How Much Does a New Air Conditioner Cost?

May 25, 2021

With proper maintenance, your air conditioner can work for 15 years or greater. But even the best maintained air conditioner will need to be replaced down the road.

When you’re beginning to plan for air conditioning installation in Tucson, we realize that the expense is at the top of your list of questions. The good news is that buying a new air conditioner may be more affordable than you think it is, due to rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also get better energy efficiency, which will typically pay off over its life span through less expensive electricity bills.

Here’s what to prepare for when you’re replacing your air conditioner.

When to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner can be hard. Here’s what our pros suggest.

Replace

  1. Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old. While some may work longer, most air conditioners last for around 15 years with routine maintenance. We recommend planning for air conditioning replacement close to the 10-year mark. Even if you get a new one when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this change could save you 20-40% on cooling bills.
  2. You’ve neglected routine maintenance for too long. Similar to a car, you cooling system needs annual air conditioning maintenance. Not doing this essential service can result in diminished efficiency, more recurring repairs and even a reduced life span.
  3. Your air conditioner requires frequent or expensive repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is typically the outcome of skipping tune-ups. But as your air conditioner ages, it’s more likely to experience a catastrophic breakdown. When repairs are greater than half the cost of a new air conditioner, you should get a new one.
  4. Your residence isn’t comfortable. If your residence feels too sticky or you’re having hot and cold spots in given rooms, your air conditioner may be struggling to keep up. This is a clue you need to replace it.
  5. Your energy bills are expensive. Your air conditioner becomes less efficient as it becomes older. As a consequence, it might need to operate more often or longer to keep your house at your desired temperature. Newer air conditioners have the top energy-efficient technology to keep your home cool and cooling costs low.
  6. Your air conditioner runs on R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was replaced before 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on Freon. Also referred to as R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its bad effects on the environment. You can carry on with using your air conditioner, but if it were to develop a refrigerant leak, repairing that would be extremely expensive. This is since R-22 is only available in limited, recycled portions.

Repair

  1. Your air conditioner is under 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s ideal to repair it.
  2. Repairs aren’t common or economical. The wisest way to stop unanticipated repairs is to have yearly maintenance completed. But when repairs are only needed not very often or are inexpensive, repair your air conditioner.
  3. Your air conditioner has a valid warranty. Most air conditioners are accompanied by a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that typically covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length is determined by your manufacturer, but it provides valuable protection in the event of a big failure. If your air conditioner is under warranty, we suggest fixing it.

Air Conditioner Cost

Most homeowners spend around $4,631 on a new air conditioner, according to national averages compiled by HomeGuide. Air conditioner cost averages often range from $3,350 to $5,912, but your exact cost could be different.

There are a couple of details that impact your total cost, like:

  • The air conditioner model you choose, because more energy-efficient ones are more expensive.
  • The size you need.
  • If you need to install new ductwork, which can be needed if your ductwork is aging or inefficient.

We provide free estimates at Ambient Air so you can know you’re getting a great deal. And with our full range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that accommodates just about any budget.

Air Conditioner Size

Air conditioner size is essential. A system that’s undersized will have difficulty keeping your home cool. And one that’s too big could turn on and off too many times, or short cycle. This action can inflate your energy costs and wear your air conditioner out faster. This could also create temperature variability and make your residence feel less cool.

At Ambient Air, our techs have many years of experience in correctly sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your home. The ideal size depends on how big your home is, along with a couple other considerations. Some of the most common sizes include:

  • 2 ton, which cools up to 1,000 square feet
  • 3 ton, which cools up to 1,600 square feet
  • 4 ton, which cools up to 1,900 square feet
  • 5 ton, which cools more than 2,000 square feet

Other considerations that can impact air conditioner size are:

  • The weather in Tucson
  • Ductwork quality and age
  • How many windows you have and the style, since big or picture windows may be less efficient
  • If your house receives more sun or shade
  • Insulation quality and depth
  • How many people live in your home

SEER Ratings

Your air conditioner’s efficiency is linked to its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This number measures how well it uses electricity to create cooling. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner is.

When you’re getting a new air conditioner, it’s crucial to realize:

  • Old air conditioners are rated around 8-9 SEER.
  • Updated air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be at least 14 SEER due to U.S. Department of Energy requirements. As of 2017, these SEER rating requirements have saved homeowners trillions of dollars.
  • ENERGY STAR®-certified air conditioners begin at 14.5 SEER.
  • Higher SEER-rated air conditioners have more features to help you save more. These features may entail variable-speed cooling. Instead of going at full speed continuously, these air conditioners can reduce blower speeds customized for your cooling requirements. This results in quieter and more energy-efficient air conditioning. While an air conditioner with a greater SEER rating is typically higher priced, it might be eligible for more rebates. And the energy savings over its life span might help it pay for itself.

Start Your Air Conditioning Installation with Ambient Air Today

When you’re doing air conditioning replacement, the company who installs it is just as important as the model you choose. Ambient Air is one of the top names for air conditioning installation in Tucson. From helping you find the right solution for your house to going over financing options to professional installation, working with our professionals is a breeze. Reach us at 520-201-3871 to begin today!