How Much Does HVAC Maintenance Cost? (2023)

If you own a home, you know your HVAC system needs regular tune-ups to keep it up and running. But how much does HVAC maintenance cost, and how does that cost vary depending on your system type?

Maintaining your HVAC system will help you avoid costly repair bills further down the line. What homeowners can expect to pay for maintenance costs will vary depending on the type of system they own, how old it is, where they live, and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know about HVAC maintenance prices to help keep your system operating smoothly.

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What Is the Cost of HVAC Maintenance?

The average HVAC maintenance cost is $139 to $328. These costs include labor and technician expertise needed to maintain most HVAC systems.

Low EndAverage Cost RangeHigh End
$70$139 to $328$550

Cost data include the unit, labor, and demolition, if applicable. All cost data in this article were gathered from RS Means construction materials and labor database and bids from top contractors.

How Much Does HVAC Maintenance Cost by System Type?

The type of air conditioner or air conditioning system you have will play a major role in your maintenance costs. Homeowners with a ductless mini-split system might spend up to $550 on average hiring a professional to maintain the interior electrical components of their systems. On the other hand, a homeowner who uses multiple window units to keep their home cool might pay as little as $20 per year for a DIY refrigerant kit.

Here’s what you’re likely to pay for annual maintenance depending on the type of HVAC system you own.

Type of Air/HVAC UnitAverage Maintenance Cost
Boiler system$150 to $300
Central forced air$70 to $240
Hybrid system$200 to $300
Mini-split system$150 to $550
Split system$125 to $250

Boiler System

If your HVAC system uses a boiler instead of a furnace, you may spend more on annual maintenance. Maintenance for boiler units includes cleaning, maintenance, checking energy efficiency levels, and safety testing to ensure that the pressure in the boiler is safe. If you have a boiler system, expect to spend between $150 and $300 on maintenance.

Central Air

Forced central air/heating systems are the most common type of HVAC system. Maintenance costs cover inspection, cleaning, and adjusting the unit’s thermostat. The average cost of a tune-up for a central air system is $70 to $240.

Split System

Split AC systems comprise two units: one outside the home that controls cooling and another inside the home responsible for heating. Maintenance costs for split systems tend to be more affordable because most professionals have experience dealing with these systems. Expect to pay between $125 to $250 for maintenance service on a split system.

Mini-split System

Mini-split systems don’t include ductwork, which means they have more technical components to control your home’s interior temperature, increasing the cost of maintenance work. In addition to cleaning and an energy efficiency check-up, mini-split systems also require check-ups for the internal computer system. Most homeowners will pay between $150 to $550 depending on which parts of the system need service.

Hybrid System

Hybrid split systems use dual fuel components and limited ductwork to provide a more efficient heating and cooling experience. Maintenance for these units is similar to split systems and usually costs $200 to $300.

How Much Does HVAC Maintenance Cost by Project?

Depending on your system type, you might need to take on a series of maintenance tasks throughout the year to keep all your moving parts in order. The following table summarizes some of the most common maintenance tasks homeowners schedule for their HVAC systems and what they will likely cost.

Maintenance TaskAverage Cost
Coil maintenance and cleaning$150 to $300
Drain line cleaning$75 to $200
Filter cleaning$2 to $50
Refrigerant replacement$200 to $450
System energy efficiency audit$100 to $300

Which Factors Impact HVAC Maintenance Costs?

Aside from the type of system you have, what you’ll pay for preventative maintenance services for your HVAC system will vary depending on when your system was last maintained and what tasks are needed during your service call. Below we’ll discuss a few major factors impacting what you’ll pay to keep your system running smoothly.

System Age

You might need more regular upgrades and maintenance appointments if you have an older system. You can reduce the cost of future breakdowns and emergency service needs by scheduling twice-annual maintenance appointments for older systems.

Type of System

The type of HVAC system you own influences maintenance and repair costs because each system has a unique set of components. For example, AC maintenance for a window unit might require simply cleaning out your compressor components and replacing the filter, which means that labor costs will usually come out to less than $100. Window units are the simplest type of AC system as they have the fewest components, keeping labor costs lower.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you might need to call a specialist to perform a full energy audit if you have a high-end geothermic model. You might also need to seek a premium HVAC technician in your area, increasing your average maintenance cost. While you can save money by doing limited DIY maintenance, budget more for major annual tune-ups if you have a geothermal or mini-split system.

Your Current Maintenance Schedule

How often do you call for duct cleaning, lubricating, and other essential maintenance tasks that keep your HVAC system running smoothly? If you’ve been slacking on booking annual maintenance for your system, unaddressed residue buildup or leaks may raise costs when you schedule an appointment.

