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How Much Will it Cost to Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

If your air conditioner is not cooling your home as well as it used to, or if you’ve noticed an increase in your energy bills, it may be time for either a tune-up or a replacement. An HVAC technician can inspect your system and make any necessary repairs to help it run more efficiently. However, if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it might be time to start shopping for a replacement.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair Your AC?

The average cost to repair an air conditioner is $320, but prices can range from $100 to $2,000+. The type of problem and the size of your AC unit will determine the final cost.

Hourly Repair Rate

AC units are highly technical appliances with high and low voltages and should be handled with the utmost care. Most technicians include a basic service call fee, which covers the diagnostics and additional costs for parts and labor.

The fee quotation for parts covers both the prices of the parts and the labor for installation, with hourly rates ranging from $65- $125. If the AC unit in question is too old, intensive labor costs could go higher than the replacement cost. In such cases, a replacement is advisable.

Repair Costs Depending on AC Type

Portable AC
Portable ACs may be relocated from one location to another and are frequently installed on the walls. They are cheaper than central ACs, and their repair costs typically range from $100 to $250.

Window AC
Window ACs are among the most popular air conditioners and are installed in a window frame. Window-mounted ACs are similar to portable ACs in that they are small, lightweight, and less expensive. With window ACs, you can expect thermostat malfunctions, which costs $25 – $85 to repair.

Central AC
Central ACs are installed in the ceilings or walls of a home. They’re typically more expensive to install and repair than portable or window ACs, with repair costs ranging from $75 to $500.

Clogged drain lines are common in a central AC, and repairs can average $75- $200. Thermostat replacements could set you back by $75 to $500. As for refrigerant leaks, you need close to $200 to $500 to repair.
Swamp cooler
Swamp coolers are also known as “evaporative coolers” that cool air through the process of evaporation. They are commonly used in hot, humid climates. Replacing belts in a swamp cooler could cost you between $65 to $85, pads could fall anywhere between $125 to $500, and pumps range between $200 – $275. These are the most common repairs.

Repair Costs Depending on Repair Type

Clogged air filter
When your air filter is clogged, you can expect to spend anywhere between $75 to $195 to service or replace it. Regular servicing of your AC units which includes maintaining the air filters, keeps your unit from overworking and burning out.

Circuit board
This is the electronic system that runs the AC, and when it malfunctions, it could cost you between $100-$150 to repair.

This is a vital component inside the AC unit. The blower causes the fans to rotate, returning the warm air in your home to the condenser and dispersing cool air. Blower repairs typically cost between $100-$150.

Refrigerant recharge
Once leaks are repaired, you must recharge Freon, a cooling agent used in most air conditioning systems. A recharge costs approximately $125-$300.

Situated within the outdoor condensing unit of a cooling system, the capacitor delivers power to the motor that drives the AC system, thus helping start the air conditioning system. Repairing a capacitor will cost between $200-$250.

Freon leak
This is the cooling refrigerant that runs your AC. In case of a leak, you are likely to shell out between $200-$1,500.

Coil leak
Evaporator coils remove hot air from the house and release it to the condenser to be cooled. Repairing a coil is often almost the same as replacing it and can cost anywhere between $250-$2,000.

This is the pressure system that increases the temperature of the refrigerant and is part of the outdoor unit. Repairs to the compressor are very expensive—full repair can set you back by $600-$1,200.

Expansion valve
The expansion valve plays a vital role in changing the state of the refrigerant from liquid to vapor, after which it sends it to the evaporator. $150-$200 is typically needed for repairs to this component.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Your AC?

Homeowners in Toronto typically spend between $1,800 and $4,600 to install central air conditioning systems. Many variables often influence the overall cost of installing or replacing an existing central air conditioner system in your residence, including your unit’s brand, model, and size. The condition of the installation site is another factor, as it will dictate what type of materials are needed, as well as labor costs.

Installation of your air conditioner system will also be affected by factors such as the quantity and type of existing ductwork in place, the age of your current ductwork system and furnace/heating system, whether any safety changes are required to meet Toronto building codes, and other job site conditions.

The final estimate can be arrived at only after a professional inspects your site and understands your requirement. The estimate should also typically include installation rates.

The overall price of a non-forced air system requiring additional ductwork installation may reach $7,800, whereas one in a forced-air system may not cost as much.

To help you decide, we’ve categorized air conditioner brands and models into three categories:

  • Entry-level: These brands provide central air conditioners at a price point usually less than the average.
  • Mid-range: These are some of the most popular/well-known air conditioner brands in the market, and the majority of their systems fall within the middle range when it comes to the cost of installation.
  • Premium: These air conditioner brands claim to be market leaders, and their prices reflect their market position. You can expect to pay several hundred dollars extra to have premium brand units installed in your home.

Entry-level ACs

These AC brands are considered excellent alternatives without breaking the bank, but only if you’re willing to forgo some of the “fancy” features accessible at higher levels.

These brands offer consumers various efficiency choices from 13 to 19 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), without the extra innovative features available in the top tiers. Their main focus is on keeping the overall cost of their air conditioner units affordable.

Brand 2000 square feet space 3000 square feet space
York $2000-$2700 $2900-$3400
Keeprite $1800-$2500 $2700-$3300
Goodman $1800-$2500 $2700-$3300

2. Mid-range ACs

Installation costs for central air conditioners in the mid-range will climb somewhat as you move up the range. This increase is partly due to the addition of extra features as well as the popularity of brands such as Bryant, Amana, Trane, Rheem, and American Standard.

