How Much Does Central Air Conditioning Cost?

Central air conditioning can be a pricey investment, but depending on the summer temperatures where one lives, it may be a necessity. There are ways to save on the installation of central air. It can also be beneficial to put a little more money into an efficient unit which will pay for itself in savings on the power bill over time. Many of the newly designed AC models are quieter and run more efficiently than those units that most people picture when they think of a central cooling unit.

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What You Need to Know About AC Units

When selecting a central air unit, the most important consideration is the size needed to cool the home efficiently. The larger the unit, the pricier it is so going too big for the size of the home will end up costing more. The size of AC units are measured in tons. This simply refers to how much heat they can remove from a home per hour. As a general rule, a house that is around 1600 sq ft would probably require a unit that is 2.5 tons.

Find an Experienced Contractor

If a home has never had a central AC system, the process of installation can be quite complicated. It’s important to find a contractor that is experienced in HVAC installation. This is not a DIY job as it requires a certification by the EPA to even handle the refrigerant. The process also required the installation of a breaker and other electrical components that just aren’t suitable for those without knowledge of HVAC work. Most companies will offer free quotes for those interested in installing a central AC system. The average cost for installation can be anywhere from $3000 to $10,000 for the largest and priciest systems designed for large homes.
What Can Raise the Cost of Installing a Central AC Unit

One of the main things to increase the cost is if a new thermostat is needed. The design of the home can also increase the cost. More duct work will equal more hours put into the job and a higher installation cost. If one buys a unit with a higher SEER, or seasonal energy efficient ratio, the unit will cost more upfront but will lead to greater savings long term as it works more efficiently. Higher SEER rates are generally better for those who have very hot weather much of the year. Most new designs are quieter than older models. At around 70 decibels the sound of the unit will not likely be noticed from inside the home. But some cheaper models may operate at around 75-80 decibels making the sound noticeable inside the home. The overall cost of installation will also depend on who is hired to do the job and the unit purchased with consideration of size and efficiency.

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