacitor replacement, condensate drain flush or an annual inspection, cleaning and tune-up.

Midrange HVAC repair price is $285 to $500 for things like charging a unit with refrigerant or a circuit board.

The most expensive AC and furnace repair cost is $750 or more for jobs such as replacement of a compressor, coil, high-end blower motor or heat exchanger. We recommend that you strongly consider replacement of the equipment rather than repair when the repair estimate is in this price range – especially if the furnace, heat pump or air conditioner is already 12+ years old. More on this topic later.

HVAC Repair Costs for Parts Replacement and Maintenance

Let’s look at the whole range of repairs made to air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps and other common HVAC equipment. Both HVAC repair prices and installation or replacement costs are given.

1). Furnaces and Air Handlers

Furnaces Repair

Most homes are heated with a furnace or heat pump. When the home has a heat pump, the inside unit is usually an air handler. Both types of equipment circulate air through ductwork with a motor-driven blower fan.

Cost of Furnace Inspection and Annual Service

Service

Low Cost

Ave. Cost

High Cost

Furnace Tune Up

$99

$140

$200

Air Hander Tune Up

$85

$125

$175

Complete System Tune Up

$135

$175

$300

Annual Service Agreement

$150

$200

$350 (1)

(1) Includes two Annual Tune ups

A furnace tune up, aka annual service, has an average cost of $140-$150. Sometimes you’ll see a “$99 tune up special” or similar advertised. Most HVAC companies charge $115 to $200 per visit.

Cost is slightly lower for air handler inspection because there is no gas valve and burner assembly to inspect and clean.

It’s also common to have a complete system inspection and service that includes the furnace or air handler and the air conditioner or heat pump.

Most heating and air conditioning companies offer annual service agreements to inspect and tune all your HVAC equipment once or twice per year. Most plans feature a discount on parts and repairs plus priority service if you need it.

Furnace Inspection – Yes or No? We recommend an annual inspection of your furnace or air handler/HVAC system for several reasons.

The inspection and service checklist is longer than you might think and covers items related to furnace performance, efficiency and safety. See the checklist in our Furnace Tune Up Cost and Guide.

Also, most furnace brands require annual maintenance of the furnace.

This is a common scenario: Let’s say your Rheem gas furnace is 7 years old and the blower motor fails. The unit has a 10-year parts warranty, so technically the part is under warranty.

But if you’ve never had the furnace serviced, Rheem might say, “Sorry, Charlie,” when a warranty claim is submitted. The reason will be that if you’d had the blower motor serviced – cleaned and balanced and lubed (if needed) – it might not have failed. They’ll say the mechanical failure is your fault.

Furnace Repair Prices 

Many of these apply to air handlers too.

There is no overall average furnace repair cost – it depends on what’s being repaired or replaced. However, most furnace repair price is $180 - $400.

Let’s get specific.

Here is our furnace repair price list for all types of repairs. The diagnostic fee is commonly waived in two cases: You have a repair made or instead of having the furnace repaired, you buy a replacement furnace from the same company.

Repair/Replacement

Cost Range

Ave. Cost

Diagnostic

Free to $125

$85

Filter Replacement

$85 - $150

$115

Gas Valve/Burner Cleaning

$125-$250

$165

Gas Valve Replacement

$115 - $300

$165

Gas Burner Replacement

$400 - $900

$650

Oil Valve/Burner Cleaning

$200 - $400

$250

Oil Burner Replacement

$676 - $1,050

$775

Igniter Replacement

$100 - $300

$185

Flame Sensor Replacement

$115 - $225

$130

Draft Inducer Motor Replacement

$500-$700

$595

Blower Motor Replacement

$400 - $1,400+

$835

Blower Fan Replacement

$195 - $450

$300

Circuit Board Replacement

$250 - $600

$455

Heat Exchanger Replacement

$800 - $1,500+

$1,250

Furnace Replacement Cost

$2,150 - $7,700

$4,000

Air Handler Replacement Cost

$1,475 - $3,700

$2,150

Our Gas Furnace Repair Guide has more detail about what is involved in each of these furnace repairs.

