Central Air Conditioner Prices
Average Price: $4,990
Average Cost Range: $2,770 – $6,750
Cost Comparison of AC Brands, Unit Sizes, Repair Costs, Replacement Cost, and Different Efficiency Central Air Systems.
Welcome to our price comparison website for residential central air conditioner systems. The information we display on this site is updated weekly with pricing we compile from industry information, consumer submissions, and data gathered from readers and contractors across the web who have chosen to share it. Our latest update was done to bring pricing and information up to date for 2021. The price range to have central air installed can vary widely by location, your home and many other factors. This page is meant to be your replacement cost guide and help you get started in understanding those costs.
Sections | Page Contents
Central AC Unit Prices by Brand
For the purpose of this price list of leading central air conditioner brands, we used a baseline of a standard efficiency 2.5 ton central ac unit and matching evaporator coil, from the different leading brands below. A 2.5 ton unit is the approximate size installed in most 1400-1800 square foot homes. All central ac unit prices online are approximate, based on the latest pricing sheets we have.
Central AC Unit Brand
AC & Coil Cost
AC & Coil Installed Cost
Central AC Unit Pricing By Size
Central air conditioner units are manufactured in very specific sizes ranging from 1.5 – 5 tons of cooling capacity for home use. An HVAC contractor can (and should) perform a load calculation on your home to tell you the exact size for your house. Many states now require a load calculation for both new and replacement ac units, to have the system permit and inspection completed. If the AC Contractor does not pull a load calculation, use a different contractor! (free quotes)
Average AC Unit Prices by Size or Capacity
Central AC Unit Size
AC & Coil
AC & Coil Installed Cost
|1.5 Tons, 18,000 btu||$940||$1,895|
|2 Tons, 24,000 btu||$1,490||$2,690|
|2.5 Tons, 30,000 btu||$1,525||$2,695|
|3 Tons, 36,000 btu||$1,650||$2,990|
|3.5 Tons, 42,000 btu||$1,780||$3,250|
|4 Tons, 48,000 btu||$1,860||$3,350|
|5 Tons, 60,000 btu||$1,920||$3,590|
Unit Prices by Efficiency
High efficiency central air systems can save you a considerable amount of money on energy. Gone are the days of 7-10 seer home ac units, and the lowest efficiency central air conditioner units you can purchase from a manufacturer is 13 seer, and those are limited to specific units. In most cases today, you’ll get a 14-15 seer minimum efficiency unit. The highest efficiency central ac units are rated at 24 seer, and other brands use solar panels to assist in providing electricity during peak use. Of course, the AC unit prices with higher seer ratings are much more than their lower initial cost counterparts.
SEER Meaning – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (Higher is better, like mpg in a car)
For the purpose of this SEER Efficiency Comparison, we chose a 2.5 ton central air conditioner unit and matching evaporator coil. Manufacturers recommend you only install matched systems to achieve the ARI ratings listed.
Central AC Prices by Efficiency Performance
Central Air Efficiency Ratings
AC & Coil
AC & Coil Installation Cost
|13-14 SEER (Standard Efficiency)||$1,435||$2,770|
|15-16 SEER (High Efficiency)||$1,860||$3,560|
|17-18 SEER (High Efficiency)||$2,200||$4,250|
|19-21 SEER (Super High Efficiency)||$2,850||$5,290|
|22-24 SEER (Highest Available Efficiency)||$3,680||$6,750|
Note: Some of the higher SEER central air conditioners (18-24 SEER) like those offered by Lennox, may require the addition of a solar panel to your roof, to assist in providing renewable green electricity to power the ac during peak use. When you estimate central air cost for your home, be sure to add in incidental costs that will accumulate for items that you may be interested in. In addition, if you choose to look at the solar alternatives, keep in mind the added cost for an electrician, panel costs, improvements to the roof, etc.
Price Breakdown of a Replacement AC Unit Cost
The list of items below represents the parts and supplies cost to replace a home ac unit. The price list is broken into two separate tables. The first table shows the components most often required to replace a home ac unit. The second table shows parts that are often changed, though not required if they are not needed, or not part of the overall change-out.
