Cost to Replace Your AC (and Other Factors to Consider)

residential air conditioner.
residential air conditioning unit.

Deciding when it is time to replace your AC system vs repair is not a cut-and-dried process. It is important to know the signs and trust your technician. At Broadley’s, we specialize in all things HVAC replacement and repair. And we also take pride in providing useful information to our valued customers. 

We have put together this guide outlining costs for AC replacement, potential secondary needs as well as a system checklist of troubleshooting hints and advice.

Average Cost to Replace an Air Conditioner

The cost of replacing your air conditioning (AC) unit can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the efficiency of the unit, and the complexity of the installation process. On average, the cost to replace an AC unit is around $5,000, but it can range from $3,000 to over $10,000.

Before deciding to replace your AC unit, it’s important to consider all the costs involved. This includes not only the cost of the unit itself, but also the cost of installation, any necessary permits or licenses, and any upgrades to your ductwork or ventilation system. It’s always best to get a quote from a reputable local HVAC contractor to get a more accurate estimate.

In addition to the cost of replacement, there are other important factors to consider when deciding whether to replace your AC unit.

These include the age of the unit, the cost of repairs, energy efficiency, and the length of time you plan to continue living in your home. By weighing all these factors, you can make an informed decision that is best for your budget and your long-term comfort.

When deciding whether to replace your AC with another AC system, keep in mind that a heat pump can provide cool comfort as well as heat. So – depending on whether your furnace is also on borrowed time, it may make sense to explore all of your options including an entire HVAC replacement that may include a heat pump heating and cooling system.

Contact Us About Your Air Conditioning

Breaking Down the Costs of AC Replacements

When it comes to replacing your AC unit, as we said before, the cost varies depending on a few things. The cost of replacing your AC unit can be affected by the capacity/power of the system, the efficiency of the unit, and the ductwork modifications needed.

Not every AC replacement requires ductwork modifications or other related upgrades. Depending on the age of your home and the age of your existing AC unit, an AC replacement may be more than a simple unit replacement.

Proper drainage, ductwork, and electrical wiring are all variables that can impact the cost of a new air conditioning system.

Making sure that you have a properly sized system with the correct capacity for your needs, along with well-functioning and up-to-date ductwork, electrical and drainage should all be things your HVAC technician can help you with.

Air Conditioner Capacity

The capacity of the AC system will play a major role in determining the cost of the replacement. Larger units are going to be more expensive than smaller ones. That’s not a shock to anyone and something that’s generally expected.

AC System Efficiency

The efficiency of your AC system is measured by its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the AC unit. A higher SEER rating will result in a more expensive unit, but it will also result in lower energy bills in the long run. We generally recommend high-efficiency AC systems.

Possible Related Replacement AC Costs

In addition to the cost of the AC unit itself, there are other costs associated with replacing your AC unit, such as ductwork modifications, line set protection, electrical costs, and condensate drainage solutions.

These kinds of modifications are not always needed. But the likelihood of needing modifications or upgrades in these areas increases with the age of your house, ductwork, and system. It is important to have your entire system inspected by a qualified technician to ensure that your system is properly sized and up to date.

If you are in the Atlantic County, Marmora, NJ area, you can schedule an evaluation by one of our technicians at Broadley’s. 

Ductwork Modification

If your ductwork needs to be modified to accommodate the new AC unit, it can result in additional costs. If your ductwork is leaking or isn’t properly configured, it is already costing you money in energy bills. It’s also making your home less comfortable.

Line Set Protection

Line set protection is necessary to protect the refrigerant lines from damage. This added protection can result in additional costs.

Electrical Costs

If electrical upgrades are necessary, it can result in additional costs. 

Condensate Drainage Solutions

If you need a new condensate drainage solution, it can result in additional costs.

Tax Credits and Rebates For Replacing Your AC

Replacing your AC unit is a big investment, but there are several incentives that can make it worth your while. While the average cost to replace an AC unit is $5,000, there are several tax credits and rebates available that can reduce the overall cost of replacing your outdated air conditioner.

The passing of the Inflation Reduction Act provided incentives to homeowners and businesses to upgrade their HVAC systems to highly energy-efficient systems. These incentives have come in the form of tax breaks and dealer or energy company rebates. There has never been a better time to consider upgrading your entire HVAC system.

State-Level Offers

In addition to federal incentives, you can also research rebates available in your state or municipality that can reduce the cost of replacing your air conditioner. For example, some states offer rebates for purchasing Energy Star-certified air conditioners.

