How Much Does a Central Air Conditioner Cost in Texas?
- What factors go into the total price of a new or replacement central AC system?
- How can paying extra for a heat pump option actually save money?
- Does the brand of system I buy have a large impact on cost?
Whether you’re replacing an older central AC system at your Texas home or choosing a system for a new custom home, the total cost of the purchase and installation is an important consideration. No matter how you look at it, it’s a major financial investment for your property. When you call an AC company to discuss your requirements, one of the first questions you’ll probably ask is “How much is this going to cost?” As any company that sells and installs air conditioning equipment will answer, “Well, that depends.” It’s impossible to provide an accurate price quote without having the answers to many questions. To help you understand what goes into every cost estimate, here are some of the factors than affect how much you will pay:
Capacity and Type of System Are Parts of the Calculation
The larger your home is, the more capacity your new system will need. Typical residential central AC systems range from 2 to 5 tons or 24,000 to 60,000 BTU per hour. The larger the system, the more it will cost. In addition, some homes need a central split system condenser and compressor unit, while others require a packaged HVAC system to suit the home’s construction. The type of system you need will also affect the cost of the equipment. Your contractor will discuss both factors during a consultation.
Different Manufacturers Have Different Pricing Strategies
There are over a dozen manufacturers of home-cooling equipment that is common in the Houston, Dallas Fort Worth and San Antonio areas, including Bryant, Daikin, Amana, Lennox, Goodman, Carrier, American Standard, Comfortmaker, Ducane, Rheem, Ruud and Trane. Some well-known major manufacturers’ products are priced higher than equipment from lesser-known companies. Your choice of brands will have an impact on the total cost of your new equipment. Consider warranties, the reputation of each brand, and check product reviews when comparing price quotes for different systems. Some dealers specialize in a single brand, while others may quote prices on several.
Which Model You Choose Can Affect the Total Cost
Every manufacturer offers more than one model line of their products. You can choose from three different model lines in most cases, each with different pricing for a given capacity. Efficiency, from 13 SEER to 21 SEER, is one difference between models. The efficiency rating affects your energy bills over the life of the product. Features, construction, sound levels, length of warranty and other factors also vary between model lines. Ask your dealer to give you quotes for different models and make a careful comparison.
Opting for a Heat Pump Model Costs More but Saves More
In Texas, choosing a heat pump will add to the total cost of your system, typically $1,000 or more. However, paying for this upgrade may be a wise decision, especially if your home uses electric heat. Even when outdoor temperatures are as low as 30 degrees, a heat pump can heat your home at a cost that can be up to 60% less than using traditional electric heating. Over the life of your new system, the savings will more than repay the additional initial cost. Ask your contractor how much you can save, and make your choice based on savings over time.
Installation Is an Important Part of the Total Price
One of the elements in the price quotes you’ll get is the cost of installation. In most cases, there won’t be much difference in this amount for any similar brand or model. The installation process is the same for all similar equipment. However, the cost of installation can vary a good deal from contractor to contractor. That makes your choice of a company to supply and install your system important. Don’t make your decision on price alone, though. Use our guide to choosing a contractor to compare companies before making your final choice.
Lower Operating Costs and Rebates for High-Efficiency Systems Mean Savings
For high efficiency, Energy Star Qualified central air conditioning systems, your power company and the equipment manufacturer may offer sizable rebates. Be sure to ask about any rebates that may be available. The rebate will lower your purchase price. Higher efficiency systems also cost less to operate, which can lower your energy bills substantially. Weigh these factors carefully before making your final decision, and keep in mind that true value is measured over the lifetime of your system.
Get Several Price Quotes from Texas Air Conditioning Companies
There are hundreds of residential HVAC companies in each major metro area of Texas, from Frisco, Arlington and Granbury to Richardson, Plano and Desoto in the Dallas Fort Worth area, from Spring, Humble and Tomball to Pasadena, Yarboro and Fairchild in the Houston area, and from Bandera Falls, Pleasanton and McQueeney to Castroville, San Marcos and Grey Forest in the San Antonio area. Your total cost can vary greatly depending on which dealer supplies and installs your new equipment.
When you contact an AC Contractor, you should expect that company to offer a free in-home consultation. After evaluating your home, an experienced representative should give you price quotes for several different models that are a match for your requirements. Using the information above, you’ll be able to consider all of the factors and make a choice that fits into your budget and expectations. Make sure the price quote is all-inclusive, with no extra costs that aren’t included. It’s always best to have more than one company give you cost estimates, too. After careful consideration, you’ll be confident about making the best choice.