Having your air conditioner break down is inconvenient and can be very expensive to repair. A lot of these repairs can be avoided with regular inspections and cleaning. These inspections catch small problems before they become larger, more expensive problems to fix.
Here are 5 of the most expensive AC repairs and how they can be avoided. Keep in mind, these estimates greatly depend on the manufacturer of the unit, the age of the unit, and how well the unit has been maintained.
Replacement Evaporative Coil: $2,000 – $3,500
If your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant, chances are it is due to the evaporative coil. Refrigerant runs through the coil and as air passes over it the heat is absorbed. If there is a leak or it no longer functions, it will take a long time for the system to cool your home, if at all.
Unfortunately, repair isn’t an option. Evaporative coils are large components full of tiny dips, curves, crevices, and hard-to-see, hard-to-reach areas. A leak is like a needle in a haystack.
How to avoid: annual cleaning and refrigerant recharges. If refrigerant gets low, the unit will have work harder which will increase the risk of failure.
Compressor Replacement: $1,850 – $2,800
Your air conditioner’s compressor moves the refrigerant through your system to remove heat and humidity. When the coils are dirty, the system must work harder to expel heat which leads to overheating and a system failure.
Compressor replacement is one of the most expensive, time-consuming AC repairs. This repair could be less than $1,850 depending on the warranty of your AC unit, but unfortunately the average repair fee lies within the above range.
How to avoid: annual cleaning. Compressor failure is usually the result of dirty coils that make the system work extra hard to expel heat.
Condenser Fan Motor: $500 – $1,500
The condensing unit fan is responsible for pulling air through coils of the condensing unit. When the system is dirty or has been idle for too long without cleaning, the fan will not run, run intermittently, run slowly, or make unusual noises.
During the winter this fan sits idle until the air conditioner is turned back on in the spring when temperatures begin to rise. This can be a problem for the condenser fan motor. Sitting all winter without any motion, the bearings and shaft in the air conditioner motor can seize up or rust.
How to avoid: Spring inspection, cleaning, and keep up with air filter replacements. It is important that the air conditioner motor be inspected and cleaned to ensure it is running at full power.
Refrigerant Leak Repair: $300 – $1,500
If you are experiencing a refrigerant leak and the leak does not require a new evaporative coil, the repair is a bit cheaper but—depending on the source—can still be expensive. Sometimes the leak occurs at the end of the evaporative coil where the copper bends, other times it can be as simple as a rubber seal. No matter the source, it’s important to get a refrigerant leak repaired as soon as possible. A leak can cause further problems and quickly get expensive.
How to avoid: consistent inspection and cleaning. When an HVAC professional inspects your air conditioner, they might be able to see a leak is coming if there is deterioration. Just like visiting the dentist, it’s important to take preventative measures with your AC unit.
With all these expensive AC repairs, many can be avoided with consistent inspections and cleaning from an HVAC professional. It’s easy to forget about the unit when it’s working in the background, but you’ll wish you had taken preventative measures when a problem arises.
Are you in need of an AC inspection, cleaning, recharge or repair in the Denver Metro Area? Grand Home Services is located in Aurora, Colorado and provides HVAC services throughout Denver. Contact us today!