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If you’re thinking about replacing your AC unit, then you’ve probably got one big question on your mind: “How much does it cost to replace a central air conditioning unit?”
Unfortunately, this is a relevant concern for many people in Arizona.
Our desert heat isn’t kind to air conditioners, whose life expectancy in this state is usually about 12-14 years.
Several factors influence air conditioner replacement cost, including its unit efficiency rating, the unit’s size, line installations, and more.
Often, this project will cost between $3000-$7000.
Because such an expense is often scary, we’ve written this guide to air conditioner replacement costs!
We’ll explain all the major pieces of your new unit and their respective price ranges so you can best consider your options.
Items That Affect AC Replacement Costs
Several items affect your AC unit cost.
First, there’s your basic HVAC hardware.
This includes your condensing unit, evaporator coils, outdoor pad, drain line, outside electric disconnect, the electrical conduit to the air conditioner, and a copper line set running from the indoor coil to the AC.
Your next hardware concerns are the electrical costs for wiring your breakers and the thermostat.
The following cost may not be necessary for your case, but it’s best to anticipate it anyway.
This cost revolves around your ductwork, which may need redoing to match a new AC unit.
Beyond hardware, you also have to pay for the labor cost of installing the unit and for local permits required for this work to begin.
Air Conditioner Capacity
An essential factor in determining air conditioner cost is its “size” or capacity. The capacity of your air conditioner affects how well it can effectively cool your home.
Your air conditioner unit must be a particular “size” proportionate to the size and scale of your house.
So, for your HVAC service to accurately determine your required unit size, they must first conduct a load calculation.
This calculation considers several factors, such as your house’s square footage, the number of windows and doors, and other features that could affect heat or cold loss/gain.
Once they’ve computed this, they will recommend a capacity that’s suited to your home.
Keep in mind that HVAC systems must operate on an individual basis.
No one system is automatically better than another.
Higher performing systems, for instance, are not of much use in colder, more temperate climates.
However, a house in Arizona that is the same size or even smaller than a building in Michigan may require a high-performing system.
All of this affects cost, as an air conditioner that is not the correct capacity for your home will cost you more in the long run.
Moreover, as you scale up in size, parts become more expensive.
The efficiency of an AC unit is measured by its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating.
This rating is comparable to a car’s gas mileage. Before 2006, the average SEER rating was a 10.
Now, however, the average SEER rating ranges from 13-20.
This means that even the lowest-rated air conditioner system is more efficient than the average of 20 years ago.
However, as SEER ratings increase, initial prices tend to do likewise.
The operating costs of higher-rated systems are also lower than their lower-rated counterparts, however.
In the long term, higher-rated systems may be more cost-efficient.
Putting Your Ducts In a Row
As was said previously, you may not have to receive ductwork to your house.
This is only necessary if the existing ducts are not compatible with the size of the new unit.
It is imperative to your unit’s performance that the ducts be their proper size.
Your air ducts are responsible for circulating air throughout your house.
If the ducts aren’t the correct size, they will impair your unit’s performance.
Your HVAC service provider should perform a duct assessment to ensure your ducts are their proper size.
If not, they’ll need resizing, adding to the cost of the installation.
Setting Up Your Lines
Your line sets consist of copper wires that run from the outside unit to your indoor network.
A system of tubes safeguards these lines, without which your lines are vulnerable to bad weather and other threats.
Your lines are responsible for moving coolant from the outside unit into your house, which in turn keeps your home cool.
This is vital to your AC unit functioning properly.
Additionally, this means that if your line set is compromised, you won’t be effective in keeping out the desert heat.
This is not an enjoyable scenario.
Once again, this is a cost you may not have to face.
Not all AC units require electrical work.
When they do, though, it’s usually for updating the control wiring for the thermostat.
Alternatively, you may require electrical if you’re installing high-voltage electrical work and breakers around the system to increase your thermostat control.
This installation might be necessary if you were getting a smart thermostat, for instance.
Electrical work generally adds between $100-$600 to the cost to replace AC units.
Of course, another factor in AC installation costs is paying for labor.
The process of installing an AC system is not an easy one; any misstep could cause long-term problems for your system and your comfort.
If you think it’s hot and unpleasant outside, imagine how hard it is on laborers.
They earn their money and, hopefully, provide you with excellent service.
As such, labor costs often range from $1,250-$2,300.
Getting Started With Installation
Air conditioning is a vital necessity in Arizona, and as you can see, installing it requires a lot of work.
It’s too big for a DYI project.
If you’re thinking about air conditioning installation in Chandler, or nearby Scottsdale or Phoenix but you’re worried about cost, there’s a better solution than searching “HVAC replacement cost near me” online.
Instead, call us today for our free estimate and onsite visit!
We’ll visit your home, run our calculation, and give you a tight estimate on your home ac replacement cost.