Most Often Required to Replace AC Unit
HVAC Unit Component or Part Name
|Condensing Unit |
The AC condenser is the large box-like unit that is outside the home.
|$850 – $2,350|
|Evaporator Coil |
AC Coils are most often indoor components (Except on packaged units) that are connected through a refrigerant lineset, and mounted to an air handler or furnace.
|$190 – $350|
|Refrigerant Lineset |
The lineset is a set of copper tubes wrapped in insulation. These allow the movement of refrigerant to and from the condensing unit to the indoor evaporator coil. They are not always replaced if the new and old unit have the same size requirements and type of refrigerant, but preferred by most contractors.
|$160 – $340|
|30 AMP Electrical Breaker & Box |
The outdoor breaker has to meet current code requirements in order to pass inspection. It’s very common to have the breaker replaced when a new ac unit is installed.
|$125 – $300|
|Installation Permit and Inspection |
In most areas of the US, a permit to install and and inspection after the installation is required by local code laws. This is to assure proper sizing ahead of time and safety requirements completed during the install.
|$75 – $250|
Optional, Not Required AC Parts / HVAC Equipment Costs
HVAC Unit Component or Part Name
|Air Handler or Furnace |
An air handler or furnace (gas, oil, electric) is the unit attached to your indoor coil, that moved the air through your duct system. Often, a gas furnace is matched to the AC unit.
|$450 – $2,650|
|Drain Pan & New Safety Float Switch |
Most local code calls for a drain pan with a float switch under any unit installed inside a home. This is to prevent flooding, should the drain line clog or become obstructed. When water builds, the float switch automatically turns off all systems, and prevents them from damaging ceilings and floors.
|$85 – $250|
|Thermostat (Standard or Programmable) |
The thermostat is the brain of the HVAC system in your home. Often, contractors prefer to replace them at the time of a complete system replacement. They range from simple thermostats to very intelligent, programmable communicating thermostats.
|$35 – $450|
|Condensing Unit Pad |
In order to assure the outdoor unit stays level and on solid ground, it’s common to replace the outdoor unit pad. These can be plastic, composite, or concrete. In areas close to the beach or prone to flooding, it’s common to build the unit pad several feet off the ground.
|$60 – $150|
|Evaporator Drain Line or Condensate Pump |
The drain line is a PVC pipe that allows the condensate water from the coil to drain outside or into your home drain system. On some units, a condensate pump is needed to assure the proper drainage of condensate water.
|$65 – $400|
|Duct Cleaning, Replacement or Modifications |
It’s not uncommon for a new unit to require changes to the HVAC duct system. This could mean a second return duct (air taken from the home, through a filter and back to unit), or the addition of supply ducts to various rooms for added cooling or heating needs.
|$280 – $400 / each|
Owner Installed AC Unit Costs
In the section below, we maintain our list of user submitted prices for their homes central air conditioner replacement cost. If you would like to share the cost to install central air, ac unit cost, a repair you had done, or the price range that you were quoted or paid for your home system, please go to the user submission form and send it in.
Each of the estimated prices you see below are based on the home, the homeowner needs and much more. Trane goes out of it’s own way to help homeowners understand there are many variables in pricing when you buy an AC unit for your home. The only way to know the exact cost for your home is to have a trained professional provide a detailed quote. Click here to get a free quote today.
