What Does an Air Conditioner Cost?

When temperatures soar, ceiling fans and open windows can only help so much. While central air conditioning was once thought to be a power-draining luxury, recent improvements in efficiency and unit options have boosted its appeal for homeowners looking to keep cool in the spring and summer months.

That being said, air conditioner installation is still a big investment for most homeowners, so budgeting appropriately for the unit and installation, maintenance fees, and monthly operating costs is very important.

Finding a reputable HVAC installer who can help you navigate the options that work best for your home is key. While an expert will take into consideration your home’s specific requirements, this guide provides helpful tips to consider when budgeting central air conditioner costs.

Calculating costs for central air conditioning

When determining the cost of air conditioning installation, there are several different variables at play — most importantly, the type of AC unit you are installing. We offer tips on choosing the right AC for your home and compare air conditioner units in previous blogs, but for simplicity’s sake, this article will specifically look at central air conditioning costs.

The overall cost of air conditioner installation will ultimately depend on the size and type of unit required to effectively cool your home. AC unit selection criteria include:

  • Efficiency
  • Sound level (measured in decibels)
  • Equipment quality
  • Warranty

Estimated installation and operating costs for central air conditioners

(Estimates based on cooling requirements for a two-storey home)

Area (sq. ft.) Capacity (ton) Starting Unit Price incl. Installation
up to 1,700 2.0 – 2.5 $3,200
1,700 – 2,500 2.5 – 3.0 $3,600
2,500 – 3,500 3.0 – 4.0 $4,000

Average operating costs for central air conditioning

(Estimates based on summertime cooling needs—June through August— with a 13 SEER unit and an electricity price of 5.5¢/kWh)

AC Capacity Avg. Wattage Used (amps x 240 volts) Avg. Monthly Increase in Electricity
2 ton 17 x 240 = 4,080 $32.31
3 ton 19 x 240 = 4,560 $36.12
4 ton 21 x 240 = 5,040 $39.92

Air Conditioner Maintenance Costs

When you do decide to invest in central air conditioning, it’s important to protect your investment with regular maintenance and upkeep. Our annual AC maintenance service includes the following:

  • Cleaning the outdoor condensing unit, checking the indoor coil and furnace filter
  • Checking for any refrigerant leaks from the AC system
  • Testing unit to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency

Starting at just over $10 a month, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your air conditioner will be assessed yearly and small issues dealt with long before they become major problems. Our Protection Plans also include awesome discounts on repairs, complementary products, and services such as duct cleaning and plumbing.

Request an Expert Quote

As helpful as it is to review estimated costs before setting the AC installation wheels in motion, no table, reference guide, or formula will be as thorough or accurate as an HVAC professional. At First Call, our friendly sales advisors will gather the information they need to provide an accurate quote that reflects your home’s specific air conditioning system requirements.

In addition, as a premier dealer for Lennox, First Call offers incredible promotions and deals directly from the manufacturer. We regularly update our current rebates, sales and promotions so that we can pass along the best deals to our clients.

We carry a wide variety of air conditioner models, from budget-friendly options like the Lennox Merit and Elite Series, to super high-efficiency, ultra-quiet models available in the Lennox Signature Collection.

Ready to enjoy your best summer yet?

Contact us to arrange a free quote for air conditioner installation and sleep a little easier no matter what the summer forecast has in store.

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