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Air conditioning is a must-have during a New Jersey summer. But let’s be honest, price is the biggest determining factor when it comes to shopping for air conditioners, right?
So, let’s look at a realistic price range for AC installation: You can expect to pay anywhere from $4,500 to $9,000 for central AC installation in New Jersey.
Factors that affect the cost include:
Want an in-depth look at the factors above? Then read on, we’ll cover all of these in detail.
Note: If you want a shortcut to the exact price you’ll be expected to pay your best bet is to have a NJ HVAC tech inspect your home and give you an estimate.
The first choice you’ll need to make is the kind of cooling unit that is best for your home: a straight cool air conditioner or a heat pump.
Straight cool AC unit
This is your typical central air conditioner that just cools a home. The cost of a straight cool air conditioning unit in New Jersey without installation/setup costs anywhere from $800 to $2,600.
Heat pump unit
A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can work in reverse to offer heating in the winter. Heat pump units are slightly more expensive than central AC units but, compared to furnaces, can offer monthly heating savings during the colder months. Heat pumps units without installation/setup vary in price from $850 to $3,870. Heat pump units plus the cost of installation and setup vary in price from $4,000 to $7,000.
Generally speaking, the larger the size of your AC unit, the higher the price.
When you get around to shopping for unit sizes, you’ll notice that they are sized in “tonnage”, but this doesn’t refer to the unit’s weight. Instead it refers to how much heat they can remove from a house in one hour.
For example, a 1-ton AC can remove 12,000 BTU’s in one hour (“BTU” stands for British Thermal Unit and refers to the amount of energy needed to cool one pound of water by one degree).
Here’s a quick guide to AC sizes in relation to the BTU’s it can remove:
So how do you know what size air conditioning you need? Only a professional who performs a manual load calculation can give you an accurate answer.
A manual load calculation takes into account a large number of factors including your home’s square footage, amount of windows, how many people live there, amount of insulation, type of flooring, geographical location, etc.
Note: Beware professionals who give you a quote over the phone or after using “rule of thumbs” but don’t actually perform a manual load calculation. This could result in an AC that’s sized incorrectly for your house which means you’ll end up paying more than you should in cooling costs/expensive repairs in the long run.
Typically, the higher the SEER of your air conditioning unit, the more expensive it will be.
You can determine the SEER of an air conditioner by checking the yellow sticker on the side of the condenser (outside unit).
Photo source: Youtube.com
So what is SEER and why does it affect the price?
SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and basically measures how energy efficient your unit is. So, while a higher SEER may cost more initially, it will save you money in cooling costs in the long run.
Most units today start at SEER 13 and go all the way up into the 20s.
The right SEER for you really comes down to how much you are willing to pay up front and how much you want to save on a yearly basis.
Having trouble deciding? Here’s a cool energy efficiency measuring tool that will calculate how much you can save in one year by upgrading your AC’s SEER. Just plug in your current AC SEER with the rating you are interested in buying.
The brand you choose determines how much you’ll pay for the unit. Generally speaking, popular brands like Trane, Carrier or Lennox will cost more. But popular brands often come with better warranties and features.
If you’re having difficulty deciding which AC model and brand you should choose, ask a NJ HVAC technician for their advice. They’ll be able to guide you towards the brand that fits your needs.
Want to do some of your own research before contacting a professional? Consumer Search offers a great list of the top air conditioning brands with the best reputation.
The bulk of the cost of a new air conditioner goes toward the contractor you choose to perform a manual load calculation and the installation of your AC unit. Certain companies also offer add-on warranties to cover a wide range of AC problems you may have in the future.
We suggest you shop around before choosing a company. Contact several local companies and get a quote from each.
Note: DON’T just choose contractors that offers the lowest price. NJ contractors who are licensed, bonded and insured generally cost more but are the safer, cheaper option in the long run.
Just like any contracting job, installing an air conditioner may involve unforeseen issues that can add onto the overall cost. Additionally, you may be interested in add-on features that will improve the efficiency of your unit or your family’s comfort.
Some of these “add-ons” include:
Control We provide you with options that best suit your needs and let you decide.
Honest Pricing We tell you the costs up front so there are no surprises or hidden costs.
Experience Our company has been around for nearly 80 years. We know what we’re doing.
Punctual We value your time - Our dedicated team will keep you updated and work with your schedule.
Uniformed & Clean Our technicians are uniformed and clean up their workspace so there is no mess.
24/7 Availability You can depend on Binsky Home to be there when you are hit with the unexpected.