June 25, 2018
Think your central air conditioner needs a repair?
In the Denver area, a central AC repair costs anywhere from $200 to $1,850+.
Of course, what you’ll pay within that range all depends on what’s actually wrong with your unit. And until you have your system professionally diagnosed, you won’t really know how much your AC repair will cost.
But to help you better prepare, we’ll explain the 3 big components of a typical AC repair bill:
We’ll explain all 3 of those price points above.
Most HVAC companies charge a service fee (sometimes called a “trip charge”) that ranges anywhere from $69 to $150+.
This is the fee that the company charges to travel to your home, inspect the AC and gain a better understanding of what’s wrong.
Most HVAC companies also charge a diagnostic fee that ranges anywhere from $75 to $175 which is the fee for the tech to look at the issue, possibly hook up gauges and test the equipment to determine the root issue. But remember, the service fee and the diagnostic fee do not include the cost of the actual repair.
The good news is that some techs/companies will waive the service fee if you choose them to handle the repair. But, of course, that means that if you need a 2nd or 3rd opinion, you’ll need to budget for those additional diagnostic fees.
(Psst...we provide second opinions on AC repairs for FREE.)
If your AC needs a new part, this will add anywhere from $300 to $1,500+ to the repair bill.
The cost of the replacement part all depends on 3 factors:
Different parts of the central AC system are priced differently. Usually, motors and more complex pieces (like the compressor or evaporator coil) cost more. To give you a better idea of what you might end up paying for your replacement part, let’s look at the average cost for several common AC replacement parts:
*Remember, the prices below do not include the cost of labor.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are typically more expensive than “aftermarket” parts.
OEM parts are built by central AC manufacturers (i.e., Trane, Carrier, etc.) and are made to fit a specific make and model of air conditioner. So, if you go with OEM parts, you know that you’re getting a replacement part that will fit just as perfectly as the original part. Plus, choosing OEM parts guarantees that your warranty will stay valid (most manufacturers will void an AC warranty if any aftermarket replacement parts were used for repairs).
Aftermarket parts, on the other hand, aren’t made by manufacturers and are designed to fit in almost any central AC. These parts are sometimes referred to as “universal” parts. If you still have a valid AC warranty, we suggest staying away from aftermarket parts in order to keep your warranty valid.
Most AC manufacturers provide a parts warranty that lasts somewhere between 2 and 5 years.
This means that any part that fails due to manufacturer defect within 2–5 years from installation will be replaced for free (this does not cover the cost of labor).
The good news is that more and more AC manufacturers are offering much longer warranties (up to 10 years) for higher efficient products.
Not sure if your AC replacement part is covered under warranty? You can check by contacting your manufacturer’s local distribution center and providing them with your AC model or serial number. This is usually found on the outdoor unit (see picture below).
HVAC techs usually either charge an hourly rate or a flat, upfront fee. Usually, though, prices are relatively comparable regardless of the pricing model.
What does affect the cost more than the pricing model is the level of experience and skill of the professional.
The higher the quality of the company/tech, the more they typically charge.
The problem is, though, that some techs will charge higher prices even when they’re not as skilled, reputable or qualified as others. So how do you avoid the trap of paying more than you should for an AC repair?
By making sure that the HVAC company you choose:
For your convenience, you can request an appointment in one of two ways: