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Air Conditioner Repair Cost

Typical price range: $100 – $650

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Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 02/15/2024

An air conditioner breakdown can be a nightmare, especially if it’s hot outside. Some air conditioner repairs are expensive, but some are easy and relatively inexpensive. This guide breaks down the costs of various air conditioner repairs and explains when it may be better to replace your AC entirely.

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Typical Price Range: $100 – $650
Outdoor air conditioning unit.
Central AC Repair

Average repair cost for a central ac until ranges from $100-$650.

Air conditioner machine inside office building.
Split AC Repair

Mini-Split repair costs on average, range from $750-$900.

HVAC heating and air conditioning residential units or heat pump
AC Replacement

For an AC replacement you can expect to pay between $2,500-$15,000.


What Factors Affect Air Conditioner Repair Cost?

Most issues with central AC units cost $100–$650 to repair. However, not all parts can be repaired, and replacement parts can get expensive. Here are the major factors that determine how much you’ll pay.

  • Type of air conditioner: Smaller, less complex air conditioning systems are less expensive to repair.
  • Type of repair: Compressor issues, ductwork problems, and refrigerant recapture are the most expensive.
  • Type of replacement: Some parts are more expensive to replace than others.

Air Conditioner Repair Cost by Type of Unit

The larger and more complex the air conditioning system, the more expensive it is to repair. Fixing a central air unit is moderately pricey, but ductless mini-splits are even more expensive because of the electronics inside. Window and portable units are the cheapest to repair but inexpensive to buy, so you may want to replace them.

Type of ACCommon ProblemsAverage Repair Cost

Central AC

Drain clog, thermostat replacement, refrigerant leak


Ductless mini-split

Circuit board repair



Leaking pipes, faulty heat pump


HVAC package

Ignition problems, malfunctioning thermostat, refrigerant recharge


Portable unit

Clogged drain line


Swamp cooler

Belt, pad, or pump replacement


Window unit

Compressor malfunction, thermostat failure


Air Conditioner Repair Cost by Type of Repair

The problem or part that requires fixing determines how quickly and cheaply your air conditioner can be repaired. Air filter replacement, drain unclogging, and refrigerant recharges are on the low end of the cost spectrum and are often part of regular AC maintenance. Repairing ductwork or cleaning up a freon leak can cost more than $1,000.

Here are the costs of various types of repairs for central ACs and package HVAC systems.

Repair TypeAverage Cost

Air filter change or cleaning


Blower motor




Circuit board








Drain clog removal




Expansion valve


Fan motor


Freon leak recapture




Air Conditioner Repair Cost by AC Replacement Part

Not every part of an air conditioner costs thousands of dollars to replace. New fuses, thermostats, and expansion valves are all a few hundred dollars at most. AC compressor replacement is in the thousands, and evaporator coils get more expensive as unit size increases.

Replacement PartAverage Material Cost



Circuit board




Condenser coil




Drain pan


Evaporator coil


Expansion valve


Fan motor








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The type of AC system and repair or replacement part are the main cost determinants, but here are some other factors that may come into play.

The HVAC technician may charge extra if the AC unit is difficult to access.

HVAC unit size is often expressed in either tons or BTU, both of which measure how much air the unit can cool. Large units can process more warm air in a shorter time, making it more expensive to repair.

Yearly AC maintenance and tune-up visits cost $100–$200.

Most HVAC manufacturers make their own replacements for expensive, complex parts such as compressors. Though these are expensive, you may void your warranty if you choose cheaper generic parts instead.

The best home warranty companies offer coverage for air conditioning repair and tune-ups. While they won’t pay for every problem, you’ll only have to pay a service call fee if a covered part breaks due to wear and tear.

A licensed HVAC technician charges $65–$150 per hour, but there may also be a flat service fee of $75–$200.

Your system shouldn’t require extra coolant when working properly, but you’ll pay an additional $125–$300 for more refrigerant if there’s a leak.

Be sure to let your technician know if your air conditioner or its parts are still under a manufacturer’s warranty, as you’ll likely save money.

HVAC companies are busier during summer and charge more when demand is high. Emergency air conditioner repair costs at least $300 in addition to standard prices.

