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  • Writer's pictureJason Boehning

The Cost of Air Conditioning Repair: What to Expect

When your air conditioning system breaks down, it can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. But before you panic, it's important to understand the cost of air conditioning repairs and what you can expect to pay for different types of services with different types of AC companies. From minor fixes to major repairs, this guide will help you navigate the world of air conditioning repair.


Common AC Problems and Their Costs

There are several common problems that can occur with an air conditioning system, each with their own associated costs. For example, a refrigerant leak can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,500 to repair, while a faulty compressor can cost upwards of $2,000 to replace. Other common issues include clogged air filters, plugged drain lines, broken thermostats, and electrical problems, each with their own unique repair costs. It's important to have a professional diagnose the issue and provide an accurate estimate before proceeding with any repairs.


Here are some common air conditioning repairs. We’ve added our estimated repair costs along with the cost of some of our large competitors in the Houston area.

AC Repair Task

​Uni-Serve

​Houston Competitors*

​Minor Electrical Problems (Capacitor, contactor, etc.)

$250-$350

$600-$700

Plugged Condensate Drains

$250-$300​

$300-$500

​Replace Fan Motors (non-ECM)

$750-$1200​

$1200-$2500

Add 410a Refrigerant (per pound)

$110-$125

$125-$175

*Does not include every single competitor in the Houston area. Prices are actual prices that have been observed by our team from large AC companies.


Factors That Affect the Cost of AC Repair

The cost of an air conditioning repair can vary depending on several factors. The type of repair needed, the age and condition of the system, and the location of the repair service can all impact the final cost. Also, the company that you are working with and their overhead will affect the cost.


At Uni-Serve Air Conditioning, we strive to provide the best possible service at a fair price. We do our best to keep our overhead down so that we do not have to add additional margin to our air conditioning repair services. However, it is difficult to do that these days. For example, we just renewed all our insurance policies for the year. We are a small company, and we pay tens of thousands of dollars for insurance. We also pay thousands of dollars a year on gas and tolls. And we want great people working on our team, so we want to pay them fairly!


As a homeowner or small business owner, you should want great people to come out to take care of your air conditioning system. You should also want a company that has the proper insurance coverages and will take care of your home or business!


Additionally, if the AC company you use has billboards, radio ads, TV ads, and more, then those costs will be built into their air conditioning repair costs. Most AC companies, including Uni-Serve, use a flat rate pricing model for repairs. There are a few companies that still utilize a time and materials pricing model, but most have switched to a flat rate method. The company overhead is one of the factors used to calculate the flat rate prices.


How to Save Money on AC Repair

While air conditioning repair can be costly, there are ways to save money on the service. One option is to schedule regular maintenance and check-ups to catch any potential issues before they become major repairs. Uni-Serve Air Conditioning offers the Uni-Shield maintenance plan to shield against system outages. This is a service agreement that comes with multiple benefits, including discounts on repairs.


The idea is that we can come out twice a year during our slow seasons and check everything on the system. If a part is failing, we can replace it at a discounted price. This helps us continue to operate during slow times and provide a benefit to our maintenance customers.

You can find out more about our maintenance plan here:



When to Replace Your AC Unit Instead of Repairing It

While repairing your air conditioning system can be a cost-effective solution, there will come a time when it makes more sense to replace the system altogether. If your system is more than 10 years old and requires frequent repairs, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to invest in a new system. Additionally, if your system is not energy-efficient and is driving up your energy bills, a new unit may save you money in the long run. Feel free to consult with us to determine if repairing or replacing your system is the best option for your specific situation.


An HVAC industry accepted rule for determining whether to repair or replace an HVAC system is the $5,000 rule. You can multiply the age of your equipment by its estimated repair cost. If the result is under $5,000, then repairing the system is likely the route to go. If the result is over $5,000, then it is likely time to consider a replacement. You can use this calculator to help!



This information is a general guideline. If you think it’s time to replace your HVAC system, please reach out to us, and we can help you. You can always call or text 281-360-9898.

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