Replacing your air conditioning system is a big financial commitment; therefore, knowing average prices will help you make a better choice and manage your budget. Whether you choose a central air conditioning unit, ductless mini-splits, or window unit, each option has its advantages.

From purchasing the system to installation, ensure that your cooling replacement process is transparent. This article discusses the average cost breakdown of different air conditioning replacements to guide you on how to go about the replacement process.  

Factors Influencing the Cost

Type of Air Conditioning System, Size and Capacity

The type of AC system you select affects the cost of air conditioning replacement. General types, such as Central Air Conditioning, rely on ductwork to distribute the cold air throughout the building. However, they consume more electricity than smaller units and have a higher purchase cost.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems are suitable for houses without ductwork, allow zoned cooling, and are more energy-efficient. Window Units are the cheapest. However, they might not be ideal for cooling the entire house or large spaces. They are perfect for studios, small apartments, or individual rooms. A small-sized unit will not be able to cool effectively, and a larger unit can result in energy wastage and uneven cooling.

How Much Does Air Conditioning Replacement Cost? A Detailed Breakdown

Energy Efficiency and Installation Considerations

Energy-efficient air conditioning equipment might cost more initially, but the utility bills will be lower in the long run. Search for units having high SEER values, which means better power efficiency. Some utility companies will give you discounts or incentives for replacing your old HVAC equipment with energy-efficient ones, making the original costs even less.

Installation expenses depend on factors like system complexity and accessibility to the ductwork or wiring. Often, labor costs are the highest. Hiring a certified and experienced HVAC contractor is crucial for proper installation and maximum system performance.

Average Costs for Various Types of Air Conditioning Systems

A central air conditioning unit costs $1,500 to $5,000, depending on factors like brand, size, and energy efficiency rating. The installation costs may vary depending on various factors, including the system’s complexity, the ease of access to the ductwork, and modifications needed to the existing HVAC system.

For this service, you can pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for professional installation. The entire cost of installation and equipment usually falls between $3,000 and $7,000.

A mini-split ductless system’s price depends on the indoor unit number, capacity, and energy efficiency. Prices generally range from $1,500 to $5,000 per indoor unit. The installation cost of ductless mini-splits can differ depending on how many indoor units are needed, the placement complexity, and the electrical work required. On average, you pay from $1,500 to $5,000 for professional installation.

Window air conditioner prices range from $150 to $500 for a unit. The unit installation costs are low because they can be installed DIY by the homeowner or by a professional. The installation cost usually varies between $50 and $150 per unit, depending on whether you need a professional service.


Upgrading your air conditioning system is a long-term investment that necessitates detailed planning. Get various quotes, observe if any warranties are provided, and look into financing possibilities to ensure that your investment is secure. Working with a trustworthy HVAC contractor can ensure an effective air conditioning replacement.

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