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How Much Does a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner Cost?

HVAC prices are rising and summers are getting hotter. That is why a high efficiency air conditioning system is the perfect addition to the any home. While the upfront costs may be higher than expected, the long-term benefits are sure to outweigh those initial fears. Continue reading to see the average costs of high efficiency air conditioning systems.

The Costs 

  • The typical minimum cost of high efficiency air conditioning systems is $1,176.
  • The typical maximum cost of high efficiency air conditioning systems is $2,000.

In addition to the cost of the high efficiency air conditioning unit, homeowners will incur some additional costs related to the project. The average labor cost for a heating and cooling service technician to install the unit is $688.75. If air ducts need to be repaired or added to the home, this adds $2,000 or more to the overall project cost. Some cities charge a permit and inspection fee for the installation of an air conditioning system. If an old unit is being removed, the homeowner may have to pay a disposal fee and a reclamation fee for collecting of the chemical refrigerant contained within the unit.

Materials and Sub-Types

There are different types of high efficiency air conditioning systems that homeowners can select. The main types include:

  • Packaged central air conditioners. The condenser, evaporator and compressor are all housed within a single metal cabinet which is placed on the rooftop or a concrete slab next to the house. These systems can contain a furnace or electric heating coils as well.
  • Split system central air conditioners. In these systems, the compressor and condenser are contained in a metal cabinet outdoors. The evaporator is situated indoors. It may be connected to a heat pump.

Advantages of High Efficiency Air Conditioning Systems

There are many advantages to the installation of a high efficiency air conditioning system. Foremost, homeowners stand to reap a significant reduction on their cooling costs by replacing an old inefficient central air conditioner or room air conditioner with a high efficiency system that has a SEER rating of 14 or higher. Homeowners may also be able to enjoy a tax credit for the purchase of a high efficiency cooling system. Today's newest high efficiency air conditioning systems utilize an environmentally friendly coolant known as R-410A or brand name Puron. It does not deplete the ozone layer like Freon, the old chemical coolant in air conditioning systems. High efficiency air conditioning systems also dehumidify the home which adds to the comfort level. Most also include a high MERV rated filter that captures dust and microscopic air pollutants.

Disadvantages of High Efficiency Air Conditioning Systems

Installation of a high efficiency air conditioning system is not a DIY project. In split cooling systems, the length of tubing between the indoor and outdoor units should not exceed 50 feet, which places limitations on where each unit can be situated. The outdoor units can be large, about the size of an oven. The outdoor unit can be damaged by the weather or accidentally punctured by animals and people. Some people feel that the conditioned air produced by these units becomes stale due to the recycling of air rather than the drawing in of new air. The cooling system also requires access to the wastewater system for drainage of the condensate.

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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