With temperatures rising as spring fades into summer heat, preparing your air conditioner for the upcoming cooling season is essential. A tune-up is vital to the preparation, but how much does an AC tune-up cost? On average, it costs around $150 — but various factors can impact the final bill.
This article reviews the average costs to expect for a tune-up on your HVAC system, plus factors that can affect it — continue reading to learn more!
Looking to schedule an AC service now? Check out these top HVAC companies to get a quote right away.
How Much Does It Cost for an AC Tune-up?
The total cost of tuning up your HVAC unit hinges on numerous factors, such as unit size, age, and accessibility. However, the average tune-up cost hovers around $150, which is fairly standard for general maintenance without any unexpected repairs.
On the high end, homeowners may pay as much as $550 or more, depending on the repairs necessary. On the low end, homeowners may pay as little as $60 for basic upkeep.
|Average Tune-up Cost||$150|
|High-end Tune-up Cost||$550|
|Low-end Tune-up Cost||$60|
How Do Costs Differ By Unit Type?
The cost of a tune-up varies based on the type of AC unit you have. The chart below outlines average tune-up cost ranges based on the unit type.
|AC Unit Type||Average Tune-up Cost Range|
|Window Unit||$60 – $150|
|Central Air||$80 – $200|
|Heat Pump||$80 – $200|
|Mini-Split||$200 – $400|
Window air conditioners are the perfect solution for cooling a single room, ensuring you remain comfortable in that space. They’re typically less expensive to maintain; they’re ductless and rest inside your window frame. On average, it usually costs between $60 and $150 to tune up a window air conditioner.
Central air conditioners are a go-to pick for many homeowners, as they provide even cooling capabilities for an entire home. Given their size and the need for ductwork, these systems are usually pricier to repair than others, like a window AC unit. Most homeowners pay between $80 and $200 for a general tune-up on a central AC unit.
Heat pumps work throughout the entire year, supplying heat during cold weather and air conditioning during the summer. Generally, it’s best to service these systems at least once every year — but ideally twice. For a service appointment with a general tune-up, homeowners usually pay between $80 and $200 on average.
While convenient for zoned cooling purposes, ductless mini-splits tend to be pricier to maintain. The exact cost hinges on the number of systems you’re working with and what repairs are necessary — but on average, it costs between $200 and $400 for general maintenance.
How Do Repairs Affect HVAC Tune-up Pricing?
A well-maintained AC system usually doesn’t need repairs — but like any product, the unit’s components will begin to wear out after a while. Poorly-maintained systems may require more repairs, as issues may pile up and create larger problems that require repairs.
Either way, the repairs your system needs play a significant role in HVAC tune-up pricing. The chart below outlines common AC repair service cost ranges to provide an idea of what to expect.
|AC Repair||Average Cost Range|
|Capacitor replacement||$100 – $250|
|Thermostat replacement||$140 – $350|
|Fan motor replacement||$200 – $700|
|Refrigerant leak repair||$200 – $1,500|
|Evaporator coil replacement||$400 – $2,400|
|Compressor replacement||$600 – $2,500|
|Condenser coil replacement||$900 – $2,300|
|Condenser replacement||$1,200 – $4,200|
|Evaporator leak repair||$1,300 – $2,000|
|Air handler / blower replacement||$1,500 – $3,400|
Which Factors Impact HVAC Tune-up Cost Estimates?
The cost of your HVAC system tune-up hinges on multiple factors specific to your scenario, including your AC unit’s brand, size, and age. Here are a few things that may drive the cost on your tune-up bill:
Some brands are pricier to maintain than others, as parts might not be readily available. For example, if your AC unit is a high-end brand that requires brand-specific replacement parts, you’ll probably incur higher tune-up costs than a unit that can use generic replacement parts.
The size of your AC unit is another factor contributing to the number on your HVAC tune-up bill. In general, larger systems are pricier to repair than their smaller counterparts. So, if you have a 5-ton AC unit, you can expect to pay more for the service appointment than a homeowner with a 1.5-ton unit.
Older systems are often more expensive to maintain than their newer counterparts. For example, if you have an older AC unit with R-22 Freon, you can expect to pay more to recharge it. This particular refrigerant is no longer used in modern AC units, so recharging older systems that use it can cost upwards of $600.
Newer systems utilize R410-a, which is cheaper to recharge. However, R410-a is phasing out in 2023, while a new refrigerant (R-454b) is on its way in. Since this is a very new change, most newer systems still use R410-a, which usually costs around $200.
