Why Is AC Repair So Expensive?
Homeowners are often shocked when they see their AC repair bill. You may think your local HVAC company is charging too much, but many factors affect the cost of repairs. These range from inflation to system complexity, to the price of refrigerant. The next time you balk at the cost of getting your air conditioner fixed, here are a few reasons why AC repair is so expensive.
The Cost of Parts
AC parts are expensive and scarcity has driven up prices as well. Technicians don’t profit from parts; the components are also expensive to companies that install them. For example, a home AC compressor can cost $2,800 or more in 2022, according to HomeAdvisor. Reliability is another factor; air conditioner parts must be manufactured to strict standards. Some homeowners choose parts on their own, but mismatch them as far as size, compatibility, and buying off-brand products that are more susceptible to breakage, causing additional problems they must pay to fix.
High Efficiency Technologies
The higher efficiency equipment on today’s market is more complex than traditional systems. Technicians must be specialized in their trade. It’s more challenging to fix an air conditioner built with hi-tech parts, so the contractor must charge more for AC repairs. The good news is your system will consume less energy overall, so despite more costly repairs, your energy bills will be lower.
Your HVAC system is more than just an air conditioning unit. It consists of various interrelated systems including ductwork, vents, refrigerant lines, thermostats, and electrical components and wiring. Smart thermostat technology is more sophisticated than analog and even some digital systems of the past. A licensed technician must be familiar with and be prepared to service all of these when they visit your home. With more experience and knowledge comes higher labor costs.
Licensing/professional certification is costly to obtain. And an HVAC tech has no choice but to be licensed and certified if they want a successful career and to avoid fines and legal issues. Licensure also requires continuing education and training as technology is always changing. To cover these ongoing costs, companies often charge higher fees.
Any reputable HVAC contractor will warranty their work. This means they’ll cover the cost of repairs they perform if something goes wrong within, for example, a year after service. Don’t work with a company that doesn’t include a service warranty. But also know they must budget for at least sometimes having to perform work they’re not paid to do.
Cost of Refrigerant
The phase-out of R-22 refrigerant (Freon) is also increasing AC repair costs. This compound is a chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC, which destroys ozone in the atmosphere. Older systems that still use R-22 can still be operated, but Freon is become harder and more expensive to find over time. Homeowners are increasingly having to retrofit their ACs or replace them with systems that use R-410A, a hydrofluorocarbon that doesn’t react with ozone.
Also beware of HVAC techs that say you need to top off your system. It is sealed so refrigerant doesn’t decrease unless there’s a leak, and it doesn’t go bad. Topping off the system means using gauges that will remove some refrigerant unnecessarily, so this will cost you even more.
Schedule AC Repair with Tri County Air
At Tri County Air, we provide high-quality AC repair services in the Sarasota area. We always start with a consultation, inspection, and thorough explanation of the problem. Using the latest repair methods and tools and following all required safety measures, our technicians resolve any problem you have and then provide a detailed report of the work. Financing options are available to help you manage high repair costs and even spread them out over up to 10 years. To learn more or request service, call 941-485-2222