Several factors influence the total cost of your air conditioner. The typical unit installed in New Brunswick is anywhere from $3,200 to $5,200. This includes installation (changing whether the job is difficult or not), the make and model, as well as any current promotions that are on the unit you choose.
Dealers and contractors tend to have ongoing promotions for certain models and brands. It’s a good idea to ask about any deals that are happening and see any are an ideal solution for your needs. You may just be able to get a rebate or save some cash that you weren’t expecting.
Buying your unit outright may not be an option, but there are financing options that you can check out. Ask different HVAC companies who their consumer financing partner is, and what their lending rates are and get quotes for the interest and terms. You can usually choose terms that work for you, and companies typically have payment plans to suit most customers looking to buy.
Factors that Affect Price
The price of your air conditioning unit can vary considerably and make you wonder about how one model can cost $3,000 while another will run you up to $5,000 or more. The differences between a value model and a premium model can cause the price to fluctuate a lot. Below, we break down what contributes to your final cost.
Air conditioning units are measured in tons, and the heavier the unit, the more expensive it’s going to be. The size of your unit is important when considering the size of your home. You want your air conditioning unit to be proportional to your home, otherwise, the energy efficiency rating is going to be compromised. A large home requires a heavier unit, while a smaller home will use a lighter unit. Your local HVAC company technician can help you get the proper size of the air conditioner. Rule of thumb: 1.5 ton for homes under 1,500 sq. ft. and 5 tons for homes over 4,700 sq. ft.
Whether you’re looking at a top brand like Carrier or an economy brand like Goodman, each brand has units that are entry-level to advanced. The entry-level units will cost less than the advanced units, however, it’s good to keep in mind that an entry-level Carrier unit may be on par price-wise with an advanced Goodman unit. An advanced unit typically has more features and better efficiency, so there are a few considerations to think about before settling on a particular brand and model.
The SEER rating represents the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Canadian law doesn’t allow for new air conditioners under a 13 SEER rating, which cuts back on energy usage by 30%. The top SEER rating is 20, however, these units are very powerful and not necessarily required for mild New Brunswick summers. Though a 17 SEER unit is more expensive than a 13 SEER rated unit, the 17 SEER unit will be more efficient and use less energy, consequently lowering your bills in the long term. You’re likely to get your initial investment back as your new unit performs better.
Your Location: Depending on where you are and your typical summer weather, a larger unit than normal might be a better bet since you’ll need more power to cool down a hotter home. New Brunswick summers are usually not too intense so purchasing an appropriately-sized air conditioner should be proportional to your home.
Installation Costs: The costs associated with installing your unit is dependent on how difficult the process is. If you have a ductless system, installation is different from a traditional system and if your ductwork is old and cracked, repair costs will add to your final price.
Here is a handy price guide (prices include install, and are just general estimates):
- Value brand: $2,500 – $3,600
- Mid-range: $2,800 – $4,500
- Premium brand: $3,200 – $6,000
Sometimes, warranties are not given as much thought as they ought to get. It’s a good idea to check your warranty thoroughly so that you know what you’re getting, especially when manufacturers have different warranties and what you may want covered isn’t.
Usually, a company will cover the:
- Connecting tubing
- Refrigerant charge
The most typical warranties that are standard across the industry are a 10-year limited compressor warranty, a 10-year limited parts warranty and sometimes a one-year limited labour warranty. If a manufacturer is not covering these as your basics, some thought needs to be put into whether or not you should purchase a unit from them.
The local contractor who does the installation should also provide some type of labour warranty on the installation (usually at least 1 year, sometimes several).
Maintaining Your Air Conditioner
Keeping your air conditioning unit running well and prolonging its lifespan is an important part of ownership, and the tasks are fairly easy to complete with your owner’s manual and a little patience. Maintaining your unit can allow you to catch minor issues before they turn into bigger ones, avoid the cost of huge repairs and keep it running for 15 years or longer.
Here are a few things to do to keep your unit running with no trouble:
- Clean condenser and evaporator coils to ensure that they can operate correctly and without being hindered. Make sure to use the cleaning product that is approved for your unit.
- Ensure that around the unit is free from debris and overgrown plants so that air can flow freely out of your air conditioner.
- Clean the air filter for the air conditioning unit and the furnace at the beginning and end of summer.
- Wash down the outside of your air conditioner at the beginning and end of summer to remove dirt that may have collected on the unit.
- Clear out the drain pan so that rust and bacteria don’t form.
- Clean the heat registers inside and make sure there are no blockages.