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    How Much Does a Central AC Unit Cost to Install?

    What factors will affect the cost of your central AC unit installation? AC brands, SEER ratings, and unit size can all influence total costs.


    How Much Does an AC Unit Cost to Install?

    Average cost range:

    $3,200 - $7,800

    Homeowners on average pay between $3,200 and $7,800 for a central air conditioner unit installation. The main factors that will affect the cost of your AC unit include home’s square footage, desired brand, and the SEER rating you choose. For a 1,300 to 1,600 square ft home you would want a 2.5 ton AC unit and the average installation cost would be around $3,570 with the unit alone costing around $1,285. Read more about these cost factors below.

    Find the best HVAC contractors in your area.

    Updated June 23, 2022 · By Robert Skorpil


    AC Installation Costs by Square Footage

    One way to calculate the average costs for a new AC unit would be by figuring the exact area of square feet you are wanting to cool for your home. Installing a central air conditioner into a 2000 square ft. home with an existing forced air furnace heating system (that has all ductwork installed properly) would cost between $3,000 to $4,000.

    How much does it cost for an A/C Unit for a 2,000 Sq. ft Home?

    The average AC unit can cool 400 square feet of your home per 1 ton of air conditioning cooling capacity. This would produce 12,000 BTU’s per 400 square feet. You can take the 2000 sq. ft measurement and divide by 400 sq. ft of cooled area (per 1 ton AC unit cooling capacity) and calculate that you would need a 5.0 TON air conditioner. This A/C system should be able to remove 60,000 BTU’s per hour (5.0 tons x 12,000 BTU’s.) A 5.0 TON air conditioner would cost around $1,980 for the AC unit alone or a total installation cost of $3,690. Top known brands may cost more.

    Let’s calculate AC unit installation cost for your home:


    How Much Does an HVAC Replacement Cost?

    Average Cost: $5,890 - $10,870. Use Modernize's calculator below to estimate your heating and cooling project.

    To get started, select which system you need to repair or replace

    Heating Cooling Both

    Pricing provided by RSMeans data, a cost database used by thousands of construction professionals to validate material, equipment, and labor costs. Estimates are intended as starting points for your project, but please note that labor costs vary by contractor, the price of materials can fluctuate, and selection of premium brands can impact your contractor’s final bid.

    AC Installation Costs by Tons

    Central Air Conditioner Size AC Unit BTU AC Unit Only

    1.5 Tons 18,000 BTU $2,000

    2 Tons 24,000 BTU $2,620

    2.5 Tons 30000 BTU $2,895

    3 Tons 36000 BTU $2,920

    3.5 Tons 42000 BTU $3,550

    4 Tons 48000 BTU $3,650

    5 Tons 60000 BTU $3,690

    AC Costs by SEER Rating

    Some of the best AC units will have high energy efficiency capabilities (also known as high SEER ratings) can save you a considerable amount of money on your average heating and cooling energy bill costs. However, a higher energy efficiency level may mean a higher HVAC installation cost. SEER ratings can range from the lowest point of a 13 SEER to the maximum efficiency air conditioners boasting a 24 SEER rating.  The average price for a standard AC unit providing a 13 to 14 SEER rating will cost around $2,770 for total unit installation, while a unit with a 24 SEER rating will cost much more initially at around $6,800 for total installation. See chart below for all SEER ratings and central AC costs.

    SEER Efficiency Ratings AC Unit + Installation Energy Efficiency Level

    13-14 SEER $2,820 Standard Efficiency

    15-16 SEER $3,420 High Efficiency

    17-18 SEER $4,650 High Efficiency

    19-21 SEER $5,390 Very High Efficiency

    22-24 SEER $6,800 Max Efficiency

    Air Conditioner Unit Costs by Brand

    Each of the best AC unit brands offer different tiers of central AC units depending on the needs for your home. Air conditioner brands like Goodman, Rheem, and York all have decently priced units in the $2500+ range. Well known brands like American Standard, Trane, and Carrier will be more in the $3,800 + price range and will usually have better quality products depending on your home cooling needs. You may also be interested in seeing the top furnace brands as well. See the full AC brands cost chart below.

