What Does Central Air Cost?

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One of the first questions people ask about upgrading to central air conditioning is the cost. It is an investment in your comfort, as well as making your home more attractive to homebuyers if you ever want to sell it. Once you factor in the cost of installing ductwork (if you need it), the condenser and professional installation, you will have a better idea of what you will be expected to pay.

Cost of Ductwork
If you do not have any ductwork in your home, you will need to have it installed to use central air conditioning. The average cost to add ductwork is around $1,000, but it could be less or even thousands more, depending on your home. Older homes present unique challenges to experts installing ductwork, particularly relating to the size of the home or the condition of the attic, foundation or basement. As a result, not all homes are ideal for ductwork. Before you purchase any equipment, request a consultation to determine if ductwork may be effectively installed for your home. If it cannot, you must consider other avenues for air conditioning.

Cost of Air Conditioning Condenser
Many people who have existing ductwork have a furnace system that can double as an air handler for the condenser. The cost of the condenser itself may be around $2,500-$4,000, depending on the size of the home, plus the brand and efficiency of the condenser. The condenser is installed outside the home, but usually located very close to the home. Particularly efficient machines are often eligible for tax credits in the year you purchase and install them, so you should factor in these credits into the total cost of the machine. If you buy a machine in 2016 with a specific Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), you can receive a $300 tax credit when you file your 2016 taxes. Should you want to purchase a cage to protect your condenser from small animals or from theft, you will need to pay an additional nominal price for the cage.

Labor and Professional Service
When you request quotes for the total cost of putting central air into your home, be sure to ask how labor and professional service are included into the final estimate. Some companies roll the cost of the installation into the price for the condenser, so you have a streamlined price. Others may tally the cost of the labor separately. Many companies offer discounts on a long-term maintenance contract when you install a new machine. Since arranging for regular maintenance is almost as important as getting proper installation, you may choose to prepay for routine professional upkeep as a way to protect your investment.

Paying to install central air conditioning in your home costs thousands of dollars. However, over a period of 10-15 years for the life of the condenser, this cost may make the difference in greater comfort and higher indoor air quality in the summer. When you need expert guidance about air conditioning installation or hot water heater repair in Sacramento, ask Ace Plumbing.