Installing central air in Florida is not as expensive as most local homeowners and business owners assume. There is a common misconception that it costs upwards of $10,000 or more to install central air in Florida homes and other buildings. If you were to poll local homeowners to find out how much it cost to install central air, most would testify the total figure did not approach $10,000. Some local homeowners paid half this amount for AC installation.
The Average Cost of Installing Central Air in Florida
Central air in Florida typically costs between $4,000 and $6,500. For the most part, local homeowners spend around $5,000 to install central air conditioning. However, the size of the home or other building does not fully dictate the central air installation cost. The system's efficiency, its brand name, size and warranty also shape the installation price. Furthermore, AC system comfort features and the special pricing of the contractor that performs the installation also shape the total cost.
Types of Air Conditioning Units
There are three main types of air conditioning units, and knowing their peculiarities will help you make a good decision for your Florida home. More importantly, understanding the peculiar features or installation requirements will help you better comprehend the cost of installing central air in your home.
A portable unit is an air conditioning unit that moves from room to room. It functions similarly to a space heater. A portable unit is usually really cheap, and the functions are best for those who live in mild climates and only need the air conditioning on for a few weeks a year.
A window unit is an air conditioning system built to concentrate on one confined space at a time. Window units can usually only cater to a room or two, and they are designed to operate from your window. The average cost of a window unit is $200- $500, but the price can hike up as summer draws closer.
Central Air System
Central air systems are usually placed on the roof or the side of the home. The unit contains an air handler, an indoor evaporator coil, and an outdoor condenser and compressor unit. The unit typically costs between $4000-$7,500.
Ductless Split Air Conditioning System
Ductless split air conditioning systems are very similar to central air systems; however, the systems don't come in a single unit. Instead, they are split, increasing their efficiency, especially in larger and compartmentalized buildings. Depending on your home's needs, Ductless Split systems usually cost between $2000- $15,000.
Consider the Square Feet of Your Home
Determining the cost of installing a new air conditioning system largely depends on the size of your home, business or other building. Take a moment to tabulate the total area of square feet within the home that must be cooled. For example, installing central air in Florida homes with around 2,000 square feet with forced air furnace heating system ductwork in place is likely to cost between $3,000 and $4,000.
The typical air conditioning system cools down 400 square feet of a home for each ton of air conditioner cooling capacity. This means 12,000 BTUs are generated for each 600 square foot. If your home is 2,000 square feet, you can divide it by 400 square feet of cooled space to determine whether a 5.0 TON AC system is necessary. Such an air conditioning system should remove upwards of 60,000 BTUs in a single hour. Such an air conditioner will likely cost $2,000, yet once the installation cost is added on, the aggregate price will likely reach $3,600 or more.
Additional Costs to Consider When Estimating the Cost of Installing Central Air in Florida
The initial estimate you get for installing central air in Florida probably won’t be the final price simply because there are some latent costs for a project of this magnitude. It might be necessary to install a new furnace with the air conditioning system. Furthermore, it might be necessary to obtain a permit from the local county or city building department to perform the installation. The new AC unit might necessitate an inspection performed by a building department representative to ensure it is fully up to code.
Those who live in older houses with lead paint or asbestos might pay more for the testing, removal and replacement of this harmful material. Furthermore, there is a chance electrical or plumbing work might be necessary as well. Don’t forget about removing the outdated HVAC system spurring an additional cost to boot. In fact, some homes require the modification of surfacing or framing for installing central air in Florida.
Consider the Air Conditioning System’s Efficiency
The total cost of AC installation partially hinges on the efficiency of the system. More efficient air conditioning systems cost more upfront yet will save you money on your monthly energy bills in the months and years ahead. The efficiency of the AC system is described with a SEER rating in the range of 13 to 25. SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Opt for a system with a better SEER rating and it will cool your home that much more efficiently. However, AC systems with high SEER ratings are more costly to install.
AC Installation Cost Also Depends on the Contractor
Each unique air conditioning installation crew has its own unique pricing. In fact, you are likely to obtain different quotes for the installation of the same central air system in your Florida home. These installation crews have unique guarantees, track records of success/failure, insurance coverage, and other merits/drawbacks. Obtain several quotes, read each contractor’s reviews on the web and you will gradually whittle down the pack to a select few who provide top-quality AC installation at reasonable rates.
Financing Options to Cover the Cost of a Central Air system
A central air system can be a big investment, depending on your preferred size or brand. It can go as high as five figures in some cases. Yet, a central air system is essential to your home. Not only does it make your home livable, but it can also increase the value of your home significantly. So, here are a few financing options you can consider to meet your central air system needs.
Personal loans are the easiest option if you find it hard to cover the cost of your central air system. There are hardly ever restrictions around personal loans, and a good credit score can afford you up to $30,000. In addition, you can cover the fee for your central air system and the installation fee you will be charged.
Personal loans don’t require collateral, they are easy to access, and except if your credit score is very low, you most likely will get a good payment plan. However, they tend to have a higher interest rate.
Home Equity Line of Credit
Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC are loans that use your house as collateral, and the interest is usually payable over 10 years. The money is paid into your card just like credit cards, and you can withdraw to cover your needs and keep paying back.
Home Equity Loans
The main difference between these financing options and the home equity line of credit is that this is a one-time withdrawal. A successful loan application is usually given about 70 percent of the home's value. This loan will make your central air system tax-deductible. You can learn more about how home equity works.
However, borrowing to finance your central air system has its flaws. For example, failure to pay back the home equity line of credit or the home equity loan may result in you losing your home. So, consider if you have a stable income and how long you want to spend before taking out loans.
3 Ways to Control the Cost of Installing a Central Air System
If loans are not a viable option to find your central air system, you can still control or beat down the cost of installing a central air system. Check out three ways to control the cost of installing a central air system here.
Look for Rebates and Tax Deductions
We are in a time when everyone is working hard to save energy, so the government offers rewards on energy-saving equipment. Thus, manufacturers now produce high-efficiency air conditioners. You may find discounts or tax deductions. You can check using the energy star rebate finder to confirm which central air systems you can get cheaper in Florida.
Install At The Right Time
All items jack up prices during the rush season. For central air systems, this is summer. Generally, HVAC contractors in Florida are busiest during the peak seasons of summer and winter and this means installation prices can increase in response.
Hence, consider getting your central air system installed in spring and fall.
Weigh Your Options
There's no need to get a system that won't serve you, so you must weigh your options. For example, if you spend most of your time at work and only need something that specifically works, you can get a mini-split air conditioning system.
Installing central air in your Florida home or business isn’t as costly as you think, and it certainly won’t burn a hole in your pocket. The fact is that every air conditioning installation crew has its own pricing structure. The above pointers shed light on the important considerations that go into determining the pricing of central air conditioning.
Choose The Right AC Installation Team, Call Ericas' Plumbing & Restoration Today
Our central air specialists are here to help keep you cool this summer and beyond. If you need repairs or maintenance for air in Florida, contact us today at (561) 245-7435. We provide 24/7 service along with regularly scheduled service calls.