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How Much Does an Air Conditioning Unit Cost to Install in Big Bear?

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


On average, homeowners spend between $3,200 and $7,800 installing a central air conditioning unit. The square footage of your home, your preferred brand, and the SEER rating you select are the key variables that will impact the cost of your AC unit. You would need a 2.5 ton air conditioner for a 1,300 to 1,600 square foot home, and the unit alone would cost about $1,285 on average. Explore these cost variables in greater detail below.

Costs of AC Installation by Square Footage

Calculating the precise number of square feet you need to cool for your home might help you determine the usual expenses for a new AC unit. A 2000 square-foot home with an existing forced-air furnace heating system and correctly fitted ductwork would cost between $3,000 and $4,000 to install a central air conditioner.

How Much Does an Air Conditioning Unit for a 2,000 sq ft Home Cost in Big Bear?

For every ton of air conditioning cooling capacity, the typical air conditioner can cool 400 square feet of your house. 400 square feet of space would receive 12,000 BTUs as a result. You may determine that you would require a 5.0 TON air conditioner by taking the 2000 square feet measurement, dividing it by the 400 square feet of chilled area (per 1 ton AC unit cooling capacity), and using that figure. (5.0 tons x 12,000 BTUs) This A/C system needs to be capable of removing 60,000 BTUs each hour. The cost of a 5.0 TON air conditioner, including installation, would be approximately $3,690 or $1,980 for the AC unit alone. Popular brands could be more expensive.

Costs of AC Installation in Tons

Central Air Conditioner Size AC Unit BTU AC Unit Only  
1.5 Tons 18,000 BTU $2,000
2 Tons 24,000 BTU $2,620
2.5 Tons 30000 BTU $2,895
3 Tons 36000 BTU $2,920
3.5 Tons 42000 BTU $3,550
4 Tons 48000 BTU $3,650
5 Tons 60000 BTU $3,690


AC Unit Prices Based on SEER Rating in Big Bear

High SEER ratings, which are another name for high energy efficiency capabilities, are found in some of the top air conditioning units and can help you save a lot of money on your typical heating and cooling energy expenditures. A higher energy efficiency level, however, can result in more expensive HVAC installation. The lowest SEER rating for air conditioners is 13, while the highest SEER rating for air conditioners is 24. A conventional AC unit with a 13 to 14 SEER rating will typically cost around $2,770 to install in its entirety, whereas a unit with a 24 SEER rating will initially cost much more, at roughly $6,800.

Costs of Air Conditioner Units by Brand

Depending on your home’s needs, the top AC unit brands each provide various tiers of central AC units. Brands of air conditioners like Goodman, Rheem, and York all offer units that are reasonably priced in the $2500+ area. Depending on your needs for house cooling, well-known manufacturers like American Standard, Trane, and Carrier will cost more than $3,800 and typically have higher-quality equipment. The top furnace brand names might be of interest to you as well.

Your Estimate’s Hidden Costs in Big Bear

There are other air conditioning installation expenses that, while probably not included in the first AC quote, you might wish to consider if they apply to the installation costs in your area. Along with your AC unit, you might want to think about getting a new furnace. These are the questions you should be asking a Big Bear HVAC contractor, along with whether or not the price is reflected in the preliminary estimate. You should have answers to the following issues regarding costs:

  • Will the city or county building department in your area require a permit? Will a building department official also need to inspect the unit to make sure the system complies with regulations?
  • There can be an extra charge to test, remove, or replace asbestos or lead paint if you reside in an older house with those materials. Inquire about it.

Considering AC Installation Quotes

There are a number of things to take into account when figuring out what can have an impact on the price of installing a new air conditioner unit.

Factors for high-priced bids:

  • The cost of replacing an air conditioner might vary greatly. The sort of unit—for instance, how quiet an air conditioning system is—could be the cause of these discrepancies. We advise homeowners to do their homework on the AC system they want to buy to be sure it will work best for their residences and their requirements.
  • Hardware other than the primary units itself might affect the final cost of air conditioners. A new air conditioning unit, which may cost as little as $30 or as much as $300, is frequently used in conjunction with the rising popularity of smart thermostats.
  • The cost of their equipment and overhead may be reflected in your pricing proposal if you use a high-end air conditioning contractor.
  • Warranties for air conditioners will also affect the overall stated installation cost. Manufacturers’ warranties are typically provided by AC installers, protecting you from defective unit components. Some can provide additional guarantees for the installation of the air conditioner as well, protecting your roof from potential harm (if applicable.) Make sure the warranty is explicit about what it covers and what it does not.
  • Do your homework and be aware of any potential hidden expenses, such as licenses and possible fines. The breakdown of how local or federal regulations apply to you and what your AC contractor will or won’t accomplish in that area should be included in your bid.

Factors for Low-Priced Bids:

  • A contractor will frequently offer a lower estimate if they don’t have the right insurance (or any at all). This might make the homeowner liable for any harm or damages caused by the workers. We advise using a licensed contractor for all of your home improvement needs.
  • Contractors may leave this to you and charge less because they have less paperwork to worry about if they don’t have a firm knowledge of local rules or applicable local, regional, and federal incentives, such as those available at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. Even while a contractor might charge you for their assistance in navigating the bureaucracy of air conditioning regulations, a good contractor will ensure your energy compliance in your area and maximize your return on investment by using skills you might lack.
  • Extremely low bidders could also be in a desperate situation to land a job, which is never encouraging. Always thoroughly investigate potential air conditioner contractors before picking one.

Additional cost variables:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical work
  • Removal of an existing HVAC system
  • Installing the unit in a different location
  • Modifying the home’s surfacing or framing in preparation for installation
  • Updating any existing paired systems to the required code
  • Ductwork

You should always cross-verify your final AC installation estimates for any price discrepancies after receiving a bid. Even though mistakes are uncommon, they might occur when attempting to calculate your total installation expenses. Before approving any contracts, discuss all concerns and questions with your air conditioning installer.

Contact a Big Bear Air Conditioning Expert Today 

Our air conditioning experts are a diverse group of skilled workers. You will receive first-rate service from an air conditioning specialist from our business. Make an appointment online or by calling Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating at (909) 328-6295.

Related Content: How Much Will Central Heating Installations Cost in Big Bear?

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.