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How Much Does AC Installation Cost?

Two decades ago, air conditioning was a luxury that only a few in northern states could afford. However, with each passing summer, we’ve seen how the scorching heat has intensified, transforming air conditioning from a mere upgrade for privileged households into an essential requirement for countless individuals and families.

The escalating demand for air conditioning installations serves as a testament to this shift. Investing in air conditioning not only enhances the comfort of your daily life but also adds value to your home. While the costs of AC installation fluctuate based on factors such as the chosen system type and the size of your residence, the benefits typically outweigh the expenses.

If you’re contemplating the installation of air conditioning to ensure a cool sanctuary during the sweltering summer months, affordability naturally becomes a significant consideration. Many homeowners are curious about the potential expenses when it comes to implementing new AC systems or replacing outdated ones. Read on to discover an estimation of the expenditure you can anticipate.

AC Installation Cost Factors

The cost of installing air conditioning in your home depends on several key factors that should be taken into consideration. These factors encompass various aspects and include the following:

  • Square Footage: One of the primary determinants of the installation cost is the size of your home and the corresponding AC requirements. Larger homes typically necessitate a more robust and customized air conditioning system, as we will explain below. However, advancements in home-cooling technology have made it feasible to effectively cool even the most extensive residences, ensuring comfort throughout different areas, from basements to top-story bedrooms.
  • Desired Level of Comfort: When considering the installation of air conditioning, it is crucial to determine the extent to which you want your entire home to be cooled or if you prefer to focus on maintaining a comfortable temperature in specific spaces. Additionally, the frequency of AC usage during the hot months will influence the overall installation cost, in conjunction with the square footage of your home.
  • Home Efficiency: The efficiency of your home in terms of insulation quality, window orientation, and tree coverage plays a significant role in its natural cooling capabilities. Homes with effective insulation, minimal west-facing windows, and ample tree coverage tend to naturally stay cooler during hotter months. Conversely, homes with significant exposure to natural light and poor insulation require a more robust air conditioning system to ensure comfortable living spaces.
  • Desired Efficiency: AC efficiency refers to the ratio between the amount of heat removed and the power consumed for cooling, often indicated by a system’s “SEER” rating. It is important to consider the level of efficiency that best suits your home and personal preferences. Moreover, certain regions will have prescribed efficiency requirements. Starting in 2023, these regulations will be tightened, necessitating a minimum SEER of 14 for the northern U.S. This change may result in higher equipment prices. Choosing energy-efficient air conditioners may involve a higher upfront cost, but the subsequent reduction in monthly utility bills and overall utility costs will likely offset the initial investment.
  • Noise Requirements and Sensitivity: If you are particularly sensitive to continuous humming or buzzing sounds or need to adhere to noise-related guidelines imposed by your homeowners’ association (HOA), it is essential to consider a quieter air conditioning model. Fortunately, advancements in technology have led to the availability of numerous quiet options that can meet your specific requirements.
  • Type of System: The type of air conditioning system you select can significantly impact the installation cost. Various options exist, ranging from central air conditioners to heat pumps to ductless AC units, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. By consulting with our professionals, you can obtain personalized advice tailored to your home, needs, lifestyle, and preferences, enabling you to make an informed decision.
  • New or Replacement System: Whether you are installing air conditioning for the first time or replacing an outdated system is an important consideration. Generally, the installation cost is lower when replacing an inefficient or obsolete system compared to initial installations.

By taking into account these factors, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the cost associated with installing air conditioning in your home. Our experienced consultants are available to provide guidance and assist you in making the optimal choice based on your specific circumstances and requirements.

AC Installation and Replacement Costs

The cost of air conditioner installation can vary significantly due to numerous variables and the wide range of options available. Central AC units typically have a starting price of around $5,500, with the upper end of the price spectrum reaching approximately $10,000 and more.

