How Much Does a New AC Unit Cost on Average?

Upgrading your air conditioner will shave around 40% off your cooling energy costs. But if you’re a new homeowner, you might not know where to start when replacing your unit. 

First, figure out the square footage for your house. It will help you figure out how big a unit you need.

Next, you need to answer the most common question, “How much does a new AC unit cost?” It’s not a straight-forward answer.

Use this guide to calculate an estimate for your new AC. This way you know what to expect when you’re ready to hire an AC installer.

How Much Does a New AC Unit Cost?

The price range for energy-efficient central AC units runs from $1,200 to $2,000. To narrow down the price for your budget, you need to know the size of unit you need.

Calculate the square footage for your home. Find the number below to see the tonnage for your new AC unit:

  • 1,000 – 1,200 sqft needs a 1.5 ton unit
  • 1,200 – 1,400 sqft needs a 2 ton unit
  • 1,400 – 1,500 sqft needs a 2.5 ton unit
  • 1,500 – 2,000 sqft needs a 3 ton unit

It might tempt you to buy a smaller unit to save a little money. That’s a bad idea.

Undersized AC units don’t have enough power to keep up with hot temperatures. They constantly run and your energy bill gets out of hand.

Additional AC Installation Charges

The AC unit isn’t the only cost to factor into your final budget. Don’t forget these important upgrade costs.


Many times when your AC unit loses efficiency, it’s because of the ductwork leaks. When you’re ready to replace your AC unit, check the ducts, as well. 

On average, new ductwork runs about $3,000 with professional installation. It’s a big investment, but worth it to make your system energy-efficient. 

Installation Materials and Labor

You get what you pay for when hiring an AC installation company. Look for someone that’ll work with you and answer your questions. Ask for proof of insurance and their licenses, as well.

Add $500 to your budget to cover labor and material costs. Hiring a trusted expert ensures your AC unit will last 20 to 25 years.

How to Lower Your New Home AC Price

A new air conditioner unit is a pricey right of passage for every homeowner. Don’t worry too much about the cost. There are ways to save money on your AC installation cost.

Government Tax Credits

Certain types of AC units qualify for a rebate from the government. The amount you get back goes up to $500. Check with Energy Star to figure out if your unit qualifies

Manufacturer Rebates

Rebates for the main AC unit are rare. Look for rebates on the extra items you need for an AC unit upgrade, instead. 

Rebates on items like digital thermostats run around $50. The trick to finding these deals is to check the manufacturer’s website. They’ll have a list available based on where you live.

Keep Your Home Comfortable With a New AC

No one likes sweating through a hot summer. Homeowners in hot climates know too well the dangers of heat exposure.

How much does a new AC unit cost? It costs as much as is necessary to protect your family from the heat. When making your budget, keep that in mind alongside everything else in this guide.

Check out our blog for more home improvement tips.