AC Evaporator Coil & Condenser Coil Replacement Cost Guide
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How much does it cost to replace Carrier AC Coil
You have some people really trying to get in your wallet. How could he possibly know that it will fail in 15 yrs. I had a typical split unit back in VA that ran 17 yrs w/o a single issue, except a bad cap that I replaced myself for $25. The packaged unit on my old house here was original to the build, 1990. It did need a control board replacement in 2010, but it's still up there working away.
Average/expected life of a system is one thing, forecasting the future is another. It may fail next year, in 4 yrs, or 7 years. Unless the savings from a new system justifies the cost, I wouldn't do it.
Maybe I'm stupid (I didn't see your other thread) but pans can and do get repaired all the time. At least I assume so, they're just sheet metal right? Even if it's a temporary fix, or needs re-doing in 2 years, you have to weigh the costs vs a new system and the new issues that may bring with it..
Replace an Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil of your AC unit is responsible for collecting the heat from the air inside your space.
The collected, heated air will then be blown outdoors by the condenser coil. Replacing your broken evaporator coil will vastly depend on the brand and the regional cost.
How much does it cost to replace an evaporator coil? The standard cost of replacing an evaporator coil is $500 to $2,000. Yet, the price will also depend on the tonnage of your old evaporator coil.
You will have a better idea of the estimated cost to replace an evaporator coil once you read this article.
Replacement Cost of an Evaporator Coil
The cost of replacing an evaporator coil will depend on the type of evaporator, type of installation, labor cost, and associated costs.
Independent shops usually charge $100/hour, while dealerships charge up to $200/hour.
The highest cost for evaporator coil replacement ranges from $2,000 to $3,000, while the lowest is $600.
Below, I have listed the estimated cost of replacement by brand, tonnage, and style.
Evaporator Coil Replacement by Brand
Average Cost: $200
Highest Cost: $1,000
Average Cost: $200
Highest Cost: $1,100
Average Cost: $200
Highest Cost: $1,300
Average Cost: $200
Highest Cost: $2,000
Average Cost: $250
Highest Cost: $270
Average Cost: $250
Highest Cost: $900
Average Cost: $250
Highest Cost: $900
Average Cost: $250
Highest Cost: $1,000
Average Cost: $250
Highest Cost: $1,000
Average Cost: $250
Highest Cost: $1,200
Average Cost: $300
Highest Cost: $1,300
Average Cost: $400
Highest Cost: $1,300
Evaporator Coil Replacement by Tonnage
1.5 ton – 2.0 ton
Unit Price: $200 to $900
Total Estimated Cost Including Labor: $600 to $2,000
Unit Price: $250 to $1,200
Total Estimated Cost Including Labor: $650 to $2,100
Unit Price: $300 to $2,000
Total Estimated Cost Including Labor: $700 to $2,350
Unit Price: $350 to $1,500
Total Estimated Cost Including Labor: $750 to $2,500
Unit Price: $400 to $1,600
Total Estimated Cost Including Labor: $800 – $2,600
Unit Price: $450 to $1,700
Total Estimated Cost Including Labor: $900 to $2,700
Evaporator Coil Replacement by Style
- A-coils – Evaporator coils with an A-coil style look similar to a tent. They have two pieces in a triangle shape and are commonly used in homes.
- N-coils – N-coils cost much more than “A” or slab types – up to 15% to 25%.
- Slab unit – Slab units are identified as flat units and are used in horizontal units. This model does not take up much space.
Cased and Uncased Evaporator Coil Replacement Cost
Uncased coil types cost less than a cased coil type by 25% to 75%.
A cased-type unit costs about $400 to $1,800. It comes with a pre-fit case to achieve continuous airflow through the coolant pipes.
This unit type is easier to install but is more expensive than an uncased coil type.
The uncased coil type unit costs anywhere from $200 to $1,400. The drawback of the uncased coil type is that it comes without a case.
It will need some modifications to fit within your existing setup.
Reasons Why an Evaporator Coil Needs Replacement
The evaporator coil in an A/C is the component responsible for heat and moisture absorption in your indoor space.
Without it, your A/C won’t function properly and will cause indoor air discomfort.
