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Here's How Much A/Cs Cost Around Indianapolis

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When your Indianapolis cooling system fails and it’s time to replace, the big question on homeowners’ minds is, “How much do air conditioners cost?” This isn’t necessarily a straightforward question, as many factors affect the price an individual homeowner pays for air conditioner installation.

Not all air conditioners are created equal and cooling equipment is not “one size fits all.” If you try to search “how much do air conditioners cost” online, you are going to see what we mean – many different units, and prices, pop up. In fact, resist the urge to search air conditioner cost online, because the only way to get an accurate answer to the how much do air conditioners cost question is to work with your trusted, local HVAC contractor. What your neighbor pays is going to be different from your cost, because your homes are different, your household is different, and your preferences are different.

While this blog isn’t meant to give you a specific answer regarding how much do air conditioners cost, we are here to give you an idea on what to expect to pay for a new air conditioner. Our NATE-certified cooling professionals discuss the different factors that affect air conditioner price so you gain some insight to help guide your purchase decision. 

When it’s time to replace your air conditioner, learn the personalized answer for how much do air conditioners cost – call Williams Comfort Air to schedule and estimate. We account for all the factors below to give you an exact price for a new air conditioning system and installation.

How Much Do Air Conditioners Cost: Approximate Costs

While an estimate from your local HVAC contractor is the only way to get an accurate price for your air conditioner replacement project, many homeowners in Indianapolis want to plan their budget ahead of time. Average costs help you establish a good range to start your budget.

So, how much do air conditioners cost the average homeowner? For central air conditioning installation, the average price homeowners report is around $4,630. Remember, to get an average, some people pay more or less than this amount. The average range for how much do air conditioners cost is between $3,350 and $5,910. Also remember, this is just the average – depending on the options you choose and other factors, it is possible to pay more than this.

Air conditioner replacement does not pose an insignificant expense to most homeowners in Indianapolis – it’s a major upgrade project and investment into your home. As you plan your budget, keep these averages in mind, but also know that the factors discussed below do impact the final answer to how much do air conditioners cost.

How Much Do Air Conditioners Cost: Capacity

You’ve probably heard an air conditioner uses a measure of tons – but this is not how much the unit weighs! Tons is a measure of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. 

This term is actually rooted in air conditioning history! Before the air conditioners we know today were invented, buildings and some homes were cooled with ice taken from water sources during the winter. Each building or home required so many tons of ice for cooling.

So, the ton measure for air conditioner capacity describes the amount of heat required to melt a one-ton block of ice. In air conditioning, one ton equals 12,000 BTUhs (BTU stands for British Thermal Units, a measure of heat used in the HVAC industry). BTUh is a measure that indicates the amount of heat (in BTUs) that an air conditioner is able to remove from a home in an hour’s time.

To size an air conditioner right for an Indianapolis home, an HVAC technician determines the home’s cooling load, which tells us how many tons an air conditioner needs to be for adequate cooling. Many factors go into cooling load, not just the square footage of your home. The higher a home’s cooling load, the more tons an air conditioner needs to be. In general, the higher capacity the air conditioner, the higher the cost. 

Residential air conditioners typically start at 1.5 tons and go up by .5 all the way to 5 tons. Though size of the home isn’t the only factor, smaller homes do typically require smaller capacity air conditioners, while larger homes need bigger capacity units. Now, don’t think that if you pay more for a bigger capacity air conditioner that you will get better cooling – an under or oversized air conditioner is a waste of money because it doesn’t cool efficiently and produces other issues.

How Much Do Air Conditioners Cost: Energy Efficiency

A unit’s energy efficiency rating is another significant factor that affects how much do air conditioners cost. Air conditioner energy efficiency is measured by SEER, which stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. In Indiana, all split system air conditioners (an AC with indoor and outdoor components, common in Indianapolis area homes) installed January 1, 2015 and on must have a minimum SEER of 13 – this means this is the lowest SEER rating legally allowed to be installed in a Central Indiana home for a new split system air conditioner.

