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Question DetailsAsked on 6/23/2016

how much does it cost to replace an evaporator coil and drain ducts in houston texas in central air 16 years old

ac central air wants to charge me 758 dollars to replace ducts and drain

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1 Answer


You can find a fair number of prior questions with responses, including a lot of ballpark numbers on cost for evaporator coil replacement both with and without warranty replacement of the coil itself, in the Home > HVAC link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

If the $758 charge INCLUDES the evaporator replacement then this sounds well in the normal range for cost even without any duct or drain work - and presumably that low because the evaporator is being replaced for free by the manufacturer under warranty, because for that amount you would frequently get only a new after-market evaporator and installation at best, without any duct or drain work.

If this cost DOES include the evaporator cost as well, I would be a bit questioning - find out if this is an original equipment manufacturer evaporator or an after-market item, which might be a piece of chinese junk. I have seen a couple of absolutely trashy looking cheap off-the-web evaporators from China, apparently made of plain copper coil water pipe hand-bent (and kinked) and soldered into loops and with sloppy acid-core (which corrodes in the wet A/C environment) soldering - truly looked more like something from a hooch still than an HVAC manufacturer.

On the ducts and drain - the evaporator drain should not cost over about $50 to replace if it is all limed up, which can commonly be cleared with vinegar or muriatic acid [NOT getting any on the evaporator or aluminum parts] but is cheaper to just replace if paying a contractor to do it - just some plastic tubing leading to a drain point and typically not over about 5 minutes work.

Ducting - for $700-800 you would not get a terrible amount of ducting replaced. You do not say WHY any ducting needs replacement - sometimes a bit of ducting modification is needed to install a new evaporator if the original model is no longer available, and while $758 sounds high for that to me does commonly run well into the several hundred to $500 range where it is required - basically cutting in a new piece of plenum duct the right size for the evaporator, like a wide place in the road, or possibly a larger evaporator chamber if in flexible ducting.

Your best bet is to try to get a couple of more quotes from other Heating and A/C contractors (your Search the List category) to see where they fall - though for this sort of thing they may or may not want to charge a diagnostic fee to determine IF the re-ducting is needed (unless it is obviously rusted out).

One other thing to consider - if the unit is 16 years old, do you want to be putting the better part of $1000 into it (or potentially even more by the time all is said and done), or apply that money to a new unit, because you may be putting in around 1/3 or even more of the cost of a new unit installed cost into a unit that might not last much longer. Probably at or beyond its expected life if normal residential brand - at some point a new unit, with new warranty and greater operating efficiency (probably 10-20% lower electric bills than your unit even with a minimum energy standard unit - 14 SEER in your area) starts looking better than repair. Fair amount of discussions on that subject in the Home > HVAC link at lower left too.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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