Cost of an AC Replacement In 2022 A Complete Guide on Costs Related to Replacing Your AC Unit

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You’re likely to spend between $4,350 and $12,095 to replace your residential air conditioning unit. The final ac replacement cost will depend on a range of factors, including the size of the AC unit, the features, sophistication level, etc.

The common factors that affect your AC replacement cost include;

  • Air conditioner capacity or power rating
  • AC efficiency
  • Modifications to an existing HVAC system
  • Cost of installation
  • Tax credits and rebates

Replacing Your HVAC System

The air conditioning unit is one of the most important installations in any building. It ensures a cool indoor temperature, especially during hot summer afternoons. Over the years, your AC unit may lose its efficiency due to repairs, wear and tear, old age, etc. The loss of energy efficiency and subsequent increased cooling and repair costs or even signs of your ac unit leaking may push you to want a replacement unit. Replacing your AC unit comes with many benefits, including modern features, increased energy use efficiency, reduced repair costs, etc. However, you must properly plan for the replacement. An important part of your planning is the budget. To understand your ac replacement cost, you need to understand the expected costs and accessories you’d spend on.

Air Conditioning Costs and Accessories

There’s more to replacing your AC unit than purchasing a new unit. In most cases, the accessories required for the installation influence the final replacement cost. Below are some parts and accessories needed to install a new air conditioning unit;

  • The physical parts. Includes the outdoor pad, indoor evaporator coil, outside electric disconnect, PVC pipe for drain line, new copper line set for indoor coil, and electric conduit from the disconnect to the air conditioner.
  • Local installation permits
  • Condensate drainage
  • Thermostats, breakers, and other electrical costs
  • Ductwork modification (not always necessary)

Factors Influencing AC Replacement Costs

Air Conditioner Capacity or Power Rating

The total cost of replacing your AC unit will depend largely on the new AC unit’s size and capacity. The new AC unit’s size and capacity also determine its cooling efficiency and effectiveness.

You’ll need to complete your home’s load calculation before settling on a buying choice. Your local HVAC contractor can help with the calculation, which takes the home’s square footage and its features into consideration. The professional may also consider other factors like the number of rooms, size and number of doors and windows, ceiling height, etc.

Spacious rooms and wider homes will require higher capacity air conditioning units to meet their energy needs. However, you may lose more money to purchase and energy costs if the ac unit is too big for your home.  

AC Efficiency

The efficiency of your AC unit is an important factor to consider. Consider the product’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER rating) before making your purchase. The SEER rating can be likened to a car’s fuel economy. It tells you what to expect in terms of energy costs and consumption. You may be able to calculate the expected energy consumption per time using the rating. An efficient system also guarantees better comfort and quieter operation. You may be better off consulting with a local HVAC professional to select the perfect SEER rating for your home’s cooling needs. In terms of cost, the higher the SEER rating, the higher the cost of purchase. However, it is important to note that a higher SEER rating also means lower operating costs.

Modifications to Existing HVAC System

Changing a faulty or damaged unit is more economical than purchasing an entirely new system. In the case of AC replacement, you may not consider the cost of replacing your furnace, which may be in good condition. While replacing only your air conditioning unit is a cost-effective and economical choice, you need to match your heating system’s power. For this to work, you need to purchase a variable-speed air conditioner. Variable-speed air conditioners need indoor blower motors operating at variable speeds. This feature gives you the perfect control over the heating and cooling system. You, however, need to consult with a professional to ensure that both the ac unit and furnace are compatible. Other types of air conditioners you can purchase include;

  • Single-stage air conditioners, with only one setting at 100% capacity
  • Two-stage air conditioners which have two settings at 100% and 70% capacity. The two-stage air conditioners are often more energy-efficient compared to the single-stage.

You may also be able to pair either your single-stage or two-stage air conditioner without variable speed with single-stage or two-stage furnaces. It is important to note that the current HVAC system and furnace installed can limit your AC option. This limitation can also affect your ac replacement cost. However, if you choose to replace both the ac unit and furnace for compatibility, you may need to budget an additional $3,300 to $7,025 to install your furnace.

Ductwork Modification

Aside from matching your air conditioning capacity to your furnace, you may also need to make modifications to your existing ductwork. Ductwork modifications are common when new systems are to be installed. Your ductwork ensures the efficient delivery of cool or warm air to all parts of the home and shouldn’t be compromised on. You’ll need to consult with your local HVAC contractor to estimate your needs, the costs, and how to achieve them.

Line Set Protection

The copper tubing that connects the outdoor and indoor air conditioning unit is known as line tubing. It helps refrigerant movement between the indoor and outdoor units. For your ac replacement, you may need to reinstall your line set with the newer options on the market. The line set positive seal system is yet to become an industry standard, but it offers just the right amount of protection for your copper line and refrigerant. 

Electrical Costs

Your new AC unit may sometimes require minor or major electrical modifications to function effectively. You may need to update the control wiring for a new thermostat or replace the existing wiring with appropriate breakers and high-voltage wiring. These modifications can cost you money, depending on the extent of it. An average electrical modification can cost between $100 and $600, depending on the scope. Your HVAC contractor should be able to recommend the required modification and give an estimate for the job. Additional costs may include the cost of minor carpentry and plumbing service rendered by your HVAC technician. 

Cost of Installation

The installation cost for your new AC unit can also add to the overall costs incurred. Unlike spending on minor damages like ac compressor replacement costs, your HVAC contractor needs to map out the best way to install the new unit to ensure comfort and satisfaction. AC contractors are required to follow a strict installation process to ensure the highest efficiency level. This may affect the estimated amount demanded for the service.

Tax Credits and Rebates

Your AC installation costs may be subject to local utility rebates. These rebates may qualify you for a reduction in fees and costs associated with your AC installation. It is best to speak to your local HVAC contractor to understand the available programs. You may also contact the local office in your area for more information on rebates. Highway HVAC has a team of experienced contractors offering San Fernando Valley air conditioning services to residents in the community. Contact us to discuss your AC replacement costs and needs.

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