How Much Will An AC Unit Replacement Cost?

HVAC unit

Costs associated with replacing an AC unit vary significantly in Colorado, depending on many factors. Along with the unit itself influencing pricing through size, brand, efficiency rating, and features, expenses can also change based on things like the complexity of installation, market fluctuations, and what city the homeowner is located in.

In Northern Colorado, AC unit replacement costs can range from a few to several thousands of dollars. Here’s what you need to know about the cost of having an AC unit replaced.

What Affects AC Unit Replacement Costs?

As previously mentioned, expenses for AC replacements can be affected by various things. Here are a few of them.

The Model of AC Unit You Select

Air conditioner prices can vary considerably between models and makes. For instance, selecting a 5 ton Heil air conditioner that costs around $2,000 just for the unit is significantly less than a comparable model from Coleman at $3,400.

Initial Site Inspections

Before choosing an AC, it’s crucial that a qualified technician conduct an initial site inspection to determine exactly what work needs to be completed for installation, as well as a feasible timeline.

An initial site visit allows your technician to accurately assess how long installation might take, which will influence the final cost.

Actual inspection costs can depend on the hourly rate of a technician.

Installation and Service Charges

HVAC replacement costs, in addition to the unit cost, should factor in installation and service fees that may apply, which will pay for technician labor expenses that cover things such as:

  • Third-party inspections and permits
  • Heavy equipment rentals (for installations on roofs or hard-to-reach spots, which may require cranes or cherry pickers for access)
  • Travel expenses (if you live in a remote location)
  • Disposal/recycling fees for your old AC unit

Ductwork and System Accessories 

Additional materials may be necessary, depending on the scope of your installation. This might include the following.

  • Installation or modification of ductwork
  • Refrigeration lines
  • Insulation
  • Electrical wiring
  • Condensate drainage systems

Replacement Cost of AC Units By Factors

So, with all of this in mind, what is the actual cost to replace AC units? Here’s how much a replacement usually is depending on different factors.

Air Conditioner Type

Installation prices will depend upon what type of air conditioner you purchase as your replacement. Units are usually categorized into:

  • Central air conditioners: $4,000 to $12,000 (This range is often seen, yet is not always the case, since central air systems usually incorporate both heating and ductwork system installation as part of their package.)
  • Ductless split systems: $2,000 to $14,500
  • Window air conditioners: $100 to $500

SEER Rating

The average cost to replace AC units is also determined by SEER rating.

Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio (more commonly referred to as SEER rating) measures an air conditioner’s energy efficiency. Calculating SEER can be done by dividing its cooling output during a typical cooling period by its energy input in terms of watt-hours.

A higher SEER rating indicates a system that is more energy efficient. The ratio of cooling output (in British Thermal Units or BTUs) and energy input (measured as watt-hours) determines this efficiency.

SEER ratings typically fall between 13 and 25. High SEER units may cost more initially, but their energy-saving potential more than compensates.

Assuming all other costs remain constant, replacing AC units according to their SEER ratings can range from the following.

  • 13 to 14 SEER: $2,800
  • 15 to 16 SEER: $3,400
  • 17 to 18 SEER: $4,600
  • 19 to 21 SEER: $5,300
  • 22 to 24 SEER: $6,800

House Size

Your house’s size will determine the appropriate air conditioner capacity you require for optimal comfort and efficiency, influencing the cost to replace AC units.

A unit that’s too small may not provide sufficient cooling, while units that are too big may cause short cycling (i.e., frequent cycling of the unit on and off that leads to decreased efficiency, as well as wear on its components).

As part of your home evaluation, an HVAC professional will take note of your home’s insulation level, ceiling height, heat-generating appliances, and your individual patterns of AC usage. They’ll then utilize load calculations to select an air conditioning unit best suited for you and your house size.

Assuming all other factors remain the same, central air replacement costs typically range between the following depending on house size.

  • 1,200 sq. ft.: $2,200
  • 1,500 sq. ft..: $3,400
  • 2,000 sq. ft.: $3,430
  • 2,500 sq. ft.: $3,900
  • 3,000 sq. ft.: $4,700
  • 4,000 sq. ft.: $5,200

For an Accurate Estimate, Contact IMS Heating & Air

Many factors are involved with AC unit replacement costs. However, this article should provide enough information for an educated guess for you to budget and prepare.

If you’re looking for a more accurate estimate for the cost of an AC unit replacement, you can always consult a local HVAC professional. They’ll be able to offer more personalized advice and provide a quote tailored to your area.

In this regard, IMS has always been the best choice for homeowners in the Northern Colorado region. Our professionals can work with you to provide an estimate customized to your household’s individual needs.

Contact IMS today!