What are the Average Costs of HVAC Repair?
On an average, most homeowners spend between $164 and $520 repairing their AC units and between $133 and $456 repairing their furnace.
But installing a new HVAC system is a whole new ball game.
What is the Cost of Installing a New HVAC System?
There are many brands of HVAC systems that you can choose from. You can spend anywhere between $1900 and $5100 for some of the more popular brands like Coleman, Carrier, Amana, American Standard, Lennox, Trane, Rheem, and York.
The cost depends on the square footage of your home. It also depends on the size, quality and the machine that you choose.
If you need ducts as well, then the cost will likely double.
HVAC Labor Cost Factors
More than the new HVAC system, expect to pay more for labor. Some factors involved with labor pricing are as below:
- Placement and parts like ducts and vents
You can get free quotes from local HVAC contractors if you already have a particular job in mind. To determine the size of an HVAC system that will be ideal for your home, consider the following:
- Type of materials you’re currently using at home.
- Indoor air quality that you’d want.
- Size of your home.
Another crucial factor is the placement of your ducts and vents in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature all the year round.
For instance, if you want vents placed in the largest room of your home or where you’re planning to put furniture, then the total cost is likely to go up.
What are the Commonly Asked Questions About HVAC Repair?
Think of how important it is to change your car’s engine oil. An engine oil change worth just $30 can save you as much as $3000 on engine repairs.
That’s exactly how preventive maintenance for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning works. So if you cut costs in the operation and upkeep of your HVAC systems, then it can lead to some major expenses in the future.
On the other hand, proper and timely maintenance not only ensures good Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), but it will also save you a lot of money.
Moreover, it reduces the number of pollutants that can enter your home through the HVAC system and improve the comfort level significantly.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC Systems
Q: How often should I change my filter?
A: The industry standard is at least once every month.
Q: Will a programmable thermostat help save my electric bills?
A: Yes, a programmable thermostat provides savings, convenience, and extra comfort for most customers.
People with a regular schedule and those who prefer different temperatures when sleeping versus being awake will appreciate what a programmable thermostat can do for them.
You can set the thermostat to a cooler temperature when you’re sleeping at night and have the house warmed up by the time you wake up next morning.
Another advantage of the programmable thermostat is the ability to automatically turn off the unit while you’re at work and bring the temperature to a normal, comfortable setting by the time you get back home.
This will certainly save you money in the long run as the unit is not running when your home is unoccupied through the day.
Q: What is a SEER rating?
A: SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.
Electricity is purchased in a unit/measurement called Watts. Whereas the amount of air conditioning is expressed in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The SEER lets you convert watts to BTUs.
Q: Is being low on refrigerant normal?
A: No, it’s not.
Air conditioners do not use up refrigerant and refrigerants do not wear out. If you are low, you possibly have a leak somewhere in your equipment.
However, finding the leak may not always be easy. While some leaks are obvious due to their size and location, some others are very small and almost impossible to find.
Q: When should I get a refrigerant leak fixed?
A: It is always best to get a local HVAC repair service provider to come and fix the leak.
This will prevent the unit running low on refrigerant over and over again, which results in inadequate cooling.
Also, when the unit is low on refrigerant, the compressor is strained that leads to more energy being used up.
Q: Should I get my gas furnace serviced every year?
A: Yes, you absolutely should!
Gas furnaces that don’t function properly kill hundreds of people every year due to fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
All homes should have working fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. That said, just owning these is not enough.
Your furnace must be inspected by a qualified technician every year.
Q: What can I do to keep the air in my house clean?
A: The indoor air quality of most homes is poor.
Excessive dust, mold, pollen, virus, bacteria, dust mites, pet hair and dander, and spores are found in a majority of the homes.
Standard throwaway and electrostatic filters trap only about 15% of the pollutant particles in your home’s air. The rest circulates throughout your home.
So it’s highly advisable to clean the air ducts at least once every three years.
Q: What are the advantages of two-stage heating and cooling?
A: The most common complaint of an HVAC system is that one area of the house is hotter or cooler than the other. This is usually caused by poorly sized ductwork.
If you too have this problem, then it can only be solved by costly heat load calculations and redoing your entire duct system.
Q: What does it mean when my compressor is grounded?
A: This means that one of the electrical windings inside the compressor has broken. When this happens the winding will hit the side of the compressor causing a direct short to ground.
Usually, this will ignite the oil, causing a burnout.
Q: What does it mean when my compressor valves are leaking?
A: This means that the seals inside the compressor that keep the high pressure and low pressure sides separate are leaking.
This will lead to higher electric bills, high humidity in the house, and the system will be unable to keep the house cool.
Unfortunately, the only solution is to replace the entire compressor.
What to Look for When Hiring a Local HVAC Service Provider?
To get a contractor’s license, a contractor must register with the state license-issuing agency. Before the agency gives out a license, the contractor must show proof that they hold the minimum insurance and bonding required by the state. They must renew the license periodically.
HVAC professionals also need to hold a trade license. They need to show proof of education and experience before the state can issue the trade license. Most jurisdictions require the professional to take ongoing education courses to renew their license.
HVAC contractors need to have two kinds of insurance: liability and workers’ compensation. The liability insurance covers property damage and any injuries that occur as a result of their work.
The workers’ compensation covers any on-the-job injuries. Both types of insurance help protect homeowners from claims being made against them.
A surety bond acts as an insurance to protect a customer against a contractor’s mismanagement or shoddy work.
It will also cover the cost of completing any unfinished or incorrect work. It helps cover financial obligations such as paying vendors and subcontractors if the contractor fails to do so.
Ask for References
Ask the HVAC contractors for customer references and call them. Ask about the contractor's installation, quality of services and if the job was completed on time.
Ask the contractor how long they’ve been in business. Are they working full-time or part time?
You want an experienced, full time contractor working on your house, not someone who is doing it as a hobby.
Check Reviews Online
Look online for reviews. You’ll get a better idea about their services.
Any HVAC contractor should spend a significant amount of time inspecting your current system and home to assess your needs.
A contractor should assess the requirement based on the size of your house, level of insulation and windows.
A good contractor will also inspect your duct system for air leaks and insulation as well as measure airflow.
When comparing quotes, be sure to compare cost, energy efficiency, and warranties. A lowest price may not be the best deal if it's not the most efficient because your energy costs will be higher in the long run.
Sign a Contract
Sign a written proposal with a contractor before work begins. It'll protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.