How much is usually cost for add refrigerant and leak sealant ?
depends on the type of freon. R22 is anywhere from $85-200 per pound. 410a Is much less about $40-50 lb. If you have an old unit it is likely R22. The stop leak is about $200.
If your unit is really old and you have the cash you might consider upgrading to new unit with 410a. You can throw away a lot of money on freon if you have a leak.
It's typically costs me around $300 to do a leak seal and add freon. I do not think that is any reason to replace a unit/system. Even if it's an R22 system, on a rental if it's not broke then don't fix it. Who knows, the system may last another 5-10 years
@Adam Abdel-Hafez - I thought at some rate of leak it was illegal for the tech to do more than one fill. Any idea?
Thank you all for the advise.
My PM quoted me $680 for adding refrigerant and leak sealant.
I am not sure if it is using R22 or 410a. Need to find out that.
I think I will just find a contract to handle that to save my pocket.
@Peter Sik I just went thru this with 2 of my units at the beginning of summer. It cost ~$150-$300 each just to replace freon (R22) and tech advised me that he thought there was a leak.
One of the units is still going strong, the other again stopped working this week so I'm getting it replaced today.
My point is, the freon replacement game is a total crap shoot. I agree with the other posters that if the unit is old needing R22 and you have the reserves, system replacement might make sense.
@Adam Abdel-Hafez do you add your own freon and fix your own leaks in ATL? If yes, let's talk!
@Ericka G. thank you for your help. I am now checking with my PM to find out how old is the HVAC in order to consider if replacement is needed.
Want to know what is the the total cost for HVAC replacement? Thank you
@Peter Sik HVAC replacement costs vary greatly depending on property location and size. This will be the third unit I've put in... the first two I did on small houses in MI and found a great guy who puts in refurbished units - each of those cost $1,100 - $1,300 including labor and they are still going strong/doing great 2+ years later. I felt ok going with refurbished in MI b/c it isn't as hot and many homes don't even have central A/C so it is a perk not a requirement. I also put in portable units in one of my really inexpensive houses in MI - cost ~$450 and the tenants love it, so I'm going that route for any future MI properties. These might be good options to explore in LA too.
In ATL, A/C is a much bigger deal - a MUST to have good tenants so I'm putting in a brand new system and my guy quoted me $2,300 for a 2 ton system which is a deal compared to what the big companies quoted me. I've been working with this guy since 2014 and trust that he will do it right - he works for a big HVAC company and does small jobs on the side...I add that because there are a lot of shady contractors in ATL, so I wouldn't trust just anyone to do a "discounted" job. It's cheaper if you find someone who works for themselves on the side.
Good luck with it!
@Peter Sik Is it in CA? That might be ehh ok, CA has too many fees on environmental. I got my leak repaired and freon filled by my hvac contractor for free but he told me how much it costs just material and fees alone. but i bring him couple tens of thousands in business. so a home repair is free, it's a 15-30 min fix.
@Patti Robertson I don't really remember any situation where I have refilled a system twice. If the first leak seal doesn't work then usually that means there are multiple leaks, the compressor is bad, the coil is bad, etc and you have to do a more drastic repair/replacement.
@Ericka G. I have HVAC guys I use regularly. I usually charge around $60-70/lb of freon and when we do a leak seal it is usually 1 or 2 lb we have to install plus sealing the leak.
@Manolo D. Yes, it is in CA. it seems like an easy job, which only takes 15-20 mins.....
I got more info from PM:
"Unit is an 03' (2003). The level is very low. There is no way to actually measure the "level". It's low enough that it's not cooling at all. To find out how much is in the system I would have to take it all out and weigh it. The suction pressure was running 20psi. Normal is 68psi. "
AC is leaking and it is 14 years old unit running R22. I checked HVAC can last 20 years avg. I expect it still can live for 6 more years. I should ask the AC guy to add refrigerant and leak sealant. What do you think? Or change to a new unit?
@Peter Sik Don't know anything about AC, that's why I have my sub do it for me, for free. heh.
I live in Central Valley so AC is extremely important. This year we had 110F+ degrees for more than a week. 90Fs are considered "cool" in the summer.
I had to call an HVAC guy out a few months ago to fix a leak. He charged $30/lb of 410a and $200 for brazing (welding) the leak. (Some craiglist handyman charge $20s/lb but I'm not sure if they are licensed. It's illegal to do recharge refrigerant without a license.) It cost me $500 for everything. He guaranteed his work for 45 days. A week later there was another leak. He came back and braze a different spot near where he brazed before. And recharge the system again.
Tip: find a guy that guarantee his/her work. You may never know. I had to call my HVAC guy back two times to get it tuned up.
@Hau N. Thanks for the good tips. I am willing to pay $680 and the HVAC guy guarantee the work for 45 days.
AC guys use the "rule of 5000." You take the age of the unit and multiply by the cost of the repair. If the number is over 5000, you replace the unit. That means on a 14 year old unit, you shouldn't do a repair over $357. And unlike other repairs, you are adding freon and hoping it stays in. For all you know, the freon could leak out in a few months. Not worth it.
I agree with the other poster above. Look on Craigslist for a guy that works for a big company and does side jobs
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