Average Cost of HVAC Maintenance (2023)

Average Cost of HVAC Maintenance (2023)

 

Maintenance of an HVAC system goes beyond replacing your air filter. Learn more on what goes into a regular professional maintenance visit and what you can expect to pay.

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The components of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system typically last between 10 and 25 years. That’s a wide range — so, what can you do to make sure your HVAC system lasts as long as possible?

Regular maintenance, including preventative maintenance, is the best way to prolong the life of your heating and cooling units.

The average cost of scheduled annual or bi-annual HVAC maintenance is $75 to $150. This simple maintenance routine can save you thousands of dollars in emergency service costs or worse, purchasing a new HVAC system. AC repair and replacement costs will be much higher when your system requires same-day service.

Regular HVAC inspections will also allow you to get minor issues fixed before they become expensive problems and professional servicing can also lead to additional helpful HVAC tips and recommendations.

How Much Does HVAC Maintenance Cost?

The cost of your HVAC maintenance will vary depending on what work needs to be done.

If your system just needs a new air filter and some cleaning, you can expect to pay around $100. However, if you need to replace or fix a faulty or broken part, you’ll be paying more in parts and labor costs. 

There is also a difference between proactive and reactive maintenance. Proactive maintenance service typically entails an HVAC technician cleaning and doing an inspection of your HVAC system. 

Proactive maintenance is important because it allows you to catch problems early, before they become expensive repairs. 

Reactive maintenance is when a technician comes in to fix something that is broken. If you start to notice a lack of airflow through your home, unwanted temperature or humidity fluctuations or other unusual changes in your HVAC system, you may need reactive maintenance. 

HVAC contractors will typically charge a flat rate for simple repairs or inspections. For larger projects like replacing a component of your HVAC system, you can expect HVAC companies to charge an hourly rate plus the price of parts.

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HVAC Maintenance Cost by Unit Type

HVAC repair costs will differ depending on the type of unit and how extensive the repair is. Here are some average service prices based on your HVAC unit: 

Unit Type  Average HVAC Maintenance Cost 
Air Conditioner $75 to $225
Furnace $75 to $225
Heat Pump $75 to $150
Split System  $200 to $350
Packaged Heating and Air  $450 to $550

HVAC Service Cost by Part 

If a component of your HVAC is starting to fail, you’ll need a replacement. HVAC companies will happily inspect your system and provide you with a quote for a part replacement. Here’s what you can expect: 

HVAC Part Purpose  Estimated Replacement Cost
Thermostat Your thermostat is wired to your HVAC system and senses when to turn your heating or cooling on or off. $115 to $250 
Compressor  A compressor releases heat outside by compressing refrigerant in its warm, liquid form and returning it to a cool, gaseous state. Once refrigerant goes through the compressor, it enters the condenser coil.  $700 to $2,400
Evaporator Coil Your air conditioning system draws in warm air from your home and directs it over your evaporator coil to cool and recirculate the air. Condensation is removed through the drain line.  $800 to $1,800
Ductwork  Ductwork is installed in the walls and ceilings of your home to distribute air to each room. If you have central air, your home has ductwork.  $1,500 to $5,000
(duct cleaning: $270 to $500) 
Burner/Combustion Chamber  A burner, also known as a combustion chamber, is where gas and air combine to create heat in your furnace.  $200 to $600 
Blower/Fan Motor  A blower motor pushes air through your home’s ductwork, distributing the warmed or cooled air throughout the house.  $150 to $400
Heat Exchanger  Found in furnaces, heat exchangers absorb heat and warm cool air. A heat exchanger leak can cause carbon monoxide exposure, which is extremely dangerous. $1,000 to $2,000 with labor
Capacitor  A capacitor is found in an HVAC compressor, blower and outdoor fan. Capacitors store energy and initiate energy use.  $150 to $400

Paying for Your HVAC Tune-Up 

HVAC replacements or extensive repairs can cost thousands of dollars. In most cases, you can finance your major HVAC project with a personal or home loan. 

That being said, regular maintenance and tune-up costs are not high, and you’ll save money in the long run if you have your HVAC inspected regularly. 

If you have a home warranty, your HVAC maintenance, repair or replacement may be covered under your plan. You’ll just have to read the terms of your home warranty carefully.

Home warranties, unlike home insurance, usually cover regular wear and tear on home systems like HVAC. 

How Often Should You Service Your HVAC Unit?

Homeowners should schedule annual HVAC service to keep their heating and AC units operating smoothly. Regular maintenance visits keep your system running longer. Ideally, you should have your cooling system serviced in the spring and heating system serviced in the fall. 

Although more-technical work should be left to an HVAC technician, you can DIY some AC maintenance.

For instance, regularly checking and changing your air filter, cleaning away debris from outdoor units and testing your heating and cooling can keep your HVAC running efficiently between checkups. 

Why Annual HVAC Maintenance Is Important 

What happens when you don’t maintain your HVAC system? For starters, your system will run less efficiently. Dirty filters or ducts, leaks, dirty coils, blocked condensers and more are a result of poor maintenance. Your HVAC system will be working overtime to make up for these inefficiencies, causing your energy bill to skyrocket. 

Failing to maintain your HVAC system will also cause minor damage to go unnoticed until you need extensive repairs or an entirely new heating or AC system. 

An HVAC replacement will cost between $5,000 and $10,000. On the other hand, regular annual service will cost only $75 to $150. So is HVAC preventative maintenance worth it? Absolutely.

What to Expect With Professional HVAC Maintenance 

HVAC professionals can usually identify and repair any problems during routine inspections. 

However, if you’re experiencing unwanted fluctuations in humidity or temperature, your energy bill is higher than usual or your HVAC system is making unusual noises, these are all signs that you need to make a service call to an HVAC technician. So, what is done as part of HVAC maintenance? It depends.

Routine maintenance includes:

  • Cleaning drains, coils and burners
  • Replacing your air filter
  • Lubricating moving parts 
  • Checking electrical connections

For a cooling system, routine maintenance also includes:

  • Checking pans
  • Replacing and checking refrigerant levels
  • Inspecting wiring 
  • Inspecting the blower 

For a heating system, your technician will also check:

  • Wiring
  • Exhaust outlets
  • Burners
  • Heat exchangers 
  • Fuel lines

FAQ: HVAC Maintenance Cost

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Faith is a writer based in North Carolina. She holds English and economics degrees from UNC Chapel Hill, and her background includes event management and technical publishing. Faith is passionate about the arts and loves exploring environmental issues through economic and artistic lenses. She also enjoys spending time in nature, collecting books and practicing her Spanish.
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Melissa is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainability studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a nonprofit that’s featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.