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How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC Unit?

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There’s no doubt about it: home comfort is important. Whether it’s the height of summer or the dead middle of winter, you want your entire family — furry friends included — to feel as content as possible. The HVAC systems inside your home play a significant role in this comfort.

Of course, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of replacing your air conditioning system, especially if you think it’s nearing the end of its service life. An HVAC replacement is no small deal — and there’s a lot you’ll need to consider. Namely, costs.

So, how much does it cost to replace AC units? Let’s answer this question in detail below.

The Average Cost of Air Conditioner Replacements

If it has been a decade or two since you replaced your cooling system, you might be surprised to learn that much has changed over the years. HVAC equipment has seen great improvements, and there are many state-of-the-art features worth considering. Of course, these changes have also affected home air conditioner replacement costs.

When it comes down to it, the average cost of air conditioner replacements from a reputable ac company in the United States as of  2022 is about $17,500.  Most homeowners will pay anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 in California. Of course, these replacement costs can be lower or higher depending on several factors, including:

  • The type of equipment
  • The size of your home
  • SEER ratings
  • Labor expenses
  • Labor & parts warranties 
  • Permits 
  • HERS Testing

The Type of Equipment

Although central air conditioning units seem like the go-to option for cooling systems all across the country, they aren’t the only solution out there. For example, some homeowners choose to install heat pumps instead. These systems are essentially a heating and conditioning unit all rolled into one — they can heat or cool your home depending on your needs.

The Average Cost of Heat Pumps

It’s worth noting that heat pumps tend to have different costs compared to central air conditioners. These units to install tend to fall between the $15,000 to $35,000 price range in California. This seemingly wide range is due in part to the various heat pumps available: air-source, water-source, and geothermal.

Since central ACs and heat pumps can both last up to 20 years, it’s up to you to find a solution that meets your needs the most. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional HVAC technician to discuss your options or get a quote online.

Central Air Conditioner Options

Believe it or not, you have many options when it comes to installing a central AC unit. For instance, these air conditioners can have three different types of blower motors: single-stage, two-stage, and variable speed. This blower motor is located in the air handler and is responsible for blowing the cooled air out into your home.

If you install a single-stage air conditioner, the system will only operate on one setting: full blast. As the name suggests, two-stage units have two levels of operation. As you can probably imagine, these units tend to be the more economical out of the bunch.

How much does it cost to replace AC units with a variable-speed blower motor? Well, these air conditioners tend to be the most expensive option. These blower motors can operate at a wide range of speeds, which makes them great at meeting your family’s cooling needs. It’s also worth mentioning that you might need to upgrade your furnace if you want a variable-speed air conditioner, which can add to the overall costs you pay.

The Size of Your Home

If you have a large home, then you’re probably aware that it takes a lot of power to cool every room, hallway, and living space. You’ll need to install an air conditioner that can meet your cooling requirements, and large, high-capacity units tend to have higher costs than those that only need to cool a small space.

Are you installing a central air conditioner for the first time? Don’t worry. An HVAC technician can help you understand BTUs and perform a load calculation to determine what size system you need.

Your comfort consultant will ensure that the air conditioner installed isn’t too small — or too big — for your space. To help you choose the right option, they’ll need to determine how many British Thermal Units (BTUs) you need. BTUs measure how much energy it takes to remove heat from homes.

Since we’re discussing the average cost of air conditioner replacement, it’s important to know that the size of your home can greatly influence the price you pay. Don’t overlook this factor when shopping!

Your Energy Efficiency Needs

Every air conditioner has a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. This rating will give you a good idea of how much energy your system will use over the course of a year. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient your air conditioner will be.

How much does it cost to replace AC units with a higher SEER rating? All-in-all, you’ll probably end up paying higher costs for one of these units than if you were to install a system with a lower SEER rating.

Although you might cringe at the thought of higher average costs, it’s worth noting that highly-efficient air conditioners can have many benefits. When your cooling system is energy efficient, you can potentially encounter lower energy costs. You might also find yourself needing fewer Madera AC repairs.

The Cost of Labor

Are you installing a central air conditioner for the first time? Does your home need to have ducts installed? These are all questions worth considering, as they can affect the cost of your air conditioning replacement. It takes many hours and types of equipment for HVAC contractors to install ducts, so you can expect to pay a higher price overall.

How much does it cost to replace AC units if you also have to install ducts inside your home? This question isn’t as easy to answer as it might seem. Where you live and the materials used can influence how much you end up paying for a ductwork installation.

Upgrade Your Cooling System With the Pros

If your air conditioner is more than 15 years old or you find yourself paying higher energy bills, it might be time to upgrade your system. Now that you know the average cost of air conditioner replacements and the factors that can affect this price, turn to Lee’s Air for a solution you can trust.

We perform air conditioner installations with a focus on customer service — so your satisfaction always comes first! Our specialists are happy to walk you through the AC systems we install to find the perfect solution for your household.
Contact us today to schedule an AC installation in Fresno, CA, or the surrounding area!

Thomas Howard

Written by Thomas Howard

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