2023 How much does air conditioning installation cost? (2023)

Expect air conditioning installation to cost anywhere from $600 – $12,000 depending on the type of unit and complexity of your install. Smaller split systems will cost in the region of $600 – $750, while ducted air conditioning can cost upwards of $6,000.

If you've ever headed to the nearest cinema or shopping centre just to get a cool, cool taste of AC, then it could be time you installed an air conditioning system.

But you're probably wondering 'how much does air conditioning cost to install or replace?'. In this guide, we’ll cover off everything you need to consider.

2023 How much does air conditioning installation cost? (1)

What factors impact air conditioning installation costs?

There are several factors impacting the cost of air conditioning installation and these include the type of air conditioning system you choose, household size and how many rooms air conditioning is required for, the complexity of the installation, and the brand of air conditioning units chosen.

Installing air conditioning isn't cheap but can be well worth it in the long run, offering long-term energy savings. Air conditioning can also make your home more comfortable in both summer and winter, as almost all air conditioners offer cooling and heating options.

How much does it cost to install air conditioning?

A popular choice of air conditioning is a split system and this can cost from $1,500 to $5,000 or more. A more complex ducted system is more expensive and can be anything from $10,000.

There are two things to consider when it comes to the price of air conditioning — the cost of the unit/system, and the cost of installation.

(Video) Split Air Conditioner Installation Step By Step (2023) | Actual Installation Cost

As mentioned above though, there are various factors that impact cost and it is important to seek three quotes from qualified air conditioning installation services in your area.

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What is the difference between the types of air conditioners?

From cheaper and less effective portable units to complex ducted systems that link every room in the house, there are various types of air conditioning systems available.

Pros and cons of split system air conditioners

Ideal for cooling single rooms and often seen in small homes and apartments, split system air conditioners are the most popular air conditioning choice in Australia.

(Video) How Much Does An Air Conditioner Cost? - AC Installation

Split system air conditioning installation features a wall-mounted unit and an external unit, linked by pipes. Fairly inexpensive to buy and install, split system air conditioners are also one of the most cost-effective heating and cool air systems to run. They do only cool one room though.

How much does it cost to install a split system air conditioner?

The cost for a split system air conditioning unit can vary dramatically depending on the brand and model you choose. It can be anything from $600 for a budget unit to $5,000 for a premium unit. Installation of a split system unit can add an extra $600 - $1,500 depending on the complexity and your chosen installer's hourly rate.

Pros and cons of a multi-split system air conditioning system

Multi-split system air conditioners, only have one single outdoor unit but are connected to multiple indoor units meaning you can heat or cool multiple rooms easily.

A multi-split system air conditioning unit has all the same benefits as a single-split system air conditioner. They can become expensive if you have a larger home though, due to the multiple required units. A ducted system may become a better choice.

2023 How much does air conditioning installation cost? (2)

How much does it cost to install a multi-split system air conditioning installation cost system?

A multi-split system cost will depend on how many wall-mounted units you have, as each of these can cost anything from $600 to $5,000. There will also be additional installation fees, with the total cost likely to be between $3,000 and $10,000.

Pros and cons of a ducted air conditioning system

A ducted air conditioning system is ideal for medium and large homes and features air conditioning vents in the ceiling (occasionally the floor), with one unit.

A ducted system is usually more expensive to install but is a solid option for larger homes where multi-split systems become expensive due to the number of units required.

(Video) Stop Buying the Wrong Air Conditioner Brands (2023)

Other benefits to ducted air conditioning systems include whole home heating and cooling via a centralised system, a clean and attractive aesthetic without the need for clunky wall-mounted units, quiet operation, and flexible zones where you can turn off vents in rooms where AC isn't needed.

How much does it cost to install a ducted air conditioning system?

A ducted air conditioning system is the most expensive system to install. For smaller homes and apartments it can vary from $6,000 to $10,000 while a larger home could be up to $30,000. A typical one-story home will likely be around $14,000.

Portable air conditioners

A portable unit can start at as little as $300 and requires no installation, but they are often ineffective and noisy. If budget allows, a split system air conditioning unit is preferable.

How to choose the right air conditioner for your home?

