Central air comes with a number of benefits, ranging from the potential for energy savings to the convenience of cooled rooms throughout your home. In addition, when it comes time to sell your home, you just might discover the system has increased the overall value and desirability of the house.
According to the National Association of Realtors, adding central air conditioning to your home can increase the value by about 12 percent. No matter how much your home is currently worth, this might sound like a nice increase.
However, this is just one factor to consider. You'll also want to examine the overall price you'll need to pay for central AC installation. After all, the price you end up paying for installation could exceed that modest home value bump.
Cost of Central AC
According to Fixr, the national average cost of installing central air in a 2,000-square-foot-home is about $7,200. Keep in mind this price can vary heavily. In fact, the cost can range from a low of $2,650 all the way up to $15,000, Fixr reports. So, what impacts the cost of central AC installation? Consider these factors:
- How big is your home? The aforementioned average and range are based on a 2,000-square-foot house, so a larger structure might require a more powerful and expensive central AC unit. TIME offers this rule of thumb: Expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000 per ton of air conditioning. Note that a ton of cooling energy is enough to cool about 500 to 600 square feet.
- What are local contractorscharging for labor? You'll want to call around and get estimates.
- Does your home already have a forced heating system? If ducts and a furnace blower are already in place, you'll save some money on the AC installation.
- Do you plan on getting a packaged unit or a split-system? A split-system unit is the cheaper option if your house is already equipped with a furnace, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
And finally, you'll want to picture things from the perspective of a potential buyer. If your local climate is on the warm side, a house with central air is definitely more desirable than a house without that amenity. Even if you determine the cost of AC installation is higher than you'd like, at least you can proceed knowing the house may quickly attract buyers.