Average Central Air Conditioner Cost

You’ve probably heard that central air conditioning can be quite expensive. Here is a breakdown of the average central air conditioner cost.

Average Initial Cost

The initial cost of a central AC unit consists of the price of the unit itself, the labor cost for the installation, as well as other supporting costs such as permit fees, ductwork installation, and electrical adjustment. On average, a central AC unit costs between $1,700 and $3,000. The labor cost is $60 to $120 per hour. Installation usually takes about 4-8 hours. Other possible costs during the installation process are:

  • Permit Fee: $100 to $250
  • Ductwork Installation: $4,000 to $6,000
  • Electrical: $120 to $300
  • Thermostat: $50 to $200
  • Extra accessories: $20 to $50

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Average Operational Costs

The total energy consumed by your central air system depends on the size and efficiency rating of the unit. But on average, central air conditioning costs around $4 to $7 per day for a small house. That means you will spend $120 to $217 per month to keep your property cool during summer.

Average Maintenance Costs

You can save money by DIYing your regular tune-up, but we do not recommend this if you lack the knowledge and experience to do it right. Hiring a professional is a much safer option. It only costs you around $70-200 for a basic service or $150-400 for extended services. Considering that you need it only once every six months, this cost shouldn’t be a big deal.

Average Central Air Conditioner Cost

Average Repair and Replacement Costs

Central air conditioning costs for repair jobs range between $75 and $500, depending on the severity of the problem and how long the technician takes to fix the issue. If you need a total replacement, prepare to spend around $5,000 to $10,000. For any minor parts, here are the average replacement costs:

  • Compressor: $1,200 to $2,400
  • Refrigerant recharge: $100 to $300
  • Fan motor: $250 to $600
  • Thermostat: $50 to $200
  • Ductwork: $500 to $2,000
  • Coils: $600 to $2,200
  • Air filters: $10 to $50

Average Removal Cost

According to federal law, you need proper disposal of the old AC unit you no longer use. This is to ensure that the freon will not leak and harm our planet. Most HVAC technicians know how to handle such things. You only need to pay around $90 to $150 for such a service. Generally, this service is already included in the AC replacement service package.

If the overall central air conditioning cost is higher than your expectation, you might need to consider other types of air conditioning. However, we do not suggest cutting corners by opting for undersized units or less reputable brands because you might end up spending more money in the long run. For any doubts, contact a professional HVAC company to get a recommendation.



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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