How Much Does Air Conditioning Installation Cost

Published On: July 11, 20200 Comments on How Much Does Air Conditioning Installation CostTags: , , Last Updated: February 11, 20244.9 min read

If you’ve been considering putting centralized air conditioning in your home, you know it’s going to be more than just a few bucks. This could have you shying away from the whole idea in general.

technician inspecting indoor AC unit

However, the truth is that you must think of a new air conditioner as an investment for your home.

What’s The Average Installation Cost?

We’re going to jump right into it and reveal that the average homeowner will spend anywhere between $3,000 and $8,000 getting an air conditioner installed. As you can tell, this is a wide price range. There are many different factors that need to be considered when having a centralized air conditioner installed in your home. Each of these factors will affect the overall price of installation.

The Factors That Influence The Price


To start our list, the most significant factor affecting the overall price you pay is the ductwork. If you have existing ductwork in good condition running throughout your home for a furnace or existing air conditioner, you won’t have to pay for that factor. On average, your installation will cost between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on the other factors.

If you need to have ductwork installed throughout your home, it will cost you more money. On the lower end where you’re doing a new build, your installation can cost around $6,000. However, if you want ductwork installed in an existing home with drywall up, it’s going to cost you around $8,000 for the air conditioner installation.

System Size

Next up, the size of the system that you decide to install will highly affect the installation price for your system. It’s recommended that you always check in with a professional to learn what unit size will be adequate to cool your home. The unit’s desired size will depend on the size of your home and the BTUs that need to be produced to cool it.

Most centralized air conditioning units run in sizes from two-ton to five-ton. The prices for these are:

  • Two-Ton (1,000 SqFt): $3,350
  • Three-Ton (1,600 SqFt): $4,600
  • Four-Ton (1,900 SqFt): $4,900
  • Five-Ton (2,000 or more SqFt): $5,900

Specific Brand

As with any product purchase in life, different brands offer varying prices. When it comes to your air conditioning system, there is an array of brands that you can purchase. Some of the most popular are Carrier, Coleman, Goodman, Heil, American Standard, Lennox, Rheem, York, and Trane. Each system comes with its special features and warranties that you’ll want to take into account when deciding on the right one.

You can expect a new air conditioning unit to cost you anywhere between $1,000 and $1,600, depending on the specific unit that you buy. It’s always fashionable to look for units with an Energy Star label as they’re known to save you 15 percent or more on your yearly energy bills compared to air conditioning units that don’t have the label. If you’re not familiar with the term Energy Star, it’s an indication that the U.S. EPA uses to promote energy-efficient products to consumers.

Labor Costs

As with any home service professional, different companies are going to charge different rates. You can bank on an average per hour labor cost to be about $75. Most homeowners have shown that labor costs make up about 40 percent of their overall installation price. It’s best to check in with your installer to see what their labor costs are and how long they believe it will take them to install your new system.

technician checking outdoor AC unit

How Long Will Installation Take?

There are many differences in the installation time, depending on what you’re having installed. Having an air conditioner installed that will be connected to the existing ductwork that runs throughout your home, you’re looking at about 16 to 20 hours. If your HVAC professional will need to install new ductwork for your air conditioner installation, you can expect it to take about three to five days.

While we’re talking about installation time, we should mention two other options that you could utilize to cool your home. First is a portable window unit. Most homeowners who choose to have these installed will do it themself. However, your HVAC professional can help, and it will take about 30 minutes. If you opt for the newer ductless mini-split systems because you don’t have existing ductwork in your home, it can take a full day.

Consider Your Tax Rebate Possibilities

When you install any new major system in your home, there will likely be some tax rebates that you can take advantage of. These are offered in Federal, State, and Local municipalities and townships. A quick search online or talk with your HVAC professional can reveal some of the most popular rebates you can take advantage of.

You should check out these tax rebates before choosing what sort of system you want to install. While they shouldn’t be the main deciding factor on the system that you choose to have installed in your home, they can play a role in your decision. Some of these tax rebates can offer you from $500 to $2,000 in tax rebates.

Most of these rebates are given based on the type of system that you have installed. The Government rewards homeowners that opt for energy-efficient systems. In general, most systems marked with an Energy Star rating will automatically make you eligible for available tax credits. However, you may find that some tax rebates require specific SEER and EER ratings.

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the system is. Most tax rebates require a SEER of 16 for split systems and 14 for package systems. EER, on the other hand, stands for energy efficiency ratio. Just like the SEER rating, the higher the EER, the more efficient the system is. For most tax rebates, you’re going to need an EER of at least 13 for split systems and at least 12 for package systems.

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