If you’re air conditioning or heating system is not working properly, you should contact an HVAC technician and have it looked at. Obviously, if it’s mid-winter and you live in a cold city like Portland, Oregon, you’ll contact a technician the instant your heating fails you. Letting a problem go unchecked can cause greater damage, raise your utility bills, and in some cases release dangerous chemicals into your home.
Cost of a Service Call
The cost of a service call depends on several factors. Most HVAC technicians will charge a flat rate just to come to your home and examine your HVAC system. Additionally, a more experienced technician with a good reputation may charge more than a less experienced one. Furthermore, a weekend, holiday or evening visit will be more expensive than a weekday or regular working hour visit. Depending on these variables, the price of a service call can cost anywhere from $40 to $250. Be aware that in some cases the HVAC technician might discover that the problem is an electrical one and will need to contact an electrician, however the HVAC technician will almost always expect payment for his time and diagnosis.
In addition to the service fee, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of labor and parts. Some repairs, such as fixing a refrigerant leak, will cost anywhere between $200 and $1,500. Smaller problems like fuses and circuit breakers will run between $50 and $200. Depending on the HVAC model you have, a new thermostat can cost between $80 and $300.
Additionally, you can also contact an HVAC technician for routine maintenance checkups and filter replacements. Your HVAC technician may offer a yearly rate which includes two or three pre-paid visits at a discounted fee.
Why Hire a Professional
Most homeowners do not know too much about their HVAC system. Even the most enthusiastic DIYers often find central air and heating systems a bit beyond their reach. Tampering with an HVAC system when you have no experience can lead to further damage or potential injury. Therefore, it’s best to leave these types of problems up to the pros. In addition to having the knowledge and tools to repair your HVAC system, a professional will usually be familiar with the newest products and techniques, and know ways to save you money.
It’s important to understand that a well-maintained HVAC system will require less servicing and last longer than a neglected one. If you contact a technician, be sure he gives you an estimate before he begins. As he works, ask him to explain what he is doing at each step.