If you don’t want the hassle of planning a maintenance schedule yourself, consider a preventative HVAC maintenance contract with a repair service provider. Your contract will list essential maintenance tasks, like checking refrigerant levels and cleaning condenser coils, that the servicer agrees to provide each year. In exchange, you’ll pay for annual service at a discounted rate.

What Is the Purpose of HVAC Maintenance?

HVAC maintenance means keeping your heating and air conditioning system in ideal working condition. HVAC systems include a variety of components that work together to keep your home at the right temperature. Over time, these components can become less efficient, using more energy to cool and heat your home, leading to higher energy bills.

During a maintenance appointment, your service professional will take steps to look at your system and ensure it’s running at optimum capacity. These tasks might include wiping the dirt from all interior and exterior components to ensure heat isn’t lost during transmission, testing energy usage levels, and clearing any drain line blockages. Your maintenance professional will also look for common problems like refrigerant leaks or broken thermostats that require additional service visits.

Regular maintenance is important because it keeps your HVAC repair costs down and helps you avoid the cost of a major system replacement. As mentioned above, many companies offer HVAC maintenance plans with a set number of visits for an agreed-upon price. This can be a good option if you’re looking for a single service contract to cover your HVAC maintenance needs.

Professional vs. DIY HVAC Maintenance

Unless you have experience working on central heating and cooling systems, we don’t recommend performing your own HVAC maintenance. While you’re unlikely to encounter the same kinds of hazards that you would doing amateur electrical work, HVAC systems are best left to the pros as they have dozens of components, each requiring a specialized maintenance process.

Doing HVAC Maintenance Yourself

If you’ll be maintaining your own HVAC system, start by wiping down the outside of the system components inside your home. Cut power to the system and locate your external component (outside of the home) if you have one. Remove and wipe down the fan blades, clean the evaporator coil, and empty the evaporator tray.

Next, change the blower filter. Use a level to ensure that the unit is set on even ground and that the concrete where the unit is placed isn’t deteriorating. Be sure the area surrounding the unit is free of debris. Return inside and clean out your ductwork — you may need the assistance of a professional to accomplish this task and perform energy efficiency testing.

Hiring a Professional for HVAC Maintenance

Professional HVAC maintenance providers have experience ensuring that each part of your system is clean and have access to specialized tools that can address problems more effectively. Follow these steps when you’re considering which HVAC maintenance company to hire:

  1. Explore local experts: Use the tool below to find an experienced HVAC professional near you.
  2. Get a few estimates: Contact at least three reputable companies in your area to request a written maintenance estimate.
  3. Review each company: Using your estimates, take a look at third-party reviews of each company. Websites like Trustpilot and the BBB can be useful for finding unfiltered reviews.
  4. Make an appointment: Choose a company and schedule an appointment. If you’re stuck between companies, you might want to ask your expert a few questions over the phone about your system and what they recommend. Only make appointments with knowledgeable, reputable companies that have been in business for at least one year.
  5. Be home for your appointment: While you don’t need to supervise your maintenance professional while they work, you’ll want to be home to allow them full access to your system.
  6. Book your next appointment in advance: Professional HVAC companies know that maintenance works best on a schedule. After your first service appointment, book your next one in advance to ensure it’s on the books.

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So, Is HVAC Maintenance Worth the Cost?

HVAC maintenance is an essential task that keeps one of your most important home systems operating efficiently. The average homeowner can expect to pay around $200 each year for HVAC maintenance — but this is small compared to what you might spend in excess electricity costs if you put your maintenance off.

You can also save money and streamline maintenance by entering a maintenance agreement with a reputable HVAC service provider.

Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC Maintenance

How often should an HVAC system be maintained?

It’s ideal to seek HVAC service once every six months, but most homeowners limit their routine services to one annual maintenance visit.

What is done during HVAC maintenance?

HVAC maintenance involves various cleaning and efficiency-testing tasks that vary based on your system type. Your HVAC contractor may replace or clean your system’s air filter, clean your compressor and evaporator coil to prevent dirt buildup, and test electrical connections to ensure you aren’t overpaying on energy bills. If you have an HVAC service contract, maintenance visits will be laid out in your plan’s details.

Is HVAC preventive maintenance worth it?

HVAC preventative maintenance is worth it, especially if you’re a homeowner living in an older property. Over time, dirt and debris can settle on the components of your HVAC system, including your fan motor, compressor coils, and ductwork. Removing this dirt and debris helps your HVAC system run more efficiently, saving money on energy costs.

What are the benefits of HVAC preventive maintenance?

Annual maintenance extends the lifespan of your air conditioning system, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. AC maintenance helps prevent breakdowns, which can be a major household expense. The average AC system breakdown can cost between $100 to $600 per appointment. Preventative maintenance keeps your system running smoothly, leading to fewer component replacements.


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