As with many home improvements, there is a large selection of central air conditioning systems to choose from, offering a wide spectrum of cost and quality. But price and brand should not be the only considerations when making a long-term investment in your home. Finding the right HVAC company to advise you on the purchase and, to install the system correctly should be one of the most important aspects of your decision when weighing the costs of installing air conditioning.
While the process of determining the best system for your home may seem like a complicated task, the information here delivers the facts and figures that you need to know to make an educated and fulfilling purchase in your price range.
Choosing a Contractor
First things first! Before you even think about brands or product features, it’s important that you get the advice of an expert about the system that will be the right fit for your home. An experienced HVAC professional will tell you that “bigger is not always better” – meaning that going out and buying the largest sized system you can find will not necessarily yield the most efficient cooling solution for your home.
A trusted professional will evaluate the specific cooling needs and challenges of your home and make an accurate recommendation based on that analysis. Meet with each contractor you consider and ask questions as the estimator evaluates your needs. Good contractors will have a system or checklist for determining the right air conditioning solution for each home. Some things a professional should consider are:
- The size, age and layout of your home
- The efficiency and placement of your current system (if any)
- Your personal priorities – are you looking for energy efficiency? new technology?
Average Central Air Conditioning Equipment Costs
Prices for a new central air system can vary, depending on many factors. For example, the time of year that you have the system installed can play a role in the price. The price differences are due, in part, to build quality and reliability, but are also affected by factors such as unit size, efficiency and brand. Efficiency is very important to consider, because based on the monthly monetary cost required to run your unit, you may be better off in the long run paying slightly more upfront for a very efficient system which will yield a lower monthly cost and eventually pay for itself.
Some popular and generally reliable brands of central air cooling systems (made for houses with existing ductwork) include Lennox, Trane, Carrier, Whirlpool and Payne, to name just a few. On average, the cost of equipment alone for these systems can range from $1,400 to $3,500, depending on several factors, including where you live. Remember, this cost is for equipment only. The HVAC company you choose should provide a complete estimate that includes the price for the complete job, including equipment and installation.
If your house has a boiler system as its primary heat source or does not have any ductwork for some other reason, don’t worry; there are cooling options for these types of homes too! Ductless systems, or mini-split systems, are a welcome solution for owners with homes with a boiler system, or without ductwork. These systems are installed using indoor wall mounts to cool individual rooms, or by using air vents that require minimal ductwork to be added. Some of the options for mini-split systems are made by Fujitsu, Amvent and Gree. The average cost of equipment only for a ductless mini-split system can range from $1,000 – $2,200.
Insist on Quality Installation
If you consider your new central air system as a true investment in your home’s long-term value and comfort, you should view your purchase as a complete package. To get the best value, shop for expert advice, materials, installation and service as a whole from a company you can trust. The installation process will be unique to your home, so your contractor should take the time to get to know your home.
When it comes to your new cooling system, simply buying a good product without investing in quality installation work will cost you greatly in the long run. Depending on where you live, the difficulty of the installation, and the expertise of the contractor, installation can be a considerable factor when it comes to project time and cost.
To compare costs in different areas, you can use an online cost calculator if you want a general idea of the average overall costs being charged for central air conditioning systems.
For homes without ducts, the prices for installation reflect the different process needed to configure the system in the home.
Tips for Reducing Costs
Investing in a quality central air conditioning system for your home can come with a rather significant price tag. If you are looking to reduce your initial costs, there are a wide variety of rebate options available to you, if you qualify. This can help to put some of that money back in your pocket for your next project.
With many central air conditioning options for all types of homes, it pays to do your own research and find an expert who will guide you through the buying process. The amount you can expect to spend should be in line with the service and attention you receive from the professional HVAC contractor you choose. Skipping the important steps of getting a quality home assessment followed by a quality installation will result in a less efficient system overall, regardless of the brand you choose. In the end, the cost of installing air conditioning should be worth the years of comfort and efficiency if provides for your home and family.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-315-5564