Living in Brant County, we’re sure you understand us when we say that air conditioners aren’t just ‘nice to have’, they’re necessary during the summer months. As technology advances, today’s AC units are much quieter, more powerful and more efficient than older models. Not to mention they typically offer more bang for your buck as well. However, keep in mind that these higher-end models do come at a higher cost. So how much does it really cost to install a new air conditioner these days? The truth is the answer varies based on the following factors.
1. Unit size
The first step in getting a new AC installed is determining what size you need. The units are measured in tons, which refers to the amount of heat that unit can remove from a home within an hour. For example, a 1-ton unit can remove 12,000 BTU’s, while a 3-ton unit can remove 36,000. Typically, the larger the house, the more cooling power it will need. When determining the size that is best for your home, is it important to think of other variables such as remembering that a basement is naturally cooler than the other floors in the house. Typically, a 1,600 square foot house will be well-served by a 2.5-ton unit.
When it comes to air conditioning, efficiency is measured in what we call SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit. The advantages of improved SEER ratings are lowered energy costs and cooling times, however, they come with a corresponding cost increase.
3. Single v. Two Stage
Similar to furnaces, air conditioners also come with variable speeds and the higher SEER units are available with, what we refer to as, a ‘Two Stage’ functionality. This means that rather than producing the same amount of cooling regardless of how fast the fan is running, two stage air conditioners have a low speed and a high speed. This is ideal when it isn’t super hot but the humidity level is high since the low stage cooling dehumidifies without drastically reducing the temperature when it’s not necessary. Not only does this make your home more comfortable, you will also save on electricity.
4. The Extras
If you require or choose to include the bells and whistles such as a new thermostat, a low noise model, or if the design of your house requires some ductwork to link with your existing AC, you will most likely be quoted more than average.
Although it’s possible to purchase an air conditioner from a wholesaler and install it yourself, the level of skill required is substantial and you must be EPA certified to handle a refrigerant. The AC installation may require some additions such as new breakers in your electrical panel, wires running through your foundation, new ductwork and the mounting of your unit. It may cost you more upfront, but leaving this job to the pros will most likely save you a lot in the long run.
As you can see, the cost of a new air conditioning unit varies depending on the above factors. Our experts at Crystal Heating and Cooling can help you understand what to take into account when estimating the replacement cost for your air conditioner. Contact one of our cooling experts today and we will help you keep cool without blowing your budget.