This is probably the most frequently asked question when it comes to air conditioning. The main reason for that is that AC units don’t need to be replaced that often, so unless you actually work in the business of supplying and fitting AC units, there is no reason for you to keep up to date with prices. If you consider that, on average, AC units need to be replaced every ten to fifteen years, it’s no wonder the cost would appear to remain such a mystery. If pressed for an immediate answer, we would say that the cost will lie somewhere between $3,000 and $12,000 which is likely to be of little help to you with such a wide range.
You also have to take into account a number of factors that will have a direct bearing on the cost.
While there is always the temptation to change your AC unit on a like-for-like basis, it is always worth getting a qualified AC engineer out to check that the unit you are replacing was actually suitable for your home.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is calculated based on the result of dividing the cooling output of an AC unit over a normal season by the energy the unit consumes in watt hours. SEER ratings can range from 13 to 27, and certain states demand that your AC unit have a minimum SEER rating. The simplest way to understand the SEER rating is to consider that the higher the rating, the more cooling you are getting for your money.
This could be the source of good news, or bad news for you, but are you thinking of replacing your AC unit because it isn’t working as well as it used to? Are you sure that it is the AC unit itself that is causing the problem? When was the last time you checked your AC ducting? The good news is that the problem may simply be that your ductwork is leaking or has become blocked, and that it is not the AC unit itself that needs replacing. The bad news is that poor ductwork may be accentuating the problems created by an AC unit that is on its last legs. AS HVAC ductwork has a lifespan of between ten and fifteen years as well, it is not unusual for the two to be replaced at the same time.
Only part of the cost of replacing an AC unit is for the unit itself, as you also need to have the unit fitted. It can be tempting to think about fitting the new AC unit yourself, especially if you are replacing an existing one, but this can be a false economy. We would ask you to think on this… It takes years, not weeks to train to become a fully competent HVAC engineer capable of installing AC units, because there is so much to learn. Additionally, AC units are heavy, and unless you have sufficient manpower and the correct tools, it is all too easy to damage the unit even before you have begun to fit it.
The easiest way to find out how much it will cost you to have a new AC unit installed (and get confirmation that you need a new one!) would be to give us a call here at A&E Air Conditioning and Heating. We’d be delighted to come out and see you and provide you with a detailed quote, at no cost to yourself, and advise you whether or not you actually need to replace your AC unit.