How Much Should AC Installation Cost?

January 16, 2020

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Every homeowner’s AC installation costs will vary, according to the make and model of new air conditioner chosen, its size and power, and the fees charged by your AC installation contractor. However, no matter your new AC costs, it’s vital that you invest in a new air conditioner, furnace, air purifier, and other parts of a home’s HVAC system as needed!

Most average residential AC installation costs range from $3000 to $7000 for medium-sized homes and middle-of-the-road systems. New air purifiers, ductwork, and other equipment add to this cost, while smaller central air systems and split systems are typically less costly.

Every home should have a functioning air conditioner or cooling system of some sort, not just for your comfort but also to remove damaging heat and humidity from interior rooms and reduce the risk of resultant mold growth. Air purifying systems also improve indoor air quality for everyone in the home!

If you’ve been putting off needed AC installation for your home because you’re concerned about the cost, or assume that you might manage this job on your own, note some vital information about residential air conditioners and HVAC systems in general. This information will ensure you make the best decision about your home’s heating and cooling needs.

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How Much Does AC Installation Cost on Average?

While a residential AC installation cost, on average, might run from $3000 to $7000, consider some tips on choose the right air conditioner for your home and what might affect your costs for a new air conditioner, furnace, or other HVAC equipment. It’s also good to note some advantages of additional services such as a whole house air purifier, new ductwork, and other such items.

  • It’s good to consider about 1 ton of air conditioning power for every 600 feet of floor space. A 2000 square foot home then needs a 3 or 3.5 ton air conditioner.
  • Choose about 20 BTU for every square foot of living space. A 2000 square foot home might then need at least 30,000 to 40,000 BTUs.
  • Adjust your size and strength of air conditioner according to your home’s interior and exterior environment. For example, large windows that let in lots of light and heat and lack of shade trees on your property might indicate the need for a larger and more powerful air conditioner!
  • Poor insulation in the home also indicates the need for more air conditioning and cooling, as your home will lose cooling through poorly insulated walls during summer months.
  • A ranch style or one-story home might need less cooling power; as heat rises, two-story homes need added a more powerful system that can push cool air to those upper stories.
  • The more people and large pets occupying the home at one time, the more body heat that gets trapped inside and the more cooling power you’ll need! If there are at least four people who tend to stay in one room at a time, such as in the family or living room in the evening, you might need a stronger air conditioner than average.
  • On the other hand, if it’s just you or you and another adult or child in the home, you might be able to downsize the air conditioner system to something with less power overall.
  • Open floor plans allow cooled air to circulate easily throughout a home whereas lots of interior walls might trap heat in each room. Choose an air conditioner size according to your home’s interior floor plan and layout, as needed.
  • It’s also an excellent choice to choose an air conditioner size and strength based on your own comfort levels! Some persons are very sensitive to heat or have high metabolisms or other reasons for being overly warm all the time, so a stronger air conditioner that ensures adequate cooling throughout the home is best for them.
  • On the other hand, someone who prefers a warmer environment and doesn’t run the AC much at all, even in summer months, might only need a lightweight system for the few times they do need to cool their home’s interior spaces.

It’s also good to note if you might put your home on the real estate market sometime in the near future. A real estate agent might advise on the best home improvement investments, to ensure your home retains its value over time and is desirable to future homebuyers. Choosing an air conditioning installation that might appeal to a wide range of buyers in a few year’s time might mean getting top dollar for your home and getting it sold as quickly as possible!

Why AC Installation Is Not a DIY Job!

Your home AC installation costs might seem a bit steep, which is why some homeowners attempt this job on their own, or assume that they can call a general contractor versus a professional air conditioning installer. While your home improvement choices are your own, you might note some very valid reasons for choosing to invest in professional AC installation costs for your house.

  • A central air conditioner is typically connected to a home’s furnace and, through that appliances, its ductwork. Vents and hoses need proper connecting, to ensure nothing is left undone and there are no leaks as air is circulated through the system. Ensuring proper connecting of hoses and vents is often more difficult and involved than homeowners realize and is best left to AC installation contractors!
  • Larger, more powerful air conditioners often need upgraded wiring, so that your home’s electrical systems supply needed power without slowing down or tripping a circuit. A professional air conditioning installer typically tests the home’s current wiring and notes if it’s sufficient or needs replacing, to accommodate your new AC system.
  • After an air conditioner installation and hookup, it’s usually good to test the wiring, recalibrate the thermostat, and perform other basic tests that ensure the new AC unit is connected properly and all parts of your HVAC system function as they should.
  • Central air conditioning compressors need protection from leaves, grass clippings, and other debris, but a blind around that compressor also needs to allow for proper air circulation. A professional air conditioning installation contractor ensures that the compressor is protected properly without being blocked or otherwise obstructed from proper operation.

It’s also good to note that an AC installation company might offer advice on choosing one of today’s energy-efficient AC models, the size and strength of AC needed for your home’s size and structure, your expected utility costs for various air conditioners, and if your home might benefit from ductwork repair or other such fixes. Their advice and input is invaluable and can mean saving money while enjoying a more comfortable interior space.

ac installation

Your AC Installation Choices

A central air conditioner is a popular choice for homes, as this model pushes cooled air through all the home’s ductwork and vents, providing cooling throughout the house. A central AC compressor is also located outside the home, keeping noise disturbances to a minimum and contributing to your comfort in the home.

However, a central AC unit is often the most expensive choice and not your only option! It’s also not a good choice for homes with no ductwork or very old and leaking ductwork; you might invest in new ducts and vents for the home, but for those with a limited budget there are other options from which to choose.

One option for homeowners is a split system air conditioner. Hotels have split systems air conditioners; these do not push cooled air through ducts but through the front panel or vent of the system, typically installed in one wall or ceiling of a room. Split systems provide lots of cooling for large rooms or areas with open floor plans, without the need for ductwork.

Window and portable air conditioners are also good choices for individual rooms, even if you have central air conditioning in your home! You might opt for an energy-efficient window unit in a bedroom so you can keep that room cool at night without running the central unit. Portable units are also a great choice for garages and other areas of the home not connected to the ductwork.

Tips for Ensuring Your Home’s AC Runs as Efficiently as Possible

While your AC installation costs are an investment in your comfort, it’s good to note some ways to contain your utility costs throughout the year. Ensuring your AC unit runs as efficiently as possible not only reduces your cooling costs but also reduces unnecessary wear and tear on the unit, so you avoid AC repairs and early replacement!

One vital step you might take in ensuring a comfortable home environment and efficient operation of your AC unit is to invest in a high-quality dehumidifier. A home’s air conditioner works to remove both heat and humidity, so the less humidity in the home, the less stress on your AC unit. Ceiling fans also work to circulate cooled air throughout the home, so the AC unit needs to cycle on and off less often.

Change the home’s furnace filter often in summer months, not just winter! The air conditioner pushes cooled air through that filter; if it’s clogged and dirty, this puts undue stress on the AC unit and circulated unclean air through the home. These simple tips ensure your AC installation costs are well worth your investment and that your new air conditioner functions optimally for years to come.

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