How Much Does a Home AC Recharge Cost?

Recharging refrigerant is one of the most common cooling services. If you only need refrigerant added, and it’s not due to damage, you’ll spend much less. The house AC recharge cost depends on why you need coolant in the first place and whether your system still uses Freon or R-22 refrigerant.

According to Home Advisor, the average cost for a Freon refill in 2021 was between $100 and $350. However, prices continue to go up. If you have an older, larger R-22 system, it can cost $600 or more to refill. To compare prices, R-22 ranges from $20 to $50 per pound, while R-410A costs about $3 to $8 per pound (most systems require 6 to 15 pounds).

What to Consider When Calculating the Cost to Add Freon to Your Home’s AC

There are many factors to consider when refilling your air conditioner’s coolant, from labor to supplies. Make sure that your system is truly in need of coolant before spending the money to have it refilled. Hiring a skilled technician will allow you to accurately determine the timeline of the refill process, the cost of the service, and if there are any other issues with your system.

AC Labor Costs

An AC professional may charge between $50 and $150 per hour to add Freon to your air conditioner, but the price of labor varies by location. If the cost of living in your area is high, labor costs will generally be higher, so the contractors can support their overhead costs

Nonetheless, time is a factor; for every pound of Freon, the job takes about five to ten minutes. For a three-ton unit, you’ll need six to 12 pounds of coolant, which can require anywhere from half an hour to up to two hours to fill.

Can I DIY a Freon AC Refill?

repair AC air conditioner

This is illegal. Per the Clean Air Act, you must have a license in order to purchase or handle home air conditioning refrigerant. There are many risks involved as well. Refrigerant can be toxic, and if you fill your AC with the wrong type or incorrectly fill it, you can ruin the entire system and need cooling equipment replacement.

Additionally, if you need a recharge, chances are there’s a leak, and you’ll need an experienced technician to repair the problem. These professionals will carefully inspect your system and find the cause of the issues, lowering the risk of future problems arising.

The Type of Unit in Your Home

To get a better understanding of how much home AC recharging will cost, you need to think about what style of air conditioner you have. Here is a breakdown of the most popular air conditioning systems in homes:

• Window AC Units: These systems are generally smaller and cost less to recharge than central or ductless air conditioners. This means they will be less expensive to refill than other styles.

• Ductless AC Units: While these units also only cool one room, they can cover more space. That means, they likely require more coolant than window units.

• Central AC Units: These systems have the power to cool your entire home. Due to their huge responsibility, they require a lot more coolant than other system types, meaning they’ll cost more to refill.

What Is the Cost of Fixing a Freon Leak in an Air Conditioner?

When calculating the cost of recharging AC refrigerant when there’s a leak, it’s also important to consider various other factors, including:

  1. Freon Recovery: Even if coolant is leaking, there’s likely some left that needs to be removed from the system. You’ll need to pay extra for recovery whenever disposing of an AC unit or when it’s opened for repairs. The coolant needs to be carefully removed from these complex machines to avoid any potential damage.
  2. Refrigerant Disposal: Companies often charge by the pound to evacuate coolant from an AC system. The cost varies depending on the type of unit and the contractor’s fees. This is part of any service involving recharging, changing coolant, or replacing an air conditioner.
  3. Cause of the Problem: If a leak is present, you won’t just need more Freon, but you also need to fix the reason it leaked in the first place. The refrigerant lines may need to be repaired or replaced. If ice has built up on a line, liquid coolant can reach the compressor (causing major damage), which is even more expensive to fix. Regardless of the problem, the cost depends on what the repair company charges for parts and labor.

Signs You Need a Home AC Recharge

There are many signs that you need to have your air conditioner’s coolant replaced. The sooner you schedule service, the more likely you can avoid more expensive repairs. That’s why it’s important to be alert for the following symptoms:

  1. The AC is constantly running, but your home isn’t cool.
  2. You’re only getting warm air from the vents.
  3. The electric bill continues to go up.
  4. Ice keeps building up on the refrigerant line.
  5. You hear hissing or bubbling sounds from AC tubing.

Our technicians at Black Hills have the proper licenses, training, and equipment to address any cause of low refrigerant in your AC system. We’re dedicated to helping you keep AC charging costs down so you can be comfortable throughout the cooling season.

Contact us today for reliable AC maintenance and repair in Olympia, Washington.