How Expensive Is an Air Conditioner for a 2,000-Square-Foot Home?
If you’re looking for a new air conditioner, knowing how much it costs can help you prepare your budget a little better. However, figuring out estimated AC prices for a 2,000-square-foot home can be tricky. On average, a new AC unit for a house will cost around $5,000, but prices can vary quite a bit. Costs for air conditioning in a home that is 2,000 square feet can range from as little as $2,000 to as much as $15,000. Why is there so much variation in costs? Several different factors affect AC pricing.
AC Unit Size
The biggest thing that will affect AC costs is the size of the unit you select. Not all homes that are 2,000 square feet need the same exact size of AC unit. The typical 2,000-square-foot home will need a central AC unit that is around 3 tons or 36,000 BTU. The larger an AC system is, the more it will cost.
However, many factors affect unit sizing. If your home is in a shady area, you might be able to go a little lower, but a house in a very sunny area will require a larger AC size. Poorly insulated homes or homes with a lot of windows will need a big AC unit. Things like the layout of your home, the number of people in your home, or the type of roof you have can all impact AC size. Here are the average prices you would pay for common sizes of AC units in 2,000-square-foot homes.
- 2 tons: $2,600
- 3 tons: $2,900
- 4 tons: $3,650
- 5 tons: $3,690
SEER ratings are another factor that has a huge impact on cost. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it’s a measure of how effectively an AC unit works. SEER ratings aren’t really related to the size of your home itself. Instead, they will mostly be a matter of personal preference. If you want a lower utility bill each month, you’ll need a higher SEER rating. A higher SEER rating also makes your home more eco-friendly.
However, high SEER ratings can come with a high cost. Usually, there isn’t a huge jump in prices between one to two SEER levels. Instead, pricing will depend on which category of efficiency an AC unit falls into. A SEER rating of around 14 to 15 is the lowest level of efficiency allowed by Department of Energy regulations. Units with a SEER of 16 to 18 are a high-efficiency model, so they can cost around $500 to $1,000 extra. SEER ratings of 19 or higher are ultra-efficient AC units, and they can be around $3,000 pricier than low-SEER models.
Air Conditioner Type
Most discussions of air conditioner costs focus on the price of a standard central air conditioner. This is definitely the most common type of AC unit, and it is usually the most affordable. However, it’s important to remember that you do have several other excellent options to consider. Choosing a less conventional type of air conditioner for your 2,000-square-foot home will greatly impact the price.
One potential option to think about is a heat pump. Heat pumps are a newer type of HVAC system. Unlike standard electrical AC and heater units, heat pumps don’t actively generate heat. Instead, they work by moving heat around. In order to cool your home, a heat pump will move heat outside of the house. The typical 3-ton heat pump usually costs somewhere between $4,000 to $6,000. However, they can save you money in the long run because they use far less energy to warm your home in the winter.
Another increasingly popular air conditioner style is a ductless mini split. Ductless mini splits use several small air handlers spread throughout the home instead of a single large air handler attached to a ductwork system. Much like heat pumps, ductless mini splits are pricier to purchase. A mini-split system is about 30% more expensive than traditional central air. However, they’re fairly efficient to run, and they can be easier to install. Since you don’t have to add ducts, labor costs for adding a mini-split system to a home without existing ductwork can be lower.
AC Unit Brand
Don’t forget that air conditioners are consumer products, just like everything else. Certain manufacturers charge less, while others are more expensive. Some higher-end brands tend to be options like American Standard, Carrier, and Trane. Meanwhile, budget brands include options like Goodman, Rheem, and York. Whether or not you need a pricier brand is a matter of preference. Some people are willing to pay extra for a more reliable brand, while other homeowners prefer a lower upfront cost.
Though certain brands tend to be cheaper than others, individual prices can vary quite a bit. For example, if a pricier brand releases a new upgrade, it might discount its older models significantly. It can pay to shop around because you can often find deals that let you get an expensive brand for a lower cost.
Keep in mind that most AC cost estimates will include both the price of materials and the price of labor. The typical new air conditioner can cost a few thousand dollars, but then you can end up paying that much or more to install it. Installation prices are so high because it takes a lot of labor and specialized tools to install these hefty pieces of machinery.
Most HVAC companies will price their installation based on the estimated hours of work they think it will take to install a new machine. So, if you live in a newer home with an easily accessible AC system, prices might be lower. However, if your air handler is situated in a tight attic or if you have a very unusual and outdated ductwork system, prices might be higher.
There can also be some unexpected costs associated with installation. AC installation is a very complex construction project with a lot of potential tasks involved. For example, if your home has any asbestos or lead paint, it will take more time and effort to safely handle these materials. It will also be pricier to install your system if you need to install it in a new location that doesn’t have existing plumbing and electrical connections. When working with older properties, you might have to modify your home’s framework to provide proper support for a system.
Ultimately, AC prices will depend on your cooling needs and personal preferences. Two homes that are both 2,000 square feet can have very different air conditioning costs. To get a more accurate idea of how much it will cost to install an air conditioner in your Gainesville home, turn to Gee! Heating & Air. Our team is happy to assess your situation and give a detailed estimate of how much a new air conditioner would cost. To schedule your free consultation, give Gee! Heating & Air a call today.
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