Your Guide To a New AC Unit | Cost, Installation and More 

December 15, 2020

There are plenty of reasons to consider buying a new AC unit. If your central AC unit is on its last leg, or you simply wish it was more efficient, you might wonder what installation will cost, and how to choose the best model.

Installing air conditioner equipment is an investment, for sure, so it’s important to make the right choice. If you follow the advice of our expert staff at, you’ll know just what you need to do.

Air Conditioner Size

In any region with a moderate or hot climate, buying the right size air conditioner is important. Although a lot of people think that a bigger air conditioner is the best way to go, that’s actually not the most efficient option.

When determining which size new AC unit you’ll need, take a look at the chart below to get an estimate.

Most units range from one to five tons, which is a measurement of output. Figuring out the right size is important because a unit that is too large can be just as big of a problem as a unit that is too small. A model with insufficient output will run until it breaks. If the output is too high, the unit will short cycle and turn off before it conditions the space. Lowering humidity is an AC unit’s primary function, and it can only do that if it runs long enough.

Actual dimensions are another concern, but they usually don’t matter quite as much. You typically only need to worry about the dimensions of the unit if you’re trying to fit it into a tight space.

Central AC Unit Efficiency

Although output is a big part of the cooling you feel, efficiency is also an important factor to consider in the decision-making process. Most units measure efficiency through a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER ratings range from 14 to 26, increasing every year or two.

SEER ratings can be misleading since the number is generalized for a variety of cooling environments. In short, if you live in an area with hot summers, efficiency makes a bigger difference in your home cooling and your energy bills.

If you’re not sure whether to get an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating, you may need to do a little research into the best AC units for a hot climate. It also depends on the way you plan to use it. If you relocate to a colder part of the country during the summer, you might not need the same efficiency and output as someone who lives in a warmer one year-round.

Popular Brands for AC Units

Once you start getting a feel for what you’re looking for in an air conditioner, you can start to browse the latest brands and models. If it all starts to get overwhelming, don’t worry. At, we are here to make it as simple as possible.

Since our goal is to help you tailor the AC unit to fit perfectly with your home, we carry a wide variety of options. Popular brands like Trane, Rheem and Day and Night have earned our respect, and we think they’ll earn yours, too. Each one has its own reputation, which might include high efficiency, quiet operation or the best warranties in the business.

Cost for Installing Air Conditioner

Before you commit, it’s always a good idea to consider the cost and what is involved with the purchase. When you buy a car, you can generally expect it to be ready to drive right off the lot. A central AC unit needs professional installation, which partly explains why you spend at least a few thousand dollars to get a new one. Getting a quote for an air conditioner involves:

  • The unit’s equipment
  • Preparing your home
  • Complete installation and testing

What you pay depends on a few factors. If you’re replacing an old AC unit and everything else is in good condition, you will pay a different amount than if you need new ductwork or significant repairs.

You probably have a friend or family member who installed their own air conditioner and saved money, but you should know that DIY labor usually results in a bad deal. It’s good to remember that efficiency is a matter of installation as well as equipment. A bad placement could cost you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the unit. If something goes wrong, installing it without a professional often voids the warranty.

Here at, our process allows you to get the best deals on top-quality units without having to worry about high-pressure sales or the perils of doing it yourself. Once you see how it works, you’ll appreciate the advantage of being able to make your own choices with all the benefits of professional work.

How to Choose a New AC Unit

At this point, you’re almost ready to choose a new AC unit. Start by setting a budget, and keep in mind that the higher-end models with larger output tend to cost the most. Select the type of air conditioner that you need, like split-system AC, ductless AC or packaged AC. Prioritize your expectations on special features like a variable-speed motor or quiet operation. As you browse through brands and models, remember to look for:

  • Tonnage range, especially if your home is particularly large or small
  • SEER rating
  • Warranty

Choose a good week for installing air conditioner equipment in your home. If your current unit may break down at any moment, you might want to schedule as soon as possible. Otherwise, select a time that works best for you. Installation doesn’t take very long, and you might have the whole thing done within a couple of days after purchase. You’ll just need to be available for the site inspection and to allow the contractor to complete the project.

Picking a new AC unit is a gift that you give to yourself every year for more than a decade. It’s worth getting one that will meet all your needs. To discover how much better your life could be with a central AC unit that’s perfect for you, visit for more information.

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Chris Heronemus
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