In the case of ductless systems, the average price is around $4,000, but costs can exceed $15,000 depending on specific factors. Although ductless systems tend to be more expensive than central AC units, they offer a multitude of benefits, which we have extensively detailed in our blog about the pros and cons of ductless systems. Among the many advantages, one notable feature is zoning, which allows you to independently control the cooling of different rooms or areas within your home, providing personalized comfort as needed.

How much does it cost to install a New Air Conditioner and New Ductwork?

The cost of AC installation is subject to variation due to several factors, including the size of your home, the specific type of AC system you opt for, and the presence or absence of preexisting ductwork. In cases where your home lacks ductwork, the installation of a furnace, AC unit, and the necessary ductwork typically incurs a cost ranging from $20,000 to $30,000.

How much does it cost to install a New Air Conditioner with Existing Ductwork?

If your home already has ductwork in place, replacing an air conditioner is generally more cost-effective compared to installing an entirely new system. This is because the presence of existing ducts reduces the overall expenses associated with the installation process.

However, it’s important to note that the cost can vary depending on various factors, including the size and efficiency of your home. On average, you can anticipate spending between $5,000 and $10,000 for a new AC installation when your home has pre-installed ductwork. It’s crucial to consider these factors and consult with our professionals to determine the most suitable and affordable option for your specific circumstances.

How much does it cost to replace a Furnace and Air Conditioner?

Many homeowners opt for a furnace and air conditioning (AC) combination, as it offers enhanced energy efficiency and improved indoor comfort. When both units require installation or replacement, it is often a practical and financially wise decision to replace them together. Rather than incurring separate costs for furnace installation and air conditioning installation, a combined HVAC installation reduces expenses.

The cost typically falls within the range of $9,000 to $20,000, although it can vary based on the specific system type chosen and the heating and cooling needs of your home. By considering these factors and consulting with our experts, you can make an informed decision that ensures optimal performance and cost-effectiveness for your home’s heating and cooling requirements.

How much does it cost to replace a Compressor in an Air Conditioner?

The compressor plays a vital role as the heart of an AC system by converting refrigerant from a gaseous state to a liquid state and maintaining its circulation throughout the system, similar to how the heart pumps blood in our bodies. When a compressor fails, it often indicates the need for a complete system replacement, particularly with older models that have a limited remaining lifespan. However, there are instances where replacing only the compressor is the optimal solution in terms of efficiency and affordability, particularly if it is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Typically, compressor replacement costs fall within the range of $2,000, depending on the specific system requirements and manufacturer. It’s essential to consider these factors and consult with our experts to determine the most suitable and cost-effective course of action. We can provide guidance tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring that your AC system functions optimally while maximizing your investment.

How much does it cost to replace an AC Capacitor?

Capacitors are essential components found in both the outdoor condensing unit of your air conditioner and the furnace. They play a crucial role in powering the motor and maintaining the smooth operation of your system. When it comes to replacing an AC capacitor, it is generally a relatively quick and affordable process, provided that you enlist the services of a qualified and knowledgeable installer. The typical price range for a capacitor replacement, including the cost of the part and labor, is between $300 and $500.

It is important to emphasize that while it may be possible to purchase an AC capacitor online, it is always recommended to hire a professional contractor for the replacement. This is due to the potential dangers involved in the process. Unless you possess significant HVAC experience, entrusting the task to a professional ensures a safe and effective replacement. By relying on the expertise of a professional, you can have peace of mind knowing that your capacitor replacement is handled correctly, preserving the optimal performance and longevity of your air conditioning system.

Ductless Air Conditioning Costs

If your home lacks existing ductwork, a ductless air conditioning system, also known as “mini-splits,” can be an excellent choice. These systems function as heat pumps and offer several distinct advantages. One notable benefit is the “zoning” feature, which allows you to independently adjust the temperature of each indoor unit. With separate remote controls, you can efficiently heat or cool specific areas of your home to different temperatures based on their usage.

