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Question DetailsAsked on 5/14/2013

How much is an air conditioning install?

I need to have central air conditioning installed in our house. What are the typical costs for a 1,500 square foot house for an air conditioner install?

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1 Answer


Depends a lot on your setup - for a simple plop it on a base on the ground and hook up to a house with existing air conditioning piping and ductwork and wiring, or to a heater duct that is configured to accept central air, $2000-3500 for a normal small unit, plus $500-2000 installation for $2500-6000 (most likely $4000-5500 range).

If your house is not set up for central air and the heating system is not designed for combined system operation, then can run anywhere from $4000-7000 (easy unfinished basement access, 1 story house, only a few air outlets or evaporators to install) to $30,000 (multi-story house without unfinished basement or attic to run ducts in, so a lot of drywall or panelling tearout (and repair) required to install ducts).

As you can see quite a range is possible, but 1500 SF is pretty big for window air conditioners unless you are looking for only sleeping conditions cooling in one or two rooms (and they are a lot noisier).

You need to locate a few reputable HVAC contractors (Angie's List search and neighbor/friends word of mouth), then get an assessment and bids. If you house does not already have AC installed and you want high-quality consistent tempeature throughout the house, you might have to pay $350-600 for an architect to run an HVAC design and schematic to use to get the bids. That would also provide a common bidding base, so all your bidding contractors will be working to the same scope of work, whcih should bring their bids into a much narrower price range.

Pay attention to the energy efficiency of the unit - you can get Federal tax credits for installation of high-efficiency units, and most states and some local utilities also have rebate programs for efficient units. In some states, combining all three, you can get as much as 100% reimbursement, though for AC I doubt if it will exceed 25%, and may be zero without associated household insulation upgrades.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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