Kukun's air conditioning replacement cost estimator is a one-stop solution for calculating the cost of replacing your old AC instantly. This useful tool calculates on the basis of your area zip code, labor costs and other relevant
parameters that affect the total replacement cost.
Simply enter your specifications and the result will give you a realistic estimate for your AC replacement cost.
Getting an estimate through Kukun’s air conditioner replacement cost estimator is easy. Just follow the steps below to get your custom, personalized total cost!
1. Enter the size of your home
2. Specify property details
Enter your full address to get the ROI/recoup value for your house or just your zip code to get only the renovation cost estimate.
And there you go – your air conditioner replacement cost estimate is ready!
With this estimate, you can analyze your finance options or hire a professional to get started on the work right away.
The average cost to replace an air conditioner is about $4,600. The total cost varies depending on the size and type of AC or HVAC unit you choose and the condition of the existing ductwork.
Apart from the varying costs of the AC or HVAC unit itself, you will have to consider the complexity of the work and then add labor costs and material costs to the price of the replacement.
As mentioned, you will also have to factor in any additional ductwork. For repairing existing ductwork, expect to add about $1,000 to $3,000 to the total cost. For ductwork replacement, an air conditioner installation
cost can go as high as $9,000.
An inspection – where an HVAC contractor performs a load calculation and tells you the right size of AC for your house – will add to the replacement cost. Here’s a chart for your reference:
Total square footage to be cooled
Capacity (BTUs per hour)
700 to 1,000
1,000 to 1,200
1,200 to 1,400
1,400 to 1,500
1,500 to 2,000
2,000 to 2,500
Tips for choosing the most cost-effective air-conditioning units
An air conditioner’s efficiency is rated by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Opt for a higher SEER rating for greater energy efficiency, which translates to fewer greenhouse emissions and lower monthly electric
Check the yellow ENERGY STAR ratings on units.
Choose the right British thermal unit (BTU) for your room size to ensure you get the most energy-efficient cooling system.
If your existing air conditioning system is getting older, its efficiency has drastically decreased, and if it’s getting noisier or needs frequent repair work – it’s time to replace your HVAC system.
Today, newer and better AC units are quieter and more energy efficient, and they have more power than older models.
What’s more, new air conditioners must meet a minimum standard of 13 SEER. Apart from the increased cooling efficiency, a high SEER rating also saves you money on your energy bills.
Moreover, the government offers tax credits to incentivize homeowners to buy energy-efficient home products, including ENERGY STAR-rated air conditioners.
So, once you decide to replace the air conditioner in your home, you need to know how much of an investment you need for this home improvement.
It’s also the best way to ensure that you don’t stumble across any unwelcome surprises during the execution of your project.
Acquiring a free estimate for your heating and cooling unit will help you create a realistic budget for the replacement.
1. Window air conditioner
Cost: $550 to $3,000
This compact unit is placed in a window and is a good choice if you want cooling in just one room. The appliance pushes the warm air out of a room and blows cool air into it. An adjustable louver controls the direction of airflow
for increased comfort.
Popular AC option
Permanently blocks a window and outside view
Easily available in the market
Makes relatively little noise while working
Replacement is tricky without exterior support
Has medium-range energy efficiency
Removing the AC can be a hassle
Water drains out easily; no extra piping required
Requires a trained professional for replacement
Can adequately cool a room up to 650 sq ft
May pose a security risk
2. Through-the-wall air conditioner
Cost: $300 to $1,500
This type of air conditioner is placed flush with a wall and has a streamlined appearance. It has a higher cooling capacity and weighs slightly more compared to window ACs.
Very difficult to remove once replaced
Does not block a window or view
Tedious replacement and insulation requires a lot of work
Better cooling capacity than window ACs with more BTUs
Replacement cannot be ill-fitted or wind will blow into house
No installation of ducts and joints required
3. Portable air conditioners
Cost: $345 to $700
A portable air conditioner cools the air inside a room by venting out any warm air through an exhaust hose installed in a window. It needs no installation and is perfect for a smaller living area.
No installation required
Noisier cooling option
Easily moved from one room to another
Cooling a room may take more time
Water tanks need regular cleaning
May be inadequate for a large room
4. Ductless, mini-split air conditioner
Cost: $1,300 to $4,500
These split systems have high energy efficiency. Moreover, they look neat, are flexible and quieter, and offer heating as well as cooling.
Both the outdoor compressor or condenser and the indoor handling unit are connected through an insulated conduit.
Technically advanced, high energy-efficiency
Not a DIY project
Relatively easy installation or replacement
May cost 30% more to run than central air conditioning
Less prone to air leakage and security problems
High maintenance and repair costs
Neat, quieter and less visible
Provides both cooling and heating
5. Central air conditioning
Cost: $660 to $4,000
A central air system is ideal for larger homes. It cools any living space efficiently and quietly. It works by circulating cool air through supply and return ducts.
However, keep in mind that replacing a central air conditioning system requires a lot of planning. Or else you may end up with lower efficiency and higher utility bills.
Best option to cool an entire house
High cost to install
Generally come with smart thermostats
Results in higher energy bills
Known to improve the air quality inside a house
Requires regular duct maintenance
Provides both cooling and heating
Keeping uniform temperature can be difficult
6. Heat pumps
Cost: $500 to $8,000
A heat pump works by pulling heat from the outside air or ground to warm your home, or by pulling heat out of your house to cool it.
Lower running costs
Requires less maintenance
High upfront cost
Reduces carbon emissions
Requires special planning permissions and permits
Not suitable for extreme climates
7. Packaged central air conditioner
Cost: $500 to $8,000
The evaporator, condenser and compressor come in a single, compact unit. It works simply – ducts that run through exterior walls or the roof draw air from inside the house and return cooled air indoors.
Neat and compact
More suitable for commercial buildings
Ideal for homes with limited indoor space
Has to be kept outside the house
Prone to leakages
Easy installation and replacement
May deteriorate over time due to exposure to rain and wind
For any home improvement project, it’s best to take care of a few things – for your own peace of mind. Here are some steps to ensuring a seamless AC replacement:
Maintain a realistic budget for the project.
Learn about the energy-efficiency ratings of air conditioners and choose an effective model.
Discuss the correct location, angle tilt, replacement height and appropriate distance from the wall for your new AC.
Get a written contract from your HVAC contractor with the complete schedule and payment details.
Make sure that all permits and inspections are up to date.
Be sure to get a warranty or guarantee from your AC installer.