How to Calculate the Cost of a New AC Unit

Get the formula homeowners need to know!

New AC Unit, installation

In Southern California, HVAC is no longer seen as an optional luxury, but as a necessity in today’s climate. And if your system is no longer reliable or costing more and more to run each year, it may well be time to consider replacement.

First, think about what repairs you need on your existing system. We suggest multiplying the age of your unit by the repair costs you’ve been quoted to get your AC back up to peak performance. If that number is more than what new equipment will cost, it’s time to start looking.

But technology has changed a lot in recent years, and the reality is that a new, properly sized air conditioner for your home will not only cool your home more effectively but likely cost less to run than what you have currently. With today’s electricity bills, who doesn’t want that?

When it comes to choosing a unit, many homeowners ask us how best to calculate the actual cost of new AC equipment. Here’s what to know.

In general, a full HVAC system can generally cost between 4K- 10K, with the national average around 7K. These prices are dependent on issues including cost of the components, installation, labor, and accessibility. Whether or not you’re also replacing or installing ductwork for the first time in your home will play a role in determining that number as well. Is your house design relatively straightforward or do you have a historic residence that will require custom-made equipment?

As we’ve mentioned before in this space, the size of your house also makes a big difference when it comes to choosing the right unit. Don’t be fooled: bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to choosing a system. A too-large unit will have to turn off and on more frequently when cooling, resulting in greater wear and tear on the system, more frequent breakdowns and replacement costs, and far more energy use (and expense) than necessary.  A too-small system will also cost you in terms of high-energy usage and more stress on the equipment. Consult with a qualified HVAC expert to determine exactly how much energy (also referred to as BTUs) you’ll need per square foot.

One final caveat: cheaper upfront costs aren’t always the best indicator you’re getting a deal when it comes to new HVAC systems. The wrong equipment or the right equipment poorly installed can cost you thousands later on in repairs, replacement and excess utility bills. Believe it or not, there is a science to heating and air conditioning, as well as strict federal and state guidelines surrounding the industry. What is a bargain today may be a nightmare tomorrow. Having the right information about your purchase as well as properly trained technicians to help you select and install your unit is always the prudent choice.



Is it time for a new HVAC system in your home? Call the experts at Air-Tro today for advice. We’re the heating and air conditioning experts the Southland trusts, since 1969! (626) 357-3535.