What is the Cost of Air Conditioner Installation?

Air Conditioners

If you want to replace your existing air conditioning system or install a new one, you must consider the cost of air conditioner installation. Many factors drive this cost as it varies from place to place.

For example, the cost will differ from location A to location B. Hence, before you go on with your installation plans, you must do proper research to have an idea of the cost.

The good news is you’re doing just that by reading this article. In it, you will learn about the various factors that combine to determine the cost of installing an air conditioner. By the end of this article, you can expect to have extensive knowledge of the pricing for air-con installation.

This way, you will know what to expect when seeking AC installation services and avoid getting ripped off. Here’s what you need to know!

Factors Affecting the Cost of Air Conditioner Installation

It is necessary to upgrade or replace your home’s air conditioning system. However, this may require you to make a significant financial investment. Your decision to upgrade or replace your air conditioning system may hinge on the following factors.

The installation company you hire for the job

When looking to install a new air conditioning system, you may want to save as much money as possible. Hence, you may be tempted to hire companies or contractors that offer air-con installation services at low prices. Though this may look like a reasonable move presently, it may quickly backfire in the near future.

When looking to hire an installer for your AC unit, the sole aim should not be about getting the lowest prices. It should also be about getting a contractor who offers high-quality services and is knowledgeable about the job.

Quacks may be very affordable, but they may cost you even much more money in the future if they do a bad job. On the other hand, if you hire the best contractors, you will hardly suffer losses later.

That said, you should understand that reputable AC installation companies will cost more than those of low quality. In searching for quality air-con installation contractors, there are some things you should look out for. These include:

  • The company must have the proper licensing and complete coverage.
  • It must have experience in the business of AC installation.
  • A physical location.
  • It should offer written estimates of the services it renders.
  • It should have great customer reviews.
  • It should be able to perform a load (Manual J) calculation. It’s a standard assessment that helps a technician determine the best sizing for your AC.
  • The company should be able to dispose of your old AC unit adequately (if you have one)

The Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

Another factor affecting the cost of air conditioner installation is its efficiency. Air conditioners with higher efficiency have higher SEER ratings. SEER means Seasonal Energy Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a metric for measuring the efficiency of your AC’s cooling. The SEER rating for the master air conditioners ranges from 13-25.

You may be wondering how the SEER rating affects the cost of AC installation. Typically, the higher an AC’s SEER, the higher its installation cost. Though higher SEER air-cons cost more to install, they will help you reduce cooling costs per month.

However, this does not necessarily mean you have to buy AC units with high SEER ratings. A SEER rating of 14-16 is super efficient and will come at affordable costs.

Air Conditioner Installation

The size of your AC

One of the cost considerations for air conditioner installation is the AC unit’s size. You must understand that the more the size of an air conditioner, the higher the installation costs. AC sizes are classified using two different modes. These are:


This is a measure of the quantity of heat the AC can rid your home of in a period of 60 minutes. Mostly, the higher the AC’s tonnage, the higher the amount of heat it can remove. Most residential AC units have sizes ranging from 1-5 tons.

British Thermal Units (BTUs)

This size classification is similar to tonnage and measures the amount of heat your AC can remove from your home in an hour. Residential AC units have BTU sizes ranging from 12,000-60,000. Below is a table that compares tonnage to BTUs:

AC TonnageAC BTU output
1 ton12,000 BTUs
1.5 tons18,000 BTUs
2 tons24,000 BTUs
2.5 tons30,000 BTUs
3 tons36,000 BTUs
3.5 tons42,000 BTUs
4 tons48,000 BTUs
5 tons60,000 BTUs

You may be wondering what AC size you should choose for your home. Well, you need to understand that you cannot choose this. Instead, your air conditioner installation contractor will carry out a Manual J (load) calculation. They can determine the AC unit size you need for your home with this calculation.