Air conditioning installation costs can be expensive, so it's important to make the right choice for your home. When considering what air conditioning system to choose, think about the following factors:

  • What is the size of the space you want to cool/heat?
  • Is it one room or multiple?
  • What features do you want your air conditioner to have?
  • What is your budget?
  • Consider warranties offered by the manufacturer

How long does it take to install an air conditioner?

Split systems can be installed in a day usually while ducted systems are more complex to guesstimate. If it's a new build home where walls and ceilings are easily accessible, it may take a few days. If it's an existing home then there will be more work involved in accessing all of the relevant areas. It is best to speak to an expert air conditioning installation company.

What are the costs of air conditioning replacement?

Air conditioning systems can last up to 15 years, when it is recommended to replace them for efficiency. You may also need to replace your air conditioning unit if it starts to display faults such as:

  • It is not heating to cooling as well as it used to
  • It is leaking water from the unit
  • It is making unusual or unexpected sounds

Provided that none of your requirements have changed (such as wanting the units in a different location or adding new rooms to ducted heating systems), then replacing an air conditioner should cost less than the initial installation.

That's because you won't need additional electrics to be set up, and your installer may even be able to reuse the existing pipes and other infrastructure depending on their condition. However, there are still a lot of costs involved including purchasing the new unit and installation costs.

(Video) Q&A How much does Air Conditioning cost to run UK 2023

Other factors impacting the cost of air conditioning replacement include the brand and model of the replacement air conditioner that you choose and the hourly rate of your chosen air conditioning installer.

How to choose an air conditioning installer

Like you would do for any service in your home, always seek at least three quotes when choosing your air conditioning supplier and installer. But it isn't just the price you need to consider. When choosing, also consider:

  • What does the cost cover? Is it the supply of the unit as well as the installation? Or do you need to buy the unit yourself first
  • What are the local reviews like? Seek our reviews online or ask if they can provide you with references
  • Are they licensed for the work? It's a legal requirement for air conditioning installers to be licensed with The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC). There are full licenses that cover all AC work but there are also restricted licenses for split systems only

Find a local Air Conditioning Specialists now

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*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.

(Video) How much does it cost to charge an air conditioner?


How much will HVAC go up in 2023? ›

HVAC System Prices

HVAC prices are expected to rise in 2023 because of the new SEER2 standards. HVAC system prices will occur through installation and repair costs to homeowners and business owners. Increased prices for HVAC equipment will likely jump between 15% to 25% in the early months of 2023.

Are HVAC prices going down in 2023? ›

Many HVAC manufacturers have already announced price increases in 2023, making headlines as another round of price increases go into effect. The reasons for the increases are due to a multitude of factors, including raw material costs, increased labor rates, fuel and transportation costs, and changes to processes.

How much does AC installation cost? ›

But if your current AC is failing to chill your home and you're ready to invest in a new system, it's time to do your HVAC homework. Central air installation costs an average of $5,861; the typical range runs from $3,882 for smaller systems to $7,905 for larger or upgraded systems, according to HomeAdvisor.

Why is air conditioning so expensive to install? ›

There has also been an increase in inflation, and the demand for better pay directly results from it. The installation, repair, and maintenance of HVAC are all labor-intensive jobs. These have now become even more expensive due to improved workman's compensation.

Should I wait until 2023 to replace HVAC? ›

Should I replace my system before January 1, 2023? The answer is a resounding “Yes” if you have one of the following: An air conditioner that operates with an ozone-depleting refrigerant known as “R22.” Whether the system is working or not – replace it since this refrigerant is no longer being made.

Why are AC units going up in 2023? ›

The reason is that the U.S. Department of Energy is raising the minimum energy-efficiency standards for all central air conditioners and heat pumps starting on January 1, 2023. This means that the most basic, lowest-priced units will no longer be available.

What time of year is cheapest to replace HVAC? ›

There is no doubt that the best time to replace HVAC systems is during the off-season. More than often, the off-season stretches from late September to mid-November and from early March to mid-May is the best time to replace HVAC system for your home or business.

Why is replacing HVAC so expensive? ›

Why are HVAC systems so expensive? They involve powerful, complicated equipment such as furnaces, central air conditioners, and ductwork that runs through the internal structure of your house. Installation, maintenance, and repairs can get expensive, but they're a good investment in your home.

