How much does it cost to replace a central air conditioning unit?
Replacing your central air conditioning unit will cost anywhere from $400 to $6,000, on average. This cost will depend on several factors, including the type and amount of refrigerant required, as well as the detecting and repairing of refrigerant leaks. Fixing clogged drain lines and replacing components can also add to the cost of a visit from an air conditioning pro.
Contact the best central air conditioning installation pros near you to find out how much it will cost to replace your unit.
To learn more about central air costs, read “How much does it cost to install central air?”
Is it worth it to install central air?
Depending on where you live, it might be worth it to install central air. Central air makes your house comfortable on hot summer days. And although it’s hard to predict if adding central air will increase your home’s value, prospective homebuyers will certainly notice if it’s missing.
Another advantage of central air is that it can help dehumidify your home. Not only will it make your home more comfortable and enjoyable, but it can also help prevent mold from growing or spreading.
Contact the best HVAC contractors near you to learn more about the central air installation process and to start receiving free estimates.
Can I install central air myself?
While you may be able to do some preparation work for central air installation, you should hire a licensed contractor to complete the project and handle the air conditioning refrigerants.
Also, unless you have the proper credentials, you risk making common mistakes when installing central air. This may include installing the wrong-size furnace, improperly installing ductwork and exhaust systems, and incorrectly managing drainage.
To ensure your central air is installed correctly, contact the best HVAC pros near you and start getting free estimates today.
Does central air add value to a home?
A central air unit or HVAC system may add value to your home. Or, if you’re in the process of selling your home, it may help you close a sale.
The Remodeling Impact report found that 20% of realtors have suggested that home sellers replace their HVAC before attempting to sell their homes, and 7% said this project did help close a sale.
Talk with an expert to figure out if adding an HVAC system is a good idea for your home. And contact the best HVAC pros near you to get free estimates so you’ll know how much this project will cost you.
Why is my air conditioner leaking water?
An air conditioner leaking inside the house is a common problem. It could indicate that the air filter is dirty. Or, one of the following may be the culprit:
- Clogged condensate drain line
- Leaky, damaged, cracked or rusted drain pan
- Dirty or broken coils
- Frozen evaporator coils
- Broken condensate pump
- Not enough refrigerant
- Disconnected drain line
If your AC is leaking, contact a repair service to find out what the problem is — and how much it will cost to fix it.
Does an HVAC technician need to enter my home?
Because most HVAC systems are located in the home, it’s likely that an HVAC technician would need to enter yours when working on the projects. However, there might be exceptions. Some HVAC systems are located in garages or in areas of the house that are sectioned off. During the consultation, ask your technician if they'll need to enter your home.
When you contact local technicians, ask if they’ll perform a video call in place of a traditional consultation. Be sure to send all materials like photos and documents digitally, and comply with all relevant guidelines.
Do HVAC technicians offer remote or virtual services?
Because HVAC technicians need to be physically present to do their work, they have not conventionally offered remote or virtual services. However, with the importance of social distancing due to COVID-19, the need for remote capabilities is greater than ever. If you come across a profile that states the HVAC technician or AC professional is offering remote services, message the pro to find out what those services include.
Consult with your technician to see if the technician will be able to perform a video call consultation. You can find local technicians near you by searching online.
How many years does HVAC last?
The number of years an HVAC system lasts depend on the type and brand of components that make up your system. The lifespan of an air conditioner averages between 15 and 20 years. The life expectancy of a tankless water heater is approximately 20 years, while a storage water heater is closer to 10-15 years. Ducts may need replacing within 10-15 years. Your equipment will have a longer life if you have regular tuneups and maintenance to keep everything in good working order. If you’re having repair problems and your HVAC system is over 10 years old, it’s a good time to consider the costs and benefits of repairing vs. replacing. Energystar.gov provides the following tips to help you decide whether to repair or replace:
- Your HVAC system needs frequent repairs and your energy bills are increasing.
- Your cooling or heating equipment is less efficient.
- Rooms in your home are too hot or too cold.
- Your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
- Replacing your system with an Energy Star-certified unit could save up to 20 percent on your heating and cooling bills.
- Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old.
- You may choose to replace your system with an Energy Star-certified furnace (which is 15 percent more efficient than a conventional furnace) or an Energy Star-certified boiler (which is 5 percent more efficient).
- Your home has humidity problems.
- Your home has excessive dust.
- Leaky ducts can pull particles and air from attics, crawl spaces and basements and distribute them throughout your house. Sealing your ducts may be a solution.
- Your heating or cooling system is noisy.
- You could have an undersized duct system or a problem with the indoor coil of your cooling equipment.
- Your score on the Home Energy Yardstick is below five.
- That means your home energy use is above average and you're probably paying too much for your utilities.
What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a HVAC technician during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To set up a safe consultation or appointment with an HVAC technician during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by comparing technicians in your area in an online search. Message or call technicians to ask whether they can perform a consultation over the phone or even over a video call. This way, they can assess the problem without increasing the risk of virus transmission by visiting your house.
If it turns out the service is essential, you’ll need to follow CDC guidelines as well as local government guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.
How much will it cost me to replace my air conditioner?
If your AC system is in need of replacement, the national average air conditioner installation costs range from $2,930 to $3,670. Costs can vary greatly depending on whether you are replacing a wall or window unit or a central air system. A central air system is connected to ductwork that runs throughout your house and pumps cooled air into your various rooms via vents and registers. A central air conditioning system is far more costly than wall or window units. Selecting a central AC system that has a high seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) will likely lower both your carbon footprint and your utility bill. The type of AC system you select, where you live in the country, and the regional costs of HVAC work, duct removal and replacement, and ductwork repairs that are needed are some of the main factors that affect the cost of new air conditioner installation. Here are some examples of average costs for installing forced-air systems.
- Install Lennox 16 SEER single-stage AC unit: $5,743
- Removing and disposing of the old furnace, moving and reconnecting the water heater, and installing a 3.5-ton gas furnace. The job took 18 hours of labor.
- Installation of a new 14 SEER single-range cooling system: $4,000-$6,000
- Installation of a new 16 SEER two-range cooling system: $6,000-$8,000
- Installation of a new 20 SEER variable capacity cooling system: $8,000-$12,000