The cost of HVAC preventative maintenance is fully dependant on whether or not your system requires a typical maintenance check, or an emergency HVAC repair. However, a single maintenance visit can save you from a repair or energy inefficiency and actually be a huge energy cost savings in the long run. Traditionally, the cost of standard HVAC maintenance is a low-budget endeavor, much of which can be done by you. In certain cases, it is recommended to hire a professional contractor who is an HVAC expert, but more often than not, such preventative maintenance tasks can be handled by you, yourself! However, in the case of HVAC repair, we recommend a professional assist you.

What’s Included with Preventative Maintenance

Standard HVAC unit maintenance includes cleaning condenser coils, hosing down the exterior AC unit, and changing the filter in the furnace when necessary. All of these maintenance items are low cost, DIY projects that can be completed by homeowners and without professional assistance.

However, there will be times in the life of your HVAC system where the services of a licensed professional will be required. Every HVAC company preaches the need for yearly scheduled HVAC airconditioning service and maintenance, provided by a technician. The gospel truth of HVAC maintenance is that your system needs a professional inspection every year. Professional checkups are crucial for the continued operation and longevity of your HVAC system, and many Air Conditioner warranties require regular servicing for the warranty for your AC unit to remain valid. This is where a maintenance agreement comes into play. Here are some of the categories of hvac maintenance costs, and examples of the work you can expect to pay for.

Proactive Maintenance Costs

Proactive maintenance costs refer to any out of pocket, tune-up cost that has to do with standard HVAC preventative maintenance. These tune-ups are generall annual maintenance check ups to ensure the proper functionality of your heating or cooling system. These costs can range from something small like replacing a part, or something slightly more expensive like a standard professional HVAC service call. Here are some examples of the usual prices of proactive maintenance for heating and cooling systems

-Standard service call and HVAC system tune-up…$100-$150

-Inspecting the vents and changing the air filter…$5-$40


-Cleaning the external AC Unit…$5 in cleaning supplies and about an hour of your time

Reactive Maintenance Costs

Reactive maintenance costs refer to any cost that requires immediate attention to your AC unit for it to function and maintain energy efficiency. Often reactive maintenance costs are the result of a fan belt breaking or a coolant leak. These costs are exponentially higher than proactive maintenance costs and often require a surplus of spending depending on what parts need to be replaced. Examples of Reactive maintenance costs include: 

-Replace condenser coil…$1,900 to $2,900

-Replace blower motor…$450

-Repair refrigerant leak…$200 to $1,500

-Replace compressor…$1,900+

-Replace pressure sensor/circuit board…$350

As you can tell, reactive maintenance repair does not have the same tune-up cost as a proactive maintenance service. In order to avoid these costly repairs, an annual HVAC maintenance is recommended.

Specialty Jobs

Specialty jobs are typically a more expensive category of maintenance projects than the standard cleanings and system checkups. Specialty jobs often require intense labor of a skilled HVAC technician, which in and of itself is going to be a higher premium than a standard visit. This especially applies to commercial HVAC maintenance. Additionally, specialty jobs usually require specific parts that are often special ordered or just downright expensive. 

One example of a specialty job for HVAC maintenance is ductwork. This intricate process requires specialized equipment and may even necessitate you leaving your house for a couple of days. Clean ducts are integral for ensuring that your heating and cooling systems are running as efficiently as possible, and specialty jobs like duct cleaning can run anywhere between $300-$500. Damaged ducts can affect energy efficiency, eventually leading to elevated energy bills.

Why Does HVAC Maintenance Cost Vary?

Although the prices of HVAC maintenance can vary from vendor to vendor, there are noteworthy factors that are accounted for when figuring out the total costs. The HVAC maintenance cost usually varies primarily because of factors such as the system size, complexity, and number of items that require maintenance. Other factors that will impact the total maintenance cost include if your equipment is easily accessible or where the vendor is located and how frequently they service your area.  For example, if you are doing routine maintenance for your ac system that would cost less than doing a full air conditioner maintenance repair for the first time.

Service Contracts

One of the biggest dilemmas facing a home or business owner is whether to take advantage of the service contract (maintenance agreement) offered by their HVAC system company. The terms of these  HVAC maintenance plan service contracts vary depending on the HVAC contractor, but almost all service contracts cover some form of regularly scheduled maintenance. Additionally, priority service is included in a service contract, which can make the whole contract worthwhile, especially if you find yourself in need of immediate assistance. This could be a beneficial option for business owners who have to look after a commercial hvac system.  

The typical price for an HVAC service contract ranges from $100-$500 per year but often does not cover parts. Most commonly service contracts are offered while the AC unit itself is still under warranty, which puts homeowners in a bit of a pickle. If your AC unit fails while still under warranty then the cost to repair it is covered by the manufacturer. 

Without the priority assistance of a service contract, you could find yourself waiting somewhere between two and four weeks for a repair. Especially during the summer months when HVAC companies are busy with all sorts of emergency repairs due to high temperature, the yearly cost of a service contract seems worth it, just in case. 

Regular HVAC maintenance service is crucial for the longevity of your HVAC unit. Often it is the upfront costs like regular professional service visits and performance contracts that yield the best results for your system. While these upfront costs may seem pricey, they are much less costly than the out of pocket cost that comes from a major HVAC malfunction that could call for installation of an entirely new cooling and heating system. To best protect your HVAC system and your wallet, make sure you have the best possible protection plan and are getting the necessary regular maintenance.

Simpson Sheet Metal

Looking for preventative HVAC maintenance? As a leading HVAC contractor in the Northern Bay Area…we can do it ALL Our services range from routine maintenance to custom ductwork. We provide heating and air conditioning repair in Santa Rosa and the surrounding areas for customers in need of immediate help or believe their issue is beyond normal maintenance.

Is it Worth it?

While looking at the different HVAC maintenance contract offers, you may be wondering if you are getting the most out of your money. The simple answer is yes. To be more concise, having regular maintenance check ups can save you time and money in the long run by creating longer equipment life and costing you lower energy expenses at the same time. Having a HVAC technician do an annual maintenance check can be beneficial for forecasting future maintenance problems before it is too late and even more costly to fix. Although looking at the prices for the maintenance plans can be daunting, just remember that your future self will thank you for taking the time to do this.