The Average Cost of Installing a Central Air Unit in Your Residential Home


Nowadays, you will rarely see a home without an air conditioning system. In fact, having one is certainly not considered a luxury but a necessity instead, due to the rising and freezing temperatures. 

Luckily, there are several types of air conditioning systems homeowners can choose from to install in their homes. One of the most preferred choices is the central air conditioning unit. It cools the air at a central location and is distributed to and from rooms by one or more fans and ductwork. It also provides cleaner air for your home, requires little maintenance, and can significantly reduce your energy bills.

So, if you are planning to install a central air conditioning unit in your home, here is everything you need to know about the cost of installation.

Choosing a central air unit by type

There are two types of central air conditioning systems you can choose from and these are split central air conditioning systems and packaged central air conditioning systems.

Split central air conditioning systems are considered the most cost-effective option. They consist of three major elements including the condensing unit which is placed outside, the evaporator coils, and the air handler which can be found inside the unit.

Alternatively, a packaged central air conditioning system is similar to a split system, except the condensing unit, evaporator coil, and air handler are all packaged together into a single box outside the unit.

Whichever type of unit you choose, make sure you have it installed by professionals. For example, if you live in Ottawa, Canada, look for the best air conditioner installation Ottawa services nearby to get professional installation at a great cost.

Choosing a central air conditioner by size

When purchasing a central air unit, keep in mind that there is a variety of units with different square footage. The general rule is that for every 500-600 square feet, a single ton of cooling power is needed.

However, this calculation can vary based on the size of your home. For instance, if you have a bigger house, you will need more cooling power.

Unfortunately, many make the mistake of purchasing a big central air system. Keep in mind that a bigger unit will most likely cycle on and off all the time, resulting in greater energy use and giving off a loud, disruptive noise.

The opposite is true if you choose to install a smaller central air system that will work overtime and cool your house inefficiently. That’s why it is important that you consult an AC specialist for the most accurate option based on your house’s size.

Additional cost considerations

Depending on the type of central air conditioning system you choose, there may be other additional costs you need to be aware of. 

For example, in order for your central AC unit to operate properly, you will need to install ducts or vents. This way your AC system will be able to cool all rooms equally through these openings which are installed in walls, floors, or ceilings and are covered by grills. There are several factors that affect the installation of ducts and vents including the project difficulty, the size of your home, and the type of ducts and vents you choose. 

Also, you might want to consider home insulation to allow your central air unit to work more efficiently and save you money in the long run. The average cost of home insulation will depend on the type and materials chosen for the insulation, the location in your home, and labor.

How long do AC units last?

While every central air conditioner is different and each homeowner has a different approach to when it needs to be repaired, it is safe to say that a high-efficiency air conditioner may provide cooling for 15 to 20 years.

However, there are a few factors you need to be aware of that could have a major impact on the life of your central air unit. These factors include system wear and tear, installation quality, proper sizing, and high humidity.

Final thoughts

If you want to achieve comfort in your home, you should consider installing a central air unit. It offers plenty of benefits and can keep your interior nice, cool, and warm all year round. If you are still hesitant about the cost of installation, be sure to refer to our post and learn how much it costs to professionally install a central air conditioning system in your home. 


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