What Will It Really Cost to Replace My AC? (And Why Should I Do It?)

by Ben SanfordAugust 24, 2016

Upgrading Your AC Unit for Summer

Summer is the perfect season for finally getting around to those tabled home repair projects and much needed upkeep around the house. And with summer heat in full swing, it’s likely there’s one home improvement project at the front of your mind and the top of your list: replacing your AC unit.

Unfortunately, this maintenance request often goes ignored due to the steep price tag attached. But what will it really cost you to replace your AC? Or more importantly, what is it costing you to delay upgrading your AC?

Yes, the replacement may be pricey, but the cost savings and the benefits often merit an upgrade. Summer is here, so don’t delay. What better time could there be to switch out that AC unit? Read on to learn why this summer project is well worth the investment.
air conditioner ac hvac upgrade

Upfront Costs

Take a deep breath, and let’s look at what the initial cost of installing a new AC unit in your home. According to HomeAdvisor’s research, homeowners typically spend somewhere between $3,693 and $7,146 to install a new air conditioning unit. It should be noted that these thousand dollar-range figures are representative of central A/C unit installation.

While there are other more budget-friendly options, such as singular unit window air conditioners, or portable units (which run for a few hundred dollars), the type of air conditioning you need will be dependent on the size of your home. And if you have a larger family size home, and you’re looking to maximize energy efficiency, a central AC unit is probably the best choice for you.

Why Upgrade to a New AC Unit?

Let’s say you’ve taken the plunge and purchased a new air conditioner. Still reeling from the initial price tag? Here’s the catch: it may cost you more money in the run not to replace your AC unit, so you’ve made a great investment. Keep reading to learn more about the cost savings of your new home improvement.

Increased Energy Efficiency

By installing a new AC unit, particularly if you’re replacing a model that’s ten years or older, you can save up to 40% of your cooling energy expenses. New air conditioning models have become increasingly energy efficient, requiring 30% to 50% less energy to cool your home as compared to models from previous decades.

In order to maximize your annual savings, be sure to place priority on shopping for an AC unit with high efficiency. Central AC units are rated in accordance to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio, SEER. It’s a ripple effect: the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system, the more money you save.

However, it is crucial to remember that appropriate size and proper installation are essential in achieving increased energy efficiency. If you’re feeling unsure, seek professional advice. You won’t want to wind up with improper duct installation or too large a unit thwarting the valuable financial returns resulting from your new system.
air conditioner ac hvac upgrade

Other Financial Savings

Another financial plus to upgrading your AC unit? The government offers tax incentives for those who invest in select energy-efficient home products. Specifically, if you purchase a packaged air conditioner (with 14 SEER) or a split-system air conditioning system (with 16 SEER), you can receive a tax credit from the federal government. Just be sure to save the manufacturer’s certificate for when tax season rolls around, as you’ll want to have a record of your purchase.

Go for It: Upgrade Your AC Unit

Aside from increased comfort in hot summer months, replacing your AC unit will help you secure savings in the future. With lower utilities, better energy efficiency, and money saved on repairs, this is one upgrade you can’t afford not to make.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.