Summer weather has arrived! If you’re feeling the heat and want to get air conditioning for your home, here’s a quick guide on the different options on the market and their price, based on costs reported by homeowners. 

1) Central Air

Wall mounted central air conditioner unit control How it works: It uses your home’s ducts and registers (the grill-like vents on the wall or floor) to circulate cool air through your home.

If you are looking to get even cooling throughout your home, this is your best bet, plus it’s quiet. This is a pricier option, especially if you don’t have the ductwork in place.

Lifespan: 15-20 years

Cost: Assuming ductwork is already installed in your home, the average cost to install a standard central air system is $2,040. Installing new ducts can more than double this cost. 

2) Stand-Alone Central Air Conditioning aka Ductless Mini-Split:

air-conditioner on white background (done in 3d)

How it worksThese units require no duct work and are very energy efficient, making them a solid choice in homes with no duct work. These systems have indoor units that connect to a compressor outside the house. Their powerful fans and louvers allow air to circulate throughout the home. A 1600 square ft. home may need just a single indoor unit. If your home is bigger, one outdoor compressor can typically connect to two or three indoor units located throughout your home.

Lifespan: 12-15 years

Cost: The average cost to install a ductless mini-split system is $4,240. 

3) Single Room Air Conditioners 

portable ac

Two kinds: Window mounted and free-standing.

How it works: Much like the name suggests, these systems provide cooling for a single room. Some require the unit to be installed within a window or on the wall, while the free-standing models are portable and can easily be moved to other rooms.

Proper installation for the window-mounted systems is key, otherwise the cool air will leak outside. Make sure you install panels between the window frame and the unit itself. This will minimize cool air escaping outside. These units can be removed and re-installed elsewhere. 

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Cost (equipment only):

Free-standing: $300 – $600

Window mounted: $120 – $500


Posted by Team HomeStars

Team HomeStars

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