If you need an AC repair, your first question is probably going to be, “How much is this going to cost me?” The typical cost of an AC repair in Tucson is anywhere from $90 to $811, with homeowners paying $231 on average.
Pretty large range, right?
The reason the price range is so wide is that an AC repair depends on multiple factors including:
- The age of your AC unit
- The type of repair you need
- The validity of your AC’s warranty
- The contractor you hire for the repair
While having an HVAC technician diagnose your system is the only way to get an exact estimate on the cost to repair your AC system, you can get a good idea of how much your AC repair will cost by looking at the price factors listed above. Below, we’ll discuss these factors in-depth and explain how each factor may affect your total repair cost.
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Cost Factor #1: The age of your AC unit
The older your AC is (10+ years old), the more your repair bill will likely be.
As ACs age, vital parts start to wear out and need to be repaired or replaced for your AC to function properly. Usually, when a vital part needs to be repaired or replaced, costs quickly add up, and sometimes it’s more cost-effective to just replace your entire AC system rather than repair it.
Something to keep in mind when you’re deciding whether to replace or repair your AC is the $5,000 rule.
Once an HVAC tech has quoted you a repair cost, multiply the age of your AC with the quoted cost. If the result is more than $5,000, you should consider replacing the unit entirely over repairing/replacing the parts.
For example, if your AC is 11 years old and the repair quote is $750, multiply 11 by $750. The result is $8,250...so in this case, it would be more cost-effective to just proactively replace the whole system rather than spend money on repairs and possibly end up needing to replace it anyways.
Your HVAC technician is the best person to ask about whether you should replace or repair your unit based on the age of your system and the repairs needed.
Cost Factor #2: The type of repair you need
The part of your AC that needs to be repaired or replaced will have a huge impact on the cost of your repair.
For example, some repairs are fairly affordable, like fixing the thermostat, while others are very expensive such as repairing or replacing the compressor or evaporator coil.
To give you a better estimate of what your repair will cost, we’ve listed some AC parts that tend to have issues along with the cost to repair/replace them:
- Blower motor: $350-$850
- Capacitor or contactor: $200-$450
- Circuit board: $200-$850
- Compressor: $800-$3,500
- Condenser fan motor: $250-$1,100
- Evaporator coil: $850-$3,000
- Refrigerant: $230-$1,500+
- Thermostat: $200-$990
While these costs should give you a good idea of how much your AC repair may cost, for an exact cost, you will need an HVAC technician to diagnose the problem.
Even if the exact repair cost gives you sticker shock, don’t feel too dismayed. Luckily, some of the costs might be covered by your warranty. Next, we’re going to dive into what the different warranty types are and how they can help reduce your repair cost.
Cost Factor #3: The validity of your AC’s warranty
There are two types of warranties that — if valid — might help you save money on your AC repair cost.
The first warranty you’ll want to check is your manufacturer’s warranty. Most major manufacturers offer 1-10 years of coverage for repairing or replacing vital AC parts (e.g. the compressor), but only if the parts were faulty or incorrectly made by the manufacturer.
In order to benefit from the warranty, you need to make sure you haven’t accidentally voided it.
How do you void a manufacturer’s warranty?
The following are the three main mistakes that people do that leave them with useless warranties:
- Not registering your AC with the manufacturer within 90 days of the installation date. This timeline is an average and depends on the manufacturer so make sure you check your manual.
- Not having your AC annually maintained by a licensed professional.
- Not using the original brand to repair or replace parts. Manufacturers will not cover parts if the AC has already been repaired with off-brand parts.
After verifying that your warranty isn’t already void, check to see if it is still valid. You can do this by grabbing your AC model number off of your unit’s manufacturer sticker.
After you’ve written down the model number, search for the model number on your manufacturer’s website. The website should say whether your warranty is still valid.
If you can’t figure out if your warranty is valid based on the website, you can also give the model number to the Tucson branch of your AC manufacturer or the AC contractor you hire for the repair.
The other warranty you’ll want to check is your labor warranty, which covers the labor costs of the repair. Like the manufacturer’s warranty, the labor warranty is only honored if the AC problem is due to the installer’s mistakes and they are typically valid for 1-2 years after the installation date.
How do you check if your labor warranty is still valid? You just need to reach out to the HVAC contractor who installed your system.
Cost Factor #4: The contractor you hire for the repair
Speaking of contractors, typically the more experienced they are, the more they will charge. But don’t let the additional cost put you off from hiring an experienced contractor since they will likely save you money down the line.
While it’s tempting to hire a less experienced contractor for budget reasons, you run the risk of hiring somebody who won’t repair your AC correctly the first time around, meaning you may have to pay for repeat work in the future.
To find an experienced contractor, you’ll want to look for the following indicators:
- The contractor is licensed and insured. You can check for their license by looking on their website, it should look something like:
- The contractor has been in business for 10+ years so you can review their track record and see how other Tusconans feel about the business.
And after finding an experienced contractor you want to work with, you’ll want to investigate how they break down the repair cost to see if you can save more money.
Usually, contractors will divide the repair cost into two categories, including:
- A diagnostic fee, also called the “service call fee.” Contractors charge a separate fee from the repair work fee to visit your home and diagnose the problem. It typically ranges from $75 to $150. Some contractors will waive this fee if you hire them to repair your AC.
- A repair fee is what contractors charge for the labor. Some contractors charge by the hour and others charge upfront, flat-rate fees. The risk of hiring hourly contractors is that the tech might intentionally slow repairs down to charge you more. On the other hand, you won’t get any surprise charges at the end of a repair with a contractor who provides an upfront, written estimate.
Need an AC repair from a Tucson professional? Contact Advantage Air Mechanical
If you’re looking for a trustworthy HVAC contractor who won’t try to rip you off, contact our team. Our technicians won’t upsell you and will always provide an upfront total charge so you are never surprised by your higher-than-expected repair bill.
Not only will we help you save money, but you can also trust us to get the job done right; our technicians are trained on all brands and models and have completed over 120,000 repairs a year. Get your AC fixed ASAP by clicking on the button or calling us at 520-792-9400.