How Much Will Your AC Repair Cost?
During a long, hot Florida summer there is almost nothing as frustrating as having your AC Unit stop working. Regular maintenance by a reputable AC contractor can help ensure that your system stays working efficiently all year long. Unfortunately, in the real-world repairs are sometimes necessary. So how much should you expect to spend on AC repair cost for a condenser or fan motor? What about a contactor or capacitor or just a simple recharge of refrigerant? The average cost of air conditioning repairs in the state of Florida is around $336 and generally fall in a range of $164 up to $520. When you do need a repair we have put together some basic information to help you get it done quickly and affordably.
Common AC Repair Cost Examples:
Refrigerant leak detection and repair: $225-$1600
AC refrigerant recharge: $160-$400
Circuit board replacement: $120-$600
Replace fuses, circuit breakers or relays: $15-$300
Thermostat replacement: $60-$250
A/C compressor repair hard start kit: $100-$250
Capacitor or contactor replacement: $90-$400
Home air compressor replacement: $1350-$1800, depending on your system
Evaporator coil replacement: $650-$2200
Condensing unit fan motor replacement: $150-$500
Condensate pump replacement: $220-$600
A troubleshooting service call can range from $75 to $180
Annual tune-up of your system for around $80-$100.
Annual or even semi-annual AC System Maintenance can go a long way to help prevent costly breakdowns and repairs to your system. Regular maintenance also will give you peace of mind knowing that the chances of your system breaking down have been greatly reduced. You may even save money on your energy bills if your system is clean and running at its best. Having record of these maintenance visits can also be helpful when you are trying to sell your home.
7 Times Your AC System Needs Repair
1) When your AC system is not working at all. Before you call a professional there are a few basic things that you may want to check yourself. First verify your thermostat settings to ensure that they are set correctly. After checking the thermostat settings you can check your electrical panel to make sure that you do not have a breaker that has been “tripped”. Once you have verified these two things if your system is still not working it may be time to call a professional.
2) Your system is running but is blowing little or no cool air. When your home is uncomfortably warm even though the system is running the system is not working correctly and you should likely call an AC Professional.
3) When you hear unusual noises from your system. Chances are you are familiar with the normal noises that come from your AC system. In Florida the sound of AC is a normal part of our day to day lives. When you hear something that is not “normal” it is probably time to call a pro.
4) Unusual smells from AC. Dirt, mold and mildew inside your system or ductwork can cause unpleasant odors to circulate. Beyond just being unpleasant over time these could pose a health hazard and should be checked out by a professional.
5) AC Turning on and off more often than normal. Your AC system will cycle n and off throughout the course of a normal day but if this is happening more frequently than normal when temperatures are not extremely hot there could be an issue. This “short cycling” puts additional stress on your system and can cause a breakdown if left unchecked.
6) When you see water around your system. HVAC systems generate condensation and small amount of moisture is normal but excessive water can indicate a problem. HVAC systems run on electricity and we all know water and electric are not a good combination. You should contact a repair technician right away.
7) Your has Ice or frost on it. Just like excessive water can be a problem, ice and frost can also be an issue. Ice or frost build up is usually caused by restricted airflow and can cause your unit to “freeze up”.
Whenever you detect signs that your AC system is not working correctly its probably a good idea to call an AC Professional. Your HVAC system is complex and has a lot of moving parts. Calling a professional right away can help eliminate more costly repairs down the road and ensures that you are comfortable during any weather.
Many times your AC system will continue to work even when there is a problem, but delaying a small repair can end up leading to a more costly repair down the road. Your comfort and the cost of your energy bills are also concerns. An AC system that is not running properly is likely to be less efficient, run more often and may not be able to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. The best policy is to call a professional at the first sign of trouble.
So who should I Call?
Velocity Air Conditioning specializes in HVAC systems and is always available for your AC repair or replacement needs. There are many handyman and part time AC repair services out there and naturally you want to keep your repair costs to a minimum, but you also want someone who can do the work correctly the first time and will be around to back up that work with warranties. Quality work may cost a little more upfront but is very likely to save you money in the long term.
