Atlas AC Repair, LLC

Online cost Guide to install New central air In 2021

The cost to install a central air conditioner and furnace can range from $5,300 to $7,800.

What exactly is central air

HVAC system

There are 3 things that make up a complete central heating and cooling system. There in an indoor furnace that heats and pushes the air throughout your home. Next is our outdoor air conditioner unit that is primarily responsible for cooling your home. Lastly you have the air ducts that should properly distribute the air throughout your home. These 3 companies make up a complete central air system.

  • Central Air System
    • Indoor Furnace
    • Outdoor air conditioner Unit
    • Indoor Duct Work

How Much Does A Central Air Install Cost?

A new central air installation cost the average homeowner around $5,300 to $7,800 to replace the indoor furnace and the outdoor AC unit. This pricing is based on upgrading an existing central air system in 2021.

Central Air System Tonnage
Electric Central Air Install
Heat Pump Central Air Install
Gas Central Air Install
2 Ton 14 Seer Central Air Cost
$5,300
$5,600
$6,200
2.5 Ton 14 Seer Central Air Cost
$5,400
$5,800
$6,500
3 Ton 14 Seer Central Air Cost
$5,500
$5,800
$6,900
3.5 Ton 14 Seer Central Air Cost
$5,800
$6,000
$7,250
4 Ton 14 Seer Central Air Cost
$6,200
$6,300
$7,400
5 Ton 14 Seer Central Air Cost
$6,300
$6,700
$7,800

What should be included in new central Air installation?

Remove and install a new air conditioner unit and indoor furnace.
  • Removal & disposal of current air conditioner unit and furnace. 
  • Installation of new air conditioner unit and furnace to city code. 
  • Installation of heat kit elements, disconnect & whip, proper max circuit protection fuses, safety float switches, locking caps, plenum transitions, drain line, reconnection & line set flush to accommodate new refrigerant. Complete city permit & city inspection.
  • 10 year parts warranty & 1 year labor warranty
Carrier ac system

What is the difference between Electric, Heat Pump, and Gas?

The short answer in what makes these 3 system types different from each other lies in how the furnace heats your home. The air conditioning part of these systems all work about the same to cool your home. These 3 furnace very in cost, quality, and energy efficiency.

Electric Central Air

  • An electric central air system is the most budget friendly install solution out of the 3 options but it is also the most inefficient. The way this central air system heats your home is by using heat strip. The furnace uses electricity to get the heat strip hot, then pushes air past the strips to warm the air. The warm air is then distributed throughout your home. It requires a lot of electricity to heat your home using this method making it the most inefficient way to warm your home. An electric central air is a pretty cut and dry system that help to keep the install cost at a minimum. 
  • The right application does matter. If you live up north where you experience long winters, this central air system is not ideal in this scenario due to it’s high electrical use. There are 2 areas this system works great for, small homes and rental properties. If you own a smaller home you simply don’t use a lot of power to warm your home. An electric central air is a good option to consider if your are looking to keep your install cost down. If you own a rental property, odds are the tenant is not going to routinely change the filters or maintain the central air. Since the tenant pays the electric bill and the central air is going to be used and abused, the lowest cost option is probably your best bet for a new central air install.

Heat Pump Central Air

  • A heat pump central air is the most efficient system out of the 3 options. The reason it is the most efficient is because it uses the freon to not only cool your home but to heat it too. It’s essentially using the outdoor ambient temperature along with a chemicals reaction to warm your home. This process does not require a lot of energy. These central air systems are not to complicated which makes for a fast cost effective install.
  • Where this central air system fall short is when the outdoor temperature reach below -10 degrees. The outdoor unit struggles to convert the cold temperatures into warmth. This central air system is ideal for any home located in the southern part of the US. It’s only a few hundred dollars more than an electric central air but it is way more energy efficient. If you live down south and  you plan to live in your home for more than 5 years, I would recommend going with a heat pump.

