It’s no secret that new air conditioning installation costs are often a bit steep for homeowners, and especially if you have a larger home needing a powerful AC system. New ductwork or ductwork repairs, a whole house air filtration system, and other upgrades and maintenance might also increase those costs.
New air conditioning installation costs typically average around $4000 for most homeowners; a modest unit for a smaller home might run between $3000 and $4000 while more powerful residential HVAC systems for larger homes sometimes cost upwards of $5000.
While these averages might seem a bit costly, it’s vital that you never try to avoid the price of air conditioning installation with a DIY job. There is much more to air conditioner installation than simply clamping a condenser onto a concrete pad and plugging it in, and a poor-quality air conditioner installation might result in electrical shocks, brownouts, and early wear and tear of your HVAC system.
To ensure your home is safe and you always have a functioning air conditioner in good repair, and you protect your investment of a new AC unit, note some vital information about HVAC installation costs. It’s also good to consider a few additional reasons why residential air conditioner installation is not a DIY job, so you know when to call a professional for your home’s heating and cooling needs.
Understanding Air Conditioning Installation Costs
To better understand what you might face by way of air conditioning installation costs, you might consider some information about the system you need for your home, including its size, BTUs, and built-in features such as a dehumidifier, zone control, and the like. Remember that an air conditioning installation contractor near you is also an excellent source of advice for the system you’ll need for your home!
The size of your home determines the overall BTUs and tons of AC you need, but note if your home has shade or is exposed to harsh sunlight throughout the summer, the number of people occupying the house and especially one room at a particular time, the size and condition of the home’s ductwork, heat-generating appliances, and if you prefer the home extra cool during summertime!
Note, too, the overall layout of a home. An open floor plan allows cooled air to travel easily from one room to another whereas a boxy layout with lots of interior walls is often more difficult to cool.
The number, size, and energy-efficiency of a home’s windows also affects the size and power of a needed AC unit. Large windows letting in lots of sunlight means a hot and stuffy environment, unless those windows have specialty coatings that block heat. Smaller windows and tinted windows, or if you prefer the curtains closed while home, ensures a cooler environment so you won’t need such a powerful air conditioner.
It’s difficult to cool a home in an especially humid area, as humidity traps and holds heat. While air conditioners remove humidity as well as heat, it might be recommended that you invest in a strong dehumidifier along with your home’s AC unit, if you live in the tropics or have especially humid summers.
Remember that larger and stronger units aren’t necessarily a better investment. In many cases, you’ll simply wind up wasting money on a unit offering more power than your home requires for proper cooling and might spend more on utility costs throughout the summer as well.
Investing in new insulation throughout the home along with a new air conditioner is a great way to save money on your utility costs! Poor-quality insulation allows cooling from inside the home to escape to the outside while also allowing in outside heat. Upgraded insulation means a more comfortable interior environment and less wear and tear on your home’s air conditioner as well.
A larger and more powerful air conditioner might require new wiring, to support its increased electrical demands. New wiring in the home adds to your home air conditioning installation costs.
An upgraded thermostat, perhaps with programming, zone controls, and other features also adds to your air conditioning installation costs. However, note that a new thermostat might also allow for easier control of your home’s cooling, saving you money on your utility costs during summer months!
When You Need a New Air Conditioning Installation
No matter your expected air conditioning installation costs, it’s vital that you invest in a new unit for your home when needed. An older air conditioner often uses more power than it should, to force worn parts to operate. In some cases, an older AC unit is beyond repair and needs replacing.
Note a few signs that it’s time to invest in a new air conditioning installation for your home, no matter your new AC installation costs:
An air conditioner has an expected lifespan, after which time major parts are simply too worn for replacing. In those cases, it’s often more cost-effective to pay a bit more for a new air conditioner installation than for replacement of major parts.
If your home suffers from inconsistent cooling or never seems cool and comfortable even when you run the AC unit, it might be undersized or underpowered. Repairs won’t fix this problem so it’s then time to upgrade to a new AC installation.
An air conditioner should cycle on long enough to remove humidity as well as heat. If your interior rooms feel cool but clammy or overly humid after the AC cycles on and off, the unit might be too large for your house! Downsizing to a smaller unit saves money on your utility bills and ensures a comfortable interior environment.
If you’ve made significant changes to the overall footprint of the home, such as adding an extension or sunroom or an upper level, it’s probably time to upgrade the HVAC system to something strong enough to provide consistent heating and cooling throughout the house.
You might not think it’s good to invest money in a home you might put on the real estate market in a few years but old and outdated appliances make an entire home seem rundown and dated, and can decrease your asking cost. Updated appliances, even basic models, might allow you to increase your asking price or at least entice more potential homebuyers.
Some refrigerants are no longer manufactured or are being phases out due to environmental concerns. If your home’s air conditioner is older and uses a refrigerant no longer on the market or that won’t be available in coming years, it might be recommended that you replace that AC unit now, rather than waiting until it leaks refrigerant that cannot be replaced and you’re stuck without a home air conditioner while waiting for a new unit!
No Matter Your Residential Air Conditioning Installation Costs, Avoid DIY Jobs!
While it might be tempting to save on air conditioning installation costs by installing an AC unit yourself, it’s best to rely on a professional AC contractor near you instead. One reason for this is that a residential air conditioner has many wires, hoses, and other parts needing connecting to the home’s current HVAC system and wiring. Improper connections might lead to brownouts, overloading the circuits, or leaks around those exchange hoses.
A new air conditioner with upgraded features might require new electrical wiring, to accommodate its added demands for electricity. Older wiring gets overloaded somewhat easily and then becomes bare, frayed, or damaged, increasing the risk of electrical shorts, tripped circuits, and even electrical fires. An air conditioning installer near you will ensure the home’s wiring is sufficient for the electrical demands of your new AC system.
An air conditioning contractor also ensures that an upgraded unit has sufficient clearance around the compressor, to allow for airflow, and a sturdy concrete base. Without proper airflow, a compressor might overheat when in use or drain hoses might get clogged, allowing the compressor hoses to freeze. Investing in the cost of an air conditioning contractor helps reduce the risk of repair bills down the road, making it a better investment for your home!
How can a homeowner make their air conditioner more energy-efficient?
One excellent way to ensure energy-efficiency of your AC unit is to schedule regular air conditioner maintenance, including cleaning, thermostat calibrating, and other services. AC maintenance will keep your unit running optimally and efficiently and help avoid early breakdown.
Can you make an air conditioner more powerful?
Adjusting the thermostat doesn’t make an air conditioner more powerful; the unit will simply cycle on longer, to reach that desired temperature. However, ceiling fans and room fans, light filtering curtains or sheers, and a dehumidifier can keep interior rooms cooler and more comfortable overall.
How can you save on air conditioner installation costs?
Never choose an AC unit based on air conditioning installation costs alone; investing in a high-quality, energy-efficient unit ensures a comfortable interior environment and can mean lower utility costs down the road. To save on costs, ask about rebates, closeout sales, and other financial incentives on the unit that’s best for your home.
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