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How Much Does an AC Tune-Up Cost? (2024 Guide)

AC tune-up costs homeowners an average of $65–$200. See which factors will impact your total cost.

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Air Conditioning Repair man hands checking and fixing modern air conditioning system, Technician team checking leakage air conditioning system

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 06/27/2024

Even the best air conditioning systems need a regular checkup to run efficiently. An annual tune-up allows HVAC technicians to catch and repair any problems and ensure energy isn’t wasted. The average cost of an annual AC tune-up is $65–$200, not including additional costs for any needed repairs.* In the guide below, we’ve detailed what goes into a tune-up and the factors that affect your total price.

*Cost data via Fixr.com.

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HVAC Installation

Installation costs for common air conditioning units range from $500–$2,500.

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HVAC Repair

Depending on the repair, the typical cost ranges from $100–$2,000.

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Furnace Installation

Installing an electric furnace will typically cost $1,600–$9,700.

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What Factors Affect AC Tune-Up Cost?

The factors that most affect AC tune-up costs are the type of air conditioning system you have, the extent of service you need, and the time of year.

  • Air conditioner type: Central air conditioners cost more to tune up than window or portable units because they’re more complex.
  • Extent of service: The more work the technician needs to do, the more the service will cost.
  • Seasonal demand: HVAC service companies typically charge more when the weather is hot and they’re in higher demand.

Cost by Air Conditioner Type

Tune-ups for larger and more complex air conditioners cost more. Thus, window and portable AC units are the least expensive to service. Central air conditioner maintenance costs more than these smaller units, but complex multi-split or geothermal heat pump systems are the most expensive to service. Compare annual maintenance costs for common AC systems in the table below.

Type of Air ConditionerTune-Up Cost
Portable AC$65–$85
Window AC$65–$150
Central AC$85–$200
Variable capacity AC$85–$200
Packaged system$90–$200
Geothermal heat pump$175–$350
Mini-split system$200–$400

Cost by Extent of Service

If you keep up with annual HVAC service and regular maintenance tasks like changing air filters, tune-up costs will likely be low. Well-maintained units should already be in working order, so they’ll take less time and effort to service. If you’ve scheduled air conditioning maintenance for the first time in years, basic tune-up services may be more difficult and costly. The technician is also more likely to discover problems with the unit, leading to additional repair costs.

Cost by Seasonal Demand

Local HVAC companies get busy during warmer months, when homeowners need urgent AC maintenance and repair. Due to the demand, these companies often charge more during this time. Schedule service on your HVAC unit in the late winter or early spring if you can, particularly for a non-emergency checkup.

Labor Cost

Most of the cost of an annual tune-up goes to labor, since the technician’s primary jobs are inspecting, lubricating, and cleaning the AC system’s moving parts. You’ll have to pay additional material and labor costs if the technician finds problems that require replacement parts.

During an annual tune-up, an HVAC technician will check the important parts of the air conditioner and clean and lubricate them as needed. Here are the parts a technician typically checks.

Condenser Unit

The outdoor condenser unit houses the AC compressor, condenser coils, and fan that cools them. The HVAC technician will open the condenser unit to inspect the parts, check the compressor amp, and clean out any debris that may have accumulated on the fan. They’ll also spray the cleaning solution on the coils and hose them down.

Air Handler

The air handler is the indoor portion of the air conditioner that creates and distributes cool air. It houses the evaporator coils, which the technician will clean in a similar fashion to the condenser coils. The blower or fan is what circulates the cooled air throughout your home. The technician will test the blower motor and rebalance the fan as necessary.

Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a compound that absorbs heat from the indoor air and then travels outside to the condenser unit to release the heat outdoors. The technician will check the refrigerant levels and the lines it travels through to ensure there isn’t a leak. A refrigerant recharge or recapture and disposal will cost extra.

Electrical Components

The electrical system provides energy to the AC unit and tells it when and how to run. The technician will check the thermostat and AC capacitor for wear and tear and replace it if necessary. AC capacitors are fairly inexpensive to replace, but they’re vital to making the system cycle on and off properly.

Drain System

Air conditioners dehumidify the air as they cool it, and the moisture from the air has to go somewhere. The condensation that gathers on the evaporator coils drips into a pan and leaves the system through a condensate drain. The technician will inspect this drain for clogs and then clean and flush it.

