There's a big difference between the cost of an HVAC repair, and the cost of an HVAC tune-up. It's important to note that you can prevent the former when you're diligent about the latter.
According to 2017 figures cited by Thumbtack.com, a website comparing contractor's data from all over the nation:
- Average Cost of HVAC Tune-Ups. The average cost of an HVAC tune-up ranges between $100 and $200 - with prices varying according to the size of your home, the type of system you have, the age of the system, etc.
- Average Cost of HVAC Repairs. The average cost of an HVAC repair runs between $120 and $1000 or more. Keeping in mind that the average "show up" cost to have a repair person in the home is $100, labor charges typically run between $100 and $150 per hour, and parts can run the gamut from $100 circuit boards to $1000 leak repairs.
Those lower-cost "repairs" are typically the result of "operator error," meaning the system works just fine when we get there, but a wonky thermostat setting or a tripped breaker made it seem like the HVAC wasn't working properly - thus customers end up with a "show up" repair charge.
This difference in tune-up versus repair costs is the reason we're so relentless with our advice to take advantage of routine HVAC maintenance in order to minimize lifetime repair costs, in addition to extending the life of your system.
Repairs Performed During Routine Tune-Ups Cost Much Less
We don't need the folks at Thumbtack to tell us about average costs. After fifty years in the HVAC business, we've learned that repairs that take place during routine HVAC tune-ups cost significantly less that those generated by a repair call.
No "Show Up"Costs
As cited above, HVAC contractors have a base "show up" charge. Since this fee is absorbed into a pre-set, tune-up appointment cost, you're already saving a nice chunk right there.
Hourly Labor Charges Add Up
Hourly labor charges can add up quickly, and you're typically billed for a full-hour from the first minute a technician walks through your door.
If we're already there for a scheduled maintenance appointment, and we notice a red flag, we may be able to repair it there on the spot, saving precious time and money. Similarly, if we notice a repair is serious or that your system needs to be replaced, you aren't typically charged a show-up fee for the ensuing repair appointment.
Not surprisingly, HVACs have uncanny timing with the way they start trouble. Your system is most likely to break down on the very hottest/coldest days of the year (along with half of the mid-Virginia area), just after we close on a Friday night, or in the middle of your Saturday night party.
Unfortunately, while most HVAC companies worth their salt offer emergency repair hours, the costs associated with after-hours and/or weekend/holiday visits are typically double or triple what they would be during a Monday-Friday, working hours version.
Thus, observing your bi-annual HVAC tune-up schedule - A/C tune-ups in the early spring and early fall for your heating system (we do 6-month tune-ups all year round, not just Spring and Fall) - is the best way to minimize repairs at a holistic level, and reduce the costs of necessary repairs in the meantime.
Comfort Club Members Reap Exceptional Costs Savings & Other Rewards
Are you a member of your HVAC company's Comfort Club? That's what we call it here at Howell's, but most HVAC companies have something just like it. For a small, annual fee, Comfort Club members reap generous rewards - including reduced repair costs.
In addition to regularly schedule tune-ups at a reduced price, discounts on repairs, replacement parts and replacement systems, our Comfort Club members also get a free service visit if their recently repaired or replaced item, or system, breaks down within three-months of the previous Comfort Club tune-up visit.
Also, once you're a member of the Comfort Club, you're never charged that "automatic show up" fee for your scheduled maintenance visits. We simply come on by for free; homeowners only have to pay for parts and labor charges. And, did we mention that you'll also have priority service when/if you need service outside of your twice-yearly service visits?
All in all, joining the Comfort Club saves our homeowners hundreds - and even thousands - of dollars per year.
Schedule That HVAC Tune-Up Pronto!
Do yourself - and your wallet - a favor by calling your HVAC company right now and scheduling that visit once and for all. Join their Comfort Club while you're at it and give yourself peace of mind. Together, regular tune-ups and service-oriented savings will drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on parts, repairs and replacements over the life of your HVAC system.
Interested in working with one of Richmond's most trusted HVAC contractors? Contact us here at Howell's Heating and Air and we'll provide top-notch service at a competitive price.