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What Affects AC Installation Cost? Key Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Posted: April 12, 2017

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Today’s high efficiency home AC units can save you a lot of money in the long run – assuming, of course, that yours is properly installed and maintained.

But the cost to buy a new unit still matters, even if the investment is sure to create great returns via reduced energy bills and increases in home value – meaning that it pays to shop around.

When you’re ready to buy a new cooling system for your Hudson Valley home, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when evaluating bids. To do that, you need to know what affects the price of your central AC system.

Here are seven key factors:

  1. House Size – The size of a central air conditioning system is most often measured in tons (a one-ton unit can output 12,000 BTUs in an hour – about enough to cool 400 square feet of floor space).

    Key question: What sized unit is covered in this estimate?

  2. Ductwork – Does your estimate include replacing or repairing ductwork? That can easily add several thousand dollars to your bid. Installing ductwork is a labor-intensive job that requires experience to do right – “right” meaning in a way that avoids costly leaks and mold problems later.

    Key question: Does this estimate include work on my ducts? If so, what kind?

  3. Brand type – Is your air conditioner a Mercedes or a Hyundai? Both will get the cooling job done, but their costs will be much different. The key is to find an AC brand that offers you the most value within your budget range.

    Key question: What brand of air conditioner is covered by the estimate? Can I substitute other brands?

  4. SEER value – Prices increase by about 8-10 percent for every 1-point increase in SEER rating, all other things being equal.

    Key question: What is the SEER rating of the air conditioner in this estimate?

  5. Project difficulty – What special accommodations will have to be made to accommodate your new AC unit (preserving elements of a character home, ductwork repairs, working in tight crawlspaces, etc.)? If your installation requires more time or effort to do the job right, it will cost more.

    Key question: What special accommodations will my installation require? What’s included in this estimate?

  6. The quality and experience of the contractor – You may pay less up front for one HVAC contractor than another, but boy does it pay to go with experienced, licensed, bonded, and reputable contractors in the long run.

    Key question: Why should I choose you as my HVAC contractor?

If it’s time to invest in a new central air conditioner, don’t worry – Black Bear will help you make a smart choice. Contact us today for a FREE, no obligation estimate!