ROI: A/C Service

Price per service: $160.00 National average.

Parts/Supplies: $35.00 (2 lbs. of 134a refrigerant, dye and oil. R-12 systems can add about $20 to your refrigerant costs.)

Labor Costs: $0.00 (machines with automatic operation) $10.00 (based on a national average of $20/hr.) We're only looking at the time to perform the service. Additional hours will be consumed in diagnosing the system and verifying the need for the service.

Profit per service: $115.00

Frequency: 5 jobs/month (ave. in colder climates) 20 jobs/month (ave. in warmer climates)

Total profit/month: $575 - $2,300 (depending on geography)

Cost of equipment: $4,200 (This is an average for cabinet-style equipment. Prices can vary a great deal depending on features, functions, refrigerant capacities and the type of refrigerant being handled.)

ROI timeframe: 1.8 to 7.3 months (depending on geography)

1st year profits: $2,700 - $23,400 (depending on geography)

Annual profits: $6,900 - $27,600 (depending on geography)

Not accounted for in any of these figures are the additional profits available in diagnosing and servicing an A/C system, such as replacing hoses, compressors, fittings, couplers, accumulators or expansion tubes.

Also, the need for more precise measuring equipment will grow in importance as a greater number of vehicles will enter your shop with enhanced 134a systems. Many of these vehicles will have refrigerant capacities of less than 2 pounds, making charge accuracy more important than ever.