Is now a good time to buy HVAC system? ›

The best times to replace your HVAC system are the spring and early fall when the business is the slowest. During this time manufacturers offer specials to help sell more products and HVAC contractors are more aggressive with their pricing to help keep the dollars rolling and the crews busy.

How much does it cost to put AC in a 2000 sq ft house? ›

However, figuring out estimated AC prices for a 2,000-square-foot home can be tricky. On average, a new AC unit for a house will cost around $5,000, but prices can vary quite a bit. Costs for air conditioning in a home that is 2,000 square feet can range from as little as $2,000 to as much as $15,000.

What size air conditioner do I need for 2000 sq ft house? ›

Step 5: Match your square footage to an HVAC size chart
Home Square FootageAir Conditioner Size (Tons)
600-1,000 square feet1.5 tons
1,000-1,500 square feet2 tons
1,500-2,000 square feet3 tons
2,000-2,500 square feet4 tons
1 more row

Is it worth installing air conditioning? ›

Air conditioners help circulate and filter the air. These systems also help remove pollutants from the air you breathe. This is vital especially for individuals who suffer from conditions such as allergies and asthma. Air conditioning helps reduce the irritants that cause these health problems.

What is the most expensive HVAC system? ›

Geothermal ($3,000–$6,000): Also known as ground-source heat pumps, these are typically the most expensive HVAC systems to install since they use temperatures from the ground to heat or cool your home. They also require extensive labor and underground digging to place the piping.

Is it cheaper to install AC in the winter? ›

It's a common misconception that it's cheaper to replace your air conditioner (AC) in the winter. In reality, if you're looking to replace both your AC and furnace, then you should consider doing it together as most companies offer discounts on homes that are replacing both at the same time.

Is it more expensive to install AC in the summer? ›

You'll spend less money when you replace your air conditioner in the off-season. The savings come from: Avoiding yearly price increases. Doing more research.

What are the new AC requirements for 2023? ›

Beginning January 1, 2023, there will be two SEER-related changes. First, the minimum SEER rating will increase on HVAC equipment. Currently, new air conditioners must have a minimum SEER of 13 in northern states and 14 in southern states. In 2023, this will change to 14 and 15, respectively.

How much is refrigerant in 2023? ›

What is the cost of R-22 Freon per pound? The cost of R-22 generally ranges between $50 and $80 per pound as of early 2023.

What is considered old for HVAC? ›

Modern air conditioners can last between 15-20 years, and older air conditioners last around 10-12 years. The health and efficiency of your A/C depends on a number of factors, including whether or not you properly maintained the unit throughout its lifetime.

What time of year is best to buy AC unit? ›

The end of winter is the best time for you to purchase a new air conditioner! Why? Retailers have a high supply of air conditioning units during the winter months. When it's not hot out, there's a low buyer demand for air conditioning units.

What will replace freon in 2023? ›

What is the new HVAC refrigerant type in 2023? R-454b is a more environmentally friendly alternative to R-410a. The industry change will create much lower global warming potential.

Has the price of AC gone up? ›

Second, air conditioner manufacturers have already announced price increases for 2022. Although this doesn't come as a shock since everything else is going up as well, the rate by which prices are rising does come as a bit of a surprise – increases are ranging anywhere from 3% up to 20%.

How much does a new HVAC system add to the value of a house? ›

Installing a new HVAC system could increase your home's value by as much as $2,500-$3,000 or approximately 5-10% of the total value of your home. The typical cost of installing a new heating and cooling system is about $10,000.

Should I replace my 20 year old air conditioner? ›

The longevity of your system can also depend on other factors such as the quality of the original installation and how well the unit was maintained. But the general rule is that if your system is over ten years old, it's time to give the replacement option some serious consideration.

How much will a new AC unit save me? ›

An initial, one-time investment in a new HVAC system not only increases the value of your home, but also boosts money going back into your wallet. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, simply upgrading your heating and cooling unit can greatly reduce your monthly utility bills by 20–40%.

What is the most expensive part in a HVAC unit? ›

The most expensive part of an AC unit to replace and repair is the air compressor.

How can buying a new HVAC save you money? ›

Upfront costs usually seem to have more of an impact than incremental savings. However, at around $4,000 to $10,000 for a full HVAC replacement, the price is certainly not small. With newer HVAC systems, you save with lower utility bills, special incentives and not having to pay for repairs.

