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If you’re thinking about installing a central air unit or replacing it, you need to know about the costs associated with it. There are a few factors that affect the cost of installing a central air unit. These factors are- labor costs, equipment-related costs, installation-related costs, and so on. So, here is a detailed description of the cost to install a central air unit –


6 Things That Affect the Cost to Install a Central Air Conditioning Unit

6 Things that Affect the Cost to Install a Central Air Conditioning unit

1.   Different Types of Air Conditioning System

Installation complexity and cost depend on the type of air conditioning unit. These different types of air conditioning systems are VRF system or Variable Refrigerant Flow, ducted split system, ductless mini-split system, and water-cooled system. When you hire an HVAC professional, the professional will tell you about the installation cost based on the type of air conditioner you use in your home or office.

2.   SEER Rating

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It is used to measure the energy efficiency of an HVAC system. When you have a high-efficiency HVAC system, it’ll cost you less to operate because it’ll consume less electricity. As a result, your electricity bill will be lower. So, try to buy a central air unit which has a higher SEER.

3.   Extra Features

You can add additional features in your central units, such as a UV air purifier or a humidification system. Including these add-ons can increase the overall installation cost, but it’ll give you comfort. Again, if you have a health issue, you should add these extras to your central air unit. This may cost you a bit, but you shouldn’t compromise with your health.

4.   Starting from Scratch or Replacement?

If you’re replacing an old air conditioner unit or installing the central air unit for the first time, the installation cost can vary. When you’re replacing the central air unit, it’ll cost you less than starting from scratch because when you have an existing central air unit, ductworks, wiring, and drains are in place already and functioning. But when you start from scratch, you’ll have to install it all, and it’ll require more money. However, your existing infrastructure may need HVAC repair. You can contact an HVAC professional about the condition of the ductworks and wires of your HVAC system. If the expert tells you to repair the existing infrastructure, you should fix it quickly. This repair will definitely cost you less than setting up all the ductworks and wires from the beginning.

5.   Ductwork

After the professional inspection, if you require a ductwork replacement or repair, it’ll increase the installation cost. However, the installation cost can vary because of the variety of applications of ductwork, and these areas-

  1. Your ductwork needs to reach every area in your house
  2. Complexity or simplicity of the ductwork depending on the structure of your home or office space
  3. Difficulties of installing the ductwork

These reasons can add extra cost to your overall installation cost. Again, if you have an existing HVAC system, this cost can be reduced.

6.   Permit Cost

In some areas or cities of the US requires permission before installing a new central air unit in your house or office space. Your hired HVAC professional will do all the paper works for you and manage you the permission. But you’ll have to spend a few bucks to get the approval. That’s why you’ll need to add this expense to your installation cost. However, this cost is only applicable to a few cities or states. If you don’t live in those cities, you’ll not require permission and can exclude the cost. 


See the affecting factors in this infographic – 6 Things That Affect Cost to Install Central AC [Infographic]


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