Gas Central Air

  • A gas central air is going to be your most expensive install option but arguably delivers the highest quality of heating. This furnace uses combustion to warm the air before distributing it throughout your home. Many people believe that gas combustion delivers a higher quality of heating for your home. There is a lot more work that goes into a gas installation because of all the safety protocols that must be followed. This drive up the cost to install a gas central air system.
  • This central air system is the most diverse out of the 3. You can use in the northern US all the way down south. It it widely used up north because it’s more efficient than an electric central and can handle the cold unlike a heat pump. The cost of a gas central air is higher than the other systems but overall is one of the best you can buy.

What Is The Install Cost Of Central Air With new Duct Work?

The cost to replace your duct work it going to cost around $150 per flex run. New duct work is going to cost around $2,000 in addition to the cost in install central air.

Central Air Tonnage With Duct Runs
Electric Central Air Install
Heat Pump Central Air Install
Gas Central Air Install
2 Ton Central Air Cost / 10 Runs
$6,800
$7,100
$7,700
2.5 Ton Central Air Cost / 13 Runs
$7,350
$7,750
$8,450
3 Ton Central Air Cost / 16 Runs
$7,900
$8,200
$9,300
3.5 Ton Central Air Cost / 18 Runs
$8,500
$8,700
$9,950
4 Ton Central Air Cost / 21 Runs
$9,350
$9,450
$10,550
5 Ton Central Air Cost / 25 Runs
$10,050
$10,450
$11,550

What should be included in new central Air installation with duct work?

Remove and install a new air conditioner unit and indoor furnace.
  • Removal & disposal of current air conditioner unit and furnace. 
  • Removal & disposal of current flex duct work.
  • Install new air conditioner unit and furnace to city code. 
  • Install heat kit elements, disconnect & whip, proper max circuit protection fuses, safety float switches, locking caps, plenum transitions, drain line, reconnection & line set flush to accommodate new refrigerant. Complete city permit & city inspection.
  • Install new flex duct work between the plenum and the registers.
  • 10 year parts warranty & 1 year labor warranty
HVAC system

Central air duct install

Your ventilation is more important than you think. It is responsible for properly distributing the air through you home. If it wasn’t designed right or installed wrong the first time, it could create hot and cold spots throughout you home. If it is done correctly, it will evenly distribute the air through your home giving you a more consistent temperature.

There are times when your duct work gets old, varmints get in your attic, or it was just install wrong the first time. Regardless of the scenario, at some point your ducting will need to be replaced. The most common duct work install is replacing the flex between the plenum and the registers. This is the low cost and quickest way to install new ducting for your central air. 

What Is The Most Cost Effective Central Air Brand?

The brand you choose for a new central air system can impact the amount you pay. The cost can vary around $2,000 depending on with brand you go with.

3 Ton 14 Seer Central air conditioning unit & Furnace install cost

Air Conditioner Brands
Electric HVAC System
Heat Pump HVAC System
Gas HVAC System
Lennox Central Air Cost
$5,900
$6,100
$7,500
American Standard Central Air Cost
$5,800
$6,000
$7,300
Carrier Central Air Cost
$5,500
$5,700
$6,900
Trane Central Air Cost
$5,500
$5,700
$6,900
Ruud Central Air Cost
$5,500
$5,700
$6,900
Rheem Central Air Cost
$5,400
$5,600
$6,700
Bryant Central Air Cost
$5,300
$5,500
$6,600
Amana Central Air Cost
$5,200
$5,400
$6,600
HEIL Central Air Cost
$5,150
$5,300
$6,500
Payne Central Air Cost
$5,100
$5,250
$6,400
York Central Air Cost
$5,000
$5,200
$6,300
Goodman Central Air Cost
$4,900
$5,150
$6,300

Each central air company has different price model.

  • There is not a universal price list every air conditioner company follows like the automotive industry. Every central air conditioning company has to build their own pricing model. The leads to huge differences in pricing. For example, the pricing on this page is our, Atlas AC Repair, internal pricing. Some local companies in San Antonio and Austin Texas charge their customers 2x more than what we do. If your are looking for reasonable pricing for a new central air, you are probably going to have to get a few quotes. A good technique you can uses to see if the company is honest is don’t allow a salesman into your home. A salesman makes their money from the commissions of the sell. The are motivated to sell you the most expensive solution available even though you don’t need or want it. When a central air conditioning company use salesmen it also drives up the price because they have to pay a commission. Try to find a company that is open with their pricing and can quote you over the phone. This will help to keep the cost of a new central air conditioning system where it should be.

