How Much Does a New AC Unit Cost

April 5, 2018

It’s our job to make purchasing a new air conditioning unit as transparent, efficient and cost-effective as possible for you and your family. We understand how the process of purchasing a new AC unit can seem complicated or stressful if you aren’t empowered with the right information and tools you require to make those essential decisions. After all, having the best AC unit for you, your home and your lifestyle, all that fits into your budget is important. The last thing you need to worry about is your new AC unit, financially most of all.

At, we’re here to help you. We’re here to help you determine what product is right for your home and your budget. It’s one of our biggest commitments to you: The process of purchasing a new AC unit should not be complicated.

To evaluate and determine the ultimate cost of a new AC unit, one that’s right for your home, let’s take a look at the primary factors to consider.


The first step in your search for a new AC unit that works for you and your budget is to find out which type of AC system you need based on home size and climate where you live.

In the Sun Belt, where temperatures remain moderate year-round and summers are hotter, having your AC unit operational all year long is something to consider when evaluating size or functionality. For those who live in cooler climates with more distinct winter seasons, AC usage is less consistent and thus may allow for smaller units or less complex systems.

For smaller homes, a window AC unit could be enough to keep it cool during the warmer days of spring and summer in a cooler climate, however, a larger unit and more traditional central AC system might still be necessary if you live in the West or South. The cost of installing a window-mounted unit is generally cheaper at around $250 to $450, but it’s less powerful than a central AC system.

In the same price range are portable units, which are self-contained mobile air conditioners that can cool specific spaces such as dens or even garages as long as there’s a window for hot air ventilation.

For larger homes with multiple rooms, however, a central AC system is the best choice—regardless of climate.

For central AC, you then have two options: package and split. As their names imply, a package unit has its air handler and condenser in one container and is more commonly found on rooftops. Split systems, on the other hand, have a separate air handler in one unit and the condenser in another. Both of these central air systems generally run very close in price.


You then also need to have knowledge of what AC tonnage refers to and an idea of what your home may require. AC tonnage refers to the amount of heat that a unit can remove from your home in one hour. One ton of air conditioning, for example, removes 12,000 BTUs (British thermal units) of air per hour. The bigger the AC tonnage, the more BTUs of air removed. The price of the AC unit itself also varies according to the tonnage.

To determine the appropriate air conditioning tonnage for your home, you need to calculate the exact square footage of the space that needs cooling. You should also consider other architectural factors such as ceiling height, airflow, the amount of sunlight your home receives during the peak of the afternoon, the number of windows, heat-producing appliances in each room, etc.  


Another important data point when determining the right AC unit for your home is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating, and it rates the ultimate efficiency of an air conditioning unit. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit. Keep in mind that a higher SEER also means the air conditioning unit will cost more than those with lower ratings.


The AC’s brand also has a lot to do with how much you are going to pay. As with all consumer products, some brands are more expensive than others so it’s great to compare each potential brand to learn what differentiates each. Brands like Carrier, Lennox and Trane are usually all in the top-tier price range, while Goodman, Rheem and Heil fall in the mid-range. The most affordable AC brands include Tempstar, Payne and Coleman.


The cost of central AC installation by a professional HVAC contractor is another large factor in determining the final price of a new AC unit. The central AC installation cost depends on several factors, including the difficulty of installation (rooftop, terrain, tight spacing, size of your home and the complexity of your recommended system), the parts and material needed, as well as the experience and reputation of the HVAC contractor you choose.

To better help you determine those costs, let’s take a look at how much it would be to purchase a new AC unit, depending on where you live. We’ve identified markets below where currently has a large customer base. Keep in mind that these figures represent average AC installation costs. The final cost of your new AC could be lower or higher than what you’re going to see below.

New AC Unit Cost 

Phoenix, AZ

The average new AC unit cost in Phoenix AZ stands at $5819. That figure could fluctuate up to $10,600, depending on the price tag of the unit and the difficulty of installation. The cost of the central air conditioner unit, labor, materials, equipment, clean-up fees, and other project costs are included in that total amount.

