How Much Is a New or Replacement AC Unit: 1200, 1500, and 2000 sq feet house? ANSWERED

With the warmer weather, a lot of us are thinking about buying an air conditioning unit to improve the air quality and control the temperature and humidity indoors.

But unlike many appliances that can start working straight out of the box, AC units require expert installation and major adjustments in the house to function properly. A lot of people are deciding between repairing the old AC unit or getting a new one. In this post, we are going to help you with making this decision.


All that can be quite costly, which makes them a major investment. So how much is a new AC unit, and what are the total costs of installing one? In today’s guide, we’ll provide you with answers to all these questions!

How Much Should a New or replacement AC Unit Cost?

The cost of a new AC will vary depending on many factors, such as the brand, the motor, and the specifications of the unit.

House sizeCost of a new AC (including installation by a HVAC technician)
1200 sq feet3000-7000 USD
1500 sq feet3500-7500 USD
2000 square feet4000-10000 USD
Cost for a new AC for a house of 1200,1500 and 2000 square feet

With that said, you should expect a budget-friendly portable AC unit to cost you as little as $500. Window AC units typically cost anywhere from $200 to $800 depending on the quality of the model while central air conditioner units will set you back up to $7,000.

Replacement units might be slightly cheaper as the existing pipes and drains can be reused. If you get a bigger system, they might have to reinstall these as well.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an AC Unit?

The installation process of an AC unit is relatively expensive when it’s compared to some other appliances.

However, it’s absolutely necessary and you should consider hiring an expert to get it done professionally, as this will save you a lot of trouble.

Of course, the size and complexity of the model as well as the rates in your area can affect the price, but the installation costs will usually be around $1,200 to $2,000 for a central air conditioning unit.

Factors That Affect the Total Costs of Getting a New AC Unit

Looking at the previously mentioned numbers, an AC unit has a significantly wide range of prices.

In this section, we’ll have a closer look at the factors that can affect the price of a new AC unit, so you can have a better estimate on the AC unit you have in mind:

The Brand and Model

It’s not uncommon for two AC units with the same specifications and features to have two different price tags if they’re made by two different manufacturers.

This is because a lot of aspects will go into consideration when a brand sets a price for its products, such as materials used, country of manufacture, availability of parts, and more!

You should also expect different models of the same brand to have different prices because each one will have its own set of features to suit various needs.

The Type of the AC Unit

AC units come in all shapes and styles. The most commonly used ones are the central AC units, which are slightly more expensive than some other models like a window, portable, and ductless mini-split AC units.

Other types of AC units, such as dual fuel and geothermal air conditioners are more expensive than central ACs and can cost thousands of dollars to install.

Unit Size

The larger your house is, the larger the AC unit you’ll need to control its temperature. A good rule of thumb here is it takes 18 BTUs to condition 1 square foot in the house

In other words, you’ll need to multiply your house’s square footage by 18 to get an approximate estimation of the BTU requirements for your house.

Every 1 ton in AC units is capable of putting out up to 12,000 BTUs, so choose the AC’s tonnage accordingly.

Complexity of Installation

Installation is a pricey aspect of AC units. Whether you’ve bought a larger one or you’ll require extra plumbing or adjustments in the house to install one, the installation process will cost a little more.

Energy Efficiency

This one is also known as SEER, short for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio”. An AC with a higher SEER score will typically cost higher, although they’re well worth the money. But more on that in the following sections.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain and Repair an AC?

The average one-time service cost of an AC repair will vary depending on the type of the AC, the complexity of the fix, and whether you’ll need to replace an expensive part.

Ideally, simple maintenance or replacement jobs will cost around $60 to $75 for low-end AC units and around $100 to $120 for a high-end model, not including the prices of any new parts that are needed for the fix.

How Long Does a New AC Last?

Although an AC unit is quite pricey when it’s compared to many other appliances, a new one should last for a very long time.

For instance, you should expect a brand new AC unit to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the durability of the building and how frequently you maintain it.

Are High-Efficiency AC Units Worth the Money?

As previously mentioned, high-efficiency AC units can be quite pricey. Yet, if you live in an area where you’ll need to keep the AC unit running for an extended period of time, spending some extra money to get a high-efficiency AC unit can be an excellent investment.

This is because high-efficiency AC units not only provide better overall performance when it comes to controlling the room’s temperature and humidity, but it also saves a lot of electricity while doing so.

This brings down the electricity bill significantly, which can make up for the price of the unit. Not only that, but they also last longer without maintenance, so it can save you even more money in the long run!

Final Thoughts

This wraps it up for today’s guide that walks you through everything you need to know about the costs of having a new AC unit.

As you can see, there are various aspects and considerations that you need to keep in mind while deciding on an AC unit.

For that reason, you should expect an AC unit to cost you anywhere between $1,500 and up to $8,000 if you include all the extra costs of installation and labor that goes into having a new unit in your house.

Often it is a good idea to replace a unit once it is more than 12 years as more and more parts will start to break. Yearly maintenance (such as cleaning the evaporator coils) can prolong the lifetime of an AC unit.

If you get a maintenance plan, you might get a reduction in the installation price. AC units have to be maintained anyway, so picking one of these plans can be a good idea.

We have discussed how much electricity AC systems use to run here.