Air Conditioning Cost
In many parts of Southern California, air conditioners aren’t just “nice to have,” they’re necessary during the summer months and when the Santa Ana winds come. Newer A/C units are quieter, more powerful and more efficient than earlier models, and they can in many respects offer greater value. But each step up the cooling ladder comes with a commensurate cost. So how much does it really cost to install a new air conditioner?
Air Conditioning Basics
The first step in getting a new air conditioner installed is determining what size you need. A/C units are measured in tons, which refers to the amount of heat they can remove from a home in one hour. The larger your house, the more cooling power you’ll need: A 1,600 square foot house, for example, might be well-served by a two and a half-ton unit. However, many other variables factor in determining which size will work best in your home. For example, a basement is naturally cooler than first- or second-floor rooms. “You cannot calculate the size and tonnage by square foot alone,” says Dave Hutchins, owner of Bay Area Air Conditioning in Tampa, Florida.
Next you will need to hire a contractor. While it is possible to purchase an air conditioner from a wholesaler and install it yourself, the level of skill required is substantial. Also, you must be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to handle refrigerant. For homes that have never had central air, an installation requires new breakers in your electrical panel. Moreover, wires run through your foundation, new duct work linking to your existing HVAC and the mounting of your unit on metal brackets or a concrete pad.
You’ll want to ensure a crucial task like this properly executed, so avoid time sink (and potential injuries), find a reputable A/C company and get a free quote on your system. For a basic, two-ton model, expect to pay about $3,000; a mid-range unit will run approximately $5,000 and top-of-the-line A/C systems can cost as much as $10,000.
What will cost more
Several factors can increase the cost of your air condition installation. If you need a new thermostat. For example, or if the design of your house is such that substantial amounts of duct work are required to link with your existing furnace, you’ll pay more than average.
Air conditioning costs depend in large measure on whom you hire, what size of system you need and your A/C unit’s overall efficiency.
Do you have a specific question regarding Air Conditioning? Call us today (805) 585-3844.