The best way to measure maintenance costs is to look at annual maintenance expenses. Keep in mind that you should have your unit inspected once or twice per year, depending on the frequency of use and the age of the system. Lack of proper maintenance and upkeep can take as much as a decade off of the lifespan of your unit. It will also result in an increase in your energy bills, with many homeowners losing as much as five percent of the efficiency in their home.
At the very least, you need maintenance done in the spring. This will ensure that no damage was caused over the winter and that the unit is free of debris and defects before you turn it on for the first time. It is ideal also to have maintenance done in the fall, which will include some winter prep to protect it from the elements.
It’s hard to find good help. When you do, you aren’t going to want to work with anyone else. Hiring a different HVAC company every season isn’t going to do anyone any favors. They aren’t familiar with your system and they don’t know what has or hasn’t been done until you tell them.
Many companies will offer discounted repair and replacement costs for maintenance memberships and some include warranties with their maintenance service to reduce repair costs between visits.
Annual air conditioner maintenance: lubrication of parts, tightening of connections, debris removal, drain line cleaning, cleaning of condenser and evaporator coils, cleaning of air filters, checking refrigerant levels, combing coil fins, checking seals, capacitor and compressor inspections.
|Annual maintenance appointment||$140-$200|
|Other potential costs|
|Replacement air filters (if required)||$15-$60|
|Replacement evaporator coils||$230-$400|
|Replacement condenser coils||$500-$750|
Other considerations and costs
- HVAC hourly rates average $50-$70 per hour, but most maintenance services are billed at a flat rate. A service for maintenance only should take 1-2 hours to complete.
- Invest in foam pipe insulation (less than five dollars) and a weatherproof cover for winter. Covers cost between $20 and $50.
- Air conditioner maintenance isn’t something you can do completely on your own. You can make sure the area around the unit is free of debris, weeds, and other obstructions and that nothing has fallen inside the unit.
- Actual testing and inspection of an HVAC unit requires a licensed, trained professional as these systems involve dangerous gases and high-pressure lines.
- Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
- Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
- Literature review of DIY Web sites.