How Much Should an AC Tune-Up Cost?

According to HomeGuide, the average AC tune-up costs $70 to $200. This includes diagnostics and basic services; if repairs are needed, your local HVAC contractor will charge extra. Meanwhile, an annual AC maintenance plan costs $120 to $360 but may include additional benefits such as high-efficiency air filters, priority scheduling, and discounts on repair services. You may also pay lower rates on emergency service calls.

What’s Included In the AC Tune-Up Cost?

Depending on your HVAC contractor, it may charge up to $200 just for the visit. The company’s hourly rates can range from $75 to $150 per hour. This is still worthwhile when you consider the cost of repairs that can be avoided, having to replace the system early, and the higher monthly utility bills you’d otherwise pay.

The exact procedures an AC tune-up entails can vary depending on the company. However, during a standard tune-up, a technician should do the following:

  • Clean or replace the filter
  • Check the airflow
  • Measure the temperature at the supply and return vents
  • Evaluate the cooling cycle
  • Measure refrigerant levels
  • Check the coils and refrigerant lines
  • Calibrate the thermostat
  • Inspect wiring, capacitors, and other electrical components
  • Inspect and clean the outdoor condenser unit
  • Inspect and balance the condenser fan blade
  • Clear out the condensate drain line
  • Examine the evaporator coil
  • Lubricate moving parts

These are just a few tasks that should be included in the AC tune-up cost. However, a tune-up doesn’t typically include cleaning the evaporator coil, recharging refrigerant, or leak detection. These are more complex tasks required during AC repair.

How Is the Cost of an AC Tune-Up Determined?

An HVAC company generally doesn’t provide a tune-up at a fixed price. It may determine the cost based on factors including:

  • System Size: If you have a larger system with multiple condensers and air handlers, a tune-up will cost more. Capacity matters too; expect to pay more to tune up a 5-ton AC than a 1.5-ton unit.
  • Home Size: The larger your home and the more extensive your ductwork, the more labor will be required and the more a tune-up will cost.
  • Ease of Access: Whether components are easily accessible or in attics, crawlspaces, and other hard-to-reach areas is considered in the AC tune-up cost.
  • Timing: An HVAC company may offer a discount if you schedule a tune-up during the off-season.
  • Frequency of Maintenance: Scheduling an AC tune-up every year costs less than waiting a few years between maintenance calls; then more work will be needed to clean and service the system.

Other factors that affect AC tune-up costs include the brand. Higher-end brands are pricier to maintain and require more costly brand-specific parts. The system’s age is another variable; older models are more expensive to maintain, especially given the ban on R-22 Freon, and replacement parts are more difficult to find.

Additional Costs You May Pay For

An HVAC contractor must factor in the time and travel expenses associated with getting to your home. But aside from service fees and hourly rates, other costs can increase what you spend on an AC tune-up. These include:

  • AC Cleaning: A coil cleaning can cost $100 to $400, depending on the type of coil and its location. An evaporator coil costs more to clean because it’s more difficult to reach. However, a condenser coil cleaning may cost just $75 to $230. A coil acid wash can cost up to $350. Meanwhile, cleaning the blower wheel can cost $125 to $250.
  • HVAC Inspection: Depending on the type of system and its size, an inspection can range from $150 to $500. A comprehensive HVAC inspection is often performed when a system hasn’t been serviced in a while or you’re buying a new home.
  • Minor Repairs: Bigger, more expensive problems can be avoided with minor repairs. These are unavoidable as parts wear out. They include replacing a capacitor ($100 to $250), installing a new fuse or relay ($75 to $300), or replacing a filter drier ($200 to $300). If you need a condensate drain tube, it’ll cost $100 to $200. Meanwhile, a new thermostat, with labor, can range from $140 to $350.
  • Ductwork Cleaning/Repair: Your ductwork is a vital part of your central HVAC system. A contractor can clean it during a tune-up, but this can cost $250 to $500 extra. Dirt and contamination can affect the system’s performance and efficiency, so cleaning is sometimes necessary. A ductwork repair can be expensive; some of the more extensive duct repairs can cost up to $2,000.

The manufacturer’s warranty can help you save on maintenance, repairs, and upkeep. Costs are covered if the affected components are included in your warranty and the situation qualifies for coverage based on the terms of the agreement. However, manufacturer’s warranties don’t usually cover labor costs for AC repairs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will an AC Tune-Up Take Up Much of My Time?

A basic AC tune-up usually takes about an hour. However, if the refrigerant needs to be recharged or any repairs are required, these tasks will take additional time.

How Often Do I Need an AC Tune-Up?

We recommend scheduling air conditioner maintenance once a year, the best time being before the heating season begins. Many manufacturer warranties require a tune-up to stay valid, and neglecting maintenance can void your warranty.

What Are Signs I Should Schedule a Tune-Up Sooner?

You don’t have to wait until spring to request an AC tune-up. Schedule a maintenance visit if any of the following apply:

  • The AC is running longer, but not cooling your home
  • Airflow from the vents is weaker than usual
  • Humidity levels in your home are increasing
  • The system constantly turns on and off
  • Your utility bills are going up
  • Unusual odors come from the vents
  • The unit is making strange noises

Can I Tune-Up an AC Myself?

A DIY system check is not impossible and can save you money. But we don’t recommend doing a full AC tune-up yourself, as it can involve complicated tasks, like taking apart the blower assembly for a thorough cleaning or recharging refrigerant. For these, you need to hire a professional or you risk safety, performance, and warranty issues.

Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance with Trilogy AC

Our licensed technicians provide thorough AC tune-ups to ensure your system is safe, reliable, and efficient. A well-maintained air conditioner can require fewer repairs and last longer. Having an annual tune-up is worthwhile considering the money you can save. It allows our team to clean equipment, lubricate bearings and other moving parts, tighten connections, and perform other tasks that can prevent serious problems and system failures. To inquire about your AC tune-up cost or schedule air conditioning services in Katy, TX, and surrounding areas, call (832) 730-5047 today.