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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Central AC in Irvine, CA?

This is a tough question to answer because not all AC installations cost the same.

However, most central AC installations in the Irvine, CA area cost anywhere from $4,000 to $9,000+.

That’s a wide range, we know. To help you better budget for a central AC installation, we’ll explain the different factors that will impact your overall cost.

The cost factors that impact the cost of an AC installation include:

  • The size of the AC system
  • The system’s SEER rating
  • The difficulty of installation
  • The contractor you choose

Let’s take a closer look at how those factors will affect the price you pay to install an AC at your home.

Table of Contents

Need a down-to-the-penny price estimate for your AC installation? Just contact us for a free estimate. We’ve installed countless ACs throughout Irvine and surrounding areas and can help you find the perfect AC for your home and budget.

Cost factor #1: The size of the AC system

First things first, the “bigger” the AC system, the more the system itself will cost.

ACs aren’t measured by their physical size, though. Instead, an AC is sized by its “tonnage”, which essentially means the amount of hot air the system can remove from your home in an hour.

Typically, the bigger the home, the more tonnage you’ll need. However, square footage is not the only sizing factor to consider.

Sizing an AC to your home correctly requires a professional to perform a “load calculation”, which takes into account many other factors, such as:

  • How many doors/windows a home has
  • Whether the home has carpet or wood flooring
  • How many people live in the home
  • And many other factors

A professional load calculation is perhaps the most important part of the installation process because it ensures you get the right size AC for your home. An over or undersized AC will result in higher energy bills, frequent repairs and a shortened AC lifespan.

Cost factor #2: The system’s SEER rating

The higher the SEER rating, the more expensive the AC system. However, the higher the SEER rating, the lower your monthly energy bills.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency rating and measures (as its name indicates) how efficient an AC system is.

Currently, in California, the Department of Energy (DOE) requires that all new AC systems meet a minimum efficiency of at least 14 SEER. We typically suggest that homeowners in the Southern California area stick with an AC system with a SEER rating of anywhere from 14-16 for higher comfort and lower energy bills.

Cost factor #3: The difficulty of the installation

The more difficult the installation, the more you’ll pay for labor costs.

Installing an AC system requires the set up of 2 units: the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. If the outdoor and/or indoor unit are located in a hard-to-reach spot, the contractor installing the system will likely need more time and materials to complete the job.

For example, a hard-to-reach installation location for the indoor unit would be an attic or a crawlspace vs an indoor closet that’s easily accessible.

Cost factor #4: The contractor you choose

Not all contractors are equal. Some AC installation contractors have more qualifications and experience and are therefore more expensive than others.

A word to the wise: do not skimp on the level of skill and experience your contractor has for the sake of saving money.

A contractor with less experience is more likely to provide a lower quality installation which could lead to higher energy bills and future repairs that could have been avoided. Plus, a poorly-installed AC often leads to a shorter lifespan. The bottom line? Saving money by going with a less experienced contractor will typically just result in wasted time and money in the long run.

Looking for an experienced AC installation contractor?

Your search ends here. At True Home, we are licensed, insured and highly-qualified to perform AC installations in the Irvine, California area.

We’ve installed countless ACs over the years plus we’re a Lennox Premier Dealer, which means we give you access to exclusive discounts on Lennox’s most efficient AC systems. When you call us for an AC installation, we’ll start with a free AC installation estimate, which will always include a thorough load calculation.

Ready for your new AC?