User and Owner Submitted, Installed Prices
AC Size & Brand
|Monroe, NC||1340 sqft||2.5 ton Goodman||AC and Coil, Furnace||$5,260|
|Notes: Our AC failed over Memorial Day Weekend, 2017. We called our HVAC guy and they told us the unit was just too old to bother fixing, since it was 17 years old. We agreed and replaced with a Goodman central AC, coil and furnace.|
|Port Orange, FL||2,100sf||3 Ton Goodman System||AC, Coil, Installation||$5,668|
|Notes: Replaced our old central ac complete system with a 3 ton 14 seer slit system complete heating and air.|
|Ft Lauderdale, Florida||1640 sqft||4-ton Rheem AC||AC, Air Handler||$4,950|
|Notes: Central Air quit working right before Thanksgiving 2016 – We had a company out and had a new Rheem 16 SEER AC unit and air handler installed the same day.|
|Houston, TX||2,400sf||4 Ton Trane AC||AC, Coil, Installation||$2450|
|Notes: On the hottest day of the year, our AC unt failed. It was replaced with a 4-ton, 16 seer TRANE unit by a local Houston AC company.|
|Austin, TX||1500 sqft||3-ton Carrier||Complete AC and Coil Replacement||$4,700|
|Notes: Ruud system finally failed after 16 yrs in Texas heat (circuit board, outside motor and blower motor). Rather than band-aid repair for $1200-$1500 I decided to replace with 14-SEER 3-ton Carrier unit, which is a little oversized for sqft.|
|Bloomington, IN||2200sf||2.5 Ton Ducane||AC and A-Coil, Installed||$2450|
|Notes: AC did not cool the house. Compressor locked up. Replaced the Condensing unit outside the house and the A coil with heat pump. Included insulating, installing 1 discharge, electrical whip, pad, drier, 1 suction drier, leak testing, evacuating and charging with R22.|
|Port Jefferson, NY||1880sf||3-ton Carrier||Full AC Replacement, Installed||$4100|
|Notes: Replaced the central ac and inside coil on our 20 year old system. It took 2 works 4-5 hours. We put in a 15 seer carrier.|
|Tulsa, OK||1300sf||2-ton Goodman||AC, Electric Furnace, Installed||$3650|
|Notes: We heard not to install Goodman, but it was our cheapest ac option. Took 2 guys about 6 hours to get it installed.|
|Mt Airy, NC||1190sf||2-ton Fedders||Central Air and Coil, Installed||$2450|
|Notes: Central air conditioner broke 2 weeks ago and we had our appliance repair guy put in a new outside box and coil in the furnace. 1 installer, 3 hours.|
|Greenville, SC||1750sf||3-ton Trane||AC, Air Handler, Installed||$6225|
|Notes: 8 year old home and the coil and pa were completely rusted out of our old central air conditioner. We decided to replace the whole unit with a Trane central ac and air handler. Took 2 guys a full day.|
|Arlington, TX||3320sf||3-ton Bryant||Central Air Conditioner, Air handler, Installed||$6900|
|Notes: This was the second of 2 units in our (21 year old) home to fail. We chose this 2-stage central air conditioner since the salesman said it would work better and cut our electricity costs. Took a crew of 3 workers 5 hours to complete the installation for us.|
|Phoenix, AZ||1500sf||2.5-ton Trane||AC with Air Handler, Installed||$4350|
|Notes: Replaced our 13 year old Carrier air conditioner with a new 15 SEER Trane AC & Air handler with Electric Heat Strips. Took a crew of 2 guys a full day to get it done. House is awesome cool now, but the new Trane central ac is huge in size!|
|Lexington, KY||1310sf||2.5ton Goodman||Central Air, Gas Furnace, Installed||$3660|
|Notes: Replaced an 18 year old Coleman system with a new Goodman GSC13 seer system. The new central air and furnace seems to work perfectly for our home, this winter will tell I guess. It took 2 crewman, 6-7 hours to install the new ac & furnace.|
|Zephyr Hills, Fl||1760 sf||3-ton Heil||AC & Air Handler, Installed||$3150|
|Notes: Our central air conditioner failed on Thursday, the crew had the new one installed by midday Friday, and since they were slow, we got a heck of a bargain on a 14 seer system!|
|Charlotte, NC||1820sf||3-ton Carrier||Central AC Unit & Coil, Furnace, Installed||$5950|
|Notes: We needed a new central air unit and replaced the furnace at the same time. The company was hungry for work and discount $1k off the price for signing contract that day! A crew of two installers and a helper (3 total) showed up the following morning and had the job done in 6 hours.|
