The cost to install an AC in Buffalo ranges from $4,200 to $9,800, with most homeowners paying around $6,036 on average.
After reading those numbers, you may be wondering what causes the price to go up or down.
The total cost of your AC installation depends on the following factors:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these cost factors in more detail.
The Size of the System
The “size” of an air conditioner does not necessarily refer to its physical dimensions but rather its cooling capacity. Technicians measure a unit’s cooling capacity in tonnage, which is how much heat it can remove from your home in an hour.
Most residential ACs range anywhere from one and a half to five tons. Air conditioners with a higher cooling capacity will cost more upfront to install.
However, when it comes to picking out a new AC system, bigger is not necessarily better. If you get an AC that is too big for your home, it will cool your home quickly and then shut off. While this may not seem like a bad thing, frequent start/stop cycles can wear out AC equipment and lead to uneven temperatures throughout your home.
On the other hand, getting an AC that is too small for your home has its own set of issues. An undersized AC will constantly struggle to keep your home comfortable, and it will run for more extended periods. Ultimately, the incorrect sizing increases your energy bills and wears out parts, causing more frequent repairs.
Luckily, a trained AC professional can easily help you determine the right AC size for your home by performing a load calculation. A load calculation takes into account multiple factors specific to your home, such as:
- The square footage
- The number of rooms
- The number of windows and doors
- The insulation levels
- The geographical location
- And much more
A professional will use special software to determine the right-sized AC system for your home that accurately accounts for all of these factors.
The Efficiency of the System
The higher the energy efficiency of an air conditioner, the higher the upfront installation cost. That said, energy-efficient AC systems cost less to operate, which leads to potential long-term savings.
You can measure how efficient an AC is by its SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Most residential AC units range anywhere from 13 to 25 in SEER ratings. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.
When it comes to choosing your AC SEER rating, you’ll want to strike a balance between upfront costs and long-term energy savings. In general, we typically recommend that Buffalo residents choose a 14 to 16 SEER AC system.
The professional you consult with for the AC installation can help you compare the potential savings from different SEER systems to help you pick the proper rating for your home.
The Warranty You Choose
Any AC system from a reputable manufacturer automatically comes with a standard (limited) parts warranty. This warranty typically covers major part replacements if a part fails due to a manufacturing error. A standard parts warranty usually lasts anywhere from five to ten years, depending on the manufacturer and when you register your system.
Some manufacturers offer an extended parts warranty, which increases the length of coverage or types of repairs covered by the warranty. If you opt for an extended warranty, you can expect to pay more for your new air conditioner.
In addition to the parts warranty from the manufacturer, the contractor you hire to install the AC should also offer a labor warranty. Under this warranty, the contractor will fix any problems that arise because of incorrectly installing the system. Some contractors offer extended, more comprehensive labor warranties for an additional upfront cost.
The Difficulty of the Installation
Some AC installations require more materials and labor time, which raises the overall cost of the project.
For example, if the contractor needs to modify or reconfigure ductwork to accommodate the new system, the installation cost will increase. Or, if the contractor needs to upgrade the electrical panel or make wiring changes to power the new AC, they may charge an additional fee.
The contractor you hire should let you know about any additional material or labor costs after a thorough inspection of your current HVAC system.
The Contractor You Hire for the Installation
You could choose from several HVAC contractors to hire for your AC installation in the Buffalo area. However, not every contractor follows the same standards or has the same attention to detail regarding installation work.
Generally, reputable contractors with more experience do higher-quality AC installations.As a result, these contractors generally charge more for their installation services.
That said, because an air conditioner is such a significant investment, it is worth paying for premium installation work to ensure a proper and thorough job. Choosing a disreputable or inexperienced contractor is risky because the technicians may rush the job, leaving you with a poor AC installation that possibly leads to frequent repairs and reduced energy efficiency down the road.
To avoid those issues, we recommend hiring a reputable contractor with at least ten years of experience. We also recommend hiring a contractor that meets the following requirements:
- The contractor should have a valid license and be insured
- The contractor should offer solid guarantees or warranties on their installation work
- The contractor should provide upfront, transparent pricing (in writing) before any work begins
- The contractor should have favorable online reviews on sites such as Google and Better Business Bureau
If the contractor you hire meets the requirements above, you will likely have a good experience working with them and be satisfied with your new air conditioner.
Ready for a Worry-Free AC Installation? Contact Roy’s For a Free Estimate.
At Roy’s, we can help you find the right AC system for your home, based on your family’s needs and budget. Our technicians give honest equipment recommendations and upfront pricing information, so there are no surprises when you get the final bill. We offer flexible financing options and coordinate manufacturer rebates as well.
To learn more about our 5-star, worry-free installations, visit our AC installation page.