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For most residents of Ontario, air conditioners aren’t just ‘nice to have,’ they’re necessary during the summer months. Today’s modern A/C units are quieter, more powerful and more efficient than older models, and typically offer far more bang for your buck.
Keep in mind that the higher end models come at a higher cost. So how much does it really cost to install a new air conditioner these days? The short answer is that it varies, based on different factors.
The first step in getting a new A/C installed is determining what size you need. A/C units are measured in tons, which refers to the amount of heat they can remove from a home in an hour. For example, a 1-ton unit can remove 12,000 BTU’s while a 3-ton system will remove 36,000. The larger the house, the more cooling power it will need. So a 1,600 square foot house might be well-served by a 2.5-ton unit. Although, several other variables factor into determining which size will work best in your home. For example, a basement is naturally cooler than first or second-floor rooms.
The SEER Ratio (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is also a critical factor. This ratio is a measure of an A/C unit's total cooling output (measured in BTU) during a season, divided by its total electric energy input. The higher the SEER Rating, the better. Currently, all units sold are over 13 SEER, and some can perform at up to 27 SEER. The advantages of improved SEER ratings are lowered energy costs and cooling times, but they come with a corresponding cost increase.
If you require extras such as a new thermostat, a low noise model, or if the design of your house is such that substantial amounts of ductwork are required to link with your existing A/C , you'll then you’ll be quoted more than average.
It is possible to purchase an air conditioner from a wholesaler and install it yourself, but the level of skill required is substantial. Also, to handle refrigerant, you must be EPA certified. If your home has never had central air then an installation requires multiple new additions including new breakers in your electrical panel, wires run through your foundation, new ductwork linking to your existing HVAC and the mounting of your unit. So you might want to leave this job to the pros.
There are government rebates that cover various cooling systems such as the Ontario Heating and Cooling Incentive, but they change periodically so check out the Government of Canada website for the most up to date information.
Keep in mind that to qualify for these incentives, your new system must be purchased from and installed by a participating contractor. Boonstra is part of the saveONenergy program for residential customers, so ask us about what rebates are available for air conditioners in your area.
As you can see, the cost of replacing your home's air conditioning systems will vary depending on a number of factors including who you hire to install the unit, what size of system you need and your A/C unit's overall efficiency. We can help you understand what to take into account when estimating the replacement cost for your air conditioner. Contact one of our cooling experts or book an in-home consultation, and we’ll help you keep cool without blowing your budget.