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Questions and Answers
Q: What do air conditioning installation services include?
A: Air conditioning installers inspect your home, evaluate its size, condition, and special features to offer and then install the best fitting AC unit. Most companies also provide further regular maintenance and particular care for the installed units.
Q: How do air conditioning installation companies charge?
A: Air conditioning installers most often charge on a per-project basis. This means that they come to your home, estimate the scope of work, then based on the initial evaluation offer you a number of possible AC units. Once you choose the AC system you would like to have, your installer will calculate the final cost of the whole service package. Further maintenance of the AC units is also generally calculated based on the required services, however, in complex cases, experts may turn to the per-hour charging method.
Q: What is the average cost of the AC installation services?
A: The average cost of the air conditioning installation lies in the range $3,800-$7,200. It should not steer you away from installing an AC unit with professional assistance, though, because today well-enough AC units will cost you as little as $1,400, labor included. Please read our air conditioning installation cost guide to learn more about the cost of such services.
Q: What factors affect the cost of the air conditioning installation?
A: Since air conditioning installation is usually understood as both the purchase and installation of the system, the greatest cost factor is the kind of AC system you have chosen. Central units cost significantly more than portable or window air conditioners.
For portable ACs you are likely to pay the cost stated in the price list because they require no additional installation effort. The rest of the units, however, usually entail a number of additional expenses:
- Ducts. Some old homes may not be suitable for the modern AC systems, especially if you consider installing the central air conditioning. In such cases, you might have to replace the old ducts or at least their connections to the units.
- Wiring. Just as well as ductwork, your home’s electrical wires might not be ready for the additional load brought by the new air conditioning. In this case, wires replacement might be required.
- Insulation. Both the unit and the ducts must be properly insulated to avoid air leaks. Most air conditioning experts will offer insulation as an additional service but you may also find companies that provide this service as a part of the general package deal.
- Access. While AC units should be hidden and invisible to you, they still must have easy access for maintenance and future fixes. Depending on how complex the creation of easy access is, your AC installation company may charge extra.
Q: How to avoid dealing with a scam air conditioning installation company?
A: Before you install a new unit, you should invite an expert to evaluate the current state of your air conditioner. And even at this point, there are several red flags that should signify the company’s unreliability:
- Instant identification of a problem without explanation. Don’t believe “experts” who say “this is bad, it should be replaced/fixed” right away. Reputable AC installers will always outline the scope of the problem and explain what you can do about it. Always listen to the reasoning rather than a basic statement of facts. Don’t be shy to ask questions.
- Too large AC units. Remember that bigger ACs do not mean they are actually better! Your expert has to calculate the right AC unit size based on your space square footage and not try to suggest anything by sight.
- Acting on behalf. No reputable company will offer another company to act on its behalf. So whenever you receive an offer that states “we’re acting on behalf of *and a name of a larger company*” you should instantly cut ties with such a company. Always verify documents of a particular installer and compare license name to the company’s name before you agree to any services.
- Extremely high prices. Higher prices don’t guarantee better service. Be aware of the average industry cost for air conditioning installation and try to look for a company within this price range.