One of the first questions asked when we are called to discuss air conditioning is, “How much will a new air conditioner cost? This is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many variables but I will try.
The purchase of a heating and cooling system is much like the purchase of a vehicle. Originally you might think, it’s just an air conditioner, how can there be so much variance? But there are many, many options available, just like when you are buying a car. You might care more about those options than you think you do, especially because the number one complaint at both work and home is it’s too hot or cold. Price ranges can vary drastically based on which options you choose. Just as a Ford F150 can start around 20k with just a basic package, it can quickly cost over 40k once a shopper adds such items as power windows, CD player, all-leather interior, chrome finishes, extended cab, 4-wheel drive, 4 doors, upgraded wheels, dual exhaust, spray on bedliner, built-in GPS system, etc, etc.
Considering that the average American sells or trades in their vehicle within the first five years of purchase, why do so many people elect to get so many upgrades? The answer is because most people understand the importance of getting what they want the first time so as to not have any regrets down the road. Because most Americans spend over 30 minutes a day in their vehicles, they want to make sure their vehicle will provide them with comfort, quality, longevity, and ease of use. These same principles typically apply to most homeowners looking to upgrade their air conditioning system, except you spend hours and hours in your home every day, so comfort is even more important.
Most shoppers elect to get the HVAC system that will make them happiest in the long-run. Unfortunately, some people only focus on the initial price of the air conditioner with the only goal of finding the “cheapest” contractor, therefore sacrificing low-maintenance, quality, warranty, and comfort, which inevitably leads to regret, especially considering that unlike a vehicle, an air conditioner cannot be traded in easily if one is dissatisfied and disenchanted.
Now that you hopefully understand the vehicle analogy, I will list some of the most common upgrades and add-ons for your air conditioner. I’m going to include furnaces and heat pumps for this conversation as purchasing an entire system at once is often the best option:
- Buying a heat pump instead which heats in the winter as well as cools in the summer
- Upgrades in efficiencies for lower monthly electric bills and less carbon footprint
- Communicating furnaces and air conditioners that work seamlessly together
- Programmable thermostats that save money when you aren’t home
- Wifi thermostats that let you control your air conditioner from your cell phone
- Ductwork modifications for better airflow
- Higher Merv filtration
- Air purifier
- Ultraviolet light purifier
- Longer parts warranty
- Inclusive labor warranty
- Geothermal heating and cooling
- Ductless heating and cooling
- Ventilation systems
- And many more!
As you can see, there are many options available, and when someone receives a quote from our company, we invite the homeowner to tell us all their concerns about their home’s indoor air quality before educating them on each option’s benefit as to identify its overall importance to the success of the project.
With this in mind here are some general ideas of how much different systems can cost depending on what additional options you choose and also what your current heating and cooling system is. This last statement is key because if you live in an existing home you already have something in place and how much that needs to be changed will change the costs drastically, if you need an entire system including all ductwork replaced it will be on the higher end:
1. Traditional Heat Pump or Air Conditioner: If you are simply replacing an air conditioner or heat pump with with a new, updated one it should take just one day to do the installation. Modern air conditioners are higher in efficiency and most customers find they produce a more comfortable home. The average person spends between $5,000-$10,000, based on the size of their home, the efficiency they choose, and the options that come with it.
2. Traditional All Electric System: Many people in our area don’t have access to natural gas and so choose a heat pump and back-up indoor electric furnace. If this is your situation you will want to look carefully at efficiency and options like programmable or wifi thermostats as a higher price tag at installation can genuinely save you a lot of money over the long run on electricity. Depending on which options you choose and the size of your home it typically ranges from $6,000-$18,000.
3. Traditional Gas Furnace and Air Conditioning System: Having access to natural gas or propane in addition to electricity gives a homeowner the most flexibility as they can choose to have a heat pump and then use whichever fuel is cheapest at the moment to buy. Choosing a heat pump over an air conditioner costs more to begin with but can equal savings later making this an important decision. You also can choose equipment that communicates with itself turning your system into a very smart computer that adjusts itself based on outdoor and indoor temperatures and humidity. This option can keep your home within a half degree of comfort. Most homeowners will spend on average $6,500-$27,000 for a gas furnace and air conditioner.
4. Geothermal System: Understanding that many homeowners care deeply about the earth they live on, we offer geothermal systems. Not only will this system save the most money on electric and gas bills, but it also reduces harm to the earth. Because it requires drilling wells into the ground to tap the energy stored there, at least an acre of land is needed to install it and initial costs are high. Most customers will spend $10,500 – $30,000 for a geothermal system, the low end is for a replacement system when the wells are already in place.
As you can probably see, the price ranges vary quite a bit, just as they should considering everyone has different tastes, wants, and budgets when it comes to replacing their air conditioning system. And this doesn’t even include all the other ways to make your home comfortable and exactly the temperature you want in any type of weather: like ductless mini-splits, gas fireplaces, wood stoves, and whole house generators.
The best way to find out how much a new air conditioner will cost you is to have one of our comfort advisors come to your home and answer your questions and inspect your current system. It is totally free of charge and you will find it helpful even if you aren’t quite ready to buy today. To get a preview of our air conditioners and their options click here.
If you live in our service area we would love to help you out. We service southeastern Ohio including Athens, Gallipolis, Logan, Lancaster, and their surrounding counties and areas.
Ready to schedule right now? 1-800-247-6180 or send us a message on our contact page.