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Last updated: October 11, 2023

Air Conditioning Price Guide US 2023

Is the Investment Worth it & Factors Influencing the Cost

AC price guide

Cost is a crucial factor when considering installing an air conditioning unit in your home. The average cost of installing an air conditioning unit depends on the type of AC you want to install, the size, and even the existing or non-existent infrastructure in your home. Air conditioning has become a necessity today because it provides respite from scorching summers and creates a comfortable environment inside your home. However, when considering the installation of an air conditioning system, cost is a crucial factor that cannot be ignored.

In this article, we will discuss the cost of different types of air conditioners and explore the various factors that influence the cost of making such an investment. From the types of air conditioning systems available to the factors that impact pricing, we will highlight the key considerations that help determine the overall cost. This will empower you to make informed decisions while ensuring optimal comfort.

By grasping the nuances of air conditioning costs, you can navigate the plethora of options available in the market and contact certified HVAC installers for quote comparison. Most installers tailor the system to your specific needs and can help you strike a balance between affordability and efficiency.

The issue lies in spending the time and energy to find the right installer that tick marks the important boxes. It requires you to spend hours of your time on the phone, calling them one by one, explaining your requirements, and requesting quotes to compare. GreenMatch can make this task simpler for you by getting you up to 3 free quotes from certified installers. All you have to do is simply click on the button below.

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Costs of Different Types of Air Conditioning Systems

There are five main types of air conditioning systems most commonly used in homes across the US. These are central air conditioning, split AC systems, mini ductless split AC, window AC, and portable air conditioners. We will explore the cost of each of these types of AC systems by size or capacity and in some cases by most popular brands. The size or capacity refers to the tons of surrounding air a system can cool.

The average costs provided here should help you make an informed decision regarding what type of air conditioning system you want to install in your home. It should also help you narrow down the decision to the brand you would like to go for.

Split Air Conditioning Systems

Split ACs are basically a type of central air conditioning system that can be installed without the requirement of the complex duct network. We have discussed the cost of these ACs by size (capacity) and popular brands below:

Size (by tons)Average Cost
1$700 – $3,200
2$1,100 – $5,200
3$1,800 – $6,000

BrandAverage Cost
Daikin$1,050 – $5,800
Mitsubishi$1,850 – $5,750
Fujitsu$1,900 – $6,400
LG$1,950 – $6,300

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems

Ductless mini-split AC is a system with multiple indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit. We have discussed the cost of these ACs by size (capacity) and popular brands below:

Size (by tons)Average Cost
1$700 – $3,200
2$1,100 – $5,200
3$1,800 – $6,000

BrandAverage Cost
Daikin$950 – $5,800
Mitsubishi$1,200 – $8,225
Fujitsu$1,100 – $8,300
LG$900 – $7,600

Central Air Conditioning Systems

Ductless mini-split AC is a system with multiple indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit. We have discussed the cost of these ACs by size (capacity) and popular brands below:

Size (by tons)Average Cost
1.5$2,471.5
2$2,966.75
3$3,417.50

BrandAverage Cost
American Standard$3,278
Carrier$4,022.5
Goodman$2,294
Trane$3,460
Rheem$3,309
Lennox$3,647
York$2,702
Amana$2,917.5
Heil$2,800

Window AC

Window ACs are age-old, traditional air conditioners that are placed in the window of your home. These windows work for a single room rather than the whole house. The cost of these air conditioners by capacity and brand are discussed below:

Size (by tons)Average Cost
0.5$117.5 – $517.5
1$342.5 – $592.5
1.5$462.5 – $787.5
2$712.5 – $1,037.5

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable AC systems are highly flexible as you can easily move them around to whatever area of your home you need to cool. The cost of these conditioners by capacity is as below:

Size (by tons)Average Cost
1$257 – $677.5
2$352.5 – $792.5
3$462.5 – $880.75

The cost of each of the air conditioning systems discussed is the average unit cost only, calculated based on our research. Your price would probably go slightly higher when you add installation and labor costs. Installers may charge anywhere between $500 – $2,500 for labor. This is dependent on the type of AC, brand, additional electrical or ductwork required, and the size of your home, among other factors.

It is important that you scout the market thoroughly and vet the installers before reaching a decision. Labor and installation charges, type of AC and brands available, and even offers/rebates provided may differ from installer to installer. GreenMatch can match you with up to 3 certified installers and get their quotes to compare. you simply have to click on the button below and bear the fruits of our free service with no obligation.

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Factors Affecting the Cost of Air Conditioning Systems

Now that you know how much the different types of air conditioning systems cost, you might want to understand the factors that affect these costs. The most commonly affecting factors include the following:

Type and Size of the AC

As we can see in the prices tables above, the cost for each type of air conditioning system is different. Moreover, the size of the AC also changes the cost of a system you’re planning on installing. Most often, the prices you may come across would be that for the unit itself. If you factor in the installation and labor costs, they will only add to the cost. Installation and labor costs would again, depend on and vary according to the type and size of system you choose to install in your home.

Efficiency Rating

The efficiency rating, or the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), is another cost determining factor when it comes to air conditioners. This ratio measures the energy required to cool your home. The higher the ratio, the higher the efficiency of the system. Typically, you should choose a system with SEER ratings between 14 and 20. However, higher SEER ratings also mean higher costs for the system.

Brand

Brand, or the company manufacturing the air conditioning system you choose, of course, makes a difference in the price of the system. This is a fact we can observe above with some of the AC systems. Some manufacturing companies are globally recognized, while some are local or national. Depending on the brand or manufacturing company you opt for, the price may vary.

Ductwork

Most homes in the United States have pre-installed ductwork for central AC systems. However, modern homes may not have the necessary ductwork for a central air conditioning system or the ductwork may need to be changed. Depending on the state and absence or presence of ductwork in your home, the price may vary.

So as we can see, several factors can affect the price of installing an air conditioning system in your home. Before you come to a decision, it might help if you are aware of these factors as it might help you to decide which system would be the most suitable for your home.

How to Save on Air Conditioning System Installation

Knowing how much an AC system would cost and the factors that affect these prices is all good. But what about trying to minimize the cost? There are ways you can do that too. Here’s how:

First, assess your energy needs and go from there. If you’re the only person in our home or you and your family are mostly together and at home during the evening hours, high efficiency systems may seem futile. On the other hand, if you are home more often, are operating heavy load equipment, etc. then installing a system with high efficiency rating and capacity makes sense. Hence, assessing your energy needs can automatically help you understand whether you need to invest in an expensive system with a higher capacity and with high efficiency rating, or one with a slightly lower capacity and reasonable efficiency rating would do.

Second, check for tax credits and rebates available to you for using an HVAC system. Many local utility companies offer rebates on installing a high-efficiency AC system. You can also find local energy companies offering rebates at energystar.gov.

And lastly, choose the time for your air conditioning system installation wisely. It is observed that all HVAC installers are usually busy during the summer and winter months. Hence, the ideal time to have your air conditioner installed is spring or fall.

Find the Best Air Conditioner Installers Near You

Combing the market for the right installer is a difficult but important task. Offers, discounts, rebates, etc. often differ from installer to installer. The manufacturer or type of AC system offered may also differ. Hence, it would be best to contact several installers and get their quotes to compare and find the right installer.

GreenMatch can get you up to 3 free quotes from certified installers. All you have to do is click on the button below and fill out the form. We will do the grunt work for you and find the most suitable installers for you. Our service is free with no obligation.

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