Central air conditioners keep your house cool and may be a lifesaver when the weather outside turns heated. Central air units can work alongside your heating system, too.
If you're thinking about getting one installed in your home, this is a great move. But how much does it cost to install a central air unit?
In this article, we tell you about the costs associated with installing a central air conditioning unit. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how much a central air unit installation will cost.
The Size and Age of the Home
The cost of installing a central air unit depends largely on the size and age of the home. Newer homes need less labor and materials to install a central air unit compared to older homes. This often takes more time and expertise. For example, a new home may need around $3,500-$7,500 to install a central air unit.
An older home may require $7,500-$15,000 due to additional wiring, ductwork, and compressor installation. It costs between $3,500 and $7,500 to install a central air unit in an average-sized, single-family home.
Larger homes often require a more powerful and expensive air conditioning system and more tubing. To be able to give cool air to several rooms at once.
Size of the System
The cost of installing a central air unit varies depending on the size of the system. Smaller systems, like those found in residential homes, range from $3,500 to $7,000.
On the other end, larger commercial systems can be as much as $20,000 or more. System sizing is based on the amount of thermal energy or cooling it can provide.
The size of the system is influenced by the square footage of the space being cooled. Generally, installation costs increase with the size of the system.
The ductwork and other details of the installation can affect the cost. You may need more ductwork, vents, and registers for a larger system.
The efficiency of the system and any extra features needed will influence the cost. For example, systems with two-stage compressors, many controls, and communicating thermostats tend to be more expensive.
Types of Components Needed
Installing a central air unit requires knowledge and experience in the HVAC industry. The overall cost of installing a central air unit will depend on the type of components needed.
Installation of ductwork and system size needed. The equipment and components needed include an outdoor condenser, an indoor furnace, and a fan-coil unit.
The cost of the equipment and components can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. If you to install ductwork, this cost can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars.
Finally, the system size needed to cool the home will depend on the square footage and the climate in the region. For safety, peak performance, and a longer lifespan of the central air unit, hire a professional installer.
The Complexities of Installation
The cost of air conditioning installation depends on its size, manufacturer, and the complexities of the installation. The most basic installations can cost around $3,000, but more complex units can go up to $7,000 or more.
Complexity factors such as the house's existing ductwork and existing wiring. This also includes the existing power supply and existing furnace that must be hooked into the unit.
The difficulty of the installation itself can drive the cost of the installation upward. If a house needs extensive work, such as new wiring, ductwork, or a new furnace, that cost can increase.
The Cost of Labor
The cost of labor for installing a central air unit can vary significantly depending on the experience of the contractor. The typical cost of labor for installation can range from $200 to $500.
It may also be 20-50 percent of the total cost of the unit, materials, and installation. If you hire a professional to install the unit, they will likely charge an additional cost for the labor.
This can be a few hundred dollars, depending on their services and experience. Professional labor costs are typically higher in areas with higher labor rates.
This includes urban or metropolitan areas. Labor rates for professional heating and cooling contractors in rural areas may be lower.
Region and Location
The cost of installing a central air unit can vary widely depending on the region and location. In colder climates such as those in the northern US and Canada, professional installation services tend to be higher.
Installation costs are lower in warmer climates, such as the southern United States and Mexico. In colder climates, central air installation may necessitate more components.
This includes building subfloors, insulated ducts, and even double-layered walls. This is to ensure all areas are receiving equal levels of cool air.
Homeowners in warmer climates such as California and Florida, where air conditioning is a necessity, can expect the total to fall between $3,000 and $7,000. In more temperate climates, such as parts of the Midwest and Northeast, it can still cost around $2,500 to $6,000.
Other locations may be slightly cheaper or more expensive. If the location of the unit is in an area that is difficult to access, you may incur additional labor costs.
Cost of Permits for Installation
The cost of permits for the installation will vary greatly depending on the city, state, and town. Regardless of the city, the cost of permits and inspections is typically in the range of $100-$300.
More permits for air conditioning installation are being sought in some areas. Permit fees may also differ depending on the nature of the work.
Some cities may also require an inspection by a city inspector prior to the AC unit installation. The cost of the permit will depend on local regulations.
Understanding Central Air Unit Costs
The cost of installing a central air conditioner will vary greatly depending on various criteria. This includes the size, kind of unit, complexity, and location.
Consider getting quotes from various professionals to determine which installer best fits your budget and needs. Contact a licensed Central Air Unit Specialist today to get started on your new system.
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