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How Much Does New AC Installation Cost?

January 10, 2020

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Average AC installation costs vary greatly from one home to the next, depending on the size and power of the unit chosen as well as any additional work needed at the time of install. Every air conditioning installation company will also have their own charges for labor, disposal of a current unit needing removal, and upgrades to wiring, ducts, and other features in the home.

Homeowners pay, on average, $1500 to $4000 for a new central air conditioner. Installation fees are typically in addition to this price. Upgrading your home’s ductwork or duct repair as well as new wiring, an upgraded thermostat, and other details and features also add to this overall price.

A new AC installation is an investment in your home and not something to ignore or overlook. It’s also best if you leave this job to the professionals! Never think you can avoid or lower your AC installation costs by managing this work on your own, as it’s often more detailed and technical than you might assume.

When you’re ready for a new AC installation at home or know that your home’s air conditioner is nearing the end of its lifespan, you might note some vital information about residential air conditioners overall. You can then discuss all your options for a new AC with an air conditioning company near you and ensure you keep your home cool and comfortable all through the summer!

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How Much Does New AC Installation Cost?

To figure your expected AC installation costs, note some information about the type of air conditioner you might choose for your home and what affects fees and pricing overall. Be sure you shop around and investigate all your choices for a new home air conditioner before making any purchase so you know you’ll be happy with your new AC for many years to come!

  • When choosing a new air conditioner, start with tonnage. Two tons for every 400 square feet of space is typically sufficient. So, a 1000 square foot home starts with a five tonnage AC; a 2000 square foot home starts with a 10 tonnage AC unit.
  • It’s good to add about .5 tonnage for every five people in the home, and especially if they all tend to occupy one room at a time! You might not realize that body heat adds to the overall warmth of a space but a family of 5 in the living or dining room can make for a very uncomfortable interior environment, if you don’t invest in an AC unit large enough to accommodate them.
  • It’s also good to add another .5 for circumstances that add to the overall heat inside your home; for example, if your house is located in the tropics or a very sunny area and there are no shade trees around, or if the home has very poor-quality insulation, you might need a more powerful air conditioner to compensate.
  • While you don’t want to invest in an underpowered air conditioner, a smaller unit is sufficient if your property has lots of shade trees outside, heat-reducing film on the windows, ceiling fans, and other means of keeping the interior spaces cooler than average during summer months.
  • An older air conditioner in need of replacing simply due to age might indicate that the home’s ductwork is also old and outdated; over the years, ducts tend to pull away from connectors, leading to leaks and drafts. New ductwork or ductwork repair adds to your AC installation costs.
  • As with your home’s AC and ductwork, an older thermostat often needs replacing along with the air conditioner unit. A new thermostat might allow for programmable cooling, zone cooling, and other features that save you money over time, although adding to your initial AC installation costs.
  • Larger AC units with more features often require more electricity to operate; more electricity might mean the need for upgraded electrical wiring in your home! Outdated wiring unable to support electrical currents needed to run a new AC unit can lead to brownouts, tripped circuit breakers, and added wear and tear on your new HVAC system.
  • A central air conditioner compressor typically needs a blind or covering of some sort, to protect it from leaves, grass clippings, and other debris. However, it also needs proper clearance for lots of healthy airflow around it! Installing a new blind adds to your home’s AC installation costs.
  • Air conditioners work harder if the home’s ducts are dirty and coated with dust and other debris. Cleaning the ductwork ensures your new AC unit works efficiently but also adds to installation costs.
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Signs Your Home Needs a New Air Conditioner Installation

In some cases, an air conditioner will simply stop working and no amount of air conditioning repairs will get it running again. However, not all signs of needed air conditioning installation are quite so obvious! Note a few indicators that you might need to prepare for AC installation costs in your home.

  • If your home’s air conditioner is 7 to 10 years old, chances are its parts are expensive to replace and many major parts are ready to fail! Rather than waiting for the AC unit to break down entirely, consider budgeting for AC installation costs as soon as possible.
  • If your home experiences lots of brownouts or tripped circuits when the air conditioner cycles on, the unit might be drawing more power than usual. This is often a sign of certain major parts wearing down and pulling more power than usual. Rather than trying to replace several major parts at once, consider a new AC installation altogether.
  • When an air conditioner pulls more energy to force old and worn parts to operate, your utility bills also spike! If you see an increase in energy usage throughout summer months and cannot explain it away via a rate hike or other reason, note if your home needs a new air conditioning unit.
  • If you’ve added to the square footage of your home, perhaps with a new sunroom, attached garage with ductwork running to the HVAC system, or by finishing the basement and running ductwork from that space to the air conditioner, you might need a larger unit to accommodate. An undersized system simply won’t push air through the home’s ducts no matter how long or how often it cycles on.
  • Air conditioners remove humidity as well as heat. If your home seems cool but still humid and downright clammy, the air conditioner might not be reading the temperature on the thermostat or might be cycling on and off faster than it should. In these cases, it’s typically time for a new air conditioning installation in your home.
  • As AC parts wear down, they might start loosening and then grinding against each other, creating loud and unpleasant sounds as well as burning smells! Once you notice banging, grinding, and other sounds from the AC unit as well as any unpleasant odors, it’s probably time to upgrade your AC system altogether.

Can You Install a New AC Unit Yourself?

New AC installation is not a DIY job! Never assume you can forego AC installation costs by managing your own air conditioner installation. One reason for this is that a new HVAC system might need upgraded wiring, as said. An air conditioning installation contractor near you can test the home’s current wiring and ensure it’s capable of handling the watts used by your new unit.

While a concrete pad for an air conditioner compressor should remain stable and firm for years, those pads can sometimes settle and shift and especially if your property has overly moist or dry soil. Installing a new AC compressor over an unstable pad can mean added stress on the new unit and early damage to its parts. To ensure a quality installation job that lasts, leave this work to the pros!

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Why Your Home Needs a New AC Installation!

If you’re putting off new AC installation because of the costs or any other reason, you might note some benefits of a new air conditioner for your home. One advantage of today’s AC systems is that they’re more energy-efficient than ever before, so you might use less power every month while still enjoying the same cooling as your current unit.

Note, too, that some brands of AC refrigerant are being phased out of use for environmental reasons; some are no longer available at all while others are no doubt on their way out! Investing in a new air conditioner new, before its brand of refrigerant is off the market, ensures you’ll never be without needed cooling simply because your air conditioner repair contractor cannot replace its coolant.

You might not even realize how poorly your home’s current air conditioner performs during summer months. A new air conditioner might allow for a more comfortable interior environment and more even, consistent cooling throughout your home. A stronger dehumidifier might also remove more bothersome humidity, while a whole house air filtration system ensures improved indoor air quality!

Note, too, that your AC installation cost is an investment in your home’s overall values. An older AC unit might decrease property values while a new air conditioner ensures your home’s worth is protected, should you ever decide to put that house on the real estate market.



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