How Much Does an Air Conditioner Unit Cost?

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The first question you may have when you are ready to install an air conditioner unit is, how much does it cost? Air conditioners widely vary in price due to a number of factors. Learn more about what can impact the final cost of your air conditioner below: 

1. Your air conditioner unit’s brand 
2. Labour and installation costs 
3. The type of air conditioner 
4. Your air conditioner unit’s SEER rating 
5. Any additional services you request

Purchasing a new air conditioner should be seen as an investment. It can help you and your family stay safer and more comfortable during the hot summer months. To learn more about what to expect when buying an air conditioner, continue reading. Or, you can contact the HVAC experts at Service 1st to chat with one of our staff right away.

How Much Does An Air Conditioner Unit Cost?

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1. Your Air Conditioner Unit's Brand

While most homeowners are aware of the different brands that make popular household items such as electronics, kitchenware, and furniture, did you know that different air conditioners and other HVAC products are made by different brands too? While you may have never considered brand before when it comes to your AC, brand is important! 

There are a lot of brands out there, and not all of them are equal. Some companies prefer to manufacture machines that are cheaper upfront but not necessarily built to last, while others use higher quality materials and technology that will cost more upfront but are built to last and perform optimally for many years to come. 

Checking out online reviews can help you learn more about both brands and HVAC companies

Reading reviews from other homeowners is a good way to find out if an air conditioner’s upfront cost is worth it in the long-run. A high-quality, energy efficient unit made from a trusted brand will have a higher price point initially, but you will end up saving in the long-term when you don’t have to worry about constant repairs, high energy bills, or early replacement.

At Service 1st, we believe in quality and longevity. That’s why we only offer Bryant products. We are an Elite Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer and always offer our customers the highest quality products and services. 

2. Labour & Installation Costs

Unless you are a trained HVAC technician, you will need the pros to install your air conditioner unit for you. Installation is complex, and doing it incorrectly can lead to serious performance issues, damage to the unit, or personal injuries. Labour costs will vary depending on each business. While it can be tempting to look for the cheapest company to install your unit, that’s usually the best way to go. 

When choosing an HVAC company to install your new air conditioner, it’s important that you look for a business that has the experience, expertise, and training required to safely and correctly install your air conditioner. 

Unfortunately, if you take a look online, you’ll see hundreds of “horror stories” about improperly installed HVAC systems that end up causing significant energy loss and even eventual damage to houses. So while you may think you are getting a great deal, it’s always best to work with experienced and reliable HVAC technicians for all HVAC work, including your air conditioner installation.

3. The Type of Air Conditioner

Different types of air conditioners will have different price points based on their functions and energy efficiency ratings

Did you know that there are many different types of air conditioners? In this article, we will only be discussing the residential central air conditioning units: single-stage air conditioners, 2-stage air conditioners, and variable speed air conditioners. See below to learn more about the differences between these types of units.

Single Stage AC Units

Average Cost: $ – $$

Single stage AC units are typically the most cost effective option up front. These units are very common and are the most popular choice for residential homes.

Single stage units work by turning on when the indoor air temperatures reaches a higher number than what you’ve set your thermostat to. Then, when it has cooled the air down to your desired temperature, it will shut off.

2-Stage AC Units

Average Cost: $$ – $$$

2-stage AC units, sometimes called dual-stage, is similar to the single stage unit but has two settings: high and low. You can turn the unit on ‘high’ and it will run at maximum capacity to quickly cool your home. 

If you only need a bit of cooling down, you can set the unit to ‘low,’ and it will run on a lower capacity, using less energy.

Variable Speed AC Units

Average Cost: $$$ – $$$$

Variable speed AC units are typically the most expensive option. Variable speed units essentially are always running, but they are not running at 100% capacity like a single stage unit.

Instead, they will usually run on a low level (often 25% – 30% capacity) all or almost all of the time to keep temperatures in your home as consistent as possible.

When trying to decide which type of unit is best for you, it’s important to not only look at the upfront cost but also what you can save down the road. For example, variable speed units may cost more initially, but they are an excellent energy-efficient choice. They also help to create a stable, consistent temperature in your room, which some homeowners may find much more comfortable.

If you aren’t sure which type of unit is right for you, contact a local HVAC company. They can help you learn about all the pros and cons of each type of unit and help you determine what makes the most sense for your home, preferences, and budget.

4. Your Air Conditioner's SEER Rating

All air conditioners have a SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. When it comes to SEER rating, the higher the number, the better. The SEER rating essentially looks at how much energy (and therefore how much money) your AC unit will use over the course of an average year. A ‘good’ SEER rating is considered 14 or higher. 

You can learn more about the SEER rating from the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada here.

Take a look at the video below to learn a bit more about a very high efficiency AC unit. The Bryant® Evolution® System Extreme™ has a SEER rating of up to 26, which means it is incredibly energy efficient. 

Choosing an AC unit with high energy efficiency can help you save long-term

It can be a bit of challenge to find out SEER ratings and other more complex energy efficiency ratings on your own. When you work with a professional HVAC company, they will be open to discussing these ratings with you. If energy efficiency is important to you, take a moment to ask about which units may be the right fit for you based on SEER rating as well as your budget.

5. Any Additional Services You Request

When choosing your air conditioner unit, this is often a good time to consider if you need any other HVAC services as well, such as an ongoing air conditioner maintenance plan. While this does not directly impact the cost of your unit, it will impact your budget, so it is a good idea to consider this ahead of time. 

Choosing to go with a maintenance plan is a great investment. For example, some warranties will only stay valid if you have yearly scheduled maintenance. So to get the most out of your warranty, choosing a plan is often recommended by HVAC professionals. 

A maintenance plan is also a good way to make sure that your unit lasts for a long time and won’t require any unexpected, costly repairs. Without a plan, you may go years without any maintenance or repairs on your unit…until all of a sudden it stops working!

By the time your unit completely stops working, you may be left in a hot and uncomfortable house while awaiting a serious (and costly) repair. Worst case scenario, you may end up deciding to completely replace the unit instead. A maintenance plan can help reduce the chances of this happening by ensuring that small problems are fixed before they turn into major ones. 

Looking For a New Air Conditioner Unit In Cambridge? Trust Service 1st.

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If you are interested in purchasing a new air conditioner unit for your home but aren’t sure where to start, you can rely on the experienced and professional team of HVAC Technicians at Service 1st. We can help you find a high-quality air conditioner that perfectly suits your unique wants, needs, and budget.

We have been serving homeowners in Cambridge and the surrounding areas for over 30 years and have a proven record of excellence. Whether it’s time to replace your air conditioner now or you want to learn more about what unit to buy in the future, we can help.

We are a locally owned and operated business that prides itself on the highest quality work and installation of the highest quality products. We have received the prestigious Circle of Champions award from Bryant – an honour that highlights our commitment to quality, leadership, and excellence in the HVAC industry. We are an Elite Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer and offer our customers the highest quality products and services.

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“Had an issue with our AC cutting out. Messaged them this morning (Saturday) and they had a tech here and repaired by early afternoon. Also had them install a new furnace and AC in the last year. Great, timely customer service.”

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