How Much does it Cost to Install an AC?
Most homeowners spend an average of $4600 on installing their AC. The cost of your AC unit depends on the size and type you need for your home, and while it is a big expense, it’s worth the price when the warmer weather rolls around.
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Cost of a New AC Unit
The average AC system replacement cost ranges between $3500 and $5500. The final price will depend on the BTU capacity of the AC unit, the SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) your home needs, and if your home has existing ductwork in place, among other factors.
The SEER rating basically means cooling output vs energy input. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the equipment.
Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better
It’s common to assume that a larger AC unit will be able to provide more cool air more quickly. However, the ideal size of your AC really depends on your house. An AC unit that’s too small will run constantly and require more energy, struggling to keep your house cool. On the other hand, an AC unit that’s too large will be more expensive and consume more electricity. But that’s not the only drawback: a large AC unit turns on and off quickly, which means it may not reduce the humidity in a room, instead making the room feel uncomfortably cold and clammy.
Hiring HVAC professionals to install your AC is smart, but it’s good to know what cost you can expect. AC installation labor costs average around $75 an hour. The overall price for labor cost will depend on how long it takes to install your unit.
Don’t Forget the BTUs
BTU (British Thermal Units) are measured by careful load calculations and represent the amount of heat an AC system can eliminate from your home at maximum efficiency. Heat loss / heat gain calculations are based on factors such as insulation, windows, doors, the direction the home faces (north, south, east, west). The age of the home is important as well. Newer homes are designed to have “tighter” construction methods, reducing infiltration of outside air. Older homes have more infiltration issues and this has an impact on the required BTU capacity of the unit. Even though two homes may have the same square footage, they may have different system requirements.
Keeping Cool is Worth the Cost
Installing a new AC unit can put a dent in your wallet, but think about what you get for the price. When the heat outside is too much to bear, you’ll thank yourself for being proactive and updating your unit instead of struggling to string it along.