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How Much Does A New AC Unit Cost?

A new AC unit cost the average homeowner between $3,200 to $4,200 in the US but possibly more in Slidell Louisiana considering the climate and regulations. When setting your budget, keep in mind this is for a basic 14 Seer. If you need to set a budget for a high efficacy system we cover the new air conditioner cost for multi-stage outdoor units in a lower section in this article.

Outdoor AC Unit Tonnage Electric AC Unit Cost 14 SEER Heat Pump AC Unit Cost 14 SEER
2 Ton AC Unit $3,200 $3,500
2.5 Ton AC Unit $3,200 $3,700
3 Ton AC Unit $3,400 $3,700
3.5 Ton AC Unit $3,800 $3,900
4 Ton AC Unit $3,800 $3,900
5 Ton AC Unit $3,900 $4,200

What’s Included In The Outdoor Air Conditioner Replacement

  • Remove and install a new outdoor AC unit/condenser.
  • Removal & disposal of the current outdoor condenser.
  • Install a new condenser to city code.
  • Installs disconnect & whip, proper max circuit protection fuses, and locking caps.
  • Acid flush line set to accommodate new refrigerant.
  • Calibrate system to manufacture standards
  • 10-year parts warranty & 1-year labor warranty

What is the difference between a heat pump and an electric outdoor air conditioner system?

If you’re looking for a quick top-level explanation of the differences in AC unit types we can start with an electric AC unit. An electric air conditioner unit matches up with both gas or straight elected HVAC systems, it also only runs when you are cooling your home and it does not run when heating your home. A heat pump runs all year round because it is used to both heat and cool your home. The AC unit type is also a factor when answering “how much is a new AC unit”. A heat pump AC unit is going to cost slightly more than an electric AC unit because it runs year-round.
Heat Pump AC Unit

If you are interested in a heat pump air conditioner unit for your home, we can go through some of the pros and cons of this AC system. The pros are it’s the most energy-efficient way to heat your home in the winter and is one of the most popular AC units on the mark. The cons are it runs year-round, making its life expectancy a few years less than an electric HVAC unit; however, the energy-saving does offsets the air conditioner replacement cost. A heat pump also does not perform that well in temperatures under 32 degrees because the condenser converts the outdoor ambient temperature into heat for the home. Emergency heat strips can be added to help with this problem.

Electric AC Unit

An outdoor electric AC unit usually is paired with an indoor electric or gas furnace. When comparing the pros and cons of an electric air conditioner unit, you really need to put the infuses on the furnace. A straight electric indoor air handler is the most energy inefficient way to heat your home, and if you are planning to live in your home for more than 5 years, this route usually doesn’t make sense. A gas furnace costs more to operate than a heat pump but has a longer life expectancy. The rule of thumb when budgeting for an AC replacement cost is to use like for like because changing the system type will most likely double the installation price.

What System Type Do You Have

If you are wondering what system type you have there are a few things you can do to find out. When your heater is running and if the outdoor HVAC unit is running that means you have a heat pump. If your heater is running and your outdoor AC unit stays off, that means you have an electric air conditioner unit.

New AC unit cost recap

Here is a quick recap for “how much is central air to install.” A 2-ton AC unit cost is going to run around $3,300 to $3,500. A 2.5-ton AC unit cost is going to be about $3,300 to $3,700 installed. A 3-ton AC unit cost runs homeowner around $3,400 to $3,700. When it comes to a 3.5-ton AC unit cost, you will pay around $3,500 to $3,700. A 4-ton AC unit cost is $3,700 to $3,800 on average. When it comes to a 5-ton AC unit cost, you will see pricing around $3,800 to $4,000.

Depending on where you live in the US, an outside AC unit cost can vary as much as a few hundred dollars. An air conditioning unit cost will average around $3,100 for northern states will $3,400 is the average for southern states.

System size and SEER rating can vary.

Temperature differences between regions change the size of the air conditioner you need for your home. If you live up north, you don’t need to run your air conditioner that much. Regulations allow you to buy a lower SEER system in this region, and the AC unit doesn’t have to be as big as the ones down south. We use our air conditioners a lot in the southeastern and southwestern regions. We are regulated to use higher-efficiency AC systems, and the AC units have to be significantly larger to handle the demand.

Usually, you will pay a little less for an air conditioner replacement in the northern states simply because the AC unit doesn’t have to be as big as what is required in the southern US.

The Northern region of the US will typically use a straight electric AC system. Heat pumps do not work well in areas that routinely reach below zero temperatures. The Northern region uses special furnaces that better handle the cold, and these types of oil furnaces pair best with a straight electric AC unit.

The Southeast like Louisiana is the only region ideal for a heat pump AC system. Here we experience moderate to high levels of humidity, and we have mild winters. Such an environment is ideal for a heat pump, one of the most energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. We can also use a straight electric air conditioner without a problem.

The Southwest usually uses an electric AC unit to cool a home, primarily due to low humidity. Many people who use specialized air handlers to add moisture back into the air find electric AC units commonly pair better with indoor air handlers. If you live in the coastal area of the Southwest with higher humidity, you can get away with using a heat pump AC system.

Regional Outdoor Electric air conditioner replacement price

Size of Home Northern New Electric AC Unit Cost Southern New Electric AC Unit Cost
800-1000 Sq. Ft. Home Replacement Cost $3,000 $3,300
1000-1200 Sq. Ft. Home Replacement Cost $3,000 $3,300
1200-1400 Sq. Ft. Home Replacement Cost $3,100 $3,400
1400-1700 Sq. Ft. Home Replacement Cost $3,100 $3,500
1700-2000 Sq. Ft. Home Replacement Cost $3,200 $3,700
2000-2500 Sq. Ft. Home Replacement Cost $3,300 $3,800

Calculations are made for home air conditioners by designing for the outdoor to indoor temperature splits. For example, Texas needs a 20 to 25-degree temperature split, meaning that if it is 95 degrees outside, the air conditioner will keep your home around 75 degrees inside. In a state like Minnesota, where the summer highs are only around 85 degrees, the home only needs a 10-degree split. A 20-degree split will require a larger, more costly air conditioner than a 10-degree split. So, AC unit replacement costs will vary slightly per region of the US.

Heat Pump Vs. electric air conditioning

As we touched on before, a new outdoor heat pump AC unit is one of the most efficient systems on the market. The biggest problem with a heat pump is that it does not play well with furnace types other than those compatible with the outdoor heat pump AC unit, which is bad news for those that live in a dryer climate where particular air handlers/furnaces are needed. It heats more efficiently than an electric and gas system because a heat pump uses the outdoor ambient temperature and converts it to heat. It pushes the heat to the indoor furnace to distribute to the home. It does not use combustion or very much electricity to warm a home. Once temperatures drop below -10 degrees, a heat pump starts running into problems trying to create heat with that low of an ambient temperature. It has emergency heat strips that help to pick up the slack, but at the end of the day, it is just not designed to work in that cold of a temperature. The cost of a new heat pump AC unit is a little more than an electric air conditioner, but you will make up the difference in savings.

New electric air conditioners play well with different furnaces. This type of AC unit works well with the specialty air handler/furnaces needed for dry climates and the gas and oil furnaces needed up north. Overall, an electric AC unit is a much more diverse AC unit. The ideal application for it is in the northern and southwestern states in the US. The cost of a new electric air conditioner is more cost-effective than a heat pump and performs better in the northern states. If you need a new HVAC unit in Slidell please get in touch!