Are HVAC systems in short supply? ›

Supply chain issues continue to plague the HVAC marketplace in 2022, causing longer waits for customers. Diesel fuel costs and shortages are the latest factors contributing to delays, alongside continuing manufacturer setbacks and transportation challenges.

What is the longest lasting HVAC? ›

Some of the most popular home HVAC systems have the following life expectancy:
  • Window Unit AC — 10 years.
  • Residential single whole-home unit — 15 years.
  • Heat pumps — 15 years (and up to 20–25 years if well-maintained and in a well-insulated home)
  • Steam boilers — 15 to 35 years depending on the type of boiler.

Can HVAC systems last 30 years? ›

It is highly unlikely that your unit will last 30 years before needing to be replaced, however, if you follow a regular preventative maintenance routine and run it appropriately, your chances of keeping the same unit for around 15 years increases dramatically.

How do I know if my HVAC is good? ›

How to Know Your HVAC System Is Running at Top Performance
  1. Replace Filters. Check your HVAC filter every 90 days, more often (every 45-60 days) if you use your system heavily, have pets or suffer from allergies. ...
  2. Check Ductwork. ...
  3. Do a Smell Test. ...
  4. Listen for Strange Sounds. ...
  5. Perform Outdoor Maintenance. ...
  6. Review Your Utility Bill.
Dec 16, 2019

What SEER rating do I need? ›

Since January 2006, all residential air conditioners sold in the United States must have a SEER of at least 13. ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioners must have a SEER of at least 14. By upgrading from SEER 9 to SEER 14, you can reduce your energy consumption by more than 35%.

How long does an AC unit last? ›

While every unit is different, and every homeowner has a different understanding of when their central air conditioner is broken beyond repair, it's fair to say that, with proper maintenance and care, you can expect a good 15 to 20 years of cooling from a new high efficiency air conditioning system.

Can you put central air in a house without ductwork? ›

Installing a central air conditioner without ductwork is possible, but it might not be the best method for all homes. In some cases, installing central AC units in rooms with no vents or registers will provide minimal cooling and airflow to that room. This can also lead to higher utility bills.

How many sq ft will a 3 ton AC cool? ›

Is a 3-ton air conditioner enough for my house? Apart from the capacity of the air conditioner, you also need to account for things like your climate, house size, and existing insulation. In general, a 3-ton air conditioner will work well in an area of around 1,200 square feet.

What happens if an air conditioner is too large? ›

Air conditioners that are too big consume more energy, endure more wear and tear, and simply don't work as well or as long as an appropriately sized unit. This can cause higher utility bills, more repairs, and discomfort in your home.

How many square feet will a 2.5 ton AC unit cool? ›

1,201 to 1,500 square feet homes should use 2.5 tons. If your home size is higher than the number above but is less not more than 1,800 square feet, you can go for a three-ton A/C.

How long should it take to install an air conditioner? ›

A typical air conditioner installation typically takes between 4 and 8 hours to complete. These times can fluctuate depending on the size of the existing system, weather, and accessibility. Air conditioners are made up of two components: the indoor evaporator coil and an outdoor condenser.

Is it cheaper to run AC all the time? ›

Conclusion. The answer to the question “is it cheaper to leave your air conditioner on all day?” is a resounding yes. You'll save money on your energy and repair bills, especially during the summer months.

Where is the best place to install air conditioning unit Why? ›

Away from direct sunlight as much as possible (the south or south east side of your home away from the afternoon sun is often a good location). In an open space where air can flow around the unit. Accessible for carrying out maintenance and repairs. Installed on a rigid flat surface if possible to reduce vibration.

Is Trane or carrier better? ›

Energy efficiency:

In the comparison of Carrier Vs. Trane air conditioner in terms of energy efficiency, Trane finds its superiority over the latter one. All the models belonging to the three tiers produced by Trane are more energy-efficient than that in Carrier.

What is the quietest HVAC system? ›

Ductless 'mini split' systems like Mitsubishi home air conditioning systems are the quietest air conditioners on the market today. With an average noise level of 32 decibels, ductless systems are not only whisper quiet, they offer some of the highest SEER ratings and most efficient performance on the market.