Common cost factors are:

  • If the repair is something simple like changing the furnace – sometimes homeowners forget to change it, and the furnace starts making strange sounds that cause them to call a furnace technician – the cost will be the service call fee.
  • Larger furnaces sometimes have higher repair costs – for example, replacing a 120,000 BTU burner system costs more than replacing a 60,000 BTU system.
  • Performance – A variable-speed blower costs more to replace than a single-speed.
  • ECM motors cost more than PSC motors.
  • Part Type – Replacement using a proprietary brand part generally costs more than using a universal part.
  • Repairs and cleaning an oil furnace often cost more than for gas furnaces.
  • Access to the part – when parts have to be removed to locate and repair the broken part, cost is higher.

Furnace Replacement Cost

Gas furnaces installed start below $2,000 for a small unit from affordable brands like Goodman or Payne. Mid-priced, mid-sized two-stage furnaces average about $4,000 installed when you consider removal and disposal of the old unit, changing the sheet metal plenum and installing/setting up the new furnace.

Large variable capacity, variable speed furnaces that are highly efficient can top $7,000 installed.

Air Handler Replacement Cost

Air handlers don’t have gas valves, obviously. Those with variable speed blower motors cost more. Airflow capacity – size of the blower – affects cost too.

Air handler price ranges from $1,475 to $3,700 with an average cost of about $2,150

2). Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Air Conditioner Repair

The first step in learning about air conditioner repair costs and heat pump repair costs is determining what’s wrong with it.

For that reason, we created our AC Repair Cost Guide that includes AC troubleshooting tips that apply to heat pumps too.

Cost of Air Conditioner Inspection and Annual Service

Service

Low Cost

Ave. Cost

High Cost

AC/Heat Pump Tune Up

$115

$165

$250

Air Hander Tune Up

$85

$125

$175

Annual Service Agreement

$160

$225

$400 (1)

(1) Includes 2 inspections - Spring and Fall

Costs are a little higher for inspecting and cleaning and tuning up an air conditioner or heat pump. There’s more to do; it takes more time; cost is higher.

During air conditioner or heat pump annual service, the technician goes through a comprehensive checklist that includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Inspect condensing unit (outside unit) for signs of wear that might lead to an untimely breakdown if not repaired
  • Inspect wiring to ensure it is in good condition (not chewed by mice, fraying, cracked housing, etc.)
  • Clean outdoor coil (Trane Spine Fin coils are harder to clean, so cost is higher than for most)
  • Check voltage on some electrical components to ensure they are not about to fail
  • Check refrigerant charge level
  • Check condensing unit fan, adjust and/or lubricate if needed
  • Inspect and clean indoor coil
  • Inspect drain pan and drain tube – clearing the drain is a separate expense, considered a repair
  • Inspect, clean, lubricate and balance the blower motor as needed
  • Run the system to ensure it is operating as it should

Air Conditioner Repair Prices / Heat Pump Repair Prices

Repair/Replacement

Cost Range

Ave. Cost

Capacitor & Contactor Replacement

$125 - $375

$180

Circuit Board Replacement

$125 - $625

$315

Circuit Breaker / Relay Replacement

$85 - $325

$190

Refrigerant Leak Repair

$175 - $600+

$390

Refrigerant Recharging

$200 - $500

$335

Fan Motor Replacement

$250 - $800

$495

Compressor Replacement

$1,250 - $2,500

$1,675

$1,500 - $3,000

$2,200

Drain Clearing and Flush

$85 - $225

$150

Condensate Pump Replacement

$270 - $500

$400

Condensate Drain Tube Replacement

$90 - $200

$145

Drain Pan Replacement

$225 - $600

$370

Filter Drier Replacement

$240 - $315

$280

Lineset Replacement

$225 - $700

$380

AC Condensing Unit Replacement

$1,950 - $7,000+

$4,750

Heat Pump Condensing Unit Replacement

$2,285 - $8,000+

$5,200

The costs in the table above apply to air conditioners and heat pumps – all except the reversing valve, which only heat pumps have. The reversing valve switches the direction the refrigerant flows as it collects heat indoors in summer and collects heat outdoors in winter.

Cost factors are similar to those for furnaces – size of the system, its performance and quality. A few specific to air conditioners and heat pumps are:

  • Coil size – The coil has to be sized to how much heating and air conditioning is required. It will correspond to the size of the condensing unit and to the amount of airflow measured in CFM, or cubic feet per minute.
  • Compressor Type – Single-stage, two-stage and variable capacity compressors are used. And they come in various sizes based on the size of the overall unit.

Air Conditioner Replacement Cost

Air conditioner prices have been rising, especially on the high end as units become more efficient and more sophisticated.

