The Pricing Puzzle: The Cost of a New AC

Cost of a new air conditioner

When it comes to cars, trucks, and SUVs, each varies in size, efficiency, comfort and price. On top of that, each car dealer may have their own pricing model that impacts your final cost of your new vehicle. The same can be said of air conditioners —except they aren’t operational without installation!  Air conditioners should be professionally installed to perform the way they were designed!

There are multiple considerations that go into an HVAC dealer’s estimate or final bill for installing a new energy-efficient air conditioner in your home. Below are a few of the considerations that may contribute to the cost of a new air conditioner for in your home.

The Cost of an Air Conditioner and Features


Like automobiles, air conditioners range from basic to high-end models. The minimum efficiency model may initially cost less than an energy-efficient air conditioner with added features. However, some of these additional features are designed and engineered to improve the energy efficiency of the air conditioner, which could save you in energy costs over the life of the unit.

Features that may contribute to the cost of the cooling equipment may include:

  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
  • Communications compatibility
  • Sound inhibitor options
  • Condenser speed
  • Compressor type
  • Motor capability
  • Other manufacturer specifics

Square Footage and Design


Would you buy a small car to tow a large boat? Probably not! It’s important to make sure your purchase has the ability to perform its required task! An air conditioner must be sized correctly in order to do its job — effectively cool your indoor spaces!

You home’s square footage, construction and age impact the necessary size and required capacity of your cooling system. For instance, how well your home is insulated often affects the way your air conditioner operates. Higher R-value insulation ratings can help keep your home cooler and work in conjunction with your home’s air conditioner to help lower your utility bills. Higher insulation values may result from weatherized doors, walls, roofs and/or windows.

Typically, as a specific AC model’s size and cooling capacity increases, so can the price. Your local HVAC dealer can help determine the size of the air conditioner that best fits your home design, budget, and indoor cooling expectations.

What’s Your Address?


Every location has cost-of-living variables, supply/demand characteristics, and site-specific regulations. Your home’s location may impact the cost of housing-related products, including your new air conditioner.

Many states and local municipalities have specific requirements that specify the cooling equipment permitted in your city and the method of its installation. These local codes can impact your cost by influencing the efficiency rating, sound levels or underlying technology of your new air conditioning system. Your local, licensed professional HVAC dealer should be knowledgeable of your site-specific requirements and meet the required codes of AC installation.

Installation and Labor


Once the specific size and model are determined, the air conditioner installation and labor costs are calculated. For every home installation, a license or professional HVAC dealer has to determine:

  • Additional parts required
  • Time length of job
  • Number of professionals required


Each cooling system installation is unique. Your installer must create a balance between the new AC mechanics and the pre-existing equipment, duct work and necessary air flow. The more complex the installation, the more it may cost for labor, installation and additional parts.

  • If ducts are used to distribute the cool air in your home, the quality of these ducts plays an integral role in the effectiveness and efficiency of your new cooling system. If your licensed professional HVAC dealer finds that your existing ductwork is inadequate, they may need to modernize it.
  • Cost may also be influenced your cooling system’s location.  For example, tight spaces both indoors and outdoors can make it more difficult to remove the current unit and install the new air conditioner.
  • Licensed professional HVAC dealers have various levels of experience, qualifications, and labor limited warranties that back their work. These variables may elevate the quality of your installation. 


Installation is crucial to the effective operation and longevity of your new air conditioner. Proper installation may eliminate the need for unplanned visits, added costs and inconveniences, as well as ensure your system is running at peak performance. The lowest or even the highest bid may not be the best installer for your project. To ensure you hire a qualified professional that best fits the job, read “How to Select a Heating & Cooling Contractor?

Goodman Air Conditioners