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Top 10 HVAC Service Calls

Here are the Top 10 HVAC Service Calls, along with their typical solutions and estimated costs. Most of these problems occur due to poor installation, inadequate service procedures, or lack of maintenance.

#1 No Cool Air Flowing

Problem: Dirty air filters or blocked vents.

Solution: Replace air filters and clear any obstructions. Clogged and dirty filters restrict airflow and significantly decrease the system’s efficiency. When airflow is obstructed, air can bypass the filter, depositing dirt directly onto the evaporator coil, which impairs the coil’s ability to absorb heat. By replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one, you can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Dirty filters also put additional stress on the indoor fan leading to fan failure.

Estimated Cost: $70 to $200

#2 Thermostat Issues

Problem: Malfunctioning or incorrectly set thermostat.

Solution: Calibrate, repair, or replace the thermostat. Approximately 25% of U.S. households use a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are designed to be user friendly and energy efficient but can be incorrectly programmed. Issues can be related to thermostat complexity, user error, default settings, connectivity issues or lack of training.

Estimated Cost: $90 to $300

#3 Refrigerant Leaks

Problem: Low refrigerant due to leaks or improper initial charge.

Solution: Locate and repair leaks, recharge refrigerant. Inexperienced technicians can under or overcharge system with refrigerant. Make sure refrigerant charge matches the manufacturers recommendations, and don’t add refrigerant until system has been tested for leaks.

Estimated Cost: $200 to $1,500

#4 Poor Airflow

Problem: Blocked ducts, vents or dirty filters, or fan issues.

Solution: Clear blocked ducts, unblock vents, clean coil, repair or replace the fan motor.

Estimated Cost: $300 to $900

#5 Strange Noises

Problem: Loose or damaged parts, debris in the system.

Solution: Inspect and tighten components, remove debris, and replace damaged parts. Some reasons for noises can be worn bearings in the fan motor or the compressor can wear out over time, causing grinding or squealing noises. If your system has belts, worn or misaligned belts can cause squealing or screeching noises. Loose bolts, screws, or panels within the unit can vibrate and produce rattling noises.

Estimated Cost: $100 to $400

#6 AC Unit Won’t Turn On

Problem: Electrical issues, tripped breaker, faulty capacitor, or burned-out compressor.

Solution: Check and reset breaker, replace capacitor, inspect wiring, or hit the reset button located in compressor’s access panel if available. On hot days it’s not uncommon for the high-pressure limit switch to shut the system off to protect the compressor or draw excessive amps that cause the breaker to trip. Compressors can burn-out due to many issues such as electrical spikes or inconsistent voltage levels, faulty wiring or components, low refrigerant charge or contaminated refrigerant, operating in extreme weather, normal wear and tear.

Estimated Cost Electrical Issues: $100 to $350

Estimated Cost burned-out Compressor: $1,500 to $2,500 or more depending on type and size of compressor.

#7 Water Leaks

Problem: Clogged drain line, frozen evaporator coils.

Solution: Unclog drain line, thaw coils, ensure proper insulation. A clogged drain line could also reduce the unit’s capacity to reduce humidity levels. 

Estimated Cost: $150 to $500

#8 Unpleasant Odors

Problem: Mold or mildew in the ductwork or unit.

Solution: Clean ducts, replace filters, clean drain pan, and check for mold. Cleaning ducts enhances HVAC system efficiency by improving airflow and reducing energy consumption. It helps reduce odors by removing dust, mold, and pest residues. Additionally, it significantly improves indoor air quality by reducing allergens, mold spores, and other pollutants, contributing to better respiratory health and overall well-being for the occupants. Regular duct cleaning is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy, efficient, and comfortable indoor environment.

Estimated Cost: $300 to $700

#9 Frequent Cycling

Problem: Thermostat issues, dirty filters, improper refrigerant levels, oversized air conditioner. Oversized air conditioners can cause the system to cycle on and off frequently, a phenomenon known as short cycling which causes rapid cooling, inadequate dehumidification, increased wear and tear, higher energy bills, and temperature fluctuations. 

Solution: Adjust thermostat settings, replace filters, check refrigerant levels.

Estimated Cost: $100 to $400

#10 High Energy Bills or Lack of Cooling

Problem: Inefficient system, dirty coils and bent fins.

Solution: Clean coils and comb any bent fins. Dirty coils and bent fins can cause various issues such as reduced cooling efficiency, higher energy consumption, and potential system freeze-ups. The typical solution involves cleaning the coils, where the cost will depend on the severity and accessibility of the coils. Regular maintenance to keep the coils clean can prevent many related problems and ensure the system operates efficiently.

Estimated Cost: $150 to $500

These costs are approximate and can vary based on location, the specific HVAC system, and the service company rates. Regular maintenance can help prevent many of these issues and extend the lifespan of the HVAC system. Let us know in the comments below what your top 3 service call complaints are, and the typical cost to repair.

Top 10 HVAC Service Calls and their Cost to Repair
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