How Much Does HVAC Repair Cost?
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re expecting some HVAC-related expenses in the future. While there are a number of things that can go wrong with an HVAC system, a few components tend to have more issues than others, and their cost to repair is pretty simple to outline.
HVAC repairs account for a high number of calls in Los Angeles County, especially during the warmer months of summer. While not every repair is the same, we’ve seen enough of them to know what usually needs fixing and how much those repairs will cost homeowners.
We’ll walk you through some general costs of typical HVAC repairs that are out of warranty and when to call it quits on certain components.
Typical Costs to Repair
HVAC systems have many components, making it hard to nail down one concrete repair cost. Looking at some of the most commonly repaired components and other main components will set you up better to understand the potential costs of HVAC repair.
Replacing furnace capacitors is one of the most common repairs. Capacitors supply the jolt of energy blower motors need to start spinning up the fan to provide warm air to your home.
Luckily, this repair isn’t too bad and will run you about $200 to $400 on the high end. While nobody wants to spend this kind of money on a repair, it’s a must for those in colder climates.
Technicians usually spot capacitor issues during routine tune-ups and can prevent you from having issues when you need your furnace the most.
But capacitors aren’t the only pitfall of furnaces when it comes to the most common HVAC repairs.
Furnace Flame Sensor
Another common repair is the furnace’s flame sensor. This one is more or less what it sounds like. Furnaces have a sensor that detects whether a flame is present in the furnace.
The main issue flame sensors run into is having excess carbon build-up. A small or regular amount can be cleaned away by a technician during a tune-up, but the greater build-up will result in needing a replacement.
You can expect the repair cost to come out to about $150-$300.
Now, take a look at some of the other types of repair costs you might run into down the line.
This one is more of a straight-up replacement situation rather than a repair. If your thermostat goes south, then you’ll have no way to control your home’s temperature accurately. It’s an urgent issue but not all that challenging.
Having your thermostat replaced can cost around $200, potentially less, depending on who is doing the work.
If you’re confident and have a little know-how, you can actually do this yourself at cost. The final cost to replace will come down to which model you choose. Smart thermostats often come with rebates and credits to offset some of the upfront investment.
The control board is directly responsible for communicating with your thermostat and other components in your HVAC system, like the blower motor. If your control board goes out, your system won’t be able to communicate your commands, and you’ll be out of luck in terms of heating or cooling.
Repairing a control board can hit up to $600, while parts will likely only cost around $200. This repair can’t be ignored and will tank your system if it goes unchecked.
Your HVAC system features a blower motor to distribute air throughout your home, which is one of the most important parts. Unfortunately, this is where the cost to repair starts to climb.
If you run into issues with your blower motor, you might see repair bills up to $700.
Ductwork is the circulation system of HVAC. Without ductwork or with busted ductwork, your home won’t receive the benefits of your hard-working HVAC system. Because of this, it’s crucial that you ensure your ductwork is in working order.
Non-HVAC installers or yourself may step on ductwork while performing other work, causing irreconcilable kinks or punctures to form. If this happens, you’ll need to get a handle on the situation to ensure your system is running at peak efficiency.
Repairing ductwork can cost up to around $1,000. In some cases, you’ll need to replace whole runs, which is where things start to get expensive.
Continuing with the high-price items on the list of potential repairs, evaporator coils are even more expensive to repair. The evaporator coil is responsible for cooling the refrigerant circulating within an HVAC system so that it can absorb heat.
Repairing an evaporator coil can cost up to $2,000, with $400 being the low end of the scale.
Condenser coils take heat from indoors and release it outside of the home. They’re another key player in keeping your home comfortable during the warmer months. Repairing a condenser coil runs about the same as an evaporator coil.
Similar to the evaporator coil, you can expect to see bills up to $2,000 and sometimes beyond.
The Point of Diminishing Returns
Like any other type of technology, there comes a time when you hit a point of diminishing returns. This means that the money, time, or safety concern becomes greater than the effort it would take to repair a part.
For HVAC, this would be when the repairs hit $1,500 to $2,000. Instead of trying to save a part that will cost you that much, it’s often in your best interest to knuckle up and go for a total replacement rather than repair.
A more extreme example of this would be a cracked heat exchanger. This is a significant issue that doesn’t warrant repair but calls for immediate replacement because it can leak carbon monoxide and threaten the well-being of your family.
In this case, you’d want to get that thing out of your home as quickly as possible for peace of mind.
Repair or Replace, Which Will You Choose?
By now, you’re familiar with the types of common repairs and their costs. You’ve also got an understanding of when to cut your losses and opt for a full replacement.
With this information, you can navigate the repair process more confidently and know what you’re paying for. You can also avoid sticker shock when it comes to big-tag repairs like condenser and evaporator coils.
After servicing many HVAC systems in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas, we’ve seen various repair types, from easy fixes to total losses. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with the right knowledge to approach a repair process with peace of mind.
If you need a hand repairing an HVAC component or think your home might have an issue with maintaining comfort, call us at (310) 853- 8690 or visit our HVAC services page to book a consultation with a technician.
Learning more about what an HVAC system is and what it's made of will also help you communicate with technicians during the process. If you’re looking to prevent future breakdowns, then brushing up on HVAC tune-ups is a must.