What is the cheapest temp to keep AC at? ›

Energy Saver recommends setting your air conditioner to 78 degrees when you wake up, 85 degrees during the day, and 82 degrees when you're sleeping to save the most money.

Do you save more money by turning off the AC? ›

Your AC will actually run longer overall if it is left on all day instead of being shut off. If you turn it off for part of the day, it runs less and results in more energy savings for you. In almost all cases, it will save you money to shut off your AC while you are away from home.

Is it cheaper to cool a house or keep it cool? ›

Even though your cooling unit will have to run for a while to get to the temperature you prefer, it still saves more energy — and money — than running it constantly.

Will HVAC prices go up in 2023? ›

HVAC System Prices

HVAC prices are expected to rise in 2023 because of the new SEER2 standards. HVAC system prices will occur through installation and repair costs to homeowners and business owners. Increased prices for HVAC equipment will likely jump between 15% to 25% in the early months of 2023.

What is the new HVAC technology for 2023? ›

By the beginning of 2023, new cooling systems will have refrigerants with a low potential for global warming as part of HVAC industry trends. Manufacturers will have to build heat pumps and air conditioning units compatible with R-454b. It's more environmentally friendly and mildly flammable.

What is the projected growth for HVAC? ›

The Worldwide HVAC Industry is Expected to Reach $309.62 Billion by 2028: Surge in Airport Modernization Projects Worldwide Drives Growth. Dublin, Feb. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "HVAC Market - Global Outlook & Forecast 2023-2028" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

What is the future growth in HVAC? ›

Future of HVAC Innovations. HVAC technology of the future will achieve sustainability, cost efficiency, and enhanced comfort levels by becoming more environmentally friendly, using automation and intelligent tech, and analyzing data for peak performance.

What is the most efficient HVAC system? ›

When it comes to heating, a heat pump will typically be the most efficient choice. Geothermal heat pumps access thermal energy below ground and are able to transfer around 4 units of heat for every unit of electrical energy they consume, making them the most efficient HVAC system for both heating and cooling.

Is replacing HVAC a good investment? ›

While you're unlikely to get your full return on investment, you might get as much as 20-30% back when you sell your home. Adding a new HVAC can increase in your home's resale value, which will raise the overall market value. The average cost of an HVAC system is roughly $10,000 or more including installation costs.

What state has the highest demand for HVAC? ›

States with industries doing well generally have higher rates of construction and a higher demand for HVAC professionals. For example, WalletHub (2022) placed Washington as having the strongest economy of all the states. Utah was second, followed by California, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

How many years is a HVAC good for? ›

A: On Average, 10-20 Years

Here are the average life expectancies of different HVAC systems: Air conditioners and heat pumps: 10 to 15 years. Furnaces and boilers: 15 to 20 years. Geothermal: 30 years.

What state has the highest job growth rate for HVAC? ›

Florida. Florida is considered the top state for HVAC technician jobs, with 33,210 positions filled as of May 2020.

Is HVAC slowing down? ›

One thing for sure is that the overall HVAC services market shows no signs of slowing down, and demand is expected to continue in the new year.

Do you think HVAC is in high demand? ›

If you're wanting to find a new, well-paying career, look no further than heating, ventilation and air conditioning. HVAC is one of the quickest-growing careers available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts careers in this trade will increase by 13 percent by 2028.

Where is the HVAC industry headed? ›

The compound annual growth rate or CAGR of the industry between 2020 and 2030 is supposed to be 3.9 percent. HVAC is already big business now, and it appears that nothing about that will change in the decade to come. The industry is only going to become more profitable.

What will replace Freon in 2023? ›

What is the new HVAC refrigerant type in 2023? R-454b is a more environmentally friendly alternative to R-410a. The industry change will create much lower global warming potential.

What is the SEER rating for AC in 2023? ›

The Minimum SEER rating in 2023 is 14. This is an efficiency rating mandated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that all air conditioning systems must achieve in order to be legally sold in the United States.

What will replace R-410a in 2023? ›

R410-a will be replaced by A2L refrigerants, which are a class of refrigerants that have higher efficiency and lower GWP (Global Warming Potential). The two foremost R410a replacements are R-32 and R-454B. R-32: Zero ozone depletion.


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