Erosion is the top reason for evaporator coil replacement. The flowing refrigerant wears down the AC’s evaporator coil lining as time goes by.
When the coil’s inner lining wears down, the evaporator coil weakens, reducing its work capacity.
Weaker coils often lead to refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant leaks will then lead to a whole unit replacement.
You can repair the leaks, but it won’t be cost-effective.
The repair of coil leaks costs $300 to $1,500, but it costs even more in severe cases.
Repairing the coil leakage often results in a total cost almost the same as replacing the whole unit.
It also is not the smartest way to save money because it causes a chain of malfunctions.
Signs That Your Evaporator Coil Needs Replacement
Several air conditioners can operate for a long period, but they may encounter multiple problems in the evaporator coils.
Some indications that the AC’s evaporator coil needs replacement are:
Leakage in the indoor unit or air handler.
The evaporator coil is placed in the indoor unit of an AC system. It is essential to keep an eye out for leakage.
There’s no sufficient cold air supply in your home on a frequent cycle.
“Frequent cycle” means that your AC system often turns on and off.
The insufficient cold air supply usually means that a frost build-up is causing the coil to work improperly.
You can hear unusual sounds from your unit, such as hissing or clanging.
You may hear and notice unusual or annoying sounds when the evaporator coil is not working correctly.
Instead of cool air, warm air is released from the air vents.
Your AC system works by eliminating humidity from the air. If you feel an increase in humidity, it’s often an indication that the evaporator coil is broken.
In severe cases, the air-conditioning system won’t turn on.
When your AC is no longer working, it’s time to call a licensed HVAC specialist.
Reasons for an Evaporator Coil Going Bad
Some evaporator coils go bad before their life expectancy for several reasons. The top cause is poor maintenance.
A/C owners should clean both indoor and outdoor units regularly.
- The outside unit collects many contaminants, such as dirt, leaves, and grass from lawn mowing. To take care of your evaporator coil, you must also pay attention to your condenser coil.
Several evaporator coil surfaces cease working because of a lack of proper outdoor unit maintenance.
- A dirty condenser can store a huge amount of dirt and debris that adds extra pressure to the evaporator coil. The pressure applied to the evaporator coil causes failure and expensive repairs.
- Changing the air filter at least once a month will help you maintain a good evaporator coil. To move the air throughout your home smoothly, the coils must be able to breathe without unnecessary pressure.
Replacing your evaporator coil is expensive. Add a few more hundred dollars, and you’re good to buy a new unit. Below are tips to help you take care of the evaporator coil:
Remember that replacing an evaporator coil is crucial – do not DIY. It is vital to reach out to a specialist to save yourself from further problems and expenses.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Central AC Evaporator Coil?
$720 – $2,180 Installed
The cost to replace your home central air conditioner evaporator coil is around $720 when the parts are under manufacturer warranty and you only pay the labor cost. Out of warranty coil repair cost is approximately $2,180 for parts and installation.
Average Central AC Coil Costs
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.
Average Do It Yourself cost
$600 – $850
Average Contractor Installed Cost
$710 – $2,160
Typical Cost Average, Installed
Last Updated: Thursday, September 30, 2021
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 Coils
Evaporator coils commonly fail sooner than almost any other component of a home HVAC system. While many will argue the reasoning 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 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 full 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.
Parts and Installation Supplies Cost
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 (R-22 refrigerant / R410 refrigerant)
- 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.
Coil Costs by Central AC Brand
The average installed cost below includes the refrigerant recharge and supplies needed to complete the coil replacement cost.
|Brand||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|
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.
Evaporator Coil Costs by Size
|AC Coil Size||Coil Cost||Average Installed Cost|
|1.5 Ton Coil||$180 – $310||$400 – $1,400|
|2 Ton Coil||$210 – $340||$545 – $1,620|
|2.5 Ton Coil||$260 – $410||$565 – $1,720|
|3 Ton Coil||$300- $460||$635 – $1,810|
|3.5 Ton Coil||$340 – $435||$695 – $1,880|
|4 Ton Coil||$360 – $510||$745 – $1,925|
|5 Ton Coil||$420 – $635||$785 – $2,190|
Cost of Installation Supplies
In addition to the 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.
