No homeowner or business owner should put off HVAC repair, no matter its overall cost! An air conditioner or furnace in disrepair often spikes your utility costs as it draws added power to function, and small fixes tend to get more extensive and then more expensive the longer they’re neglected.
Your expected costs for HVAC repair depend on the damage to your system as well as the price of needed replacement parts. Some HVAC repair contractors also charge by the hour so you might face added costs if parts are difficult to reach or replace. To know what you might expect by way of HVAC repair costs, and to ensure you invest in needed fixes for your commercial or residential air conditioning and heating systems, note some vital information about HVAC repairs and replacement overall.
Average HVAC Repair Costs
Small fixes to an HVAC system, such as changing the thermostat or replacing worn circuit breakers and other such incidental parts, might average between $150 and $300 overall. Larger and more complicated HVAC repair in spring, such as repairing a compressor coil and recharging refrigerant, might start at around $200 and go up from there, depending on the damage to the system and cost of replacement parts.
Major HVAC repair, such as replacing a motor or blower, might start at $300 or up to $500, and run upwards of $1500 or more. Your HVAC repair costs are also increased if you need to replace wiring or other electrical parts outside the area of expertise of an HVAC contractor.
Do You Need HVAC Replacement for a Home or Business?
In some cases, it’s recommended that a homeowner or business owner consider HVAC replacement or a new AC installation rather than opting for repairs. While there is no easy way to note when it’s time for a new HVAC installation versus trying to repair an older system, first note the age of your HVAC system. Every AC and furnace has an expected lifespan; once it reaches that age, it’s probably best to replace the system rather than repair it.
Note, too, your expected costs for HVAC repair. If an air conditioner motor, blower, compressor, or other such major part needs repairs or replacement, and especially if you would otherwise be paying for several replacement parts, new HVAC installation costs for a home or business might be rather comparable! Investing just a few extra dollars for a new HVAC system than you would to repair or “patch up” an older system that will continue to need repairs might be the better financial decision overall.
It’s also good to consider if you might be putting your home or commercial structure on the real estate market anytime soon. You might assume it’s best to avoid new HVAC installation for a house or office you’ll be selling soon but older appliances might turn off potential buyers. New appliances, even if they’re very basic models, might attract more buyers and fetch a better asking price.
Signs of Needed HVAC Repair for a Home or Business
If you adjust the thermostat inside your home or office and the air conditioner or furnace never cycle on, obviously it’s time for HVAC repair! However, there are many other signs that your HVAC system needs repairs, and which homeowners and business owners tend to overlook.
As an example, loud noises from the HVAC system signal needed repairs. Broken or worn parts tend to grind or squeal over time, so be mindful of those noises in particular. An HVAC system that cycles off before your interior spaces are comfortable or that seems to run far too long might also need new wiring or other such repairs.
As a malfunctioning air conditioner or furnace might draw excessive power as it operates, a sudden and unexpected spike in your utility costs might also indicate it’s time for HVAC repairs. It’s also good to note that an uncomfortable interior environment, either one that’s overly humid in summertime or still cold in winter despite running the furnace, also means it’s time to call an HVAC contractor!
Should You Manage HVAC Repair Yourself?
A homeowner might assume that they can manage simple HVAC repair themselves, but note that even the smallest fixes often require the expertise of an HVAC contractor. For example, replacing a thermostat is not a matter of simply pulling out the old one and sliding a new one in place; the wires behind the thermostat need proper connecting and the new thermostat might need proper calibrating after installation.
Note, too, that air conditioners, furnaces, and other HVAC equipment often have sharp or otherwise dangerous parts, including fan blades, grilles, and compressor coils. A homeowner not experienced in HVAC repair might suffer cuts and scrapes while making repairs. Improper wiring or failing to disconnect electrical sources properly also risks shock and electrocution!
It’s also vital to remember that you might void the warranty of your HVAC system with improper and especially amateur repairs. To avoid all these risks, invest in proper fixes from an experienced and licensed HVAC contractor and avoid DIY fixes.
How to Choose a Reliable HVAC Contractor
When choosing an HVAC contractor, be sure to choose one that specializes in heating and air conditioning and not just a general contractor! General contractors often lack the specialized knowledge, skills, and experienced needed to fix today’s high-tech and complicated HVAC systems. They also might not have sources for replacement parts and especially those that are hard to find, such as for older HVAC models.
It’s also good to remember that you don’t necessarily want a contractor with the lowest HVAC repair costs. Quality repairs take time and the most durable replacement parts aren’t always the cheapest option. However, your investment in a skilled contractor and name brand replacement parts means an HVAC system in good repair and that you can rely on for years to come.