1) Do your homework. Check licensing and insurance requirements in your state. Research the background of the company you choose. Licensing information should be clearly displayed on repair trucks, paperwork, and marketing pieces.
2) Make a list. Before you talk with an HVAC repair service, know the model of your system and any maintenance history. Check to see if your unit is still under warranty. Make a list of your concerns to ensure you do not forget anything important for your repair pro to know.
3) Check certifications. Many HVAC professionals belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) or the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). Both sites provide listings of HVAC contractors by area. Look for contractors whose technicians are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and partnered with ENERGY STAR.
A few other things to consider is if the technicians are trained professionals and are they courteous and will they arrive on time? Are their trucks well maintained and presentable? These are a few of the things that can help you gauge the level of service and workmanship that you are likely to receive.
What should I ask?
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Are your technicians certified by any professional HVAC organizations?
Does your company offer any warranties or guarantees for your work?
Are you certified to do warranty work on my system?
How many years has your company been in business?
Do you have any testimonials that I can see?
Does your company require employee background checks and drug testing?
Will the technician inspect my duct system too?
Do you offer financing for replacements or large repairs?
Do you offer 24/7 emergency service?
Do you offer a written estimate BEFORE any work begins?
Are your technicians EPA certified?
6 Ways You Can Maintain Your AC System
1) Change your filter. One of the easiest things you can do to help keep your AC system running smoothly is to change your filter monthly or when suggested by manufacturer. A clean filter can help reduce stress on your system. A clogged filter will make your system work harder than it should have to. Regular filter changes is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to keep your AC system running smoothly.
2) Keep your coils clean. The AC coils and fins on the outside of your unit need to be kept clean and clear of leaves and other debris. If obstructions are present, your unit must work harder to function than it should. You can clean your unit with a regular garden hose and a broom. Do not use a pressure washer because the high pressure could harm to your system. Remember that just a little bit of basic maintenance can go a long way to keep your system running smoothly.
3) Keep surrounding shrubbery trimmed. If you have planted shrubbery around your unit to hide it from view, be sure there is enough space around it for the unit to function without obstruction. Trimming these trees or shrubs a few times a year should keep your system clear of obstructions.
4) Adjust your thermostat. If you are away for large stretches of time every day, adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature for the time you are away. This will decrease the time your unit has to work each day, and will lengthen its life cycle. An additional benefit will be a lower utility bill each month. Many newer thermostats can be pre-programmed to match your schedule so your home will still be cool when you arrive. Optimizing your system’s usage can help increase the life of your system.
5) Check your ductwork and seal open spaces. Make sure all your doors and windows are properly sealed to help keep your home cool. Perform a visual inspection of your ductwork occasionally to be sure it is sealed correctly. If ductwork is not properly sealed, cool air can escape. The less cool air that escapes your home, the less your AC unit will have to work.
6) Schedule an annual or even semi-annual tune-up. A trained HVAC technician can detect many small problems before they become major repairs. With a cost of around $100 for a routine maintenance call, the benefits will likely outweigh the costs. A typical tune-up will include various tests to ensure your system’s internal parts are working properly. A filter check, and a refrigerant charge can sometimes be included also. Your technician should also clear the condensate drain, and clean your unit thoroughly inside and out.
The Bottom Line
When you live in Florida your AC system is one of the most important systems in your home. Annual Tune-ups and maintenance are one of the best ways to keep your system running smoothly but there are also simple things you can do yourself to help keep your system problem free.
When repairs are needed it is almost always better to address them sooner rather than later. You should always hire a trained professional for any repairs or maintenance. Following these basic guidelines can help to keep your system running smoothly for many years to come and even save you money in the long term.
Velocity Air offers both residential and commercial services in Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg and surrounding areas. Give us a call (727) 265-2300 in Pinellas, (813) 370-0299 in Hillsborough or you can schedule online for all of your heating and cooling needs.