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 covered by the manufacturer or your home warranty, the manufacturer or warranty company 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.
- $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.
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 Freon/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!
I Suggest a Pro, What do you think?
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Replacement cost carrier condenser coil
If you’ve wondered how much a heat pump or AC coil costs, this guide has the answers. It covers evaporator coil costs, condenser coil costs and the factors that affect them.
With these AC coil costs in front of you, you’ll be an informed consumer that won’t get taken advantage of when you get coil price estimates from local HVAC contractors. We’ve included tips about whether repairing or replacing the unit is a better decision.
Parts Under Warranty
In the tables below, we’ve listed parts cost and installation cost before giving a total. Coil warranties range from 5 years on base models to 10 years for most AC/heat pump coils to 12 years on some high-end units.
However, labor warranties might be just 1 year. They are rarely more than 2 years unless you bought an extended warranty when the unit was installed. Note that the extended warranties from most brands are third-party warranties rather than manufacturer warranties. We give our opinion about extended warranties in our comparison article on Trane vs. Carrier vs. Lennox air conditioners.
In most cases, if your AC or heat pump is still under warranty, you will pay just the installation cost. If your unit is not under warranty, then you’ll be faced with the decision to pay the entire repair bill or replace the air conditioner or heat pump. Since we want to get to prices early in this post, we’ll save itemizing the installation cost until after covering costs.
Condenser Coil Costs
Have you been told you need a new condenser coil or outside coil, but you’re not sure what it is? Here’s a brief explanation before we get to prices.
Your outside unit – AC or heat pump – is called the condenser or condensing unit. It gets the name because when in air conditioning mode, the superheated refrigerant carrying heat from inside your home is condensed in the coil inside the AC or heat pump.
When condensed, the heat is “squeezed” out of it. The heat radiates out through the fins of the coil and is dispersed with the help of the condensing unit fan. Most coil fins resemble the fins on an automobile radiator.
Here are condenser coil costs for your central air conditioner or heat pump.
|Coil Capacity||Part Only||Installation Cost||Total Cost|
Condenser Coil Replacement Cost Factors
That’s a broad spectrum of prices. Where your estimates fall will depend on:
- Warranty: You won’t pay the cost of the part if it is under manufacturer warranty.
- Home warranties: If you have a home warranty that covers HVAC, the portion of the parts and labor cost you’ll be expected to pay will be determined by the terms of the warranty.
- Type of coil: There are three types of condenser coil. We’ve described them below. In terms of cost, they are Standard coils ($-$$), Spine Fin coils ($$-$$$) and Micro-channel coils ($$$)
- Brand or generic: Spine fin and micro-channel coil replacements must be manufactured by the brand. Lennox parts are also proprietary. Most standard coils can be replaced with generic/universal parts, though brand-name replacement parts can be specified.
- Unit size: The greater the unit’s capacity, the more the repair will cost. This is because the part is larger and because it requires more refrigerant, and refrigerant is expensive.
- Cost of living: HVAC repair prices are in line with your area’s cost of living. They are high on and near the Coasts and in Alaska and Hawaii, lowest in rural areas and about average in metropolitan areas not on the Coasts.
Replacing a condenser coil involves more than just the 3-5 hours of labor needed to remove and replace the faulty coil with the new coil. The installation cost includes:
- Removing any remaining refrigerant from the system and disposing of it
- Disconnecting, removing and disposing of the old coil
- Installing the new coil and any supporting parts not usable from the old coil and connection
- Adding the proper refrigerant charge and testing the system
- The company’s overhead costs including wages, insurance, travel, equipment and tools.
- Fair profit
It’s not hard to see how costs add up quickly.
Condenser Coil Types
Here’s a brief description of each.
- Fin coil: Most coils are large and have copper or aluminum refrigerant tubing running through the coil, transferring heat to the fins. Most brands not mentioned in the next two types of coil have standard coils. This includes Carrier, Bryant, Goodman, Amana, Rheem/Ruud, Heil, Lennox and Armstrong Air.