The purchasing power of an air conditioning company matters.

  • Every company has a primary brand they use for new central air systems. Your should be able to get the best price using the companies primary brand. For example, we use Carrier as our primary central air conditioning brand. We run so much volume through Carrier they give us their best price. We in turn pass on the savings to our customers. We can actually install a new Carrier central air system cheaper than we can install a Goodman central air conditioner. That being said, another good way to keep your cost down is by using the primary brand of the air conditioning company you want to use. If you have a specific brand in mind, like Lennox or Trane, I would find a company that is a dealer in that brand. This is going to help keep you cost down while still getting what you want.

How Much Does High Efficiency Central Air Cost?

There is a huge cost difference for high efficiency. A 3 Ton 14 Seer Gas central air install cost $6,200 while a 22 Seer air conditioner cost $15,000.

Central Air Tonnage
14 Seer 1 Stage
15 Seer 1 Stage
16 Seer 2 Stage
17.5 Seer 5 Speed
22 Seer Variable Speed
2 Ton Gas Central Air Install Cost
$6,200
$6,300
$8,300
$10,200
$14,000
3 Ton Gas Central Air Install Cost
$6,900
$7,000
$8,700
$11,300
$14,500
4 Ton Gas Central Air Install Cost
$7,400
$7,500
$9,600
$12,100
$14,800
5 Ton Gas Central Air Install Cost
$7,800
$7,900
$10,200
$12,200
$15,000

What is the Difference In a 1 stage Vs. multi stage air conditioner?

The number of stages you have in your central air conditioner system has a big impact on temperature consistency, humidity, and energy use. The more stages you have, the more control you have for the air quality in your home.

Single Stage Delivers Little Control

  • A single stage central air conditioner has only one setting, it’s either on or off, there is no in-between. What this mean is when it’s time to warm or cool your home turns on at 100% until the desired temperature is met. This is a good thing right? Not quite, by operating at 100% this creates a few problem that a multi stage central air conditioner can fix.
  • A single stage central air conditioner creates a short cycle time because it’s running all out. The on/off cycle time can create hot and cool spots throughout your home. So some areas of your home be cool while other areas can be warm. A multi stage central air conditioner can play a part in fixing this problem.
  • There is also another problem that we run into, humidity. If you live in an area with high humidity, a lot of time a single stage central air conditioner doesn’t run long enough to balance out the humidity in your home.  This is bad news if you have art or expensive furniture. A single stage central air conditioner replacement is always going to cost the least amount of money but isn’t always the best solution.
Single Stage AC unit

2 Stage Delivers Some Control

2 stage AC unit
  • A two stage central air conditioner and heater has to operating speeds. Most of the time the first stage operates around 65% of it’s compacity. The second stage operates at 100%. If there is not a lot of demand on the central air conditioner it will use the first stage to heat and cool your home. However, if it’s really hot or cold outside were the first stage is no longer keeping up, it move to stage 2. At that point the desired temperature is met. A 2 stage central air conditioner has a much longer run time, which in turn better controls the humidity in your home. It also helps to even out the temperatures throughout your home. The extra cost for a 2 stage central air conditioner replacement is worth considering if you own a 2 story home or looking to protecting your valuables

Variable Speed Delivers Total Control

  • 5 Speed and Variable speed central air conditioner operate at multiple different outputs. These are designed to run all the time at the lowest speed. Once the lowest speed can satisfy the indoor temperature, it moves to the next stages until it hits temperature then starts stepping back down through the stages. It can control your houses temperature within 1 degree. Because it runs for a long time on the lowest stages you can set the humidity at your desired levels. The increase in cost for a variable speed central air conditioner replacement is worth considering if you have a large home with high ceilings and lots of rooms. These systems will also protect your artwork and expensive furniture along with keeping your electric bill low. 
Green speed AC unit

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