Help Guides

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Central AC? A Pittsburgh Tech Explains

| Posted in:  Help Guides/Cooling

The cost to install a central AC in Pittsburgh ranges from $4,500–$9,000, with an average cost of $7,000.

Why such a wide price range? It's because the cost of your central AC system will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Unit size
  • Energy efficiency
  • Comfort features
  • Ductwork repair or installations

Below, we’ll discuss how each of these factors can affect the overall cost of a central AC installation.           

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Cost factor #1: Unit size

The size of a central AC is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), which measures how much heat a system can remove from your home in an hour.

The larger the BTU output of the AC, the more expensive it will be.

AC size is also expressed in tons. Essentially, tonnage is another way to measure the BTU output of an AC system.

One "ton" is equal to 12,000 BTUs. Most residential ACs range anywhere from 1 to 5 tons.

Regardless of whether an AC is measured in tons or BTUs, the higher the BTU output or tons, the more heat an AC system can remove from your home per hour, and the more expensive it will be.

How do I know which size of system I need for my home? It depends on a lot of factors, like:

  • Number of rooms in your home
  • Number of windows
  • Quality of insulation
  • Number of people living in your home

A professional will assess all of these factors to help determine what size AC system you need for your home.

Cost factor #2: Energy efficiency

The efficiency level of AC systems is measured in SEER, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Most residential units range anywhere from 14 to 21 SEER.

The higher the SEER rating (or efficiency), the more expensive an AC system will be.

However, even though a more efficient unit will be more expensive upfront, you’ll likely see long-term savings.

Cost factor #3: Comfort features

You can add comfort features to your AC that will increase your comfort and help you save money. However, these features come with a cost. Some of these features include:

  • Smart thermostat: A smart thermostat allows you to program your temperature settings to fluctuate automatically throughout the day. For example, let’s say you want your temperature set to 75° F when you’re home but would like to reduce your utility bills. With a smart thermostat, you can have your AC system cool your home at 75° while you’re home and 80° while you’re away, saving you money and reducing wear and tear on your system.
  • Noise-reduction: You can install a variety of noise-reducing tools like compressor insulation/mounts, noise-reducing fan blades, and dampening strips.
  • Air quality: If air quality is important to you, there are many ways to increase your home’s air quality, such as installing a UV air purifier or high-efficiency filter.

Cost factor #4: Ductwork

Repairing or replacing ductwork can be expensive, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000+.

However, the duct system in your home plays a huge part in how quickly and efficiently conditioned air can make its way through your home. If that ductwork is improperly installed, improperly insulated or is damaged, it can affect your AC system’s ability to circulate conditioned air throughout your home.  

If you have an older home or AC system, you should have a professional assess your ductwork to see if it needs to be updated, replaced or insulated. Depending on the level of inefficiency or damage, you may need to repair or completely replace your existing ductwork before installing a new AC system.

Signs it’s time to install a new central AC system

If your AC is...

  1. 15+ years old
  2. Constantly needing repairs
  3. Not keeping your home cool

… then it’s time to install a new central AC system. While the cost to install a new system is expensive, you’ll save more money in the long run with an efficient system.

Ready to install a new central AC system?

Call our team of experts! At Calfo, each technician is trained with 10,000 hours of hands-on experience, so you know when you hire a Calfo tech, you are hiring a trained professional.

Schedule a free estimate today!
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