- Micro-channel coil: These coils feature thin, flat tubes carrying the refrigerant through the coil. The fins are densely packed. The goal is to maximize surface area for faster heat transfer. Johnson Controls brands York, Luxaire and Coleman use these in some of their models. So do Nortek Global brands including Maytag, Frigidaire, Westinghouse, Tappan and Broan. Micro-channel coils are used in the HVAC and automotive industry. However, micro-channel coils from Johnson Controls have a well-documented problem with leaking. In fact, in 2017 Johnson Controls settled a large class action lawsuit over their problematic coils.
- Spine fin coil: American Standard and Trane (Ingersoll-Rand brands) are the only manufacturers of spine fin coils. The coils have tiny spines that look a bit like bristles on a bottle brush, except that they’re made of aluminum. The heat is radiated through them.
If you’d like to learn more about coils, this YouTube video is informative. HVAC professional Steve Lavimoniere gives a quick overview of these types along with their pros and cons…and a few laughs too.
Evaporator Coil Costs
The evaporator coil is also called the indoor coil. Refrigerant inside tubing in the coil evaporates when passing through a valve. When it does, it collects heat from the air passing over it. The cooled air is blown through ducts into your home. The evaporator coil cools as heat is removed from the air around it. Moisture in the air passing over it condenses on the coil and runs into a drain. This is how the air in your home is cooled and dehumidified.
There are two general types of evaporator coil:
- Uncased: An uncased coil is one that is installed inside the furnace cabinet or possibly the ductwork. It has no case of its own. When you’re replacing just the coil, an uncased unit will likely be used.
- Cased: A cased coil comes in its own cabinet and is usually installed in conjunction with a replacement furnace or air handler. We include costs for both types for those thinking about upgrading their entire HVAC system.
|Coil Capacity||Uncased||Cased||Installation||Total Cost*|
|*Unless your system requires an expensive proprietary part, your total cost will be closer to the low end or middle of the part cost and total cost.|
We detailed Coil Replacement Cost Factors and a breakdown of Installation Costs above for Condenser Coil Costs. They are the same for evaporator coils except for the type of coils. The actual coil, whether cased or uncased, is one of three shapes:
- A-coils: These are the most common. Shaped like an A-frame home, the moisture condenses on the coil and runs down the slope into the drain.
- N-coils: The benefit of an N-shaped coil is the extra “leg” that allows for more surface area for heat transfer.
- Slab coils: These units are flatter than the others. Slab coils are used in horizontal HVAC systems.
N-coils cost 15% to 25% more than A-coils and slab coils for the same capacity.
Repair vs. Replacement
When faced with a costly repair bill, should you choose the repair or opt to replace the entire unit or system? Let’s take each component separately.
Condensing coils: We recommend replacing the entire air conditioner or heat pump when it is not under warranty and the coil fails. This is due to the significant expense of condensing coil replacement. It’s so high in some cases that replacing the entire condensing unit (AC or heat pump) costs less than replacing just the coil. The reason is that taking the unit apart, making the repair and putting it back together takes much more time than building a new unit on a factory assembly line. Even if the cost of the part is covered, you might choose to replace the unit. A new heat pump or air conditioner comes with a warranty. Plus, you have options for higher efficiency for reducing energy use and cost and a performance upgrade to one that offers better climate control and comfort.
Evaporating coils: If the furnace or air handler used with the indoor coil is less than 10 years old and in good working condition, then replacing the evaporator coil makes sense. This is especially true if a universal replacement coil can be used to keep costs low. When the replacement part must be a proprietary part, then you’ll have to compare costs to make the repair/replace determination.
When the furnace or air handler is 10+ years and has already required costly repairs, the better choice is to replace all your indoor equipment – the furnace or air handler and the evaporator coil. Replacement gives you a new unit with a warranty and allows you to upgrade efficiency and performance, if desired.
There is more detailed information in our Trane Repair and Replacement Guide. The principles of when to replace a unit can be applied to any brand.
Using Our Free Estimate Tool to Compare Repair and Replacement Cost
By using our free estimate tool, you can get at least 3 quotes (both repair and replacement) in minutes from your local contractors. Then you can compare and decide if you need to replace the whole unit according to the above guideline.
HVAC Warranty Ultimate Guide
HVAC Repair Costs | Service, Maintenance & Hourly Rates
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