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What Does HVAC Maintenance Cost?

Typical price range: $75 – $200

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Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 04/22/2024

Your HVAC system is one of your home’s most expensive features—and also one of the most important. Homeowners need to protect their investment by ensuring that their heating and cooling system stays in good working order for as long as possible. Although you’ll need a professional to perform regular HVAC maintenance, this cost is far less than that of emergency service if the unit suddenly breaks down. 

We’ve researched average HVAC maintenance costs as well as some of the most common AC unit repairs. We’ll go over the benefits of keeping your air conditioner in good working order and what maintenance you can do yourself. For the rest, you’ll need to call in a professional HVAC technician, but there are annual maintenance plans that can help save you money in the long run.

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Typical Price Range: $75 – $9,000
Outdoor air conditioning unit.
Central AC Maintenance

Annual maintenance typically ranges from $70-$200.

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Annual maintenance typically ranges from $75-$150.

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Annual maintenance typically ranges from $200-$550.

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How Much Does HVAC Maintenance Cost?

Typically, an annual maintenance visit for an HVAC tune-up costs a flat fee of between $75 and $200, depending on the contractor. If substantial repairs are required, you may need to pay as much as $2,000–$3,000 for the most complex parts.

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What Are the Benefits of Routine HVAC Maintenance?

A flat rate of $70–$200 per year for professional maintenance might seem like a large-budget item, but not compared to $150–$200 an hour for emergency AC repair. A well-maintained HVAC unit is less likely to break down unexpectedly. You can also extend the lifespan and increase the energy efficiency of your system by keeping it clean and well-maintained, leading to lower energy bills and fewer overall replacement costs.
Additionally, if you have a home warranty that covers HVAC repair, you may need to show evidence that the system has received regular maintenance in order to be covered. Fortunately, some home warranties include an annual check-up as part of their premium service contracts.

What Does HVAC Maintenance Cost by Type of Unit?

The term HVAC system encompasses a number of different types of technology used to heat and cool buildings. The air conditioner is the part of that system that handles cooling and humidity control, typically through the use of a chemical refrigerant. A central AC system uses the same ductwork as a home’s furnace, usually pairing an indoor unit that cools the entire house with an outdoor unit that carries heat outside. Other types of units include these:

In buildings without existing ductwork, split or mini-split systems consist of one or more indoor units that heat or cool individual rooms and are connected to an outdoor unit. These offer greater temperature control and are far easier to retrofit to older buildings, but they’re more expensive than central AC systems to install and maintain. 
Heating and cooling your home with a heat pump transfers warm and cool air between the inside and outside of the house rather than generating it. This energy-efficient cooling system is most useful in moderate climates.
This type of unit consists of a single unit that’s usually installed outdoors or on a rooftop. These are more common in commercial settings, but they can also be found in some residences.
This type of split system is unique in that it can draw heat from either electricity or gas.

Maintenance Cost by Unit Type

Unit TypeCost

Air conditioner

$70–$200

Furnace

$70–$200

Split system

$200–$300

Duct-free (mini-split)

$300–$550

Hybrid split system

$200–$300

Heat pump

$75–$150

Packaged heating and air

$450–$550


How Much is HVAC Maintenance by Repair Type?

An air conditioning system has many complex parts, so AC maintenance will cover a variety of potential problems. The standard tune-up cost will usually cover checks and adjustments to the working parts. If anything needs further repair, replacement, or cleaning, you’ll have to pay a higher price for the service.

Maintenance Costs by Repair Type

Repair TypePrice Range

AC installation

$3,250–$12,600

AC tune-up

$70–$200

Capacitor replacement

$100–$250

Coil replacement

$600–$2,400

Compressor replacement

$800–$3,000

Condensate drain line cleaning

$75–$200

Duct cleaning

$250–$1,000

Ductwork repair

$500–$2,000

Evaporator and condenser coil cleaning

$50–$350

Fan motor replacement

$100–$700

Mini-split installation

$2,000–$14,500

Refrigerant leak

$250–$1,500

Refrigerant recharge

$100–$500

Thermostat replacement

$50–$500

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How Much Do AC Service Call Costs?