    Air Conditioner Brands: Average Unit Cost: SEER Rating:

    American Standard $3,656 16.8Carrier $3,895 16.8Goodman $2,488 15.5Trane $3,220 17.2Rheem $2,968 17.1Lennox $3,794 17.8York $2,354 16.4Ruud $3,200 17.1Amana $2,935 17.5HEIL $3,400 18.2

    Hidden Costs in Your Estimate

    There are also air conditioning installation costs that most likely are not included in the initial AC estimate but you may want to factor in, if applicable for your local installation prices. You also may need to consider installing a new furnace with your AC unit. These are the things you should ask the HVAC contractor about and whether or not the cost is included in the initial estimate they’re providing. Here are a few cost related questions you should have answers to:

    Source : modernize.com

    Cost of an Air Conditioner Replacement in 2022, a Complete Breakdown

    Are you looking for answers on how much an air conditioning replacement will cost? In this article, we discuss the factors that go into pricing an air conditioner, why some AC systems cost more, and what you should know to make the best decision for your home.

    Cost of an Air Conditioner Replacement in 2022, a Complete Breakdown

    Arne Jacobsen

    Residential Sales Professional

    About This Article

    If you’re looking to replace your air conditioner, you’re likely wondering how much the replacement will cost you. In this article, we break down the factors that affect the cost of an AC to help you make the best decision for your home.

    Cost of an Air Conditioner Replacement

    The cost of replacement for an air conditioner in a residential home can range between $4,350-$12,095. This includes labor and permit fees.

    This range also covers a variety of system sizes and levels of sophistication, including variable-speed AC systems. 

    The factors that can affect the price of your air conditioner replacement include:

    Capacity/power of the system


    The HVAC equipment you’re not replacing

    Modifications to your existing system

    Line set protection Installation costs

    Tax credits and rebates

    The article below goes into more detail, including more precise ranges for entry-level, mid-range, and high-end air conditioners.

    Schedule an Estimate

    The decision to replace your air conditioner can be on par with the decision to renovate your home or buy a car.

    But many homeowners go into the process with no idea what the overall cost will be or how those costs are broken down.

    When you have to make a major decision and invest a significant amount of money, you need this information.

    As a sales professional with over 40 years in HVAC, I’ve helped customers understand what factors affect the final price tag on an air conditioning unit.

    While specific prices will vary depending on your home, there are common factors that can affect the final price tag on your replacement system.

    In this article, we'll take you through the factors that can affect the price of an air conditioning system. By the end, you'll be prepared to make the best decision for you and your home.

    Common Air Conditioning Costs & Accessories

    When most people imagine their new cooling system, they think of the air conditioning unit itself. But replacing your current system involves more than just replacing the unit itself.

    So let’s talk about some of the other components that affect the final price of your replacement air conditioner.

    The following items are typically required to install an air conditioner:

    Physical parts, including: indoor evaporator coil, outdoor pad, outside electric disconnect, electric conduit from the disconnect to the air conditioner, new copper line set from the indoor coil to the air conditioner, and 15 feet of PVC pipe for use as a drain line

    Local permits

    Electrical costs involving breakers and thermostats

    Ductwork modification, if necessary

    Condensate drainage

    Air Conditioner Capacity

    The capacity, or “size,” of your air conditioner affects its ability to meet your cooling needs.

    In this case, the size of your system describes the output it needs to adequately cool your home.

    In order to correctly size your home, your HVAC partner must complete a load calculation. This allows them to recommend the best air conditioning unit for your home.

    A load calculation not only looks at the square footage of your home but also features that affect heat loss/gain. These features include the number and size of windows and doors your home has and the height of your ceilings.

    RELATED: Sizing Your Air Conditioner, Heat Pump and Furnace

    One thing to keep in mind is that a larger or more powerful air conditioner isn't always better for your home. If it’s sized too big, an air conditioner will cycle on and off too much. As a result, it may not cool or remove moisture properly.

    If an air conditioner is sized too small, it will run a lot and not cool your home or remove moisture properly.

    Because of these factors, there will never be a "one size fits all" solution for every home, even some that are the same size.

    The cost of equipment can increase as you go up in capacity. But an accurately sized system can help lower your monthly utility bills and provide more comfort in your home.

    Additionally, by avoiding unnecessary on-off switching, you'll increase the longevity of your air conditioner.

    Air Conditioning System Efficiency

    One of the considerations in purchasing an air conditioner is its efficiency rating, or SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).

    An air conditioner’s SEER rating is similar to a car’s fuel economy. Just like you may want to know how many miles per gallon a car can get, we can use a SEER rating to describe how efficient an air conditioner is.

    The efficiency of a system can also provide increased comfort and, at times, a quieter system. This overall efficiency is part of the total cost of any air conditioning unit.

