Your Ultimate Guide to Purchasing a Brand New A/C Unit

CEO Khai Intela
Are you in need of a new A/C unit to beat the scorching summer heat? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will ensure that you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision...

Are you in need of a new A/C unit to beat the scorching summer heat? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will ensure that you have all the necessary information to make an informed decision when purchasing an A/C unit for your home.


Shopping for a new air conditioner may not be as exciting as finding a new sofa or a piece of artwork, but certain signs of A/C problems often indicate that it's time to replace rather than repair. Although new A/C units can be pricey, they offer quiet operation and energy efficiency. Remember, you get what you pay for, so investing in a quality unit is essential.

In order to run your central air conditioning system without breaking the bank, opt for an efficient new model. It is crucial to select the right-sized unit and have an idea of the cost of new A/C units in your locality. Obtain quotes from different contractors to ensure you get the best deal. However, be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true; significantly lower prices compared to other quotes may indicate subpar quality.

Understanding SEER

The efficiency of an air conditioner is measured using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). Starting from 2023, federal regulations mandate that new air conditioner units in the northern half of the U.S. have a minimum SEER rating of 14, while in the southern half, it must be at least 15. If you prioritize a quiet and feature-rich A/C unit, consider opting for a higher SEER rating. Higher SEER ratings result in lower operational costs. Keep in mind that higher SEER ratings may involve higher upfront costs. A SEER rating between 14 and 16 is usually sufficient to meet efficiency requirements without stretching your budget too far.

Determining the Right Tonnage

When discussing A/C units, tonnage refers to the amount of heat that a unit can remove from your home in one hour, not its weight. For example, a one-ton unit can eliminate 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat per hour. It's crucial to purchase an air conditioning unit that is properly sized. An undersized unit will struggle to cool your home efficiently, while an oversized unit will cycle on and off frequently, leading to faster wear and tear. Oversized units also fail to effectively remove humidity from your home, resulting in higher energy consumption. The optimal tonnage for your home depends on factors such as local climate, home size, insulation levels, sun exposure, and window size. Consult a technician who can carefully assess these aspects to determine your specific needs before proceeding with the installation.

Estimating the Cost of A/C Unit Installation

The cost of A/C unit installation can range between $3,800 and $7,400, depending on various factors such as local market conditions, unit type and size, the inclusion of ducted air conditioning, installation of a new furnace, and other considerations. Conduct some research in advance to gain a rough idea of the installation costs in your area. Compare different A/C units to find the best air conditioning options that suit both your home's requirements and your budget. It's worth mentioning that in some instances, a ductless air conditioner might be the most suitable choice, as it often comes with lower installation costs. For instance, installing a window air conditioner is generally cheaper than central air conditioning installation. If you have plans for an air conditioning replacement in the future, you may also want to inquire about installation costs during your next HVAC tune-up or seek advice from friends and neighbors who have recently undergone HVAC installations.

If you do decide to purchase a new air conditioner, consider safeguarding your investment with an American Home Shield® home warranty. This warranty can assist in covering repair costs for any future breakdowns. Our coverage plans are available for major system components and appliances, without requiring inspection or maintenance records. Want to learn more about our coverage plans and pricing? Take a look and see for yourself!

Obtain Multiple Quotes

When the time comes to get your new air conditioner, remember to obtain at least three quotes. Begin by reaching out to the company that handles your regular A/C tune-ups, especially if you have been satisfied with their services. Seek recommendations from friends and family, and browse online reviews to identify reputable contractors in your area.

A reliable contractor will have a busy schedule and will not pressure you to make an immediate decision. They will assess your ductwork, inspect each room of your home, examine your attic, crawlspaces, and basement, to gauge the tonnage required for optimum cooling. A trustworthy air conditioning contractor will understand your need for multiple bids and will accommodate your request. If a contractor insists on a single quote or gives you a hard time, it is advisable to consider alternative options. Remember, quality work comes at a price. Avoid contractors who offer significantly lower quotes than others, as they may compromise on quality. Opt for a company that fits your budget and has a proven track record of providing excellent service.

We hope that this guide to buying a new air conditioner will assist you in making an informed decision, ensuring optimal cooling and comfort for your home. Stay cool!