Ductwork

If your air ducts have leaks, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool your living space. The technician will inspect your ductwork for leaks or any debris that may have gotten inside. The technician will also change the air filter.

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Additional Air Conditioner Tune-Up Cost Considerations

Here are some other factors that may affect the cost of an AC tune-up.

Accessibility

Most HVAC companies charge a flat rate for tune-ups, but they may charge extra if something greatly increases the time and effort needed to complete the job. For example, you may be charged more if the technician has to move objects or enter a cramped space to perform maintenance.

Additional Services

The tune-up rate only covers basic inspections and cleaning, not any AC repair costs that may be necessary based on the inspection’s results. Contractors may also offer other HVAC maintenance services that aren’t part of the basic tune-up package. Here are the costs of some common repairs and additional services.

HVAC ServiceCost Range
Leveling$65–$250
Air filter replacement$75–$200
Drain line cleaning$75–$200
Condenser/evaporator coil cleaning$100–$400
Thermostat replacement$100–$600
Refrigerant recharge$200–$500
Duct cleaning$350–$1,000

AC System Age

Air conditioners have a life span of about 15 years. As your unit ages, it may require more time and effort to tune up, and the likelihood of needing costly repairs increases. Replacement parts may also become harder to find for older systems. If you have an older AC, you may want to include some extra room in your budget.


DIY vs. Professional AC Tune-Up

All AC services—including annual tune-ups—are best left to the pros. Here’s why.

Professional AC Tune-Up

Most states require HVAC specialists and technicians to maintain a current license. That’s because heating and cooling systems are very complex and consume a great deal of energy. These professionals have detailed knowledge of many types of systems and what they need to run properly. They’ll be able to check all necessary parts quickly and efficiently as well as diagnose problems. 

DIY AC Tune-Up

Since the price of a tune-up goes almost entirely to labor, some homeowners may be tempted to do it themselves to save money. However, anything more complicated than changing the air filter must be performed by a professional. Attempting to service your own AC unit may void its warranty, and there are better ways to keep home improvement costs down.


How To Hire a Pro

Here’s how to find the right service provider for your AC tune-up.

  • Make sure the company has a current HVAC license and that its contractors and technicians are bonded and insured.
  • Ask what the annual tune-up package includes. Also, ask about preventative maintenance, which is often a separate cost.
  • Check the company’s Better Business Bureau page for rating, accreditation status, and handling of customer complaints.
  • Ask for references, and check customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot.
  • Make sure you understand the fee structure for emergency repairs.

How To Save on an Air Conditioner Tune-Up

Here are some ways to keep AC tune-up costs down.
Schedule the tune-up before the busy season. Many HVAC companies offer yearly maintenance plans that offer priority scheduling and discounts.
Keep up with maintenance you can do yourself, such as changing your air filters as recommended by the manufacturer and keeping vents clean and unblocked.
Check with your home warranty company to see if it offers discounts on annual HVAC tune-ups.
Check whether your AC unit is still under warranty.
Get any problems checked and repaired quickly.
Read our list of AC maintenance tips to keep your system running efficiently.

Our Conclusion

You need to get your air conditioner tuned up annually to keep it working properly. This will help you avoid unexpected breakdowns that need costly emergency service during a heat wave. We recommend getting estimates from at least three local HVAC contractors before hiring one. If you find a good contractor, you’ll know who to call if you need repairs later.

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FAQ About AC Tune-Ups

How much does an AC tune-up cost?

An AC tune-up typically costs $65–$200, depending on your air conditioner’s size and type.

How often should you tune up your AC?

Most air conditioners need a tune-up once per year, usually in the spring, before they’re used heavily for the season. However, older air conditioners may benefit from twice-yearly tune-ups.

What are the benefits of getting an AC tune-up?

Here are some benefits of getting an AC tune-up:

  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Decreased energy bills
  • Fewer emergency repairs
  • Longer AC life span
  • Greater home comfort

What does an AC tune-up include?

Here’s what an HVAC technician will do during an annual tune-up:

  • Inspect and clean condenser coils
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Calibrate the thermostat
  • Check ductwork for leaks
  • Inspect all electrical connections
  • Evaluate fan motor performance

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