Air Conditioner Repair vs. Replacement

Residential cooling systems usually last 12–15 years, depending on how heavily you use them. Replacing an air conditioner costs between $2,500 and $15,000 for a central unit, including installation. However, air conditioners are much less expensive to repair than to replace.

You may need to replace your system if you multiply its age in years by the estimated repair costs, and the result is more than $5,000. Here are some other signs that it may be time for a new air conditioner.

  • The repair is more than 50% of the unit’s purchase price.
  • The unit breaks down frequently.
  • The unit is more than 12 years old.
  • The unit still uses R-22 freon, an environmentally harmful chemical banned in 2020.
  • Your energy bills are increasing, and you want a more efficient system.

DIY vs. Professional Air Conditioner Repair

There’s a reason HVAC technicians must be licensed and certified: AC repair is a specialty job that requires training and expertise. Most HVAC repairs are too much for even the most proficient DIYers, but there are some simple repairs or replacements you can do yourself.

  • Check your circuit breaker and thermostat to make sure that an AC malfunction isn’t due to an easily remedied problem.
  • Change your air filter regularly.
  • Defrost your evaporator coils by shutting the unit off or running only the fan until the ice melts.
  • Blown fuses and cracked drain pans are easy to replace.
  • You can clean condenser coils, discharge and replace the capacitor, and check your ductwork if you have some knowledge and the right tools.

What Are The Signs That Your AC Is Broken?

The best indicator that your air conditioner is broken is if it isn’t blowing cool air. However, there are more subtle signs that it’s time for a repair.
Your air conditioner runs constantly instead of switching on and off.
Your unit runs very short cooling cycles.
You can hear the motor running, but there’s weak or no airflow.
The unit is making unusual or excessive noises.
The air coming from the vents smells musty or foul.
You see drips or leaks around the unit.
Ice is accumulating on the unit.
Your utility bills are increasing even though your AC usage is about the same.

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How To Save on Air Conditioner Repair Costs

Air conditioner parts wear out over time, and you’ll have to replace them eventually. There are some ways to keep repair costs down, particularly if you think long-term and budget wisely.

  • Change your air filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Get quotes from at least three different licensed technicians for big-ticket repairs.
  • Get your annual tune-up during the off-season.
  • Know which parts the manufacturer’s warranty covers and how long it lasts.

Perform regular air conditioner maintenance to prevent problems and catch others before they become catastrophic. This maintenance may be necessary to retain your home warranty coverage.

How To Hire a Professional HVAC Technician

Here are some tips for evaluating HVAC repair services.

  • Ask about guarantees or warranties on parts and labor.
  • Ask when the company’s off-season is and how prices compare to the busy season.
  • Check the company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) page and customer reviews on Yelp, TrustPilot, and Google Reviews.
  • Ensure the technician is bonded, licensed, and insured.
  • Most HVAC technicians offer annual maintenance plans, often for a discount or priority schedule, so ask about your options.

Our Conclusion

Air conditioner repair can be expensive, particularly when major parts break, but having a working AC is vital to keeping your home comfortable in hot weather. Test your air conditioner in late winter or spring and get any necessary repairs done before the busy season for HVAC companies. Also, change your air filter regularly.

Get Estimates from HVAC Maintenance Experts in Your Area
Typical Price Range: $100 – $650

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Conditioner Repair Cost

How much will it cost to fix an air conditioner that is not cooling?

Fixing an air conditioner that’s not cooling costs $100–$650 for most issues. However, the price depends on the part that needs repairing. Problems with the compressor, condenser coil, or evaporator coil can cost more than $1,000.

How often should you replace an air conditioner?

Air conditioners last 12–15 years. As your AC unit reaches the end of its lifespan, consider whether it’s more expensive to repair or replace major components or buy a new unit.

What is the average cost to repair an air conditioner?

Repairing an air conditioner can cost anywhere from $100 to more than $1,000, depending on the size and type of your system and what’s wrong with it. Central air conditioning systems cost $100–$650 to repair most issues.

Is it worth the cost to repair an air conditioner?

Consider the repair cost, the air conditioner’s age, and how long you plan to remain in your current home. Repairs are usually preferable to replacements if the repair cost multiplied by the AC unit’s age is less than $5,000. Repairs are also usually worth it if you plan to remain in your home for the next 10 years or more.

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