How Much Does It Cost to Replace Your AC Unit?

The costs to replace an ac unit varies by region, of course. “In California or Florida, you’re looking at $3,000-$4,000 for a typical system,” says Abt. “But here in Houston, it’s about half that price.” And the size of the unit matters too: A 5-ton AC system can cost twice as much as one with 3 tons. According to data from Lennox and Carrier, the average home in the United States is between 2 and 2½ tons.

Expert assistance

If you want to buy your equipment and install it yourself without help from a professional — which we don’t recommend — the price will depend on what kind of equipment you choose and who makes it. The average cost for a standard split-system ac unit (or central air conditioning system) with two compressors and air handlers starts at about $4,000 to $5,000 for a 3-ton model, says Abt — though you’ll pay as much as twice that in some cases. “You can install an 8-ton or 10-ton ac unit by yourself if you’re just excavating the hole and dropping the equipment into it,” he adds. “But to plumb, all those lines is complicated.”

How much does it cost to replace an ac unit?

On the other hand, Abt says he has installed systems that were priced as high as $25,000: “The price was around $4,000 for the equipment and $21,000 to install it — with 10,000 BTUs and two air handlers.” (It’s important to note that this was a complex job; we’ll talk more about this later on.)

The same 3-ton ac unit can cost as little as $2,500 if you hire an HVAC professional to install it. The price includes refrigerant and an outdoor weatherproof protective housing unit (if needed).

Expert Installation Has Its Advantages

One easy way to figure out how much your new system will cost is by finding out what kind of labor rates are in your region. So if you live where the average rate is $60 an hour, you’ll probably have to pay around $120 an hour to hire someone to do the job. (If you’re getting bids from more than one contractor, be sure that your final price includes all costs — including equipment and materials.) Then double that number.

AC unit installation cost

The same 3-ton ac unit can cost as little as $2,500 if you hire an HVAC professional to install it. The price includes refrigerant and an outdoor weatherproof protective housing unit (if needed).

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