While 13 SEER is the lowest efficiency air conditioner available in Indiana, air conditioners currently go all the way up to 26 SEER. In general, the higher the SEER number, the higher the unit cost. There is a benefit to spending more on a higher efficiency air conditioner – they use less energy to cool your home, which results in savings on your energy bill. SEER isn’t like capacity, where a certain size is needed – Indianapolis homeowners can benefit greatly from a more efficient air conditioner, just not a higher capacity one.

How Much Do Air Conditioners Cost: Features

Features are one of the elements that set different air conditioner models apart from one another. Features also play a role in the how much do air conditioners cost question. In general, a basic model without enhanced features costs less than one with all the bells and whistles.

So, why would a homeowner want to pay more for an air conditioner with enhanced features? The features an air conditioner manufacturer puts in their equipment aren’t worthless – most features are designed to produce a better experience for users or to enhance a unit’s energy efficiency.

Some popular air conditioner features that add to air conditioner unit price include:

  • Sound ratings: Air conditioners make a bit of noise when they run – some find this a bother while other homeowners don’t notice the sound. Units with lower decibel sound ratings use components such as compressor technology and insulation to lessen operating noise.
  • Communicating technology: Some advanced air conditioning systems feature communicating technology, which offers a lot of different functionalities such as maintenance and performance alerts. 
  • Warranty: Warranty protection is important when you buy an air conditioner, as it gives you coverage in the event of certain types of system failures. Extended warranties are available for many models, which add cost to your purchase price.

How Much Do Air Conditioners Cost: Installation Requirements

How much do air conditioners cost isn’t just a matter of the unit price – you need the system installed to benefit your household! Unit price is one thing, while installed price is another. Air conditioning installation is absolutely a job for a professional – don’t damage your investment with a DIY installation attempt.

In an ideal air conditioner installation, you pay the cost of the appropriate unit as well as an HVAC contractor’s labor price for the job. Not all air conditioner installations are straightforward – your home may need additional work to accommodate your new cooling system. 

Some factors that increase the final amount of an air conditioner installation include:

  • New ducts: Split system air conditioners are a forced air system – the cooled air is forced through your ducts, from the unit into your living areas. If your home doesn’t already have ducts (more common in older houses), a duct system absolutely must be installed – this runs a few thousand dollars in the average home. Even some homes that already have ducts need new duct systems – a poorly designed existing duct system hinders air conditioning efficiency and your comfort. Ducts have a useful service life of 10 to 15 years before problems typically arise – it may also be time to replace your ducts with new ones.
  • Duct repairs: Up to 30 percent of your heating and cooling energy is lost through leaking ducts, which is a substantial portion of your energy bills! If you plan to install a new air conditioner, it’s smart to have your ducts evaluated and sealing or other repairs performed to improve the overall efficiency of your home and cooling system.
  • Home modifications: Some extra work is needed for installation in a few scenarios. If you want to relocate your air conditioner’s installed position from where your old unit sits, new refrigerant lines may need ran as well as electrical and possibly an outdoor pad for the air conditioner to sit. Upgraded electrical, such as a dedicated circuit, is often smart during new air conditioner installation, as these units consume a lot of power.

How Much Do Air Conditioners Cost? Find Out Now

Determining how much do air conditioners cost isn’t necessarily an easy process. You need the help of an Indianapolis air conditioning company who knows the right way to determine the appropriate air conditioner for your home.

Williams Comfort Air’s NATE-certified cooling technicians thoroughly evaluate your home and cooling needs to find the right equipment fit for your home. We inspect your house to determine any other work needed to ensure your new air conditioner is able to do its job. Lastly, we set you up with quality equipment and perform reliable installation, so your new air conditioner keeps you cool for many years to come.

How much do air conditioners cost? Find out today – schedule an estimate from Williams Comfort Air now.

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