We are often asked what a central air conditioner costs in Ottawa? This question is difficult to answer as there are many variables that can affect the cost of an air conditioner installation. These variables include home size, construction values, solar gain, installation parameters, quality of air conditioner and many other factors. We have broken out these elements to better explain what you should expect from your HVAC contractor as well as average costs per home size.
**These are averages of units supplied and installed in the Ottawa area (Evaporator coil, Condenser and installation accessories included). These numbers are pre HST. Entry Level unit offerings are minimum efficiency, builder grade equipment. Mid range units in this summary are 14-16 SEER with less than 73 dB sound ratings. High End units are 16 SEER+ with low sound levels and often feature multi staged compressor operation.
Average Cost for 1000sf Home (or Less):
Entry Level AC Systems: $2400 – Mid Range AC Systems: $3000 – High End AC Systems: $4000 to $8000.
Average Cost for 1000sf to 1500sf Home:
Entry Level AC Systems: $2600 – Mid Range AC Systems: $3200 – High End AC Systems: $4200 to $8500.
Average Cost for 1500sf to 2000sf Home:
Entry Level AC Systems: $2800 – Mid Range AC Systems: $3400 – High End AC Systems: $4500 to $10000.
Average Cost for 2000sf to 2500sf Home:
Entry Level AC Systems: $3000 – Mid Range AC Systems: $3600 – High End AC Systems: $4700 to $11000.
Average Cost for 2500sf to 3000sf Home:
Entry Level AC Systems: $3300 – Mid Range AC Systems: $3900 – High End AC Systems: $5000 to $12000.
Average Cost for 3000sf Home (and Larger):
Entry Level AC Systems: $3800 – Mid Range AC Systems: $4500 – High End AC Systems: $6000 to $15000.
Factors Affecting Sizing
Air Conditioners come in different capacities ranging from 12,000 BTU’s (1 ton)- 60,000 BTU’s (5 tons). Determining what size of air conditioner your home needs is a crucial step in ensuring you receive the proper comfort in the house. There are many more factors in the sizing than simply the square footage. These factors include orientation of the home, amount of windows and which way they face as well as shading of the home. Furthermore, the age of the home and insulation values can affect your sizing requirements greatly.
A bungalow of a certain square footage may require a different sized unit than a three-story home with the same square footage. Furthermore, the way you operate the unit, and your lifestyle can greatly affect which unit will deliver you the comfort you desire.
The furnace and ductwork distribution are another key item in the equation when determining the best sized unit for your home. Though you may feel a 3.5-ton air conditioner is needed, if the furnace blower can not deliver the proper amount of airflow, you may find yourself dealing with issues down the road.
When evaluating the costs of a central air conditioner in Ottawa, the sizing and capacity will play a large part in the expected costs of an installation.
When you are having an air conditioner installed in your home, the factors surrounding the installation can vastly change the cost of the unit. These factors can include the following:
The installation of an air conditioner is the most important day in the life of the unit. These machines are quite different than an appliance like a refrigerator or stove that can be plugged in and work well. The installation is paramount in the longevity of the unit and as such, these installation parameters can add or subtract costs on the installation.
Quality of Air Conditioners
Air Conditioner quality varies greatly and as a result units can range from $2500-$10,000+. There are four factors that generally define the quality of the unit.
Sound Levels– The sound levels of condenser generally correspond directly with quality of unit. An entry level AC may run 76-80 dB and can be quite loud. A mid range AC is generally operating between 69-74 dB and high end units may be as quiet as 56 dB (Whisper quiet!)
Compressor Operation– The compressor is the heart of the air conditioner. Entry level units generally have a single stage compressor, meaning they are either on or off. Two stage compressors allow the unit to operate at two different speeds (providing varying levels of cooling and dehumidifying the home much better than a single stage). Finally, variable speed compressors can ramp up and down allowing for precise temperature control and unparalleled dehumidification.
Efficiency Levels-Air Conditioners are rated by using SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency ratio). Entry level units start at 13 SEER with high end models reaching up to 28 SEER! The higher the SEER the less electricity your unit will need to run.
Warranty– Some air conditioners come with 1 year parts warranty. Most reputable brands come with 10 year parts and 10 year compressor warranty. You can find units with 12 year parts and even lifetime unit replacement warranties!
In summation, Air Conditioner prices vary greatly in the Ottawa area. With our relatively short but hot summers, we tend to see clients spending $3000-$4500 on average for their air conditioners, with many people opting for 14-16 SEER units.
Feel free to contact our office to discuss your air conditioner installation with a qualified home comfort advisor! 613 592 5770.