When it’s time to invest in a new air conditioner, the first thing you’re probably considering is your budget.
We know how important it is to have honest, upfront pricing to make a buying decision, so we’ll tell you this: In the Portland area, most people pay around $4,000 on average for a new AC.
That said, the cost of a new air conditioner can range anywhere from $2,295 to $7,700.
Why do AC installations have such a wide price range?
The cost to install a central air conditioning system depends on several factors, including:
- The size of the AC
- The efficiency of the AC
- Equipment add-ons
- Installation considerations
- The AC installer you choose
We’ll go into more detail about each of these factors below to give you a better idea of what you could pay for your new AC.
Want to get an accurate and honest quote for your new AC system?
Cost factor #1: The size of the AC
Here’s the gist: The larger the air conditioner, the more expensive it will be.
Keep in mind, when we’re discussing the size of an air conditioner, we’re not referring to its physical size, but rather its cooling capacity (how much heat the system can remove from your home in 1 hour).
AC size is measured in tons, with most residential units ranging anywhere from 1.5 to 5 tons. The higher the tonnage, the “larger” the air conditioner.
But we’ll tell you upfront that a bigger air conditioner isn’t always better. In fact, if you get an AC that’s too big (or too small) for your home, you’ll experience more frequent breakdowns and higher energy bills.
To find the right size air conditioner for your home, a qualified professional will need to perform a load calculation. A load calculation takes into account several factors specific to your home and accurately tells you what size system you’ll need.
Cost factor #2: The efficiency of the AC
More energy-efficient air conditioners are also more expensive. However, they can save you money in the long run in the form of lower monthly energy bills.
An air conditioner’s efficiency is measured by SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which is typically referred to as a SEER rating. SEER ratings range from 13 to 24. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system.
The professional you hire to install your central AC system can help you calculate the lifetime savings of a high-SEER AC. That way, you will know if it’s worth it to invest in a more efficient system or if you should stick with the minimum SEER requirement (which is 13 in our area).
Cost factor #3: Equipment add-ons
Adding comfort and convenience features to your AC will raise the cost of the unit.
Some common AC add-ons include:
Cost factor #4: Installation considerations
Replacing an old AC can sometimes require extra labor, which raises the overall cost of the installation.
For example, if a technician has to work in a crawlspace to install the new AC, the installation will take longer, which makes the labor more expensive.
Additionally, if your ductwork needs to be modified/repaired, or electrical work needs to be done to accommodate the new system, then the overall price of the installation will also increase.
Cost factor #5: The AC installer you choose
Experienced contractors generally charge more for their installation services, but they typically do a better job than inexperienced pros.
Since an AC is such a big investment, the last thing you’d want is for an inexperienced installer to cut corners or do something incorrectly, as that could cost you thousands down in the road in repairs.
While an experienced contractor may charge a little more upfront for their installation services, you can rest assured the job will be done correctly—the first time.
To determine if an AC installer is experienced and will provide high-quality work, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the installer licensed and insured?
- Has the company been in business for a while?
- Does the company have good customer reviews?
- Does the installer offer guarantees or warranties on installation work?
If you answered “yes” to the questions above, then the contractor will most likely do a high-quality AC installation for you.
Want a quote to install an AC system in your Portland home?Schedule an appointment today
Our AC specialists are standing by, ready to visit your home and provide you with an honest quote. When you hire Four Seasons you can count on honest pricing and world-class installation work.
Visit our AC installation page for more information about what to expect when you hire us.
Worried about cost? We offer financing solutions.