In this post, I will go over the AC coil leak repair cost for an evaporator and Condenser coil. This post is specific to the cost of a residential air conditioner in your home. The cost to repair an evaporator coil or condenser coil at a house split system will vary based on various criteria. I will go over why some AC coil leak repairs cost more than others.
I will also go over the process the technician will have to go through to give you an idea of why the repair cost the amount it does.
Evaporator Coil Leak Test Cost
Table of Contents
Before the technician can even tell you where the leak is they will need to do some type of leak test. Typically the leak test will be performed in one of two ways. A refrigerant leak detector tool can be used throughout the whole system to determine where the leak is. Sometimes the leak is very difficult to find and dye is required to find the leak. The reason I prefer using the dye right off the bat is to ensure I find all leaks in the system. The leak search using the refrigerant leak search (tool) is cheaper than using the dye. Using the leak search tool will range from $150 – $450 dollars depending on various things about the company. I will explain the price differences in companies later in this post.
Dye Leak Test Cost More
The dye test costs more for multiple reasons, including the dye kit, being expensive and takes more time and expertise. This is just the beginning of the AC coil leak repair cost. It’s very important to make sure you only have one leak in the system. Sometimes the system has a leak in the outdoor condenser coil as well as the inside evaporator coil. This is why I like using the dye to find leaks so I can check the whole system including the condenser, copper line-set, and evaporator coil. Doing this method ensures I don’t fix one repair only to have the customer call back after the refrigerant leaks back out from a separate hole. So expect to pay anywhere from $450 – $850 not including a diagnostic fee of $89 dollars for the dye test.
Condenser Coil Leak Repair Cost
Checking the condenser coil is very similar to checking the evaporator coil I described above. Some companies will include the cost of checking the condenser coil with the evaporator coil. Some companies will separate the charge for the inside and the outside coils. They do this because some systems are very difficult to check at one section or the other. Even if that’s the case the charge to check for a refrigerant leak in the HVAC system should not exceed the prices above. In some rare cases because of extreme difficulty or location, the cost may go up from what I described above. If they use dye or the leak detector tool it should still fall between the prices I have listed above.
Regardless if it’s a condenser coil or an evaporator coil you will need to pay for the refrigerant. If you have an older system that has the R-22 refrigerant you may pay as much as $400 per pound. Some places sell R-22 refrigerant for as little as $240 per pound. I don’t know of any reputable companies that sell it per pound for much less than that. The R-410A refrigerant is environmentally friendly and much less expensive. The R410A is around $89 – $ 199 per pound and will be added to the cost of any repair or replacement.
Make sure to add the cost of the per pound price of the refrigerant to almost any repair. They will have to fill the system up after fixing or replacing a component. As an example, if the system holds 5 pounds of R-22 freon then the cost may be around $1200 dollars in addition to the cost of the leak search and the repair.
Various Coil Repair Cost
Completely separate from the charge of finding the leak will be the repair or replacement of the part that’s leaking. Here are the various types of AC coil leak repairs and the cost attributed to repair that leak. If the leak is in the evaporator coil it will typically be at one of the brazed joints. The picture below shows how the dye glows when the refrigerant leaks out.
Evaporator coils are either aluminum, copper, or a combination of metals. Sometimes the aluminum coils have a leak in an extremely difficult location and are hard to braze with torches. In some circumstances, the evaporator coil will have to be completely removed. If the evaporator coil needs to be completely removed from its metal encasement it will cost more. Removing the coil will cost more than being able to patch a leak without removing the coil. If the technician needs to completely remove the evaporator coil and repair a leak. You can expect to pay around $1200 dollars plus the cost of the leak search. I listed the cost of the leak search above.
If you need a [leak search] and [patch repair] you are looking at a cost of around $1400 – $2100 dollars.
Click Here To Watch This Youtube Video To See How To Braze An Aluminum Coil.
Repair VS Replace
There are a few things to think bout before you decide and spend 1- 2 thousand dollars repairing the coil leak. If the whole system is older than 8 – 10 years old you may want to consider replacement of the whole coil or even the whole system. The way HVAC companies and technicians determine repair vs replacement is by going over the energy efficiency of the existing unit and the cost of future repairs. If the system you have is older than 10 years old and also uses R-22 refrigerant then it may be a good idea to have the whole system replaced. If the system is using an environmentally friendly refrigerant such as R-410A then you have options to just repair.
Homeowners typically know if their HVAC system has had other repairs and is in bad condition. Sometimes the system just doesn’t look good and the homeowner has a good idea it may need major repairs or replacement. The AC coil leak repair cost isn’t worth the money unless you can invest the money and have it last for many years to come.
Whole Evaporator Coil Replacement Cost
If you decide to replace the evaporator coil then this is what you could be looking at for a replacement cost.
There are two types of replacements and the cost is different. If the whole coil cabinet and coil are replaced you may be looking at $2,500 – $4500 dollars depending on the tonnage of the system. If the tonnage of your system is a small tonnage like a 1 or 2 ton then it may be the lower amount. Higher tonnage systems like a 4 or 5-ton may be closer to the higher price. When the whole coil is replaced they have to remove the whole encasement from the plenum and it’s a major job.
If the contractor says (that model) can leave the housing and just replace the internal coil you will pay between $1200 – $2500 to replace the coil.
Read through the sections of this post and add up the cost when you know what needs to be done to yours. The prices I’m giving are for an established HVAC company that will give you a guarantee and back up their work. Depending on where you live and a few other criteria these prices maybe 5% higher or 5% lower.
If you have a question about a price or the repair you were quoted leave me a question below and I will respond.