The current installed cost of an air conditioner condensing unit plus a new indoor coil, refrigerant line set, refrigerant, etc. is $2,285 - $7,000 or more for some large, variable capacity air conditioners.

Heat Pump Replacement Cost

Heat pumps cost a little more due to the presence of the reversing valve and a few other parts that allow them to operate in winter, pulling heat out of outside air and pumping it inside.

New heat pump cost is $2,285 to $8,000 or more. This includes the unit and installation supplies as with ACs.

For both air conditioners and heat pumps, cost factors are the size of the unit and whether it is 1-stage, 2-stage or variable capacity.

3). Ductwork Repair and Cleaning Cost

Ductwork Repair

Ductwork is often a “hidden” expense in HVAC maintenance and repair.

Ductwork Repair and Cleaning Prices

Service

Cost Range

Ave. Cost

Ductwork Repair

$35 - $75 per location

$48 per location

Insulating Ductwork

$3.00 - $5.50/Linear Foot

$4.25/Linear Foot

Cleaning Ductwork

$30 - $40 per vent

$22$36 per vent5

New Ductwork

$10.20 - $17.25/Linear Foot

$14.50/Linear Foot

Repairs: Ductwork can sag and separate over time. We’ve priced repairs per location – that is, for each location that needs new straps hung or has to have the joints repaired and secured.

Ducts should be insulated at installation, but some homeowners and installers cut corners. If you have ducts running through untreated air – meaning it isn’t heated and cooled, the ducts should definitely be insulated.

Insulation: If the ductwork is in a basement or crawlspace, in a garage or attic, insulate it to prevent:

  • Heat loss in winter
  • Air conditioned air being warmed
  • Air conditioned air causing humidity to condense on the ductwork, drip and cause staining and water damage

Ductwork Installation Cost

For materials and installation, ductwork cost is $10.20 - $17.25 per linear foot.

We’ve created a comprehensive guide to ductwork cost and installation. It has types, costs for each and much more useful information.

4). Thermostat Replacement Cost

thermostat replacement cost

Thermostats come in a wide range of types. If you just want to control your HVAC system, you can do that for well under $100.

If you want a smart thermostat that will “learn” your heating and air conditioning preferences, expect to pay $179 to $300 for most. Thermostats with touchscreens that give you a 5-day forecast and other advanced features can be very expensive.

Thermostat Type

Price Range

Average Price

Non-programmable

$20 - $85

$45

Basic Programmable

$25 - $100

$70

WiFi / Smart

$70 - $400

$200

WiFi / Touchscreen

$100 - $700

$390

Multi-Zone

$150 - $600

$260

Thermostats rarely break, and if they do, they are usually replaced rather than repaired.

A good place to begin learning more what types of thermostats are available, the top smart thermostat brands with reviews and thermostat prices is our annually updated Thermostat Buying Guide.

Hourly Rates 

HVAC technicians have hourly rates, you can be sure of that.

But most figure how much time the job will take including travel time to and from your home. Then they put all their time estimates together in one “Labor” estimate. Then they price parts, if parts are needed, and add that to labor charges to come up with a total dollar amount for the service or repair.

Pulling together what was said above:

  • Standard Labor Rates: $85 - $150 per hour. This is typically also the minimum fee. If they are there for 15 minutes, you still pay the minimum fee. This happens quite a lot.
  • Emergency Rates: These are HVAC after hours rates. They range from about $135 to $200 or more.

Factors are cost of living in your area, travel time/distance and time of day. An evening rate might not be as costly as if you call them at 3AM with a broken furnace and rapidly plummeting temperature.

Get Advice or Estimates

We’ve written AC/Heat Pump and Furnace Troubleshooting guides, but if you’re not interested in HVAC sleuthing, the easiest way to find out what’s the matter with your equipment is to use our free local quote form.

Experienced, licensed, certified HVAC technicians will be in touch to answer questions, provide guidance or give you a competitive estimate on your repair or HVAC replacement.

There is no cost and you’re never obligated to take any estimate.

Share Your HVAC Quote/Cost

Share Your HVAC Quote/Cost

We rely on readers like you to share your HVAC system cost or quote. It really helps other visitors to estimate the cost of a new HVAC unit.

Optional
Optional
ie: Tranx XR13, Lennox xp15
Include Ductwork Replacement? *
Sending

DMCA.com Protection Status