How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Window AC Unit?
Most homeowners spend between $128 to $211 nationally.
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Some people simply can't survive the summer comfortably without air conditioning. Although central air conditioners are great for keeping the whole house cool, window air conditioners are an option for those who don't want to deal with bigger units. Perched on windows, these air conditioners can cool specific rooms in the house, and they're convenient to move. Yet, these units are not immune to damage.
This cost guide details what to expect when hiring a cooling professional to repair a window air conditioner.
National Service Window A/C Unit Costs
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|National Average Cost||$222|
|Average Range||$128 to $211|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 100 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Window Air Conditioner Repair Cost
- Window Unit Ac Repair Cost Factors
- Window Ac Unit Repair Vs. Replacement
- Common Problem With Window Air Conditioners
- Common Solutions For Window Air Conditioners
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Fix A Window Air Conditioner
- Find A Pro
Window Air Conditioner Repair Cost
The average reported cost to repair a window air conditioner is $212. Some people pay as little as $50, while others spend up to $700 for the job, but the total bill for most people is between $104 and $321. Homeowners who choose to do this work on their own typically pay only for the cost of the replacement parts. Below are prices for some common parts you might need:
- Blower Wheel: $71
- Capacitator: $122
- Filter: $76
- Thermostat: $103
Window Unit AC Repair Cost Factors
The cost to repair a window air conditioner or any HVAC system varies depending on the number of parts and amount of labor required to solve the problem. For example, parts like the plastic curtain frame that covers the open sections of the window cost approximately $43 per piece. However, a new fan motor runs closer to $300, and a compressor costs around $128. Brand-specific parts cost more than universal pieces, so using them adds to your bill.
On average, technicians charge $30 per hour for labor, but technicians may have higher or lower rates in different parts of the country. The total labor charge also varies depending on the length of time it takes to complete the repair. If you want the technician to reinstall the air conditioner after repairing it, expect to pay additional labor charges for the installation.
Window AC Unit Repair Vs. Replacement
For some homeowners, replacing a faulty window unit is a better option than trying to repair it. This is especially true if the unit is relatively new; it's usually cheaper to replace the unit because manufacturers don't design them to go through extensive repairs. For some older models, though, repairing the unit is a viable option. Choosing to repair the unit means removing it from the window and transporting it to the technician. Additionally, newer units often have features unavailable on older models, like remote controls and digital controls over the thermostat, which can require specialized parts and skills for repair. Consider the value of your time and money when deciding whether it's worth it to go through the extra steps.
Common Problems With Window Air Conditioners
Many window air conditioners fail when dirt and grime clog their parts. Insects, frogs and debris commonly get trapped in the vents—especially during months when the unit doesn't see much use—and get trapped inside. Other problems include plugging the unit into an outlet not designed for the electrical current, water dripping inside the house and a unit that cycles on and off too frequently. Many homeowners also deal with air conditioners that refuse to turn on, even after showing no warning signs of failure.
Common Solutions For Window Air Conditioners
Regular maintenance is the simplest way to avoid problems with your window air conditioner. This means you should clean the filters each month or sooner if they trap dust more frequently. At least once per year, the water pan and condenser coils need a thorough cleaning to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. If you don't use the air conditioner during winter months, remove it from the window and store it until the temperatures rise or cover the back of it to keep dirt and creatures out. You should also unplug it so the unit doesn't have an electrical current running to it.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
For mechanically inclined homeowners, repairing a window air conditioner as a DIY project is an option, but most people should hire a pro for the task. Window air conditioners contain the same components as larger central units; they're just in a smaller case. If you wouldn't try to repair a central air conditioner on your own, you should also avoid trying to work on a window unit. A trained technician understands how the different parts of the air conditioner function and has the necessary skills to work with them without causing damage.
How To Fix A Window Air Conditioner
To fix a window air conditioner, the technician must first identify the cause of the problem and then follow the manufacturer's instructions to complete the repair. The steps below outline the process for fixing the two most common problems with window air conditioners: not turning on and not cooling.
Window Air Conditioner Not Turning On
Window air conditioners fail to turn on for many different reasons. For instance, if the unit turns off suddenly, the compressor may need to cool down before it turns on again. Sometimes, the air conditioner overloads an electrical circuit and trips a breaker or triggers the reset switch on a GFCI outlet. If the unit still doesn't turn on after you've reset the breaker and given it time to rest, the power switch or thermostat on the unit likely needs repairing.
- Turn off the air conditioner, unplug it and remove it from the window.
- Remove the front grille and control panel. The thermostat attaches to a sensing bulb located near the evaporator coil area. Take a picture of the thermostat and sensing bulb because the new thermostat must go back in the same spot.
- Carefully remove the thermostat from the unit. Some people prefer to test the thermostat and replace it only if it doesn't work.
If the air conditioner still doesn't turn on, it's time to contact a professional who can diagnose the problem. In most cases, the problem at this point is beyond the scope of a home handyman.
Window Air Conditioner Not Cooling
If a window air conditioner doesn't cool, it likely needs either a thorough cleaning or refrigerant recharge. Both of these require taking the unit apart.
- Unplug the air conditioner and move it from the window to a flat surface that can support its weight.
- Disassemble the air conditioner by removing the front grille and the screws holding the case together.
- Clean the coil fins using the soft brush attachment of a vacuum and spray the fins with water to remove all traces of grime.
- Clean inside the air conditioner using a rag. This is a good opportunity to check the drains for clogs and clear them, if necessary.
- Lubricate the motor. Add refrigerant as needed.
- Reassemble the air conditioner after the unit thoroughly dries.
Most people find that this improves the air conditioner's ability to cool. However, if the unit still fails to work properly, consult a professional for more assistance.
Find A Pro
Don't sweat a damaged window air conditioner. ImproveNet can help you find an experienced air conditioning professional in your area who can repair the unit, helping you stay cool all summer. Use our free lead generator to get started today.