While the installation cost of ductless ACs is relatively higher, ranging from $5,500 to $10,000 or more, depending on the number of indoor units installed, they provide long-term energy savings due to their exceptional efficiency technology. One thing to note of is that the more indoor air handling units there are, the higher the cost would be due to additional outdoor units. Despite the initial investment, mini-split systems can significantly reduce your energy costs over time. If you plan to reside in your current home for the foreseeable future, opting for a ductless AC system often proves to be a worthwhile and financially beneficial investment.

Our team of experts can guide you through the home AC installation process and help you determine the optimal configuration for your home. By considering factors such as your specific needs and preferences, we can ensure that you make an informed decision that maximizes comfort, energy efficiency, and long-term savings.

AC Costs by Ton/Tonnage, SEER Ratings, Brand Choice

When selecting an air conditioner, consider the following three characteristics carefully: the sizing, energy efficiency rating, and the system’s brand.

AC Costs by Ton/Tonnage

When determining the proper size air conditioner for your home, bigger is not better. Oversizing causes the air conditioner to start and stop more frequently, which is less efficient and harder on the components than letting it run for longer cycles.

A properly sized A/C will also provide you with better comfort and humidity control than an oversized one. The heating and cooling capacity of air conditioners is measured in Btu per hour. The cooling capacity is commonly expressed in “tons” of cooling capacity, each ton equaling 12,000 Btu per hour. Correct sizing procedures involve complex calculations, which are best performed by an experienced contractor, who uses sizing methods accepted by the A/C industry.

Don’t employ a contractor who guesses the size of the air conditioner needed. Rule-of-thumb sizing techniques are generally inaccurate, often resulting in higher than necessary purchase and annual energy costs.

SEER Ratings

In the United States, we rate an A/C’s energy efficiency by how many British thermal units (Btu) of heat it moves for each watt-hour of electrical energy it consumes. Every residential air conditioner sold in this country has an EnergyGuide Label, which features the A/C’s heating and cooling efficiency performance rating, comparing it to other available makes and models.

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rates both the efficiency of the compressor and the electric-resistance elements. The HSPF gives the number of Btu harvested per watt-hour used. The most efficient A/Cs have an HSPF of between 8 and 10.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rates an air conditioner’s cooling efficiency. In general, the higher the SEER, the higher the cost. However, the energy savings can return the higher initial investment several times during the air conditioner’s life. Replacing a 1970s vintage, central heat pump (SEER = 6) with a new unit (SEER =14) will use half the energy to provide the same amount of cooling, cutting air-conditioning costs in half. The most efficient air conditioners have SEERs of between 14 and 18.

You’ll find the Energy Star label sponsored by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on air conditioners with an HSPF of at least 7 and a SEER of at least 12. Many new air conditioners exceed these ratings, but looking for this label is a good way to start shopping for one.

HVAC Brands

While brands often capture our attention, it is important to understand the HVAC industry’s dynamics. The majority of interior components in HVAC equipment are manufactured by a select few industry giants, such as Johnson Controls and Emerson. These components are then supplied to various manufacturers who package them into different lines of equipment. In many cases, manufacturers offer similar equipment with different external branding and packaging. For instance, Trane and American Standard offer comparable equipment but target different audiences with their marketing strategies.

Differentiating factors among HVAC brands primarily lie in the additional features and accessories each product may offer, such as unit color or specific add-ons.

However, when searching for “HVAC installation companies near me”, it is crucial to recognize that the most critical factor in choosing an HVAC brand is not the brand itself, but the company responsible for the installation. Regardless of the brand you select, each system has the capability to heat and cool your home. While certain brands may be reputed for their durability, quiet operation, or affordability, the quality of the installation plays a pivotal role. A poor installation can haunt you throughout the lifespan of the system you choose.

