What Does New Central Air Conditioning Cost In South Jersey?

Replacing Your Air Conditioner Can Save You Money

How To Calculate The Cost Of Central AC Installation For A South Jersey Home

The average cost for central air conditioning installation in South Jersey ranges from $7,160 to $10,450. The most significant factors are size and efficiency ratings. You need a professional load calculation to determine your home’s size requirement. 

Broadley’s has served South Jersey for a century and has installed residential air conditioners since they first became available. As a result, we know two things for sure. 

First, no two homes here in South Jersey are alike. So, you can’t simply use your home’s square footage to determine what strength system you need. The wide diversity of layouts, ages, and styles of houses here makes it impossible to use any rule-of-thumb measurement. 

Second, the wrong-sized system can be disastrous. If it’s not strong enough or even too strong, you’ll never be comfortable. You’ll also pay more for repairs and the system will break down years before it should. 

In this article, we’ll break down your options and give you an idea of what will work best for your home in particular. This article covers: 

  • Air Conditioning Installation Vs. Replacing Your Furnace And AC Together
  • Common Air Conditioner Pricing In South Jersey
  • Finding The Right-Sized Air Conditioner
  • Choosing Your Efficiency
  • Air Conditioning Installation In Cape May And Atlantic Counties

We wish we could offer you a way to choose the best model online without talking to a salesperson. But, we know better than to mislead you. 

Still, we can help you compare your best choices. After reading this, you’ll know more than enough to browse through some models online. 

As you zero in on what you want, call us at (609) 390-3907 for a free consultation, and we’ll get you across the finish line.

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Air Conditioning Installation Vs. Replacing Your Furnace And AC Together

Is It Worth It To Replace Both Your AC And Heat At The Same Time?

We usually recommend installing a new furnace with your AC. Along with an outdoor condenser, your air conditioner coil is attached to the furnace and relies on your heater’s blower motor and other components.

If your furnace is only a few years old, we’ll do our best to find a model that matches it. In that case, you can get away with just the AC installation. But, we’ll let you know if it’s not a good idea. 

To get the best performance, your heater and cooling system should match. Otherwise, you won’t get the efficiency advertised for your new AC. It will cost you more on your electric bill each month. 

Next, modern ACs work best with newer ECM blower motors. If your older furnace has a PSG motor, you won’t get the cooling you want. 

Finally, central air requires a furnace. So, it’s not an option for homes with baseboard heat or radiators. In that case, you can consider a mini split for ductless heating and cooling. 

Common Air Conditioner Pricing In South Jersey

Here are four common, standard options based on the hundreds of systems we install in South Jersey homes every year. We’ll break down all those terms after you read through the pricing. Then, we’ll talk about how to find the right one for your home: 

Size: 2.5-ton / 45,000 BTU
Efficiency: 13-SEER / 80% AFUE
Cost: $7,160 to $8,260 (including installation)

Size: 2.5-ton / 45,000 BTU
Efficiency: 16-SEER / 95% AFUE
Cost: $8,445 to $10,080(including installation)

Size: 3-ton / 45,000 BTU
Efficiency: 13-SEER / 80% AFUE
Cost: $7,345 to $8,580 (including installation)

Size: 3-ton / 45,000 BTU
Efficiency: 16 SEER / 95% AFUE
Cost: $8,785 to $10,450 (including installation)

The size you need (the BTU and tonnage) depends on your square footage and other factors. You don’t have a choice there. But, you can choose different efficiency ratings based on your budget and preferences. And, you can explore high-end models with more features. Those are priced higher than the packages we listed.

Why You Should Replace Your AC In The Winter

AC And Heating Terms: What They Mean

If you’re familiar with all those abbreviations we used, you can skip to the next section on choosing the best model for your home. For now, we’re defining:

  • BTU
  • Tonnage
  • SEER
  • AFUE

BTU (British Thermal Unit)

BTUs, or British Thermal Units, measure the amount of heat your furnace produces. Since it’s a small unit, we use this by the thousands to measure furnace strength.


Tonnage is the amount of cooling an air conditioner produces and has nothing to do with its weight. One ton of cooling removes 12,000 BTUs of heat from your home every hour.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)

SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures how much energy your AC uses to keep you cool. The higher the SEER number, the less electricity your AC uses, saving you money. Modern ACs run from 13 to 26 SEER.

AFUE (Annual Fuel Efficiency Ratio)

AFUE, or Annual Fuel Efficiency Ratio, measures how much energy your furnace loses through exhaust. Whether you have gas, propane, or oil, some of that burns off in exhaust without providing heat. The higher the AFUE, the less energy you waste — and so the less you pay for on your bills.

You can choose your efficiency, and higher SEER and AFUE models cost more upfront. But, you’ll save money in the long run.

But first, let’s look into what you can’t control: What size system you need.

Finding The Right-Sized Air Conditioner

Your home’s square footage is essential when calculating your air conditioner size. But, circulation and airflow are critical as well. And, they’re affected by:

  • How Many Windows You Have
  • How Many Rooms You Have
  • Size And Locations Of Vents
  • Quality Of Your Ductwork
  • How High Your Ceilings Are
  • How Well Your Home Is Insulated

The list goes on. And, these variables aren’t consistent in our area. You’ll find basic formulas that multiply your square footage by different numbers to give you tonnage or BTU. But those just don’t hold up in South Jersey.

For instance, an older sprawling ranch in Marmora may be the same size as a new luxury house in Avalon. But, if the Avalon house has cathedral ceilings (and many do), there’s double the amount of space to cool. The temperature at the top of a large room affects what happens on the ground.

And in general, older homes are less insulated than newer ones. A Cape May Victorian loses more cooling in the summer (and heat in the winter) than airtight new construction in Mays Landing.

How To Know What Size Air Conditioner You Need

How Do You Know What Size AC Is Right For Your Home?

If your old furnace and AC worked well in your home, you can start by looking at new models that match that one’s size. The packages we listed above are the standard options.

However, if you’ve experienced hot or cold spots in your home, or you dealt with a lot of breakdowns, you may have had the wrong-sized system in the first place. Elsewhere, home additions or new windows, for instance, change your load requirements.

We’ll do a load calculation no matter what. That’s when we measure and combine all those factors we mentioned before.

We’ll also address any installation challenges that may increase your price. While most heater and AC installs are straightforward, they may cost more if we need to modify or repair ductwork or install a unit vertically, for instance. We’ll let you know about anything like that before you even choose a model.

Choosing Your Efficiency

Next is your efficiency rating: The part of the price you can control. As we mentioned before, HVAC systems with higher SEER and AFUE ratings cost more upfront. But, since they use less energy, you’ll save money in the long run.

Are High-Efficiency HVAC Systems Worth The Cost?

It takes about five years to see a return on your investment in a high-efficiency HVAC system. That’s when you’ve saved enough money on your bills to cancel out the extra upfront cost. After that, you continue to save, which is when we start to say, “the system pays for itself.”

Or, if you’re planning on moving soon, go with lower efficiency. You won’t be there long enough to make up the difference.

You’ll also find higher-efficiency systems than what we listed here. But, the price goes up significantly at that point. You’ll still recoup over time, but it’s much more upfront.

Air Conditioning Installation In Cape May And Atlantic Counties

Broadley’s has been the trusted name for central air conditioning installation from Ocean City, NJ, to Upper Township for more than 100 years. We serve homes across Cape May and Atlantic County. Call (208) 779-5596 for your free consultation.

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