rusted evaporator coil

Compare Cost to Replace a  Central AC Evaporator Coil

Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The average cost to replace a central AC evaporator coil is around $655, when the parts are under manufacturer warranty. Out of warranty coil repair cost is approximately $1,370 for parts and installation.

Low Estimate
$500 – $750
Average Cost Estimate
$600 – $1,350
High Estimate
$975 – $1,850
Brand Ratings 1-3 Stars 2-4 Stars 4-5 Stars
AC Coil Size 1.5 – 2.5 Tons 1.5 – 4 Tons 2 – 5 Tons
SEER (Eff Rating) 10-13 seer 13-16 seer 13-21 seer
Coil Cost $185- $250 $200- $350 $250 – $500
Supplies Cost $150 – $250 $200 – $310 $200 – $310
Installation Cost $0 – $350 $300 – $450 $400 – $800
Installed By DIY Or Pro Pro Pro
Permit & Inspection $0 – $200 $0 – $200 $0 – $200
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Note: This page covers repair, installation, and evaporator coil replacement cost for central air conditioner and heat pump systems only. It does not cover complete hvac systems, or components like a compressor or complete ac unit and coil.

Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro | Web Compare | Shared Pricing

Overview

Evaporator coils commonly fail sooner than almost any other component of a home HVAC system. While many will argue the reasoning for failure, everyone agrees that if you don’t properly clean and maintain your system every year, it will eventually result in a buildup of dust, soot and other airborne particles that will block air flow and lead to failure. In addition, not having the condensate drain line cleaned each year can result in water buildup, that will corrode the coil and increased failure rates as well as reducing the life of your furnace, if the coil drips into it.

This Costimate will help you estimate the cost of replacing the AC evaporator coil in your home cooling system. We’ll cover different types of coils for both central air and heat pump systems, as well as other work that may need to be done at the same time your coil is replaced. If you’ve already learned your evaporator coil has reached the end and your central air conditioner is more than 8 years old, you should consider comparing the cost of ac unit and coil replacement at the same time, since both components need to be matched for efficiency and proper operation.

Related Cost Estimates

Product Cost and Installation Supplies

Evaporator Coil Cost Factors

The evaporator coil is a key component in the operation of your central ac, and it must be matched to the outdoor condensing unit in both size (btu capacity) and refrigerant type. The factors below will have the greatest impact on cost of AC evaporator coil replacement.

  • Size of Unit (Cooling BTU / Tons)
    Must be matched to your outdoor AC condensing unit. Larger coils cost more money.
  • Efficiency Rating (SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
    Again, the coil rating must be matched to a proper TXV as your outdoor unit.
  • Refrigerant Type (R22 / R410)
  • Physical Size and Configuration
    When you’re replacing an existing coil, the space left behind after removal may not fit the new coil. If added sheet metal work is needed, it will increase labor costs.
  • Brand Name (More below)
    Just like a BMW costs a bit more than a Yugo, the same holds true in AC equipment and coil costs. Higher rated brand name products are going to cost more.
  • Is Coil Covered by Warranty?
    A manufacturers warranty may cover the evaporator coil itself, but it will not cover the labor to do the work. This can save a few hundred dollars at the time of the repair.

The AC Brand, and Why it Affects the Cost of a Coil Replacement

The brand of your central ac unit has a large impact on the cost of just about any type of repair. In the case of an ac coil replacement for example, Goodman uses A-Coils (pictured above) on their central air systems, which are readily available, common in size and shape, and cheaper to manufacture. Carrier, Bryant and several others use an N-Coil design, which has more surface area and thus more costly to manufacture. The evaporator coils with Trane, American Standard and other leading brands are likely matched to your unit for efficiency requirements, so they may need to be more specific models than say a Goodman, York or more affordable brand.

While you’re not required to use a brand specific company to replace your out of warranty coil, you may be required to do with with a warranty replacement. Keep this in mind when you speak to a technician if your central air is still under warranty.

Cost of Installation Supplies

In addition to the coil itself, you may also have to incur these additional costs when replacing an evaporator coil.

  • $150 – $350 | Refrigerant (Like Freon, R22 or R410) recharge costs.
  • $400 – $1,650 | Furnace heat exchanger (if damaged).
  • $180 – $1,200 | Copper refrigerant lineset replacement.
  • $35 – $50 | Miscellaneous copper tubing and fittings.
  • $15 – $50 | Condensate drain line pipe and fittings.
  • $50 – $150 | Sheet metal transition or plenum supplies.
  • $50 – $100 | Duct insulation and wrap.
  • $10 – $50 | Misc fasteners and screws, mastic, metal seam tape, etc.

Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs

Not every town requires a permit to replace the evaporator coil since its considered a repair, versus system replacement. If however, you were replacing the outdoor condensing unit or furnace at the same time, there is a much higher probability you would need a permit and inspection. Check with your local code enforcement office, or ask your contractor.

Permits and Inspection

  • $50 – $200 ea. | Mechanical, Plumbing and/or Other Inspections

Installation Cost and Time

Most evaporator coil replacement estimates will be based on a flat rate. If the coil is under warranty, the manufacturer will pay the cost of the coil itself, but you will still responsible for the labor costs for the contractor. In these cases, the contractor may charge hourly, versus flat rate.

  • $60 – $90 per-hour | Lead Mechanical Installer
  • $60 – $75 per-hour | Apprentice and Helpers

Completed Installation Time

In many cases, the coil can be changed by one lead installer. However, in jobs where sheet metal work, additional furnace repairs or other factors complicate the repair, you will find 2. In almost every evaporator coil replacement I have been a part of, there were two workers who handled the job.

  • 2-3 hours | Simple Coil Replacement
    Easy access to unit, and the old coil and new coil are exact same size.
  • 3-4 hours | Most Common
    Indoor system, with basic refitting of plenum, sheet metal work, etc.
  • 5-10 hours | Difficult Installations
    Attic and crawl space installations that are hard to access. Significant sheet metal, furnace and drain line work to fit the new coil.

DIY or Hire a Pro

steve-hansen

Evaporator coil replacement is a job best left to a professional heating and ac contractor. You might be able to handle the mechanical portion of removing and replacing the coil itself, but brazing, evacuating and reclaiming old refrigerant and charging the new coil with refrigerant all require special tools, skills and certifications.

  • Need Freon/refrigerant certificate.
  • Sheet metal work and other mechanical knowledge.
  • Requires many specialty tools and skills.

Trying to save money by installing your own evaporator coil might be an attractive thought. Aside from buying all the right tools to do the job correctly, you could easily end up causing damage to the outside condensing unit, thus eliminating any savings at all. I’m a handy guy, and this is a pro job every time! There is a good walkthrough and discussion at Houzz on this topic.

I Suggest a Pro, What do you think?

11 0
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Compare Costs from Around the Web

In order to give you a fair comparison of evaporator coil replacement cost, we found these other places around the web who also share installation cost estimates.

Average
Cost Range
Costimates $975 $500 – $1,850
Advanced Air $1,350 $900 – $1,800
AngiesList $1000 $850 – $1,400
QualitySmith $700 $500 to $900
Suggest a Cost Comparison from Another Website

 

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