$1,825 – $3,175
Average Cost Estimate
$2,400 – $3,875
$3,100 – $6,620
|Brand Ratings||1-3 Stars||2-4 Stars||4-5 Stars|
|AC Unit Size||1.5 – 2.5 Tons||1.5 – 4 Tons||2 – 5 Tons|
|SEER (Efficiency)||13 – 14 SEER||13 – 16 SEER||16 – 18 SEER|
|Compressor Type||1 Stage||1 Stage||1 or 2 Stage|
|Noise Level||Loud (75+db)||Average (65-75db)||Quietest (50-65db)|
|Warranty||5-10 Yr||10 Yr||10-15 Yr|
|AC Unit Cost||$850 – $1,300||$1,250 – $1,750||$1,750 – $2,650|
|Supplies Cost||$325 – $850||$325 – $850||$325 – $850|
|Installation Cost||$600 – $825||$780 – $1,075||$960 – $2,320|
|Permit & Inspection||$50 – $200||$50 – $200||$50 – $200|
Note: This page represents the estimated replacement cost of the condenser unit and evaporator coil only. Not a complete HVAC system. If you don’t need a complete unit, you can view the individual component costs like your evaporator coil or compressor on the linked pages.
If you live in an area with a long cooling season, having a central air conditioner installed at your home is very common. In fact, central AC systems have quickly become standard equipment on most newly built homes in all of the US, where smaller window units used to be the rule. The AC unit itself, is just one piece of a complete HVAC system, including the AC condensing unit, evaporator coil, forced air furnace or air handler, air ducts, thermostat, and more.
For this Costimate, we’re going to help you understand more about your central air conditioner replacement cost, as it relates to replacing the outdoor ac unit and evaporator coil only. Since your HVAC system is an expensive home repair, we’ll also explain some of the other components that may need to be changed out at the same time, as well as how you can save money by replacing the entire hvac system at the same time. Throughout this page you’ll learn about factors that affect unit cost for central air, installation cost, and what others who have replaced their own central air conditioners have paid.
Unit Cost Factors
The most costly component of a central air conditioner, is the outdoor ac unit itself. In order to do it right, at minimum you’re going to have to replace the outdoor condenser unit and a matched evaporator coil. Assuming nothing else is wrong with the air handler or furnace, these two components will restore central air conditioning to your home. Since this is going to be one of the higher cost home improvements you’ll make, it’s important to understand the options and how they affect the replacement ac unit price as well as the impact on efficiency, longevity and most important your comfort for the next 12-15 years.
Note: Since you’re replacing just the central air unit and inside coil, there are going to be limits on what you can install. The outdoor unit and evaporator coil must be compatible with the rest of the hvac system it will be matched to. If you need a larger unit to better cool your home, you’ll probably need to replace the entire system.
Cost of Installation Supplies
We include this cost of supplies section in the installation cost area, since most homeowners don’t clearly understand other expenses that are included when they see a contractor price quote. Your installation may or may not require all of these items, but most do.
Since you will be connecting to the electrical and mechanical systems (power disconnect, duct, drain line) on your home, chances are very good that you’ll need a permit and inspection to finalize your central air installation. Check with your local code enforcement office, or ask your contractor.
Permits and Inspection
AC Installation Cost and Time
There is no general rule-of-thumb pricing system in place with HVAC contractors. Some will use a flat-rate pricing system and others will charge you by the hour. Flat rate installation costs are typically determined with a set of variables, that multiply the wholesale cost of ac equipment and supplies, with additional factors for overhead and profit, and a final calculation based on the difficulty of installation. Hourly rates are determined by how much money the company needs to earn per hour, per person, plus overhead and profit.
Completed Installation Time
You can expect at least 2, and possibly 3 installers to replace your central ac unit. On average, it will take 4-6 hours for simple projects, and 5-8 for the most common installations, and 8 hours or more for more difficult installations involving duct modifications, crawl spaces, 3rd floor attics, etc. That does not include travel time to/from your home, time to pickup new equipment, etc.
Without a doubt, installing a central air conditioner is a job best left to a pro. While many DIY’ers could probably handle the mechanical portion of the installation, its very uncommon that you would have the specialty tools and certifications to handle refrigerants, braze copper tubing, etc.
Trying to install your own system to save on the cost to install central air can go wrong and cost you much more very quickly. I consider myself an 8/10 on the handyman scale, and I would hire a pro to do this job every time.
In our efforts to provide the true cost of central air conditioner installation, we’ve gathered and linked to the the following costs from around the web.
|Costimates||$3,240||$1,825 – $4,620|
|$1,800 – $3,800|
|HomeAdvisor||$5,298||$1,800 – $10,200|
|ImproveNet||$4,690||$3,979 to $5,486|
|Suggest a Cost Comparison from Another Website|