How Much Does Central AC Installation Cost?
Installing a new central air conditioning system will cost somewhere between $3,800 and $7,500. Thinking about Central AC? We break down what you need to know about central AC installation cost, effectiveness, and who to call for the job.
You can keep your cool in the summer by installing central air conditioning.
In the height of summer, pushing your fan to the max just doesn’t cut it. Alternatively, central air can serve as your solution for a cool summer.
However, central AC is a big-ticket purchase. Accordingly, it’s helpful to know more about the cost of AC installation to prepare for your investment in cooling comfort.
Central AC Installation: Things to Consider
The price of a central air conditioning unit is only one point that you need to consider. For example, you also need a contractor to evaluate your home for installation. Usually, they’ll charge a fee for the service.
|Central A/C Unit Size||*BTU’s (British Thermal Units)||**AC Unit Cost|
|1.5 Tons||18,000 BTU||$1,820 – $2,224|
|2 Tons||24,000 BTU||$2,510 – $2,997|
|2.5 Tons||30000 BTU||$2,740 – $3,088|
|3 Tons||36000 BTU||$2,800 – $3,649|
|3.5 Tons||42000 BTU||$3,260 – $3,800|
|4 Tons||48000 BTU||$3,640 – $3,960|
|5 Tons||60000 BTU||$3,734 – $4,115|
You may believe that you’ll save on the installation because you already have ductwork. However, this isn’t always the case. Order ductwork cannot handle the airflow of today’s updated central AC systems.
The contractor may find that they’ll need to modify your existing system or install new ductwork. Only a licensed HVAC professional can perform this work.
The contractor will use an industry-standard practice called a load audit to determine your home cooling needs. The calculations will help them to figure out how hot your home gets and what size AC unit you need to stay cool. However, your utility company may offer a rebate that may pay for part or all of the audit.
If you schedule a load audit, it’s a good idea to also ask the contractor to perform a home energy audit. Ideally, a load audit is a part of the service.
What Is The Cost to Install Central Air Conditioning?
The cost of a new central AC installation can vary greatly. It depends on several factors.
The cost of your installation also depends on the type of system that you choose. For example, a central air system that heats and cools may cost between $3,800 and $7,500. Meanwhile, a ductless split system can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $14,500.
On average, you may expect to pay around $5,700 for the installation of central air conditioning. However, it can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $7,500.
In extreme instances, the price of a new central AC installation can go as high as $11,000. On the other end of the installation price spectrum, however, it may only cost $1,700. You may pay toward the lowest end of the cost spectrum if you already have sufficient ductwork and the contractor only needs to install a new central AC unit.
The central AC unit is only a part of the total cost of installation. Along with the other expenses of installation, the price for the project can add up quickly.
The cost of a central AC unit can range anywhere from $1,700 to $3,400 or more. Also, you may want to ask your HVAC contractor if there any other features that they can install to benefit your home during the installation.
Extra features may cost a little more, but it may prove worth the investment for added comfort and efficiency. For instance, a ceiling fan can make it easier to cool rooms and help cut down on utility costs.
Curbing Central AC Installation Cost: Getting a Deal on Installation
When considering a new central AC installation, it’s important to consider your needs. For example, if you don’t spend a lot of time at home or you live alone, you might consider a ductless mini-split AC system.
This kind of air conditioning works with an outdoor air compressor and condenser. The contractor will also install a blower vent that funnels cool air into your home. They can install this kind of system through almost any exterior wall.
It’s important to understand that this isn’t a full central air conditioning system. However, this kind of ductless system is an efficient way to cool specific rooms, such as your bedroom or living room. In some cases, this kind of system may meet your needs.
Also, don’t wait until the height of summer to schedule the installation. During the coldest and hottest months of the year, HVAC contractors are extremely busy.
Instead, schedule the installation for the spring or fall if possible. By scheduling the installation during the off-season, you may pay less for installation and the contractor may finish the job faster.
Also, try to find equipment rebates and tax credits that will help offset the cost of installation. For example, local municipalities, utility companies, and manufacturers offer incentives to promote the installation of high-efficiency air conditioners. You can use the Energy Star Rebate Finder to learn more about incentives in your area.
Keep Your Central Air Humming Along
Central AC is a big investment. Accordingly, it makes sense to keep it maintained.
For example, it’s important to change the air filters once a month. Dirty air filters cause restricted airflow and result in air conditioner inefficiency.
When you buy new filters, choose one with a high minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). Filter manufacturers rate their products on a scale of one to twelve. The higher the number, the more efficient the filter.
Make sure your home is properly insulated. You can check your home for leaks. If air leaks out of your windows are ductwork, your air conditioning system will only have to work harder.
You can find leaks by lighting an incense stick and following the trail of smoke to find drafts.
Finally, it’s a good idea to schedule annual maintenance appointments with a trusted HVAC contractor.
Find a Great Deal on Central AC Installation
Now you know more about central AC installation costs, and you’re all set to find an expert installer!
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