The cost to install a central AC in Tampa depends on:
How do these factors impact cost? We’ll break them down for you.
Want a more accurate price to install an AC in your home? Just give us a call and we’ll give you one. Or, schedule a consultation with one of our certified technicians today.
When we say “size”, we don’t mean the physical dimensions of an AC unit, but rather its cooling capacity (measured in tons or BTUs). Larger capacity AC units will be more expensive than smaller ones.
Typical residential AC units range from 1–5 tons and include half sizes (1.5-ton, 2.5-ton, etc.) The more tonnage an AC has, the more the unit will cost.
So, sure, getting a smaller capacity unit will save you money upfront (in installation fees) but it won’t necessarily save you any money in the long run. Here’s why...
For the same reason proper shoe size matters: it will keep you comfortable and prevent a wide range of problems down the road.
If your AC unit is too small, the unit will run constantly without cooling your home to the temperature you want, causing high electric bills and a hot house in Florida summers.
If your unit is too large, it will “short cycle”. Short cycling happens when an AC unit cools a home very quickly and then shuts off. This might sound good, but it actually causes a lot of problems, including:
To get a properly sized AC for your home, you need a professional “load calculation”, also known as a Manual J Load Calculation.
There are a lot of factors that go into properly sizing an AC, including:
A Manual J Load Calculation is complex, but a certified HVAC technician will have the tools and know-how to do it.
Learn more about AC sizing in our post, “What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need for My Florida Home?”.
While energy-efficient ACs are more expensive to buy, they’re less expensive to run.
An AC unit’s energy efficiency is measured by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER, the more energy-efficient the AC will be.
The federal minimum requirement for Florida is 14 SEER, but you can buy units up to 26 SEER. Don’t go out and buy the highest SEER unit you can find though.
While higher SEER units are less expensive to run, you need to determine if the savings on utility bills over its lifetime will be worth the initial installation cost. You might actually spend more money in the long run than you would have with a lower SEER unit, since ACs only last about 10 years in Florida.
When shopping for AC units, look for:
AC units come in three cooling speeds: single-stage, two-stage, and variable-speed.
Single-stage ACs are the least expensive and variable-speed are the most expensive, but single-stage units are less efficient (more costly to run), and variable-speed ones are more efficient (less costly to run). Two-stage units fall somewhere in the middle on both cost and efficiency.
Here’s the difference between the three:
All AC units will come with a manufacturer warranty, but their lengths and terms vary across brands. The longer and more comprehensive the warranty, the more it will cost.
Although a longer warranty will cost more upfront, AC repairs can be expensive, and it could save you from paying for those in the future.
Here’s what you want to look at when comparing AC warranties:
Generally, the better quality the contractor, the more they’ll charge for time and labor.
Why is that? A quality contractor will be properly trained on how to install the best AC for your home and needs. Improperly installing an AC unit, or installing one that has too much or too little cooling capacity for your home, will cost you more money down the road (in electric bills and additional installation costs).
The bottom line? You’re better off hiring a slightly more expensive contractor who knows what they’re doing.
Call us or schedule an appointment online and we’ll send one of our experienced techs out to give you a free and fair AC installation estimate.