Compared to the economy tier, the difference in 13 SEER to 24.5 SEER is significant. Even though air conditioning units in Toronto are only utilized for a few months of the year, most people still select central air conditioners with ratings ranging from 13 to 18 SEER.

Brand 2000 square feet space 3000 square feet space
Bryant $2200-$2700 $2900-$3500
Amana $2200-$2700 $2900-$3500
Trane $2300-2800 $3000-$3700
Rheem $2100-$2600 $2800-$3400
American Standard $2100-$2600 $2800-$3400

3. Premium ACs

Premium brands like Lennox and Carrier typically have the highest unit and installation fees. Units with top performance cooling, great quality, and durability are available in 13-21 SEER. In Toronto, Lennox has a slight edge in terms of reputation and overall service rate over Carrier.

Brand 2000 square feet space 3000 square feet space
Lennox $2300-$2800 $3000-$3500
Carrier $2400-$3000 $3100-$3700

How To Decide Between A Repair And A Replacement

As your air conditioner unit begins to show its age, you may start to experience performance issues that will make it less effective at cooling your home. When this happens, you have to decide whether to repair or replace the unit. Here are some factors you should consider when making your decision:

How many times have you had your air conditioner serviced?
The number of times you’ve had your air conditioner fixed says a lot. An indication that a replacement is necessary is if the technician encounters the same problem three or more times.

Have your energy costs increased?
When an air conditioner is not operating properly, it consumes considerably more energy than usual. The primary reason for this is that a unit not working at optimum levels will require to work harder and longer to accomplish normal functions.

The more energy that is consumed, the higher your utility bills. Therefore, buying a new AC unit may be more cost-effective in the long run.

Does it have less cooling power?
One of the most common signs that your air conditioner is nearing the end of its lifespan is a noticeable drop in power. If your unit can no longer keep up with demand, it may be time to replace it.

Is your AC noisy?
If your AC is making a lot of noise, there is likely something wrong with it. It could signify that the unit is on its last legs and needs to be replaced.

Noise from your AC could be due to loose parts that might need to be repaired or otherwise tightened to make the noise disappear. Leaving loose parts unattended for a long time could invariably end up damaging the unit, necessitating a replacement.

How old is your AC?
The younger it is, the more efficient it will be. Frequent maintenance is likely to prolong the lifespan of your AC. However, if the AC exceeds the number of years specified by the manufacturers, you need a replacement plan.

Nine Factors That Affect Air Conditioner Prices

When you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, it’s important to have a general understanding of what affects the price. Here are nine factors that affect how much you end up paying:

1. Efficiency

It is natural for everyone to want value for their hard-earned money. Like most appliances, an AC’s price is mostly controlled by its efficiency level. You might have to spend more on an efficient AC, but in the long run, you’ll be relieved as the cooling and energy costs will drop significantly.

2. Installation Timing

It goes without saying that when you buy an item during a peak season, you are likely to pay more. The same goes for ACs. If you make your purchase off-season, you are likely to spend less.

3. Size And Capacity

The size of your house dictates the capacity of the AC you need. A smaller place will need a miniature AC. A large space will need a bigger unit with a higher cooling capacity. You can opt to leave out rooms that don’t need cooling, such as the basement. This applies to people with massive homes.

4. Maintenance

You have to factor in maintenance costs before installing your AC. It is best to weigh your options before settling on a particular brand. Units that come with add-on features and fancy options often require frequent maintenance.

5. The Life Expectancy Of The AC

Most manufacturers clearly specify the life expectancy of an AC, giving you a fair idea on the longevity of an air conditioning unit and when it will require replacing. However, regular maintenance will help keep the AC in shape for longer. Keep life expectancy in mind while deciding on a brand.

6. Installation Company

The installation price you pay will vary from brand to brand, and it’s smart to consider excellence over any other attribute.

Excellence is measured by efficiency and, most importantly, the installation company’s years of expertise. To ascertain that, you will need to research the brand. Visit their website to understand what they offer. Also, check out the reviews to see what former clients have to say.

Selecting an inexperienced brand or company may result in shoddy installation, which might cause your AC to start malfunctioning, leading to unwarranted expenses on maintenance or repairs.

7. Is It A New Installation Or Replacement?

A new installation is far costlier than a replacement. The latter has many finished parts, such as ductwork, wiring, or drains, among others.

8. The Number Of Vent And Returns

After installation, it is advisable to add both supply and return vents. These are extremely vital as they help supply your house with cold air. The number of supply vents and returns you require will influence the amount you spend on installation.

9. The Type Of AC You Buy

Like any other product, the prices of units differ in relation to the quality, scarcity of the product, the company in question, and many other factors. The type of AC you settle for influences its cost. This is because of the make, level of efficiency, its cooling capacity, and the company in question.

Maintenance Costs

Keeping your AC functioning optimally for longer will require regular maintenance. Cooling systems consume a lot of energy and can be hazardous if not maintained well as they stand the risk of short-circuits and electrical fires.

It is advisable to hire a licensed AC company to maintain the unit’s warranty. Regular repair costs between $100 to $150. When the technician shows up for the repair, they must check the coolant levels to ensure the functioning is as required.

They also have to inspect and clean the inside and outdoor units, change or clean the filter, and clean out the drains.

If you’re looking for Toronto air conditioner installation and repair experts who can provide fast results and professional service, contact us today at 416-332-2493.

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