How Much Does AC Cost to Install?

Air conditioning is not only becoming more common in the Portland, Oregon area, but it’s increasingly considered a requirement, especially if you’re putting your house up for sale. Since winter is a perfect time to install AC, let’s take a look at some factors that go into the pricing of a new unit.

Consideration #1: Brand

Brand plays a big part of the overall price. Cost varies greatly by brand and there are pros and cons to each. Here at Comfort Heating and Cooling, we install a wide variety of brands in order to provide our customers with the most choice. Our technicians will work closely with you to determine the best brand for your budget and home. Additionally, as a Ruud Pro Partner, we’re experts in installing these efficient and affordable systems.

Consideration #2: House Size

It’s important that a new air conditioning system is correctly sized for your home’s size. Central air conditioner size is measured in tons, which is a measurement of its ability to cool a home. A one ton system can cool 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) in one hour. (A BTU is the energy needed to cool (or heat) one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.) The larger your house, the more tons your system will need in order to efficiently heat or cool. The general rule of thumb is that for every 400-600 square feet of floorspace, one ton is required. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a bigger system, regardless of home size, will give you the best results. You’ll be stuck with high energy bills and a wasteful system. Learn more about determining the best HVAC size.

Consideration #3: Ductwork

Ductwork is a significant factor in installation costs. If your house has old ductwork or no ductwork at all, it’s a labor-intensive process to install new ducts. Ductwork installation requires intensive custom work that can require multiple days of work. If your house is already ducted, then installation will be much more economical. Additionally, lack of ductwork is often the reason homeowners decide to go with a ductless mini-split. Many times, it’s simply more economical to avoid ducting.

Consideration #4: Type of System

Going along with the ductwork consideration of #3, the type of system you choose has a huge impact on your price. A traditional AC system will vary in price from a ductless system. Ductless systems are great in a number of situations, like when your home isn’t ducted, as we already mentioned, or if you need to cool an addition, an ADU, or your home has baseboard heating. These systems are generally much more inexpensive to install and they’re often quicker, too. Central AC is more expensive but it has benefits like the ability to cool the entire house at once. If you’re not sure which type of system is best for your home, our experienced technicians will outline the pros and cons of each.

Consideration #5: Efficiency

All air conditioners have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, which measures the efficiency of the unit. SEER ratings range from 13-20, with the higher end providing more energy efficiency. A higher efficiency model costs more upfront but will cost less to operate over time. There’s a balance to deciding the best SEER level for your home, depending on budget, projected usage, how long you plan to stay in your home, and more.

These are just some of the factors that go into calculating the price for an AC install. Want to get more specific? Contact us today for a complimentary quote. We’ll be happy to discuss your needs and your budget in order to find the best system for your home.










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