Your treatment of the system plays a significant role in annual maintenance costs. Well-kept systems with strict preventative maintenance service schedules are often cheaper to service, as there may not be many issues. Conversely, systems that haven’t been serviced in a while may have an accumulation of things demanding attention, which drives the final cost of the service appointment higher.
Clean, unobstructed ductwork is essential for your AC to function properly. If your ductwork is in poor condition or dirty, you’ll need to clean or repair it (or have a professional do so). On average, duct cleaning costs between $250 and $500.
Duct repairs tend to be considerably pricier, as some repairs are extensive. Generally, homeowners pay between $500 and $2,000 for ductwork repairs, with the large gap due to the necessary fix and ductwork type.
Some AC systems are easier to access and service than others, so these systems tend to be cheaper to maintain than those in hard-to-reach locations. If your HVAC technician has difficulties accessing the system, it’ll take longer to complete the entire tune-up, increasing the overall cost.
That said, some HVAC companies charge a flat rate for annual maintenance, so accessibility difficulties may not affect the final cost. If your HVAC service company charges by the hour, you’ll likely face higher costs due to accessibility issues.
Like the components in any HVAC system, the parts in your AC unit will wear out after a while. As the parts wear down and fail, you or your technician must replace them. The number and type of repairs necessary at your service appointment will affect your final bill. You can eliminate most repairs with regular maintenance, but not all.
If your system needs multiple repairs or one large repair, you can expect to pay more than a typical routine service appointment. Ultimately, the final cost hinges on what type of repairs the system needs and the price of the parts necessary to complete them.
If your cooling system is covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, you won’t have to pay for replacement components (assuming it qualifies as a warranty repair). However, most AC manufacturers’ warranties don’t cover the labor costs involved with AC repair.
Professional vs. DIY HVAC Tune-up
Routine tune-ups are essential to properly maintaining your HVAC system. While you can DIY the maintenance process (if you have experience), most aspects of HVAC tune-ups are best left to the professionals.
Doing an HVAC Tune-up Yourself
Completing your HVAC tune-up yourself is an option to save money on the service appointment cost. However, it’s generally not a good idea, as AC unit tune-ups can be complicated — especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. For example, if your system needs a recharge, you must hire a professional to handle the process.
Of course, there are certain projects you can handle on your own without any know-how surrounding HVAC upkeep. For example, you can switch out the air filter throughout the season or clear debris from around the unit.
Hiring a Professional for an HVAC Tune-up
In most cases, hiring a professional is the better option, as many repairs require the skill and experience of an expert. Here’s how to get started with an HVAC professional to complete your AC unit tune-up:
- Research HVAC professionals near you: Do a quick search to find experts in your area that offer tune-up services.
- Get quotes from a few options: If you have multiple options, contact your top picks and request a tune-up quote.
- Review the quotes: Once you receive the quotes, review and compare them to select the best option.
- Select a company: Choose the company that best fits your budget and preferences.
- Consult them about their recommendations: Discuss service recommendations with the company you chose to determine what services might be necessary.
- Schedule the tune-up: Set up an appointment to have the company come out and service your HVAC unit.
So, Is an HVAC Tune-up Worth It?
Scheduling and completing a routine tune-up on your HVAC unit is well worth it. While an AC tune-up costs around $150 — or between $60 and $550 — to complete, doing so can help avoid expensive issues and inconvenient break-downs throughout the cooling season.
To ensure you get the best possible price, we recommend obtaining quotes from a few local HVAC technicians or companies and comparing your options.
Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC Tune-ups
How often should you get your HVAC system tuned up?
It’s best to get your HVAC system tuned up at least once per year, but older systems may require more than once per year. Generally, you should schedule the service appointments right before and after the cooling or heating season.
How much is a tune-up on an AC unit?
On average, it costs about $150 to tune up an AC unit. That said, it can be as low as $60 or as high as $550 or more, depending on the repairs and servicing necessary.
Is an annual air conditioner tune-up enough?
An annual tune-up for your HVAC system is the minimum, as it’s essential to ensure everything is running smoothly to avoid costly problems. Ideally, you should schedule two tune-ups yearly for older systems, but newer systems can get by with one annual tune-up. Also, if you’re experiencing bad performance, like low airflow, you should address it immediately and not wait for your annual AC maintenance appointment.
What does an HVAC tune-up consist of?
The included services in an HVAC tune-up vary based on the unit in question. For example, suppose you’re having a professional tune-up your AC unit. In that case, they’ll do a few things — including checking refrigerant levels, looking for refrigerant leaks, ensuring all electrical connections are sound and working properly, and checking the run capacitor for bulging, unusual markings, or color.