Typically, this calculation takes the following factors into account to arrive at a given result:

  • The type of climate existing in your area of residence.
  • Your insulation type and quality.
  • Flooring in your home.
  • Your home’s layout and size.
  • How many people reside within your home.

This is why you must be sure the AC installation company you hire is a quality one. Some dubious technicians use the rule of thumb in sizing your AC. With that, they only consider your home’s square footage, leaving out other factors. This may lead them to get an AC unit that is either too large or small for your home. With more heating costs, this will be more expensive.

The brand of AC you want to buy

You must note that air conditioner installation prices are higher for bigger, more popular AC brands. Some of the bigger air conditioner brands are Trane, Daikin, Goodman, Lennox, Carrier and York.  Others include Rheem, Ruud, American Standard, Amana, and HEIL.

It is not compulsory to stick to these big brands when buying your AC unit. There are only a few differences between these HVAC manufacturers.

One brand may have a more significant SEER rating, while the other may have a less noisy compressor. The best brand for you is dependent on your budget and how much you can stretch it. If you are on a low budget, go for lower-priced brands and vice versa.

Your Choice of Warranty

The cost of air conditioner installation also depends on the warranty. If you buy longer warranties, combined installation costs may be higher. However, it will save you some money over time. For instance, if your air conditioning unit develops a fault, you may not have to pay to fix it.

Most companies offer their customers two warranty forms. These are the manufacturer’s warranty and the contractor’s warranty.

The manufacturer’s warranty targets faulty parts and repairs. It is usually a part of the pricing for an indignant AC unit and usually lasts for between 2 and 10 years.

During the estimate for an installation project, you should ask about your contractor’s labour warranty and the things it covers. This helps you in making informed decisions on your warranty choice.

Related Article: 10 Things to Consider Before Air Conditioner Installation

The type of AC you choose

One of the factors affecting the cost of air conditioner installation is the type of air conditioner you want to install. Air conditioner installation costs vary depending on the different types of air conditioners. These include:

  • Central Air Conditioning Systems: During the installation of central air conditioners, the technician connects the AC to the home’s duct system. This AC type is usually paired with a heating system like a furnace. Hence, the system can regulate your home’s heating and cooling, leading to a perfect home temperature.
  • Split AC systems: These are also called mini-split systems. Split air conditioners are dual central systems. They combine an inner and outer AC unit resulting in a comfortable home temperature.
  • Heat pump split air-con units: These are air conditioners conditioned to work maximally in hotter climates. These systems pump hot air from inside your home to the outdoors during hot weather. Conversely, it pumps hot air into your home from the outdoors in cold weather. Regulating your home temperature effectively becomes easy with these two actions.
  • Air conditioner window units: These AC units are the most simple central AC systems. You can install these window units in a standard window to cool a small portion of your home.
  • Portable AC units: These are evaporative HVAC systems that you can move around your home. They utilize a hose or split that makes your home temperatures more comfortable.

Below are some other factors affecting your air conditioner installation cost:

  • The actual distance between your indoor and outdoor units and if finished rooms are in between these units.
  • The size of your home.
  • Will you need a permit from your local city or county building department?
  • Will an existing HVAC system need removal?
  • Does the installation contractor offer insurance?
  • If there is enough electrical power available for the installation.
  • If there are electrical upgrades, replacements, or necessary ductwork.
  • The length of interconnecting cable and refrigeration piping

Now, you are aware of the factors affecting the cost of air conditioner installation. You will get estimated prices for installing your air conditioners based on these factors in the sections that follow.

Price Estimate for Air Conditioner Installation

Before contracting AC installation services, you need to research the factors affecting installation costs. You also need to determine the average installation costs based on these factors.

Now, you know what factors drive installation prices. Here, you will discover the average cost estimates that can serve as a guide.

Average air conditioner installation cost based on square footage

You can calculate the average cost of air conditioner installation by determining the exact square feet area of your home you want to cool. For example, imagine your home is 2000 square feet and is without an existing forced air furnace.