Utility Company Rebates

Many utility companies also offer rebates for replacing your AC unit with a more energy-efficient model. This can help you save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

In our area, South Jersey Gas has rebates for heating equipment up to $1,500. Atlantic City Electric also provides rebates up to $1,200 for an energy-efficient HVAC upgrade. We can help you sort out the best rebates for the equipment that fits your home.

Financing Options for Your AC Investment

When replacing an AC, it’s important to consider the cost and financing options available. Many HVAC contractors offer financing options for their customers. Currently, we have 0% financing available on high-efficiency HVAC equipment for SJ Gas and Atlantic City Electric Customers!

It’s also possible to take advantage of rebates or tax credits available in your state or municipality to reduce the cost of replacing your outdated AC unit.

Additionally, a new, energy-efficient AC unit can help lower energy bills in the long run, making the investment worth it. Consider all of these factors when making a decision about replacing your AC.

Four Signs It May Be Time for a Replacement Air Conditioner

rusty air conditioner.

If you are still uncertain if the replacement of your Air Conditioning system is right for you, we have put together a short list of the most compelling reasons to consider a total replacement vs a patchwork repair.

More Frequent Repairs

If you are experiencing more frequent repairs, it may be time to replace your air conditioner. While some simple repairs can be made to an older unit, continual repairs can add up and make it more cost-effective to replace the entire unit.

It’s like sinking money into a car that keeps breaking down. Eventually, it makes more sense financially to buy a new car. It also gives you a better peace of mind. If your unit is over 10 years old and the warranty has expired, it may be time to consider a replacement.

Unit is More Than 10 Years Old

A typical air conditioning unit has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. If your unit is over 10 years old, it may be time to replace it. While well-maintained units can last longer, older units will not be as efficient as a new unit, which can result in higher energy bills.

Higher Energy Bills

If you have noticed an increase in your energy bills, it could be a sign that your air conditioner is not working as efficiently as it used to. An older unit may not have the same seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) as a new unit, which can result in higher energy bills.

Weaker Cooling

If you have noticed weaker cooling, it may be time to replace your air conditioner. An older unit may have a mismatched system, which won’t run as smoothly and is more likely to break down. If the compressor fails, you could face a bill of around $2,000. This type of repair may have you thinking about whether a complete AC unit replacement would be more prudent.

The Critical Decision: Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

When your air conditioner breaks down, you may find yourself in a dilemma: should you repair it or replace it with a new unit? The answer depends on several factors, including the age of your AC unit, the cost of repairs, energy efficiency, and how long you plan to stay in your home.

Assessing Your AC Unit’s Age

A typical air conditioning unit has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. If your AC unit is over 10 years old, it might be better to consider a replacement. However, well-maintained units can continue to perform well for even longer.

Repair Costs vs. Replacement Expenses

If your AC unit is relatively new and the cost of repairs is low, it rarely makes financial sense to replace it with a new unit. Many HVAC contractors use the “5,000 rule” as a general guide. If the cost of repairs exceeds 5,000 dollars, it might be better to replace the unit.

If your AC unit is old and clearly in the replacement category AND your heat source or furnace is also aging, it may make sense to explore a total system replacement and look at a heat pump option. Heat pump installations are relatively easy and clean to install. And, right now, they also can provide generous dealer and tax rebates.

Why A Heat Pump May Be The Perfect Replacement For Your AC

Average AC Repair Costs: What to Expect

The cost to repair or replace smaller components of an AC unit may range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, depending on the complexity of the job. Some parts, such as the compressor, can be quite expensive to replace, with costs easily exceeding $1,000.

Analyzing Your Energy Bills for Potential Savings

Older AC units are less efficient than modern systems. If you notice an increase in your energy bills, purchasing a new, energy-efficient unit could be a worthwhile long-term investment.

How Long You Plan to Stay in Your Home

If you don’t plan on selling your home soon, a new AC unit with an extended warranty could bring you peace of mind. If you plan to move in the next few years, you may think replacing the unit is a waste, but it will increase your property value.

Aesthetic Factors

Finally, aesthetic factors, such as a rusty-looking unit, could also play a role in your decision to repair or replace your AC unit.

Trusting Your Information

Broadley’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has been a part of the New Jersey landscape since 1911. We understand South Jersey and the Marmora, NJ area and its changing seasons and strong weather patterns. 

Our skilled technicians understand what it takes to provide reliable information, service, and the right system to meet your individual circumstances and needs.

Looking for a hand with your AC system? Give us a call at (609) 390-3907, or click here to contact us online!