Air Conditioner Repair Cost Guide for Pittsburgh Homeowners

| Posted in:  Help Guides/Cooling
how much does ac maintenance cost in pittsburgh

In Pittsburgh, air conditioner repairs can range anywhere from $163–$1,500+.

However, the cost to repair your AC unit depends on many factors, including:

  • The age of your AC
  • What needs to be repaired
  • Your AC warranty
  • The contractor you choose

We’ll discuss the details of each of these AC repair cost factors, below.

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AC repair cost factor #1: The age of your AC

The average lifespan of an air conditioner is 10–15 years. If your AC is nearing the end of that lifespan (10+ years of age), we would suggest speaking with an HVAC tech about replacing your system instead of paying for a repair.

You don’t want to invest money into repairs when you’ll likely have to purchase a new unit in a few years. Depending on what the repair is, the most cost-effective option may be to purchase a new unit instead.

AC repair cost factor #2: What needs to be repaired

The price of your repair will greatly depend on what is broken and whether or not it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.

Some common AC repairs/replacements include:

  • Detecting and repairing a refrigerant leak ($225–$1,600+)
  • Recharging refrigerant ($200-$800 +)
  • Condensate pump replacement ($250- $400)
  • Condenser fan motor replacement ($600-1,200+)
  • Replacing a capacitor or contactor ($150-$400)
  • Replacing a circuit board ($700- $1200+)
  • Replacing your AC unit ($4,500–$9,000)

A skilled HVAC tech will look at your AC unit and diagnose exactly what needs to be repaired and how.

AC repair cost factor #3: Your AC warranty

There are two types of warranties that could save you money on your AC repair.

Parts warranty: Many air-conditioners come with a 10-year manufacturer warranty that will cover essential parts. If your parts warranty is still valid, it could greatly decrease the cost to repair your AC unit. To find what's covered under your warranty, you can go to the manufacturer's website and look at the warranty for your AC model.

Labor warranty: A labor warranty will cover the labor to have your AC repaired. To find out if your AC repair will be covered under a labor warranty, you should contact the contractor who installed your AC system.

AC repair cost factor #4: The contractor you choose

The contractor you choose will have an impact on the quality and price of your repair. When trying to find a qualified contractor, ask yourself a few questions like:

1. Are they licensed and insured?

You want to be sure that any contractor will provide work that is done safely and correctly. Ensuring that a contractor has a license and insurance will help to protect you from any potential liability if anything goes wrong during your AC repair.

2. Will they provide a written quote?

You should be wary of any HVAC technician that won’t provide you with a written quote. A written quote protects you from any surprise fees or costs.

3. Do they offer flat-rate pricing or do they charge by the hour?

Some contractors charge one flat rate for your repair and others charge by the hour (plus parts). Depending on the repair, one may be a better option than another. However, many homeowners prefer flat-rate pricing so they know what the cost of the repair is upfront.

4. How do their customers feel about their service/work?

Before hiring a contractor or company, we would suggest reading the reviews they have as well as their responses to those reviews. How do customers feel about their service? If there are negative reviews, has the contractor or company taken the time to respond?

Learn more about finding a quality contractor in Pittsburgh on our blog, “How to Find a Good HVAC Tech In Pittsburgh.”

Our team of techs is high-trained, with 10,000 hours of on-the-job training, each. If you’re looking for a quality contractor, hire Calfo.

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Tip: How to prevent costly AC repairs in the future

Professional maintenance:

Investing in regular maintenance can:

  • Increase your comfort
  • Increase the efficiency of your AC
  • Prolong the life of your unit

Ideally, you should schedule this tune-up before the summer season (spring). This way, you can mitigate potential issues before you need your AC unit to run frequently, so you’re not faced with expensive repairs or utility bills during the height of the summer.

During an annual maintenance check-up, an HVAC tech will:

  • Check for clogs in the condensate line
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Tighten or fix loose or worn electrical connections
  • Check refrigerant lines
  • Ensure the blower is working properly
  • And more

Maintenance items you can perform:

1. Change your air filters

You should change your air filters about once a month. When air filters are dirty or clogged your AC unit has to work harder to produce the temperature you’ve set. Changing your air filters helps reduce this burden on your system, helping it run smoother and reducing potential repairs.

2. Adjust your thermostat or install a smart thermostat

If you know you’re going to be gone for the day (or are going on vacation), you should adjust your thermostat or install a smart thermostat to do this automatically. Adjusting your thermostat will lessen the amount of time your AC is working throughout the day, helping mitigate potential repairs and helping the lengthen the lifespan of your AC unit.

3. Keep your outdoor AC unit clean

It’s important to keep your outdoor unit clean and free of any debris. Your AC unit is not able to run as efficiently if there are sticks, leaves or any obstructions blocking it. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 2 feet of space in every direction for your outdoor AC unit.

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