|Vacaville, CA||990sf||2-ton Carrier||Packaged AC Unit||$5,350|
|Notes: Platform packaged system, installed by a crew of two workers with a small boom truck.|
|Galveston, TX||2350sf||4-ton Goodman||Central Air Unit, Coil, Air Handler||$3900|
|Notes: Typical short life of a central air unit in Galveston, the outdoor unit was corroded by the salt air and only lasted about 8 years this time. 2 workers handled the job and we were very pleased with the installation cost, it was lower than last time.|
|Albany, GA||1210sf||2 Ton Trane||Heat Pump, Fan Coil||$3,950|
|Notes: Replaced an old AC and electric heat air handler. The 2 ton heat pump price was much more competitive than we thought it would be, so we chose a heat pump versus straight ac this time. Took 2 guys about 6 hours to get the installation done.|
|Shreveport, LA||1110sf||2-ton Fedders||AC Condenser, Installed||$1600|
|Notes: The outside part broke the compressor. Had several guys want to replace the whole thing in and out, but since it was only 7 years old, the ac condenser cost only much cheaper than the entire system price. Took 1 guy about 3 hours.|
|Sarasota, FL||2995sf||5 Ton Lennox||Central AC Unit, Electric Heat||$9,850|
|Notes: It took a crew of three workers 1.5 days to complete the installation of a new Lennox central ac unit with an electric heat air handler. We also had an electronic air cleaner, several ducts replaced, and UV lights installed at the same time.|
|Miami, FL||1960sf||3.5-ton Bryant||Air Conditioning Unit||$2920|
|Notes: Our old central ac quit. We called around for air conditioning units prices and were shocked how much some of these companies wanted. They apparently don’t know there is a recession going on! We finally got a crew to install the ac and air handler on Weds.|
|Decatur, GA||1700sf||2.5 Ton Trane||Central Air Heat Pump System||$3,900|
|Notes: 12 year old heat pump central hvac stopped working. Repair was $1400 for compressor, recharge and whatever else they said. Replacement with a 15 seer higher efficiency system was under 4 grand. No brainer for us. Technician diagnosed the issue, 2 installers had it done the next day in 6 hours.|
|St Louis, MO||2800sf||3 Ton Carrier||AC, Coil, Installed||$3,560|
|Notes: Cost of $3560 was quoted cost. I can’t believe how much everybody is paying for their units, where do they come up with the money? We make good money but we cannot validate paying that much for a new unit, that is CRAZY! we had a friend come out and he said $1500 for everything.|
|Boston, MA||2150sf||4-Ton Trane||AC & Coil, Installation||$5,000|
|Notes: Original AC unit was installed in 1997, decided to replace when compressor failed.|
|Phoenix, AZ||1790sf||3-Ton Trane||Central AC & Fan Unit||$6,180|
|Notes: Hot week in Phoenix, our central ac unit broke and was old enough to just replace it. We replaced with a 3-ton 18 SEER Trane central air unit. It took 2 service technicians about 6 hours to do the job.|
|Dodge City, KS||1850sf||3-Ton Carrier||Central AC, Installed||$3,950|
|Notes: Hottest day of the year was over the weekend and we had to call for emergency AC repair service. 19 year old Carrier, replaced with a new 15 SEER 3-ton Carrier central air unit and coil. Took 2 guys about 5 hours to do it on a Saturday afternoon in 100 degree weather.|
*Note: This site is for informational purposes to help homeowners. You should always consult a local central air conditioner company or HVAC professional to have your needs assessed for more accurate pricing. While we have knowledge to industry specific price lists and variables in the equipment costs, speaking to a contractor is the only way to get an accurate installation cost estimate for your home air conditioning system.
*Note: User submitted prices and related content may be edited for proper grammar and punctuation.
Entries from the table are comprised of data we received from 2012 – 2018. Older price data is removed from the table every month to reflect the latest prices provided by visitors and customers.