Prices for HVAC Services
An air conditioner is one of the most expensive units to maintain in-house climate, so it requires systematic budgeting. However, you can make it easier for yourself by precisely planning the project budget. If you want to protect yourself from unreasonable costs, then navigate the market trends, decide on priorities and choose a reliable contractor. Best Heating Cooling & Air, Colorado’s leading contractor, can help you figure out pricing and project estimates so HVAC maintenance will not become an issue!
Annual HVAC maintenance costs between $70 and $210, while the average client pays around $110.
Factors influencing the cost of HVAC service
The cost of maintaining and repairing climate control systems depends on factors such as input details and assembly features, both important. Knowing the nature of pricing, you will understand how contractors estimate the HVAC service price and how to optimize costs. Let’s have a look at the main factors influencing pricing.
Type of Service
Certified HVAC contractors perform a full maintenance of microclimate systems, including design, installation, commissioning, service and repair if needed. The installation is the most expensive. Thus, the installation of a central air conditioner ranges from $3,250 to $12,600, while for a mini split system – from $1,400 to $14,500. Add extra $70–200 to set it up.
The bill for the repair and maintenance of climate equipment includes the cost of a visit, labor and the purchase of spare parts. The scale of work, the design parameters of the system and the availability of components determine the final amount. Depending on the scale and schedule of work, there are four types of HVAC repairs:
- planned touch up keeps the system in proper condition to start a season, implying small fixing and maintaining smooth work.;
- systematic every 3-4 years implying the change of deteriorated parts, fittings and sections of channels, filling the refrigerant, fixing channel cracks and deformations;
- an overhaul involving the change of the main parts and the communications;
- urgent in case of emergencies if something broken.
The service subscription agreement allows you to save on planned preventive maintenance without compromising the result. It would be best to entrust the HVAC care to the initial contractor. The annual preventive maintenance schedule is based on the equipment assessment and the type of place. The standard maintenance package includes:
- replacement of the air filter;
- inspection and cleaning of air ducts;
- rinse and cleanse of coils and drains;
- fixing air ducts and drainage pipes;
- refrigerant level check up and refill;
- testing, repair and setting up of a temperature sensor;
- lubricating of moving parts;
- the fittings tightening and adjusting.
HVAC Emergency Call
Emergency visits of the repair team is charged extra on afterhours, weekends and holidays. In addition, the emergency HVAC service call price is often not included in the warranty. Emergency labor rates range from $150 to $200 per hour. In addition, not all contractors are ready to work overtime and provide quality under a deadline. BHC&Air is a pleasant exception because all applications are proceeded around the clock and we will arrive ASAP and promptly solve your issue.
Type, Size, and Depreciation of Unit
With proper and timely checkup, it does not matter what size and design of the unit you are going to fix. If its service life is less than 10-12 years, it is not too old, yet if the system is more than 15 years old, it has the risk of major dysfunctions.
To pay to repair the outdated unit is a waste of money. In addition, the parts may be hard to find on the market. We suggest changing the system in favor of more innovative energy-saving unit. In terms of energy efficiency, modern air conditioners outperform at 20-40% models released before 2006. Their flexible plastic pipes are better protected from corrosion and leaks than those made of steel.
Materials and Labor Costs
The most expensive element of the air conditioning system is the compressor (up to $3,000), which in most cases is irreplaceable and it is less expensive to change the system. Such parts as the heat exchangers ($600-2400) and fan motors ($150-700) are costly as well. The capacitors are much cheaper – $ 100-250. The collaboration with Xcel Energy, gives us at BHC&Air an option to buy original hardware and components cheaper thus reducing the estimates for of repairs.
Techs’ rates within business hours range from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on the scope of their work. If the dysfunction is caused by misuse or inappropriate self-repair, you may be charged extra.
The close location of the service center saves time and reduces the cost of HVAC service due to easier logistics beneficial to both parties. For this reason, it is better to use the services of local HVAC contractors offering competitive prices and attractive loyalty programs. However, if you live outside the city beyond the reach of service net, you will have to pay extra for travel, based on the distance to the repair base.
Size of Your House
The larger the size of the building, the longer communication and, accordingly, the amount of work and time spent on maintenance. However, timely prevention will allow you to avoid a large-scale repair. However, the cost of installing a microclimate system in a large house is significantly higher than in a small in one, since the size requires bigger unit capacity. The houses of 3000 sq. feet require the systems with two condensers.
The name of the manufacturer influences the prices of units, at the same time giving you a guarantee of quality and durability. Although there are no rules without exception. If you navigate the market well enough, you can find inexpensive, but decent solutions to maintain the microclimate of residential and commercial premises. The name of the brand does not affect the maintenance budget too much, yet considering a shortage of original spare parts, the bills may grow, and the deadlines delayed. The design of climate control units of different brands influences the cost of checkups, maintenance and overhauls:
- Bryant central air conditioner repair costs $250-600, replacement – $6000-9000;
- Lennox air conditioners costs $400-1000 and $4600-10275 respectively;
- Armstrong air conditioners costs $620-1500 and $5300-10300.
Specify the terms of warranty service when buying an air conditioner. The solid brands allow more expenses in the warranty to cover under the longer the period. On the other hand, don’t be surprised if only few contractors licensed by the manufacturer can take advantage of the warranty.
