Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) is one of the most critical systems in your home. It ensures that you and your family enjoy consistent, comfortable indoor temperatures all year round. Unfortunately, most homeowners tend to neglect or forget about this system as long as it’s in good working condition.
And it can be pretty frustrating when your HVAC system suddenly breaks down. While some issues are quick and easy to fix, others require extensive repair or replacement of core components, costing thousands of dollars.
In this article, you’ll learn the top four most expensive HVAC problems you want to avoid at all costs.
- Damaged Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is an expensive part of your HVAC system since it plays a critical role: heat transfer. Your HVAC’s heat exchanger comprises a series of coal that heats passing air. In particular, condenser and evaporator coils assist in the heating and cooling of your home. As such, they are quite expensive to repair or replace.
In the condenser, the refrigerant changes from vapor to liquid, which gives heat to the heat-rejection fluid. By contrast, an evaporator changes the refrigerant from liquid to gas while removing heat from the cooling refrigerant fluid.
If any of these is damaged, it can lead to inefficient heat transfer and higher energy costs. Repairing and replacing a heat exchanger isn’t the most affordable choice. The cost of replacing your HVAC’s heat exchanger can set you back from USD$1,000 to USD$3,500, depending on the type, size, and labor charges.
Keep in mind that repairing or replacing the heat exchanger isn’t a DIY project. This complex job requires taking apart your HVAC system and putting it back again. Any mistake can lead to dangerous risks, for instance, leaking carbon monoxide into your home.
- Failing Compressor
The compressor is considered one of the most essential parts of HVAC, particularly the air conditioning (AC) system. As its name suggests, the compressor compresses the refrigerant as it enters the system to increase the overall temperature and push it into the coils.
In short, it is responsible for moving the refrigerant through the system to remove humidity and heat. If the compressor fails, you’ll need a total replacement which can cost you up to USD$1,200.
You may also need to replace other parts of the AC system when the compressor fails. That said, some AC may still have a warranty to cover the compressor replacement cost, so check with your AC provider.
- Leaking Refrigerants
Every HVAC system needs refrigerant for proper air conditioning. This chemical compound is responsible for kick-starting the cooling and heating process. Without it, air can’t be conditioned to any temperature.
In some cases, a refrigerant leak can be cheap to fix. This is particularly true for leaks in the refrigerant line, which can only cost you a few hundred dollars.
However, if leaks occur in the compressor or evaporator coils, you’ll have to shell out up to USD$1,500 for repairing the leak alone. If the leak caused damage to your condenser and evaporator coils, then that’s another cost you need to prepare for.
Moreover, there will be an extra charge to fill the refrigerant on your HVAC system. On top of these, you have to pay for the labor cost.
- Broken Fan Motor
Your HVAC system’s outdoor unit consists of a fan that blows hot or cold air exhaust out of the system. When your thermostat communicates to your HVAC system that the temperature settings aren’t being met, your system will kick on. The fan motor then operates to circulate that produced air.
Owing to its usual location, the fan motor is prone to damage from too much debris that falls onto it or gets into it. Generally, repair or replacement of the fan motor isn’t as expensive as the above HVAC parts. The cost of replacing the fan motor itself can cost up to USD$600. Labor can only cost you up to USD$250 per hour, so you can expect a total replacement amount of up to USD$750.
This is only applicable if you make the necessary repairs as soon as the problem occurs. If you delay the repair, a broken fan motor can cause additional issues in your HVAC system, causing strain on other parts of the system.
For instance, a problematic fan can force your compressor to work harder and cause damage, which can go up to USD$2,500 to replace. So, when you notice unusual noise on your fan motor, call a trusted HVAC professional to address the issue before it becomes a major headache.
All HVAC issues can be a headache, and the ones mentioned here are those you never want to experience for the sake of your budget. Fortunately, any HVAC issue, especially the most expensive ones, can be prevented with regularly scheduled professional maintenance. Expert HVAC contractors can quickly spot and resolve potential issues immediately before they become a bigger problem.
Thus, don’t skimp on the maintenance of your HVAC system. It goes a long way in providing you with consistent indoor temperatures and comfort for years to come.