07 May How Much Will a New Air Conditioner Cost Ann Arbor Area Residents?
Air conditioners aren’t simply a luxury for many U.S. homeowners, they’re a necessity – particularly for regions where summer temperatures soar. Today’s newer models are more powerful, efficient, and quiet than their predecessors, and offer greater value to the homeowners in many respects. Essentially, the cost of installing a new air conditioner varies depending on a number of factors; the size of your home, size A/C you need, efficiency, and more. Keep reading to learn what impacts the price of having a new system installed, and how much you can expect to pay.
Thank you so much…It’s 90° outside and we were really sweating it out! You guys are awesome! -KG, Ann Arbor, Mich
Air conditioning 101
The initial step in choosing a new cooling system is deciding the size you need for your home. Air conditioning units are measured in “tons.” Basically, this refers to the amount of heat an A/C is capable of removing from a home or structure in a one-hour time period. Ultimately, a larger home will require more cooling power, or more BTUs (British thermal units). For example, 12,000 BTUs can be removed in a one-hour time span by a one-ton unit; a three-ton system removes 36,000 BTUs in the same amount of time. For an average 1,600 square foot home, a two and a half ton system would generally be sufficient for cooling your home efficiently. It’s also important to determine which spaces in your home you want to cool, as the calculation should not include areas such as a basement or garage.
Once you have determined the size A/C system you will need, it’s important to hire an experienced and reputable contractor for installation. Unless you are highly skilled and knowledgeable, it is not recommended that you attempt to install your new system yourself to save money. It is not uncommon in Michigan for homes to be without air conditioning, and a new installation requires running wires through the foundation, installing new breakers in the electrical panel, mounting the unit, and more. While do-it-yourselfers enjoy trying to tackle every job themselves, trying to install air conditioning is one of those things you should leave to the professionals, as the risk of injury or inadequate installation is great.
On average, having a new air conditioner installed will run you between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on size, efficiency, and features. A two-ton basic model will run about $3,000, a mid-range A/C unit about $5,000, and a high-end system $10,000 and upwards.
Thanks Haley mechanical, once again, for…replacing condenser so quickly and efficiently. Everyone was so professional and friendly. -MM, Ann Arbor, Mich
More A/C facts that may interest you
While having a new air conditioner installed can be costly, homeowners can often get tax breaks from state or federal agencies, or find rebates which help offset the cost. For homes that are not new construction, homeowners who choose an Energy-Star rated system can often enjoy a tax credit of as much as $500 from the federal government. If you choose to install a system that is particularly high-rated in terms of efficiency, state governments may offer a rebate. It’s important to note that these rebates are typically offered for a limited time, so do a little researching prior to hiring a professional HVAC contractor.
Manufacturers are no longer allowed to produce air conditioning systems that use R-22 (hydrochlorofluorocarbon, or HCFC) because of their greenhouse gases which destroy the ozone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Air conditioning companies may no longer install systems that contain R-22, however technicians can use R-22 to service existing units already installed in homes.
Factors that will impact how much you pay for a new air conditioner
Certain factors can add to the cost of having air conditioning installed. For instance, your house may be designed in a way that requires more duct work than usual to connect with an existing furnace, or you may need a new thermostat.
Another critical factor is the SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which is a measure of an air conditioner’s BTUs (a unit’s total cooling output) during a season, divided by the total input of electric energy. A higher SEER number is preferable, which is the number you will get as a result of this equation. While units with higher SEER ratings cost more initially, homeowners save over the long-term through lower energy costs and shorter cooling times. Most air conditioning units sold today provide a SEER rating of higher than 13, and some high-performance systems have ratings of up to 27 SEER.
Air conditioners can also be loud – in fact, painfully loud when in close proximity. On a particularly hot day, louder A/C units can run above 80 decibels. Laws have been passed by numerous municipalities that require new A/C installations to be under a specific decibel level. For instance, a unit than runs at 75 decibels may be heard through a window or from a garage on the same side of a home. At 70 decibels, the noise typically starts to blend with background noise. Low-noise, high-efficiency air conditioner models are available in most popular brands at a higher cost.
How much you spend to have a new air conditioner installed will depend largely on your unit’s overall efficiency, the size system needed to efficiently cool your home, and who you hire to perform the work.
Considering new air conditioner installation in your SE Michigan home? Contact Haley Mechanical, trusted by homeowners in Ypsilanti, Dexter, Ann Arbor, and surrounding areas for more than 15 years.