Noticing your A/C has been on the fritz lately, but you don’t know what to expect when it comes to air conditioner repair costs? Planning on making that HVAC service call, but you don’t know how much time to allot for the visit? Don’t worry. We combined insight from three of our top AHS® experts in the field — Wes Beason, from NW Sundance Services in Seattle and Portland; Daniel LaGarce, from Budget Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in St. Peters, Missouri; and Rob Brodsly, from Austin Heating and Air in Bakersfield, California. Here’s what they had to say:
Q: What should an AHS customer expect during an A/C service call?
First, the technician will start by asking the homeowner what is happening with the system. Then, he or she will typically go to the thermostat. After that, the technician will go to the furnace/air handler and check the filter, blower wheel, drain lines, electrical and basic indoor operation. From there, the technician will go to the outdoor unit and check system operation and refrigerant levels. The homeowner should expect a diagnosis and specific remedy for the current issue. He or she can also expect the technician to talk them through the basic functions of the system. To keep the customer “in the know,” the technician will probably make a recommendation to replace any components that are likely to fail in the near future.
Q: How long should the homeowner expect the visit to take?
A basic repair, which is a repair made in the home without a return trip and that happens about 90 percent of the time, is typically 15 minutes to four hours. A major repair or replacement, which requires authorization from AHS, may take 24–72 hours to complete. This will also vary with the season and call volume. For example, the heat of summer may extend the major repair time.
Q: What are some of the average air conditioner repair costs?
When the issue is covered by an AHS Home Warranty, most repairs are covered by the homeowner’s trade service call fee, with AHS paying the balance. If refrigerant is required or there is a non-covered expense, the homeowner may pay from $150 up to several hundred dollars.
Examples of specific repairs include:
- Filter replacement ($250–$350)
- Thermostat replacement ($250–$650)
- Adding refrigerants ($250–$800)
- Minor electrical component replacement ($250–$400)
If it’s a replacement situation, which occurs on less than 10 percent of the calls, average out-of-pocket expense for replacement can range between $500 and $1,000.
Q: What are some of the common issues that are detected during an HVAC service call?
The most common issues we run into are due to lack of maintenance and neglect. Homeowners should change their filters monthly, have their furnace cleaned — not just inspected — in the fall and have their air conditioner chemically cleaned and inspected in the spring. Also, be sure to keep grass and shrubs from growing into the air conditioner and restricting the air flow. Honestly, most failures could be prevented with some basic HVAC TLC. In the summer, in particular, common issues are motors, capacitors and units low on refrigerant.
Wes, Daniel and Rob have been referred to as the “technical gurus” for their respective companies. Basically, they’re your go-to guys for all things A/C-related. With these experts — and the other professionals in the AHS service contractor network — you can rest assured you’re in great hands.