Keep in mind that each HVAC brand emphasizes a specific aspect and is known for a particular benefit, but the installation company’s expertise and competence are paramount to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

A New Air Conditioner is an Investment

In the past, utilizing advanced HVAC systems to cool our homes was considered a luxury. However, as summer temperatures continue to rise, air conditioning has become a necessity for many homeowners. Installing or replacing an AC system is not just an expenditure but an investment in your daily comfort, well-being, productivity, energy levels, and even the market value of your home. In fact, experts estimate that having air conditioning installed can potentially increase a home’s value by approximately 10%.

While the cost of AC installation can be significant, the benefits it brings and the improvement in the overall quality of life within your home are tangible. At Jennings Heating & Cooling Co., we understand the financial considerations involved and offer financing options and payment plans to assist you in navigating the budgeting process. Our aim is to ensure that you can enjoy a cool and comfortable environment during the sweltering summer months without straining your finances.

It’s important to recognize that the performance and energy efficiency of an air conditioning system not only rely on the equipment itself but also on meticulous installation. By entrusting your installation to our knowledgeable team, you can be confident that every aspect is carefully considered, leading to optimal performance and energy efficiency for your AC system.

Consumers and home builders alike tend to search for “AC installation service near me” and then accept the lowest bid for heating and air-conditioning work. This unfortunate choice can often leave a system lacking 10 to 30 percent of the materials and labor necessary to optimize air conditioner performance. Rather than just accepting the lowest bid, it’s best to research the performance records of local contractors and get involved in the planning and decision-making about your new A/C system. Don’t just search for AC installation near me, call us instead!

You can avoid most of the common comfort and performance problems from improper installation by following these guidelines:

  • Make your home as energy-efficient as you can with proper insulation, energy-efficient windows, an effective air barrier, etc. Then your contractor can install a smaller pump system with shorter duct lengths. In an energy-efficient home, it isn’t necessary to run ducts all the way out to exterior walls to install registers near the exterior walls.
  • Install the ducts inside your home’s insulation and air barrier, if possible. Research shows that this strategy is a major energy saver.
  • Insulate your ducts to R-8 if they must be located in an attic or crawl space beyond the home’s air barrier and insulation.
  • Locate the outdoor unit on the north side of your home if possible. If not, pick a shady spot. There should be no obstructions within 10 feet of the sides with openings and the top.
  • Specify that the measured air leakage through your new ducts is less than 10 percent of your system’s airflow. Air leakage of 5 percent or less is possible with careful workmanship.
  • Tell your contractor that you want a return register in every room.
  • Don’t use building cavities as ducts. Building-cavity return ducts are notoriously leaky and often cause comfort, energy, and moisture problems.

Benefits of Air Conditioning

Recent advancements in home cooling and energy-saving technology have revolutionized the benefits of air conditioning. AC systems have become remarkably efficient, providing enhanced comfort while optimizing energy usage. Moreover, the implementation of zoning systems allows you to customize cooling to specific rooms or areas, reducing both your environmental impact and energy costs by focusing on the spaces that require cooling the most.

Beyond the realm of comfort, air conditioning systems offer a valuable shield against environmental pollutants. The rise in summer forest fires has had a significant impact on outdoor air quality. By utilizing AC during the summer months, you can avoid the need to open windows for ventilation while keeping your living spaces cool. This closed environment allows you to enjoy improved indoor air quality as the system circulates conditioned and filtered air throughout your home.

With these advancements, central AC installation proves to be a smart choice for both optimizing comfort and safeguarding yourself from external environmental factors. Embracing these innovative technologies ensures that you can create a refreshing and healthy indoor environment while minimizing your impact on the environment and maximizing energy efficiency.

If you’re looking for a fairly quoted and expertly installed air conditioning unit, our team at Jennings is here to help. Our AC installation and replacement services include a thorough assessment of your needs, professional installation, and expert guidance in selecting the right system for your home. Call us now to learn more about our AC installation services and schedule a consultation.