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Central AC Coil Installation 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
$910 – $2,460
Typical Cost Average, Installed
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.
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)
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 evaportor coil 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. 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)
- 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.
Cost of Equipment and Installation Supplies
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.
|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|
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|
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 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 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.
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 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!
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.