    Source : indoortemp.com

    How Much Does HVAC Unit Replacement Cost?

    HVAC unit replacement cost depends on the age of your home, what size unit you need, and any add-ons you want. This article breaks it all down in detail.

    Major Systems

    How Much Does an HVAC Unit Replacement Cost?

    How Much Does an HVAC Unit Replacement Cost? HVAC unit replacement costs range from $5,000 to $10,000, with the national average at $7,000.

    By Katie Flannery | Updated Apr 7, 2022 11:51 AM

    Photo: istockphoto.com

    Typical Range: $5,000 to $10,000National Average: $7,000

    Your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it’s always circulating fresh air to eliminate allergens and dust. If your HVAC unit isn’t performing as efficiently as it once did, it may be time for a replacement. According to HomeAdvisor, full HVAC unit replacement costs range from $5,000 to $10,000, with the national average at $7,000. This comes out to about $25 to $60 per square foot. Prices depend on the size and brand of the HVAC system, the size of the house, ductwork length, and the new unit’s efficiency rating. For new installations, expect to pay from $1,500 to $12,500. HVAC installation prices typically include labor costs of between $500 and $2,500. The total cost relies on the type and condition of the current system. It typically costs more to retrofit forced or central-air heating than to replace an existing unit.

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    Factors in Calculating HVAC Unit Replacement Cost  

    Several factors affect HVAC unit replacement costs. Prices can differ from the national average due to the cost of the new unit, labor prices, installation, accessibility, removal and disposal fees for the old unit, climate, and the home’s age and condition.

    New Unit

    New HVAC systems cost between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the brand and size of the unit. A new furnace typically costs between $1,000 and $4,000, and an air conditioner runs from $1,500 to $8,000. Consider that a newer, more energy-efficient model may save you money on energy bills in the long run.


    Labor can run from $500 to $2,500, and the price is usually included with the overall installation costs. Depending on the size and complexity of the installation, the job can take between 6 and 10 hours if the old HVAC system is being replaced with a new one. If new ductwork is needed, the installation could be extended by 1 to 3 days.

    Installation and Accessibility

    There are three types of installations for an HVAC unit: a change-out installation that includes a new heating and cooling system, a full installation that includes all HVAC equipment and ductwork, and a full install that also includes a zoning system and any other additional features. The more difficult it is to access the existing HVAC system, the more expensive the replacement will be. If the HVAC unit is in a historic home, in a small attic or an attic with blown-in insulation, or if the HVAC unit requires custom-made pieces, it will add to the price of the installation.

    Removal and Disposal

    HVAC unit replacement cost typically includes the price of removal and disposal of the existing unit. Always check with the HVAC professional that’s handling your replacement on how they charge for removal and disposal.


    The climate you live in also impacts the overall price of HVAC unit replacement cost. Residential furnaces typically run between 35,000 to 100,000 BTUs (British thermal units). One BTU is equal to the heat of one match. If you live in a hotter climate, the BTU output for cooling will increase by 10 percent. If you live in a dry climate, it will cost extra to add a humidifier to the HVAC unit.


    Additional Costs and Considerations

    When budgeting for HVAC unit replacement costs, there will be additional price factors and considerations. These include ductwork; adding zones, insulation, or a thermostat; additional add-ons and upgrades; furnace and air conditioner replacement; asbestos removal; and the savings from rebates.


    HVAC duct replacement costs between $500 and $2,000. If only a section of the ductwork needs to be replaced, expect to pay between $10 and $20 per linear foot. Ductwork installation can add between 2 and 4 days of labor. It’s a good idea to replace the ductwork if you’re replacing the entire HVAC system to ensure the ductwork is free of dust and allergens and to safeguard that the system is leak-free.

    Adding Zones

    Adding zones to your existing HVAC system can raise the price by $2,000 to $3,000. If you install a new system, the costs can range from $7,500 to $12,500. A zoned system uses a specific thermostat for each zone of your house. Dampers in the ductwork open and close according to the needs of each particular zone based on how much heating and cooling is needed in that area.


    Insulation typically is not part of an HVAC unit installation, but if you live in an older home, the rooms are cold and drafty in the winter, and the upper floors and attic are sweltering in the summer, you may want to consider it. Insulation costs can run from $1,000 to $2,100, but it can lower heating and cooling costs by 10 to 15 percent.

    Source : www.bobvila.com

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