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What to Expect With AC Installation Costs, and How to Save

March 19, 2020

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Every homeowner and commercial property owner will need new AC installation sooner or later, as even the highest-quality, most durable heating and cooling systems eventually break down beyond repair. Investing in a new air conditioner, furnace, and air purifying system is also an excellent way to enjoy a more comfortable interior environment and save money on utility costs!

Average AC installation costs, including purchase price of your new unit, range from $3000 to $7000. Your prices typically vary according to your home’s size, upgraded features on your new air conditioner, and condition of the home’s ductwork.

Before you decide to put off those AC installation costs, you might note some advantages of a new heating and cooling system. It’s also good to know when your home or business might need AC repairs or a new air conditioner installation, so you can budget properly for those costs.

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Why Your Home Needs a New AC Installation!

Don’t wait until your home’s air conditioner shuts down entirely before you consider a new AC installation. Investing in a new air conditioner before your current AC breaks down ensures a cool and comfortable interior environment no matter the weather. You might also face higher installation costs by waiting until peak summertime weather to purchase a new air conditioner! Note some added reasons to invest in a new AC installation for your home:

  • An older air conditioner with worn parts might require more power to operate. Investing in a new air conditioner often means lower utility costs throughout the summer season.
  • Today’s air conditioner models are also more energy-efficient than ever before, meaning that more of the power they draw is used for cooling rather than operating internal parts. You might then enjoy more cooling comfort for the same costs or see lower costs by investing in an energy-efficient air conditioner.
  • Zone cooling and programmable thermostats allow you to control the cooling in your home. You can schedule the air conditioner to cycle on less often throughout the day when the home is unoccupied or use zone cooling to keep only occupied rooms cool as needed. These features also let you save money throughout the summer season.
  • As homes settle and shift over the years, they tend to suffer more roof leaks, cracks along window frames, and gaps around doors. These cracks and gaps allow in heat, and an undersized or older air conditioner might not be powerful enough to compensate. Upgrading to a new, more powerful model ensures a cool environment in your home no matter its age or needed repairs.
  • A new HVAC system might increase your home’s value. Even if the value of your home doesn’t go up with a new heating and cooling system, note that an older, outdated AC struggling to operate properly is very likely to decrease property values! If you’re considering putting your home on the market or applying for a home equity loan in the next few years, a new AC unit might be an excellent investment.
  • Adding an upgraded air purifier or whole house air filtration system to a new AC installation means improved indoor air quality. Today’s air filtration systems trap and lock germs, bacteria, viruses, dust, and allergens, keeping them from circulating around your home.
  • Upgraded features on newer air conditioning units make it easier to keep them maintained properly. Many of today’s models have alerts that tell you when a filter needs changing while also monitoring energy usage and signs of worn parts. Performing simple fixes as they’re needed keeps minor repairs from becoming more extensive, while changing the furnace filter as needed reduces wear and tear on the  unit and improves a home’s interior air quality.
  • Many of today’s heating and cooling systems also allow you to control a thermostat remotely, even with a smart phone app, so you can adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere!

It’s also vital to remember that older units will typically require consistent repairs as several major parts fail, one after another. Rather than investing more money for replacement parts and repairs on an AC unit that will just continue to fail, consider investing in an upgraded AC installation for your home!

Tips for Choosing Your New AC Installation Size

When it’s time for a new AC installation, homeowners often wonder how to choose the best size unit and if a larger air conditioner is a better option. While you want to invest in an air conditioner offering enough power to cool your entire home, an overly large unit is not always the best choice!

One reason to avoid getting an overly large air conditioner is that an AC needs time to remove humidity as well as heat. An air conditioner cycles off as soon as the interior temperature matches the desired temperature on your home’s thermostat, and a larger AC typically cools a room too quickly, before it has a chance to dehumidify the space.

Excess humidity in the home is not only uncomfortable, it also means an increased risk of mold behind walls and mildew under carpeting! Humidity also holds heat so interior rooms get warm again more quickly than if they were dehumidified properly. In turn, your air conditioner then cycles on more often throughout the day, suffering added wear and tear and using more energy than if you chose an appropriately sized air conditioner.

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When deciding on a size for your new AC installation, it’s also vital that you take into consideration your home’s overall condition and various factors of each room inside. For example, if your home has lots of big windows and you love keeping the curtains open for maximum sunlight, you might need a more powerful air conditioner than average, to compensate for that added heat!

Poor insulation also allows more heat into a home, as does a lack of outdoor shade trees. A larger family and lots of visitors in the home means more body heat, and remember that computers and other electronics also generate added heat! If you have a large family or an oversized entertainment center, consider a larger and more powerful air conditioner to compensate.

AC Repair or Installation?

Many homeowners and business owners try to put off new AC installation costs for as long as possible, opting to repair their current heating and cooling system when possible. In many cases, a skilled technician using high-quality replacement parts can extend the life of your air conditioner by some years, but there are times when it’s good to consider a new installation rather than air conditioner repairs.

One consideration is the age and expected lifespan of your current AC unit. As mentioned, you might make continuous repairs to an older unit over the next few years, even paying more for new parts and service calls than you would for an entirely new AC installation! Investing in a quality heating and cooling system you can trust for years is often the better long-term investment.

If your home’s air conditioner is undersized or oversized for your house, it might be good to invest in a properly sized model rather than repairing the current unit. If you’ve considered a whole house air filtration system or other such upgraded features, you might also invest in a new HVAC system for the home, for added comfort and improved indoor air quality. This choice is especially helpful if you live near a busy roadway, production facility, or other cause of excessive dust and debris in the home.

If you’ve been paying too much for electricity during the summer months, upgrading to a new AC system often means saving on your utility costs. Energy-efficient models might use less power or offer more cooling for the same amount of power, for a comfortable home environment with less expense.

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How to Save on Your New AC Installation Costs

One way to save on your new AC installation and usage costs is to consider a ductless split system, either in place of a central unit or along with the central air conditioner. A ductless split system unit installs in a wall or ceiling and is vented through a home’s exterior wall. Cool air is pushed through that front panel rather than the home’s ductwork.

As a split system unit only cools a certain area of the home, it typically uses far less power than running a central air conditioner. Installing a split system in a bedroom, living room, or other such area means being able to enjoy cooling comfort in those spaces without having to cool unoccupied rooms of the home!

Scheduling your new AC installation during a contractor’s off-season might also mean a slight reduction in their charges, but note that the off-season doesn’t necessarily mean the middle of winter! Remember that HVAC contractors typically offer both furnace and AC installation, so winter might be as busy for air conditioning technicians as summer. Consider asking your HVAC technician if they offer discounts for a spring or fall AC installation.

It’s also good to ask an HVAC company near you about rebates, manufacturer closeout sales, year-end and off-season sales, tax incentives, and other such potential savings. Very often HVAC companies are more than happy to help their customers save on their AC installation costs and know about these potential savings, and when to schedule your installation for maximum financial advantage.

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