Since no two HVAC problems are the same, it can be a little more difficult to budget for this kind of HVAC service cost. For reference, most technicians charge $75–$150 per hour for labor. They will need time to inspect and diagnose the problem as well as repair or replace any malfunctioning parts.

Other factors that will play into repair costs include the age and size of the unit. Larger units take more time to service, and older systems may require special tools or replacement parts that are more difficult to find. Additionally, if the unit or its ducts require extra cleaning, this will take more time and thus more money. Finally, if you live in an area with hot weather that puts strain on your cooling system, it may cost more to maintain.

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What is Included in HVAC Maintenance?

Many HVAC companies offer regular HVAC maintenance plans with annual, bi-annual, or quarterly service visits. If you sign up for a maintenance contract, you’ll usually receive priority scheduling, reduced fees, and repair discounts. The company may even contact you about scheduling, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping your mind. Annual maintenance agreement plans have an average cost of $75–$150, and bi-annual plans tend to cost $150–$300.

Here’s what an HVAC technician will typically do during an annual service visit:

  • Check your blower motor, filters, belts, fins, refrigerant levels, and safety controls
  • Test thermostat and carbon monoxide levels
  • Adjust fins and belts
  • Clean condensate drain, coils, and burners
  • Replace air filter
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Tighten electrical connections

How Can You Save Money on HVAC Maintenance?

HVAC maintenance is an unavoidable part of keeping your heating and cooling systems running. However, you can do a certain amount of preventive maintenance yourself to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and potentially save money on professional AC service calls. Here are the best preventive maintenance tips to save money on your HVAC maintenance over time:
Keep system parts clean: Cleaning the condenser fan blades, indoor evaporator coil, grills, and ductwork will keep mold and other contaminants out of the system. 
Regularly change the air filter: Replacing the air filter every 30–90 days as recommended and making sure to keep debris away from the outdoor unit will help ensure airflow to keep the system working as efficiently as possible. 
Watch for heating and cooling problems: Keep an eye on your thermostat to make sure the system is working accurately. This way, you can catch problems before they snowball.
Get multiple quotes: Shop around for the best deal on HVAC maintenance, and consider whether an annual maintenance agreement plan can help you save.
Change your blinds’ position seasonally: Be mindful of passive solar heating, closing your blinds in the summer and opening them in the winter.

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Should You DIY vs. Professional HVAC Maintenance?

There’s a reason most states require HVAC contractors to carry a professional license: This type of specialty work requires dedicated tools and training, making it extremely difficult to do yourself. Thankfully, you can follow the tips above to save money between maintenance visits. Watch the video below for things that you can do yourself.


Is HVAC Maintenance Worth the Cost?

No HVAC system, even the most well-maintained, lasts forever. Fortunately, you can get the most out of your air conditioner and keep your repair bills relatively low by scheduling annual tune-ups and performing preventive maintenance. It’s also a good idea to look into regular maintenance plans offered by your local HVAC company, as these can usually save you a bit of money on repair visits. To connect with local HVAC professionals near you, enter your information below.

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Get Estimates from HVAC Maintenance Experts in Your Area
Typical Price Range: $75 – $9,000

FAQ About HVAC Maintenance

How often should an HVAC system be maintained?

It’s a good idea to have each part of your system tuned up once a year. Typically, that means air conditioner maintenance service in the early spring before the summer heat sets in, and then heater or furnace maintenance in the fall.

How long do HVAC units last?

A good HVAC system will have a lifespan of 10–20 years. A well-maintained system will last into the upper part of that range, as will a system that isn’t strained by heavy use.

How often should I change my air filter?

Most residential AC systems use disposable fiberglass air filters that should be changed every 30 days. However, there are pleated polyester filters that only need changing every three months or even every year. Finally, washable, reusable filters are becoming more common, and these should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Who can perform HVAC maintenance?

Only a licensed HVAC technician can perform air conditioner maintenance in most states. This is not a job for a DIYer or even a general contractor.

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