Evaporator Coil Replacement Cost Range
The cost of replacing an evaporator coil in a central HVAC system is generally between $910 – $2,460. The factors that determine the cost are size of the coil, the refrigerant it uses, the location of the coil, the age and overall condition of your central air conditioner system.
The average cost to replace the evaporator coil in your home central air conditioner system is $2,180 when the system is out of warranty. For do-it-yourself homeowners, you can plan to pay between $600 to $850 for the replacement coil and refrigerant needed to recharge the unit.
When hiring a professional HVAC contractor to handle the repair and installation, the cost is between $600 (In warranty, labor only) and $1,980 (Out of warranty). Professional installation usually includes the cost of the cased or uncased evaporator coil, installation supplies, cleaning and reconnecting the ac drain line as needed, as well as removal and disposal of your old coil.
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 an outdoor condenser coil, compressor or complete ac unit and coil
Overview of Central AC Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coil in your ac unit often fail sooner than almost any other major component of a home HVAC system. While many will argue the reason for failure, most agree 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 a leaking coil or complete failure. While a properly maintained AC and evaporator coil will last 10-15 years or longer, an improperly cared for system could fail you as quickly as 1-3 years. In addition, not having the condensate drain line cleaned each year can result in water buildup that will corrode the coil and increase failure rates, as well as reducing the life of your furnace, or heat exchanger, if the coil drain pan overflows and drips into it.
This Costimate will help you estimate the cost of replacing the air conditioning 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.
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 Evaporator Coil (Cooling BTU / Tons) – More Below
In residential applications, central ac systems are measured in btus. 12,000 btu’s equals 1-ton of cooling and 60,000 btu equals 5 tons of cooling. The sizes most common in home central units are: 1.5 tons (18,000 btu), 2 tons (24,000 btu), 2.5 tons (30,000), 3 tons (36,000 btus), 3.5 tons (42,000 btus), 4 (48,000 btus) and 5 tons (60,000 btus) cooling capacity. The AC evaportor coil must be matched to your outdoor AC condensing unit. Larger coils cost more money.
- Type of HVAC System and Coil – Split systems are the easiest and lowest cost to replace, compared to a packaged HVAC system, which has the coil built into the single unit outside your home. Additionally, if you have a mini-split system the entire indoor unit will likely need to be replaced versus just the coil itself since the air handler and coil are packaged into a cassette type unit mounted to an indoor wall.
- Efficiency Rating (SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
Again, the AC coil rating must be matched to a proper TXV as your outdoor unit. Efficiency ratings range from 10 seer (outdated and no longer available) to 27 seer and more on some of the latest and most advanced HVAC systems. The higher the SEER rating is, the more your system and parts like an evaporator coil are going to cost. Alternatively, higher seer ratings also result in a much more efficient system, costing you much less to operate over the life of the unit.
- Refrigerant Type – R-22 refrigerant, R410 refrigerant, etc. Since some refrigerants have passed the end of life, you may need to pay higher refrigerant prices or replace the entire system if it’s not available and no substitute exists.
- 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 cost to replace an evaporator coil. This can save a few hundred dollars at the time of the repair.
Cost of Equipment and Installation Supplies
Evaporator Coil Cost by Size
|Evaportator Coil Size||Coil Cost||Average Installed Cost|
|1.5 Ton Evaporator Coil||$180 – $310||$400 – $1,400|
|2 Ton Evaporator Coil||$210 – $340||$545 – $1,620|
|2.5 Ton Evaporator Coil||$260 – $410||$565 – $1,720|
|3 Ton Evaporator Coil||$300- $460||$635 – $1,810|
|3.5 Ton Evaporator Coil||$340 – $435||$695 – $1,880|
|4 Ton Coil||$360 – $510||$745 – $1,925|
|5 Ton Coil||$420 – $635||$785 – $2,190|
Evaporator Coil Cost by Brand
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, Carrier 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 other 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.
Note: The average installed cost below includes the refrigerant recharge and supplies needed to complete the coil replacement cost.
|Unit Brand||Evaporator Coil Cost||Average Installed Cost|
|Carrier / Bryant / Heil||$310 – $530||$625 – $1,600|
|Trane / American Standard||$340 – $560||$645 – $1,720|
|Amana / Goodman||$260 – $510||$545 – $1,420|
|Lennox||$285- $535||$635 – $1,710|
|Rheem / Ruud||$225 – $550||$495 – $1,680|
|York Coleman||$240 – $490||$545 – $1,595|
|Whirlpool / Gibson||$265 – $515||$585 – $1,690|
|Generic Coil||$210 – $450||$425 – $1,510|
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
Cost of Installation Supplies
In addition to the evaporator coil itself, you may also have to incur these additional costs when replacing an evaporator coil.
- $160 – $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.
Installation Cost and Time
Most evaporator coil replacement cost estimates will be based on a flat rate versus hourly. If the coil is covered by the manufacturer or your home warranty, the manufacturer or warranty company will pay the cost of an evaporator coil itself, but you will still responsible for the installation labor costs for the contractor. In these cases, the contractor may charge hourly, versus flat rate.
- $80 – $110 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.
We’ve found the projects listed below to be closely related to having an evaporator coil in your home replaced or installed. You can also review all HVAC repair and installation cost estimates.
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DIY or Hire a Pro
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 complete system and new coil with refrigerant all require special tools, skills and certifications.
- Need a refrigerant certificate.
- Sheet metal work and other mechanical knowledge.
- Requires many specialty tools and skills.
- Trying to save by going DIY, may add to the total cost by a company having to undo your mistakes.
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!
Compare Costs from Leading Resources
- Rahn Industries: $1,335 – $1,890, 3 Ton AC Coil Replacement
- HomeAdvisor: $600 - $2,000, Installed
- Phoenix AC Experts: $600 - $1,500, Cost range, depending on whether you DIY or hire a professional (recommended)
- Advanced Air of Florida: $900 - $1,800, Depending on size, warranty, and who handles the installation
- HomeGuide: $400 - $2,400, Based on being covered by warranty or not.
Common Questions and Answers
Why Does an Evaporator Coil Fail?
There are too many reasons to list, but the most common cause of evaporator coil failure is lack of proper cleaning and maintenance, resulting in corrosion that causes the refrigerant to leak out. Annual cleaning and having your system serviced by a local HVAC company extends the life of your AC system and finds problems before they result in complete failure.
Should You Replace the Evaporator Coil of an Older AC System?
If your system is more than 7-8 years old and not covered by warranty, you should ask for a complete AC system replacement quote. Replacing the evaporator coil is likely 25-30% of a new unit. Replacing the coil only is just delaying the full system replacement and a new coil will need to be installed again when it does.
Can I Replace the Drain Pan Only?
In some cases, the drain pan can crack, resulting in corrosion of everything lower than the coil or leaks onto your ceiling. Some pans can be replaced, but most often the cost is higher due to the amount of labor involved and it's best to replace the entire coil with a new one.
What Does a Coil Warranty Cover?
The warranty from the manufacturer covers the cost of the part alone. You'll be responsible to pay the labor for installation, as well as any refrigerant that needs to be replaced.
Does Changing Filters Help Extend Evaporator Coil Life?
Yes. The HVAC return filters are the single most neglected, and leading cause of most problems with an HVAC system.
What is the Difference Between an Evaporator Coil and Condensing Unit Coil?
The evaporator coil in an HVAC system is located inside the air handler or furnace and cools the air passing over it from the refrigerant. A condenser coil, or condensing unit coil, is the large coil on the unit outside your home that removes the heat from your refrigerant. These two coils are connected with a refrigerant lineset.