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How Much Does It Cost to Install Central Air?

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Renovations are a great way to personalize your home, whether you just moved in or have been living there for years. If you’re looking to make some improvements, have you considered adding a new central air conditioning system to your project list? After all, having a well-functioning system is essential for comfort and air quality inside the house.

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Is installing new central air worth the cost?

Any large project can be daunting, and you may be wondering if installing central air is even worth the cost - the answer is yes. When you're using multiple portable a/c or window units throughout the house, energy costs can stack up quickly!

Older air conditioning units are less efficient than the newer models, resulting in more frequent repairs and higher energy bills. Additionally, their lifespan is typically shorter than that of a new unit. Though investing in a new system may seem costly up front, it is much more economical over time due to the savings on potential repairs and associated energy costs.

Keep reading to learn how much you can expect your new central air to cost, how much value it can add to your home and how you can afford it.

Central Air Costs: Frequently Asked Questions

How much does central air cost?

The cost of central air conditioning can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the type of unit you choose, the complexity of the installation, and the region where you live.

On average, the cost to install central air conditioning ranges from $3,000 to $7,500 for a typical 2,000-square-foot home. However, the cost can be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned above.

It's best to get quotes from multiple contractors in your area to get a better idea of the cost for your specific situation. Additionally, some utility companies offer rebates or incentives for installing high-efficiency central air conditioning systems, which can help offset the cost.

When is it worth it to install central air?

Deciding whether it's worth it for your family to install central air conditioning is a big decision. Some of the factors you might want to consider are your climate, the size and layout of your home, and your personal preferences for indoor comfort. You may be looking to install a new central air conditioning system if:

  • You live in a hot and humid climate. If you live in an area with hot and humid summers, central air conditioning can provide a significant improvement in indoor comfort. It can also help to improve indoor air quality by removing humidity and filtering out allergens and pollutants.
  • Your home is large or has multiple levels. Central air conditioning is more effective at cooling large spaces and multiple levels than window or portable units. If you have a large or multi-level home, central air conditioning can provide more even and consistent cooling throughout the space.
  • You value indoor comfort. Let's be honest, most of us are still in a post quarantine home-body phase. Many of us have also transitioned to working from home, which means we're almost always there. If you prioritize indoor comfort and want to ensure that your home stays cool and comfortable while you're home more often, central air conditioning can provide the consistent cooling you need.
  • You're looking to add value to your home. You might have assumed that installing central air would increase the value of your home, and you'd be right.

Does installing central air increase the value of a home?

If you're looking to increase the value of your home, installing central air should be at the top of your project list. How much are we talking? Installing new central air could increase your home's value up to 10 percent!

While picking out new wallpaper for your laundry room might sound like more fun, installing a new central air conditioning system is, without a doubt, one of the quickest ways to add significant value to your home.

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Can you get a home improvement loan for a central air unit?


You may be wondering what type of financing is available for a new central air unit. One of the most common types of financing utilized in this scenario is a home improvement loan. Home improvement loans are specifically designed to help homeowners make improvements to their homes, including upgrading their HVAC systems.

What are the different types of Central AC Units?


There are several types of central air conditioning units, each with its own features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types, along with an estimate of their cost:

  • Split system. Split systems are the most common type of central air conditioner and are relatively affordable, with an average cost of $3,500 to $7,500 installed.
  • Packaged system. A packaged air conditioner contains all of its components in a single outdoor unit, making it a good choice for homes with limited indoor space. Packaged systems are generally more expensive than split systems, with an average cost of $5,000 to $12,000 installed.
  • Ductless mini-split. A ductless mini-split air conditioner is a type of split system that doesn't require ductwork. Ductless mini-splits are a good choice for homes without ductwork or for room additions, but they can be more expensive than other types of systems, with an average cost of $2,000 to $14,000 installed.

How much does it cost to add central air to an old house?


Since older homes may require additional upgrades or modifications to accommodate the installation of a central air conditioning system, you can anticipate a slightly higher overall cost. To get an accurate estimate for the cost of installing central air conditioning in an old house, it's best to consult with an HVAC professional.

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