Skip navigation

24/7 Emergency Service Available

Set your Location:

Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

How Much Does an AC Installation Cost?


Buying a new air conditioner is a huge investment. We get it! We do applaud you for looking into this purchase now rather than waiting for temperatures to warm up. This gives you time to truly explore your options, looking at not only the initial cost of your system, but how much it will likely cost you to operate from month to month, the type of system you want, and how efficient of equipment you want.

These are all factors we’ll go into when we help you with your purchase and installation–because you should only ever trust a pro for this job. Trained and experienced HVAC professionals, like the members of our team, will be able to adequately match and size the right air conditioner to your specific home, for your specific needs. Read on as we uncover the factors that go into your AC installation cost.

What Type of System Is It?

The type of system is going to play a role in its installation cost. This is because different systems require different setups and have various nuances.

  • Central Air Conditioner: Also known as a single-split system, the central air conditioner is the most commonly found air conditioner in most modern homes. If you’ve always had a central air conditioner and your ductwork is in great shape (meaning no damage, not in need of cleaning, expertly installed, etc.) then you may find that this installation option is the best for you as far as upfront costs are concerned.
  • Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are set up very similarly to central air conditioners, with one major difference. They have a component called a “reversing valve” that enables the flow of refrigerant to be switched. This means that heat pumps function as not only air conditioners but as heaters too. Their installation might be a little more involved if they’re replacing a gas-powered heating system. But since they transfer heat instead of generating it, they are less costly over their lifespan to operate.
  • Geothermal Systems: Geothermal systems are heat pumps, but instead of relying on the air for their temperature balance, they have tubes that run underground that rely on the steady temperature of the earth. This is where you’re getting into a more expensive installation since unless your home is being newly constructed, some digging will be required to place the tubes. This is a very efficient cooling and heating option though, and those tubes can last decades as long as they’re professionally installed.
  • Ductless Systems: Ductless systems also operate on heat pump technology, except instead of being a single-split system, they’re multi-split. This means that rather than a single indoor unit that distributes air through ductwork, a ductless system has multiple indoor air handlers (up to 4) hooked up to a single outdoor unit. The refrigerant, condensate line, and power cord run behind each air handler, and therefore in most cases a small hole does need to be drilled in the drywall behind each air handler. So, this makes the installation a bit more complex and costly, but likely not as costly as a geothermal system installation.

What Is the SEER Rating?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it is the rating given to air conditioners to define how much output they give compared to how much energy they draw. You want a system with a high SEER rating, as that’s what is going to operate the most efficiently throughout the lifespan of the system.

However, the higher the SEER rating, the more expensive your initial installation is going to be.

What Type of Ductwork Do You Have?

Most homes have flexible ductwork, and as long as it was professionally installed and is in good shape, may not impact the cost of your AC installation. But for fixed, sheet metal ductwork, this may require a bit more work for our technicians if any adjustments have to be made for your new air conditioner… another factor to keep in mind!

We’re happy to give you more specifics when we talk to you about your specific home and needs!

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online for professional AC installation in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Comments are closed.