Air conditioners provide much-needed relief during the hotter months and have become a necessity in almost every residential or commercial property. If you’re considering opting for an air conditioner, it’s better late than never. Or if you’re exploring the option of replacing your old model, there couldn’t be a better time as newer models not only provide enhanced cooling coupled with advanced features but also consume less energy, resulting in improved cost efficiency and comfort. In addition, there’s a much wider variety of air conditioner models to pick from today.

But how much does an AC installation cost? Here’s some insight into the driving factors that influence the cost of an air conditioner along with other applicable charges.

Factors Driving the AC Installation Cost

There are several considerations that affect the cost of the AC, so these are worth deliberating when making a purchase decision. Some of these include the home area, required duct work, type of air conditioning unit, warranties, and the cost of installation and other hidden charges, if any.

Depending on these combined factors, the cost of a central air conditioning unit typically lies in the range from $2,200 to $11,000. However if you’re wondering how much an AC installation does cost, on average, the answer is $4500. However, that’s only a general estimate. To help you arrive at a more accurate figure based on your unique requirements, let’s examine some of the most important factors concerning the cost of the AC unit.

Type of Air Conditioning Unit

If your home has central ducts or heating, it makes sense to use the existing ducts and vents from the furnace or heating system for installing central air. Otherwise, you may wish to consider installing a window AC unit or a ductless split air conditioner, which is a good fit for homes without existing ducts or vents. The type of AC unit you choose will to a large extent determine its cost. However, adding ducts or vents significantly increases the total cost.

  • Window air conditioning unit – Installing a window unit may cost anywhere between $150 and $800.
  • Central air conditioning unit – On the other hand, the cost of a central AC system would range from $3,000 to $8,000.
  • Ductless split air conditioning unit – A ductless split air conditioner would range from $2,000 to $14,500.
  • Mini split air conditioning unit – A mini split air conditioner costs between $1,700 and $2,500.
  • High-efficiency air conditioning unit – A high-efficiency air conditioner would range from $1,100 to $2,500.

Replacing Current Air Conditioner

If you’re replacing your existing HVAC AC, it may typically cost you between $4,500 and $5,000 but of course, the exact number depends on the size of your home, type of the desired unit, and the extent of ductwork required.

Size and Capacity of AC in BTUs

For effective home cooling, it’s important to pick the right size of the unit, which is determined by the amount of energy required to cool or heat for one hour. To calculate, simply multiply the length of the room by its width, which will give you the area in square feet. Then refer to the table below that helps you determine the BTU (British Thermal Units) units depending on the area. It’s important to note though that to calculate the BTU units or to determine the size of AC needed for your entire home, it would be best to seek guidance from a professional.

Area in Sq. Ft.  BTUs Per Hour
700 – 1,000 18,000
1,000 – 1,200 21,000
1,200 – 1,400 23,000
1,400 – 1,500 24,000
1,500 – 2,000 30,000
2,000 – 2,500 34,000
3,000 – 4,000 48,000

House Size

As explained above, the total area of your house will dictate the type and size of AC unit. So how much would an AC installation cost for your home? Quite understandably, the larger your house, the more expensive would be the air conditioning unit.

If you opt for a unit that’s too small for your house, it will result in ineffective cooling. On the other hand, a system that is too large would unnecessarily put a dent in your pocket.


Above factors aside, another major determinant of the AC cost factor is the extent of ductwork or repair required. If you live in a home that was constructed decades ago, chances are its ducting is not compatible with the modern AC units, in which case you would need to install from scratch a duct and vent system that may cost as much as $2,500 to $3,500.

Similarly damaged or leaking ducts may need significant repair or even replacement. In addition, ducts or vents may have to be adjusted according to the volume or air flow, which also impacts the cooling. If you’re not too keen on investing this amount on duct work, consider installing an AC unit that doesn’t require ducts like a window or ductless split unit.


A major question all homeowners should consider is whether or not your home is well insulated. If it’s not, it results in reduced efficiency of your heating system in the colder months and of your air conditioning unit in the hotter months. This is because hot or cool air may leak through gaps in windows and doors, compelling your temperature regulating system to work extra hard. To be able to opt for an affordable unit, maximize the output of your chosen system, and to reduce your energy costs, be sure to check the insulation of your property.

At Gillette Heating & Air Conditioning, our team of certified and trained employees conducts the most perfect AC installations, resulting in a high-functioning system for years to come.

Labor & Materials

For labor and materials, factor another $400-$500 or more depending on the complexity of duct work and unit installation. Although you may be less inclined to spend resources on installation, a professional installation will be fool-proof and worth every penny.

Tax Credits

The government offers tax benefits for energy-efficient home appliances (Energy Star) that meet certain benchmarks to incentivize careful energy consumption. Be sure to save the manufacturer’s certificate from the system, in case it’s required during an audit. The deadline for taking advantage of the tax credits has been extended to December 31, 2021.

Air Conditioner Warranties

Different manufacturers offer different warranties that cover the equipment and parts for a finite duration. At Gillette Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer 10-year parts warranties on all equipment.

Our top-rated products and knowledgeable staff have contributed to our position as Utah’s most trusted HVAC professionals. Contact us today so our team of experts can fit your home with the ideal air conditioner unit for maximized comfort and energy efficiency. We’ll also provide an estimate of how much it would cost for an AC installation for your home.

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