How Much Does Central AC Installation Cost In Phoenix?

On average, the cost for AC installation in Phoenix, Arizona ranges from $3,400 to $7,240 (including the unit). Air conditioning is a must-have for all homes, but which is best? Here’s your guide to AC installation in the ‘Valley of the Sun’.

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If those loud, bulky AC units just aren’t cutting it anymore, you may be in the market for Central AC.

Phoenix, AZ can reach up to 100 degrees in Summer. To survive these hot summer months, you need a quality central air conditioner by your side.

AC Installation Prices

Reliability, energy efficiency, AC longevity, and air quality are essential for Homeowners in Phoenix. That’s why professional central AC installation is so vital as temperatures rise.

Professional installation is also a safe choice, ensuring that your AC system is installed correctly, which decreases the risk of indoor air pollution and other health and safety hazards.

Let’s take a closer look at central AC installation cost in Phoenix and more information to help you discover the right contractor for the job.

How Does Central AC Work?

Before hiring a professional AC contractor in Phoenix, here’s a quick rundown of central air conditioners; understanding the basics of central AC units will help you along the way.

Central air conditioning is not the same as a portable or window AC unit. Instead of pumping out cold air through one set of vents, central AC systems circulate cool air through multiple vents, also known as ducts.


A central unit draws in air from inside the home and cools it down by compressing the refrigerant. Indoor air pollutants are filtered out before the cool air circulates through the ducts.

Thermostats are located throughout the home, which allows you to adjust the temperature of the AC. You can also set your thermostat for a specific temperature, like 68 or 70 degrees.

There are three primary components of a central AC system; the compressor, an evaporation mechanism, and a condenser that condenses refrigerant gas. However, there are two primary types of units to consider for installation.

Types of Central AC Units

There are two types of central AC units in Phoenix — Package units and split AC systems.


A split-system is comprised of an indoor unit and an outdoor AC unit. The outdoor unit is typically made from metal. This metal unit contains the AC’s compressor and condenser mechanisms.

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The indoor AC unit holds the evaporation mechanism. This unit may also have a furnace or air handler, depending on the model you choose. A split-system AC is recommended for homes that already have furnaces but no air conditioning installed.

Packaged AC Unit

A packaged system keeps the condenser, evaporation coil, and compression mechanism all in one unit.

This type of AC unit is installed outside of the home, but as close to the house’s foundation as possible. Most units are installed on top of a thick cement base next to the home; however, this unit can also be installed on the roof.

AC Unit

Many packaged AC units in Phoenix come with a natural gas-powered furnace or electric coils for in-home heating. If you choose a packaged system, you don’t need to install a separate furnace inside your home.

Estimating Your Central AC Installation Cost in Phoenix

Your next step is to calculate the average cost of your new central AC system.

Central air installation can cost anywhere from $3,400 to $7,240, with the national average hovering around $5,000. Phoenix’s average residential installation cost is on par with national trends, averaging around $5,000 per home or less.

The best way to calculate your installation cost is to consider the square footage of your home. According to This Old House, central air installation for a 2,000 sq ft house would likely cost between $3,000 to $4,000 as a base price. If your home requires ductwork and other components, expect the cost to rise.


Other Factors that Impact Cost

Depending on your needs, some central AC installation services can charge upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s important to choose services wisely.

A contractor will first inspect your home and analyze your house’s size, the climate surrounding your house, your home’s insulation, and more conditions that impact the total cost. For example, you may need additional construction, ductwork, or roofing components before you can install a central unit. This analysis is commonly known as a load calculation.

Air Conditioner

Contractors also perform heat-gain calculations to gauge the appropriate size of your AC unit. If the unit is too small, your central air conditioner won’t be able to cool every room in your house. A smaller unit would end up costing you more in the long run since it would require more energy to cool your home.

Your contractor should also discuss the SEER rating of an AC unit. SEER stands for “seasonal energy-efficiency rating.” Units with high SEER rates cost less because they’re more efficient.

Additional Services

These are the most common add-on services to expect from an AC installation service in Phoenix:

  • Programmable thermostats
  • Air duct replacements
  • New insulation
  • Duct filter cleaning
  • Electrical rewiring
  • Warranties

Make sure to get a quote beforehand so you can compare and contrast services in your area. Most AC contractors in Phoenix provide job quotes to homeowners. Don’t hesitate to collect several quotes before deciding on a contractor.

Compare Home Improvement Pro PricesHow to Choose a Central AC Installation Contractor

Your installation cost also depends on the contractor you choose. Stick with contractors who provide job quotes. Services that charge hourly rates can lead to unexpected costs by the end of the job.

Insurance is vital for AC installation jobs, as well. If your contractor isn’t insured, you’re likely to pay the price if something goes wrong during the job.

Don’t hesitate to inquire about the experience and past clients. An experienced contractor would be happy to answer your questions and concerns and provide a body of work upon request.

Don’t forget about customer service. Professionalism is essential for your client experience and overall cost. Work with an honest contractor who communicates clearly about their work process and quotes.

Discover the Right Central AC Unit for You

Don’t melt away in the hot summer heat. Use this guide to estimate your central AC installation cost in Phoenix, and discover an AC solution that fits your needs and budget.

Check out our blog for more home improvement tips or start comparing local Phoenix contractors right away!

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Best A/C Replacement Companies in Phoenix, AZ

George Brazil Air Conditioning & Heating
2655 E Magnolia St #200, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Hobaica Services
10636 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85020

Day & Night Air Conditioning & Heating
3669 E La Salle St, Phoenix, AZ 85040


Hays Cooling Heating & Plumbing
24825 N 16th Ave #115, Phoenix, AZ 85085