Installing a Central Air System: How Much Does It Cost and Is It Worth It? (2023)

A central air system can be a great addition to your home - it keeps yourhouse cooland comfortable in the summer months and maybe evenadd value to your home.

How much it costs toinstall central airdepends on many factors, including the type of air conditioning you invest inenergy efficiency ratingand the size of your home.

Here's a rundown of everything you need to know about installing central air conditioning, upgrading an old and inefficient air conditioner, installing a new eco-cooling system, and the all-important details about the cost to install central air conditioning in your home, to help you decide if it's worth installing central air.

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How much does central air cost to install?

The cost of installing central air depends on a number of factors, including the type of system you choose, the size of your home, whether additional work is required, and whether you need professional help.

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Typically, however, the cost of installing central air conditioning ranges between $5,000 and $12,000, says Adam Graham, construction industry analyst atFixr with "most homeowners paying $7,000 for a 2,000 square foot home",

One of the most critical decisions you'll have to make is what kind of central air system is best for you and your home.

Which system is best?

Central air systems come in two main types: a split system and a packaged system.

Split systemsconsist of two main units, one outside and one inside.
Packaged systemshave their components in one outdoor unit.

The cost difference between the two is not insignificant, says Graham of Fixr, with a split system costing between $2,500 and $7,500, while a packaged system costs between $3,000 and $8,000 in total.

Graham says the split system is "most common" and requires less maintenance than a package system.

How important is energy efficiency?

A seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) is given to air conditioning units based on the "relative amount of energy required to provide a specific cooling capacity," the experts at the U.S. Department of Energy explain.Energy saver.

The newest and most efficient systems are rated around 26, so use this as a benchmark when comparing different models.

(Video) How much does it cost to install central air in a 2000 square foot house?

Units with a higher SEER rating will increase the cost of installing central air, but in warmer climates, a unit with one of the higher SEER ratings may be required to keep energy costs down once the unit is installed.

Remember that updates to theenergy efficient home improvement loanmeans you can lower your tax bill if you make certain types of energy-efficient home improvements. There is a $600 annual tax credit for installing central air systems that meet certain energy efficiency classes.

For even greater savings, consider a heat pump instead of central air conditioning. Although it sounds like it will heat your home, a heat pump is an extremely efficient technology for cooling your home.Qualified households can receive discounts up to $8,000for each heat pump under new federal grants.Check if you qualify for energy improvement credits for your homeworth $1,000 and find other ways tosave big by going greenAt home.

Other factors that determine costs

In addition to looking at the effectiveness of different models, knowing which type will work best in your home is an important part of making sure your new system works well. There are a number of important factors that affect the cost of installing central air.

The size of your houseis an important factor.
If possible, find out the square footage of your home or have an installer come and see what kind of system is best for your space.

  • The size of your home affects central air installation costs. “The cost to install one unit for an 800-square-foot home can be as low as $2,000, while a 3,000-square-foot home can run as high as $18,000,” says Graham.
  • A home's square footage is also used to calculate the type of unit you need. Your installer calculates how much energy - measured in British thermal units (BTUs) - is required to cool each room. “The more BTUs it takes to cool a home, the higher the cost of installing central air conditioning,” explains Graham.

The type of home you live in

“Installing an AC unit in a mobile home can cost as little as $3,000, while installing central air conditioning in an apartment can cost up to $150,000,” says Graham. "Costs associated with central air conditioning can vary widely depending on the type of home, as ducts may not yet be installed and multiple units may need to be powered by one system."

The climateThe warmer it is where you live, the larger the unit (and the more BTUs) you will need and the more your unit will cost. Your home's insulation and the amount of direct sunlight it receives are also factored into the energy requirement calculation. .

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Extra costs to take into account

If you want to upgrade an old system, you may have to pay some additional costs.

"Some companies may charge a fee of up to $200 for the removal and disposal of an old AC unit," says Graham.

Duct work is an important aspect of your new system working at its best without looking overbearing in your home. If you don't have existing ductwork in your home, ducting must be installed to have central air conditioning, which means a higher bill.

Installing "duct work can cost between $1,800 and $3,300 for both labor and materials," says Graham.

Will central air add value to your home?

It is well worth having central air installed in your home for two main reasons. Not only does it make your home more comfortable during the summer months, but it can also increase the value of your home.

“Central air is very likely to increase home value, especially for homes in warmer climates. Plus, central air allows you to live more comfortably during the months of the year when temperatures are high,” says Graham.

And replacing an old system can also be worthwhile.

"The most efficient air conditioners use 30 to 50 percent less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s," according to experts from the US Department of Energy.

(Video) HVAC Equipment Prices Going Up in 2023 Here Are The Reasons

"Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you can save 20 to 40 percent of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model," they add.

Can you install your own central air unit?

“Installing a central air unit is not a suitable do-it-yourself project, as it requires a licensed professional to perform the proper installation,” says Adam.

Regardless of which contractor you choose to hire, make sure they have theEnergy Saver from the US Department of Energyrecommendations to ensure that the system is installed correctly, securely and functions optimally.

read more

  • 10 ways to prepare your home for summer weather
  • Save big by going green at home
  • A smarter way to heat and cool your home
  • Inexpensive ways to cool your home in the summer


Installing a Central Air System: How Much Does It Cost and Is It Worth It? ›

Installing a new HVAC system could increase your home's value by as much as $2,500-$3,000 or approximately 5-10% of the total value of your home. The typical cost of installing a new heating and cooling system is about $10,000.

Is installing central air a good investment? ›

Installing a new HVAC system could increase your home's value by as much as $2,500-$3,000 or approximately 5-10% of the total value of your home. The typical cost of installing a new heating and cooling system is about $10,000.

What is the disadvantage of central air conditioning system? ›

Disadvantages of Central Air Conditioners

Central air conditioners offer limited ability to control temperature and comfort uniformly throughout the house. Most homes end up with hot or cold spots.

Is it worth installing air conditioning? ›

Air conditioners help circulate and filter the air. These systems also help remove pollutants from the air you breathe. This is vital especially for individuals who suffer from conditions such as allergies and asthma. Air conditioning helps reduce the irritants that cause these health problems.

What is the most expensive part of an HVAC system? ›

One of the most expensive parts of your AC unit is the compressor. As the heart of your system, the compressor is responsible for circulating the refrigerant through the system, which is responsible for cooling the air in your home.


1. How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?
(Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning Inc)
2. AC Installation Cost: Here's Why You'll Need an Estimate
(Intelligent Design Air Conditioning & Plumbing)
3. DIY Air Conditioner Replacement Part 1 -Step By Step Guide-
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4. Mini Splits vs. Central Air Conditioners Compared | Sylvane
(Sylvane - Air Quality Experts)
5. How to Install a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner - Blueridge
6. Why Every Homeowner Should Consider Installing an AC Soft Starter | Micro Air Easy Start Install
(How To Home)


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