We don’t always realize how much we count on our air conditioning – until it’s 90 degrees and our AC is not working. Troubleshooting the problem and finding out how to repair air conditioning units soon becomes your top priority. Knowing about AC installation, hvac maintenance cost and repairs costs before you need it could help you keep your cool – literally and figuratively.

  1. How to maintain your air conditioning system

    You’ve heard the saying about “an ounce of prevention,” haven’t you? Proper maintenance of your air conditioning system can save you money on common AC repairs and even on regular heating and cooling costs. When you proactively schedule regular HVAC checkups, you may be able to extend the life of your system and keep it running at higher efficiency. If you call a technician with HVAC certification to do a maintenance check, he or she will:

    – Identify any damaged parts
    – Check the condenser unit
    – Clean the coils
    – Lubricate moving parts
    – Ensure the wiring is safe and the electrical connection is tight
    – Look for blocked drains and inspect duct sealing
    – Tighten loose hoses and connectors
    – Monitor the refrigeration levels
    – Remove dirt and debris from the inside of the unit
    – Test the thermostat and indoor components

  2. Calculating the cost of repairs

    Even with regular maintenance, something may go haywire. If you must schedule a service call it could be costly – on average from $49-$129 just to have the HVAC technician come to your house. The exact hvac maintenance cost depends on where you live, what the outside temperature is, the time of day and day of week (evenings, holidays and weekends could be more expensive) and your status as a customer (a regular customer may get faster service or even a discount).

    Sometimes the HVAC service company will absorb the cost of the service call if you use it for the repair work – especially if it is extensive. Here’s a very rough idea of what common repairs or replacements may cost:

    – Circuit breaker on the main panel ($49-$129)
    – Capacitors and switches ($60-$120)
    – Thermostat ($79-$300)
    – Adding Freon ($40-$60 per pound)
    – Fan motor on the condensing unit ($120-$250)
    – Fan motor on the air handler ($300-$500 because it is labor-intensive work)
    – Indoor evaporation coils ($900-$1,600)
    – Compressor ($650-$1,200)
    If repair costs are really high or if your system is 10 or more years old, you may want to replace it.

Air conditioning is not cheap – averaging $5,000-$6,000 – and depends on several factors:

  • Capacity of the HVAC system: Larger homes require bigger, more powerful systems than smaller homes
  • Energy efficiency: Energy-efficient systems may cost more initially, but they save in the long term
  • Your home itself: Is the ductwork in good shape? Do you need to upgrade thermostats? Add insulation?

Replacing or installing your home’s HVAC system should be left to the professionals because of the complexity.

Your HVAC installation guide

If you know you need to have air conditioning installed or replaced, use these tips as an air conditioning service guide:

HAVC Installation Guide
  • Research potential installers and contractors. Ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors for HVAC maintenance cost. Check out installers’ credentials and compare them.
  • Get estimates for the work that must be done. Make sure that you have an HVAC technician come to your home and evaluate your needs.
  • Have the contractor do a Manual J (“load”) calculation to measure and check for heat loss or gain and see what type of system is best for you.
  • Determine the brand and model that is most suitable for your home and learn the requirements to install it.
  • Schedule the installation

Call-out to women: work in the trades!

Have you thought about becoming an HVAC technician? As baby boomers reach retirement age, a severe shortage of skilled trades workers is on the horizon. Employers will need to look outside the usual job pool to fill positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the need for qualified technicians is expected to grow 15 percent between 2016 and 2026 – much faster than average. The growth rate, coupled with a retiring workforce, means the field will need women to survive.

Women of HVAC brings awareness to the labor shortage, showcases women in the field and gives them the necessary tools to begin a successful career in the trades. The organization can help females in HVAC programs who are training for this lucrative, in-demand field and provide resources, opportunities and support for those already in the field.

Contact WomenofHVAC.Org today for more information.