How Much Does a New AC Unit Cost to Install in the Home

How Much Does a New AC Unit Cost to Install in the HomeWhen 90 degree summer days are approaching, you have fans all over your home to keep you cool.  If you dream of having an air conditioner and are wondering how much does a new AC unit cost to install in your home, here is some information on installation and how to find the right system for your home.

If you have a home with forced air heating, you can add a central air conditioner using the existing duct work.  The typical system for a 2,000 square foot home costs between $3500-$4000 and usually takes two to three days to install.  For a home that needs to add duct work, the cost and the time will take to complete the job double.  A skilled contractor will retrofit the ductwork behind walls, in closets, and in the attic to minimize any cuts into walls and ceilings.

Selecting a Unit

Selecting the right unit is the most important part of your decision.  Contractors begin with what is called a Manual J load calculation to determine the heat gain your home is subject to.  Relatively easy to perform, the calculation will reveal what size unit is best.  You should use a reputable contractor who will do the calculation for you, not one who bases the calculation solely on experience. 

The type of unit is influenced by several factors.  Where you live, the amount of wall and attic insulation in your home, the placement and types of doors and windows and the orientation of your home to the sun, are all important to your choice of air conditioning unit.

Unit Sizing

Expressed in either tonnage or BTU’s per hour, using the heat-gain calculation, your contractor will recommend a size.  The proper size is extremely important because an oversized unit costs usage and It also doesn’t lower the humidity correctly.  It cools the air too quickly shutting off the unit before it has a chance to circulate the right amount of air past the coils to extract the necessary moisture resulting in a room the is damp and clammy.

Proper Placement

All condensers make noise, even the quietest units.  Your contractor will find a location that isn’t near a home office or bedroom window.  It’s not wise to completely enclose or put a condenser under a deck.  Any airflow restriction will lower the unit’s efficiency.

No Ductwork

The majority of central air conditioners are split systems with the condenser outside and the fan and coil system inside connected with pipes that run up the outside of the house.  They can be disguised as part of the gutter and downspout system. 

Existing Ductwork

It may be necessary to make a modification to accommodate a larger volume of air produced by the AC unit.  Older duct systems tend to be larger and work best when adding central air.  Your furnace blower may have to be upgraded to move the right amount of cool air required to cool your home.

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