Tucson, AZ

Tucson residents can expect to spend an average of $6,414 for a new air conditioner for their homes. However, if the system you decide to buy is a high-end brand name, or if installing the system poses a challenge for the HVAC contractor, your total central air conditioner cost could reach upwards of $10,000. The cost of labor, materials, including the necessary chemicals, and other project costs are already included in the estimate.

Houston, TX

Considering all the factors mentioned above, you can expect to spend, on average, $5,845 for a new air conditioner. Again, the cost could reach up to $11,000 if it’s a high-end brand name unit and the installation is more complicated. This estimate includes the cost of the air conditioning unit and other materials, labor costs, and all other project costs such as surface preparation, components, equipment and cleanup charges.

Dallas, TX

For those who live in Dallas, the average cost of a new AC unit can be pegged at $5,981, which is a figure that already considers the cost of the AC unit, the average labor costs, the materials and equipment to be used during the installation, and other project costs such as surface preparation and post-installation cleanup. The final air conditioner cost in Dallas could reach up to $11,000 due to factors such as AC unit price and complications involved in the installation process.

San Antonio, TX

The average cost of a new air conditioning unit in San Antonio stands at $5,763, although high-end systems and the degree of difficulty of the installation could push that total cost up to $10,198. The amounts stated include the cost of the AC unit, labor, and other materials the HVAC contractor would need to install your new AC properly.

Austin, TX

Prepare a budget of approximately $5,488 if you want to install a new air conditioner in Austin, Texas. That figure, of course, is just the average, as the cost could go up to $10,000 because of factors such as having a high-end system installed, or any difficulties the HVAC contractor might face while installing it. Labor costs and materials are also included in the above estimate.

Corpus Christi, TX

Installing a new air conditioning system in Corpus Christi could cost you an average of $4,539, which should cover the cost of the AC unit itself as well as labor and materials. This figure, however, could still rise if you chose a more expensive high-end AC system. The difficulty of its installation could also affect the final cost, which, in the case of Corpus Christi, could be as high as $8,500.

Fort Worth, TX

Homeowners who want a new central air conditioning in Fort Worth must prepare to shell out $5,981 on average. If they chose a high-end system or if installing it proves to be tough for the HVAC contractor, they should be ready to spend up to $11,000.  Aside from the labor costs, that figure also takes into account factors such as the AC unit price and other materials involved in the installation.

How to Determine the Quality of Your AC Unit

Next, when considering the total cost of installing an AC unit, it’s also recommended for you to do everything you can to ensure optimal performance for years to come. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Make sure your new AC unit is the right size for your home. HVAC professionals can help you do this by taking measurements of the space and performing load calculations to guarantee your new AC unit isn’t too big or small for your home.
  2. Have the right airflow. Weak or too much airflow affects your unit’s performance and leads to hot spots within your home as well as higher energy bills. For optimal airflow, have a professional check the volume and make the necessary adjustments on the ducts or vents.
  3. Inspect the duct system. It needs to be clean, in good condition, and free of leaks to help your AC unit run at peak performance. Anything less than that will affect the performance of your unit.
  4. Check the refrigerant levels. Not having sufficient refrigerant means higher energy consumption and moisture levels in your home’s air. Have the HVAC professional installing your system check the refrigerant to make sure it has enough.

Shop for a new AC Unit with

With all the factors you have to take into consideration, shopping for a new AC unit can be a lot to consider. However, if you buy from, you will experience for yourself how easy we have made it for you to evaluate and determine the best options for you. Options that not only fit you and your family’s home and lifestyle but also your budget.

At, you will be given the total cost, including professional installation, immediately upfront. All you have to do is visit our site and follow our easy step-by-step instructions. From there, you will find everything you need to know about cost and so much more. We’ve made efficiency and transparency two of our biggest pillars, creating a new way to AC, where we work each and every day to ensure your experience with us quick, hassle-free and aligns with your budget. 

Begin your experience with us today!

Why Our Clients Love Us


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