If you’re going to install a central air conditioner into such a home (if it has all ductwork adequately installed), the cost will range between $3,000 to $4,000.

AC unit cost for a home of 2,000 square feet

An average air conditioner unit will cool 400 square feet of a home per ton of AC cooling capacity. This produces 12,000 BTUs per 600 square ft. Hence, you can work with 2000 sq. ft by 400 sq. ft of cooled area per ton of AC unit cooling capacity.

This gives 5 tons of AC unit cooling capacity. It means you will need a 5-ton air conditioner for your home, which equates to 60,000 BTUs.

A 5-ton AC unit costs about $1,980 (for the AC unit only). The total installation for a 5-ton AC unit will cost about $3,690.

Average AC installation cost by tonnage

Below is a table showing the cost of air conditioner units based on the tonnage and BTU output:

Size of Air Conditioner (in Tons)Air Conditioner Unit Size (in BTU)Cost per AC Unit (only)

Knowing the average cost of air conditioners based on their sizes gives you a better idea of their installation costs.

Air conditioner costs based on SEER rating

As earlier stated, air conditioners with high SEER ratings help you save on your home’s average cooling and heating bill costs. If you buy AC units with high energy efficiencies, it also translates to higher installation costs.

Below is a table showing how much to install air conditioners based on SEER ratings:

SEER Efficiency RatingsCost of AC Unit and Installation ($)Energy Level Efficiency
13-142,820Standard Efficiency
15-163,420High Efficiency
17-184,650High Efficiency
19-215,390Very High Efficiency
22-246,800Maximum Efficiency

Cost of AC Unit based on the brand

Air Conditioner Installation

Each AC manufacturer makes air conditioning units of different tiers. These tiers vary based on your home or office’s needs. Here is a table showing the average costs of AC units based on brands and their SEER ratings.

AC BrandsAverage Cost per AC Unit ($)SEER Rating
American Standard3,65616.8

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions people usually ask about air conditioner installation:

Can I install my AC unit myself?

It is not advisable to install your air conditioner yourself. You may end up causing more harm than good. AC unit installation is best suited for professionals trained in the installation process. These professionals hold licenses from regulatory bodies and undergo rigorous training to get them.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, even as you should not install your AC unit yourself, you can carry out regular maintenance after its installation. These maintenance procedures may require the purchase of several cleaning tools. You must set out time to clean the AC. This saves you a lot of money in the long run and protects your air conditioner from damage.

What ton AC unit is best for my home?

To answer this question, you need to consult with a professional. The professional will calculate the air conditioner size best suited for your home. You can also calculate the AC size yourself.

What is the best air conditioner unit?

The best AC unit for your home is the most energy-efficient and least expensive to maintain. You can consult professionals to help you figure this out.

How long does it take to install a central AC unit?

The period needed to install an AC unit depends on the project’s nature. It usually takes between one to five days. However, it takes more time to replace AC units and carry out extensive ductwork repairs.

How long do air conditioners last?

An air conditioner should usually last for 15 years. However, this can reduce if you frequently use the unit without carrying out regular maintenance. If your air conditioner is outdated or stops working, it means you have to replace it.

Related Article: Air Conditioner Repair: AC Not Getting Cold

Cooling Things Off

You have now come to the end of this article and know all about the cost of air conditioner installation. You are also aware of the many factors influencing these costs. You have also seen the average price estimates for air conditioners based on some of the factors mentioned. Therefore, you are well grounded on this subject matter.

Remember that you should get a professional to install your AC unit. You should never try to install your air conditioner yourself, except you are licensed to do so.

If you need to install your AC unit, ALP Heating can help you do just that. Contact our air conditioner installation services in Vaughan and we will be there to take care of your cooling system’s installation.

Our professionals are the best in the AC unit installation business and always guarantee the best installation jobs. Contact us today!

To Install a New Air Conditioner Call Or Email Us now:
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