Demand fluctuations force contractors to increase prices. The prices for air conditioning repairs grow higher are at the peak of the season, while in the off-season they plunge down due to lower demand. For example, repair is most expensive in the summer, while the heating – in the winter. However, the cost of services is low in winter and spring, so why don’t you take an advantage of it?
Common HVAC Issues and Their Costs
The more complex the design of a unit, the more often disruption happens. However, the HVAC service price largely depends on the simple assembly of the unit. Electronic parts are very sensitive to any manipulations. Quite often, there are disruptions in the operation of the thermostat and automatic controls, which are eliminated by reprogramming. A simple thermostat repair costs from $50 to $500, and the cost of replacement depends on the model. Installing a basic modification will cost $250–400, while replacing a digital thermostat costs $500–750 or more.
Fan motors are also fragile. They may stop because of clogging, dust particles and overheating. You can repair a condenser impeller for $800–1000, while a forced-air fan of a gas oven costs $500–1200. Many air conditioner dysfunctions happen because of clogging. We suggest following to fix appropriate air circulation in the system:
- replacement of air filters ($40–200);
- vacuum cleaning of air channels ($250-1000);
- rinsing and disinfection of coils ($50-350) and drainage channels ($75-200).
Refrigerant leak costs $250-1500 to fix, while the refill is charged from $250 to $600. The type of the refrigerant influences the price – more emissions mean more expensive. For example, environmentally friendly refrigerant R410A, not damaging the ozone layer, costs $50-80 per pound, while less safe R22 freon costs from $90 to 150 per pound.
When changing the layout of the room, the system requires total change of communication net; otherwise, the system will not work function properly. HVAC maintenance and overhaul is not complete without piping refurbishment. Expect around $500 and $2,000 depending on the scope and of the design changes.
HVAC System Maintenance Cost: Do-It-Yourself Repair vs. Hiring a Professional
Many people think that they do not need the services of a contractor for the installation, repair and maintenance of air conditioning systems as a couple of videos on the Internet allows to learn how to do everything yourself. However, it is not that simple. A non-professional can cope with simple work that do not require special skills and special tools, such as replacing a cassette filter or wiping ventilation spades.
The service of furnaces, boilers and some types of air conditioners implies a permit and a license. The homeowners are fined for self-made installation and repair of climate control units. The mistakes end up in more expensive fixing than the price for HVAC service. Inappropriate maintenance of the heating system can lead to fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
How to Save Money on HVAC System Maintenance
The cost of professional service for climate control units is a budget-draining item in the family budget. If you want to reduce the cost for HVAC service, follow the recommendations for operation and do not be lazy to care about your equipment between visits of the master.
- Keep the external elements of the system clean – clean the body of the indoor unit, fan blades, ventilation grilles and accessible sections of the air ducts from dust, do not neglect regular cleaning of the house; with sufficient skill, you can independently flush the heat exchanger and drainage channels.
- Change air filters in time. The average lifetime of a budget model (MERV 1–2) is 30–90 days; middle class filters (MERV 3–4) last 6–9 months, expensive pleated filters (MERV 5–6) are changed every 9–12 months.
- If you are planning to upgrade your climate control or buy a new one, the cost can be partially covered by part of the cost of purchasing energy-saving equipment can be covered by government and
- Search through the offers of different suppliers and be persistent to ask for a discount or use the contractor’s advice to buy a unit at lower price.
- Postpone the HVAC maintenance for an off-season – spring or fall.
- Pay attention to the smallest disruption in the system and timely call for maintenance. Don’t wait until the system stops. Fixing a minor issue is easier and cheaper than reinstalling.
Do I need HVAC service?
Advanced air conditioners are reliable and steady, they rarely break with no reason. Don’t ignore break signals – once you have noticed any (read below what exactly), switch the system off and call the contractor.
Clatter when on
Usually, the climate control unit works quietly, with monotonous hum. If you hear an intrusion of any clatter, the system needs a checkup. For example, if the fan is damaged and clogged, it may release clicks and taps and the unit may go out of function if it continue working.
Condensation or frost
Clogging of air channels and heat exchanger reduces the heating capacity and evolves in freezing of the heat exchanger. Melted frost turns into moisture. The excessive condensate can alert of a lack of refrigerant and you might need a consultation of an expert to clarify it.
Systematic maintenance prevents most HVAC breakdowns, reduces energy consumption, and extends the life of your climate control system. The cost of the service ranges from $75 to $200 per year and never comes beyond triple digits which is always a good bargain compared to the cost of an emergency repair.
Weakened Air Flow
If the airflow from the air conditioner or stove has weakened, consider a crack in air channel or a joint seal. Disruptive heating and cooling, the cold spots in the room are bad signs. If the system usual capacity suppressed, something goes wrong.
When you turn on the heating for the first time after a long break, you will have to put up with strange smells in the room for a while. If the burning odor lasts longer than three days, consider a breakdown of the pressure engine. In this case, call the maintenance and a fire inspector as well. A musty smell in a room is most often a signal for drainage clogging and mold residue. Rinsing the drainage with the fungicides can eliminate the problem.
Dampness, window fogging, and mold are a signal for weak air circulation and flow. There are reasons such as air channel clogging or inappropriate initial setting up.
BHC&Air will solve any issues concerning your climate control in Colorado for a decent price, any time and under any deadline. We guarantee our service, as we are confident in our expertise and commit to the quality of our service. We will fix before the issue brings any discomfort!