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How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Central Air Conditioning Unit?

Central air replacement cost in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield (IL): Fortunately, for many of us, it’s a topic we don’t need to address very often. While it’s usually smart to consider replacement after 10 years, most air conditioners are built to last an average of 15 to 20 years.

For those of us who either own a system that long or move into a home with an aging unit, we’ll eventually need to plan to replace it. Some systems also will unpredictably wear down and malfunction.

A new cooling system’s cost will range according to several factors. We’ll discuss them here so you have good starting knowledge for whenever it might be your time to act.

Central Air Replacement Cost Consideration 1: Brand

Your choice of AC brand will play a part in your cost. While the adage that you get what you pay for applies here as it does anywhere else, the price of an AC unit doesn’t always represent its value (its performance for the expense).

To get a feel for what’s out there, you can begin by researching your options online. You’ll find plenty about AC unit types and functions for what you might need. At the same time, filter what you find out with proper skepticism. The web includes a lot of conflicting information. Your best bet is to gather starting details and then continue your inquiry with AC professionals who can provide you with more-specific direction.

For your reference, some of the most popular AC brands in 2019 are Amana, Goodman, Day & Night, Mitsubishi, Bryant, Carrier, York and Rheem.

Central Air Replacement Cost Consideration 2: Home Size

The size of your home in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield factors into installing the correct size of air conditioner. The unit should be neither too big nor too small. An improperly sized air conditioner will affect your comfort, your cooling efficiency and the money you spend on both equipment and utility bills.

To determine the right size of air conditioner, a professional will perform what’s called a load calculation. This computation considers data such as your home’s levels of insulation, window and door types, and areas of surfaces that lose heat. It lets you know how much cooling your house will need under peak conditions for each room, each interior zone and the whole house.

Central Air Replacement Cost Consideration 3: Ductwork

If all you need is to replace an old or broken unit with a new one, we refer to that in our profession as a change-out. If your cooling system also calls for replacing the air ducts, we would identify your installation as a full replacement. 

Air ducts will often be the same age as the AC unit, so you want to verify whether they are still in good condition. Most AC replacements – about two-thirds of them – do require new ducts. Dirt and debris have been collecting in them for years; they might also develop holes and breaks over time. Beyond making the system less efficient, worn ducts can develop into a safety hazard.

Central Air Replacement Cost Consideration 4: SEER Rating

An air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) indicates how well a unit cools spaces according to the energy it draws. It is calculated by the cooling output for a typical season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher an air conditioner’s SEER rating, the lower the cost to run the unit. A 21 is the highest SEER rating.

An air conditioner with a 21 SEER isn’t automatically the one that’s ideal for you, however. Certain variables can influence if you would be just as well served by a unit with a lower rating. Skilled, knowledgeable HVAC professionals can help you determine the best value and performance within your price range.

Central Air Replacement Cost Consideration 5: Challenge of Installation

How difficult the installation is (or is not) will also play into the cost of central air replacement. Working in a small space or customizing many parts, for example, will call for extra labor that the price will reflect.

The Typical Numbers

The cost range of central air replacement in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield will usually fall between $3,000 and $10,000, with the average often around $5,000 to $6,000. These prices include the air conditioning unit (with warranty), labor and all materials needed to complete the installation.

(Please note that these figures are estimates only and not exact quotes; each system replacement price is determined by an individual assessment.)

In some cases, you might also qualify for tax credits or other rebates. An HVAC professional can advise you.

Contact Us Today

Replacing a cooling system is a notable, important investment, so you want to be properly served and informed. Call Air Dynamics Heating & Cooling at (630) 731-1550 to further discuss central air replacement costs for your home in Oswego, Yorkville, Plainfield, Naperville or Aurora.

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