Air conditioning is one of the many technologies that have shaped the modern world as we know it. It is safe to say that one would find it difficult to define contemporary civilization without an air conditioning unit (in the same degree as the absence of computers). The most relatively significant use of the air conditioner is to provide comfort against searing daylight temperature.
Before the mass distribution of air conditioning units across the United States, labor productivity was not so fast-paced and hectic as it is in the present. Back then, slowing down or temporarily closing outdoor (industrial) endeavors were necessary to keep individuals from suffering the effects of daytime summer exposure. ‘Summer breaks’ for school children and academicians have become a surviving tradition that recalls that old practice.
Speaking of summer, it is interesting to take note that movie theaters were one of the first establishments to ‘uniformly’ install air conditioning units. From the Great Depression era, film producers would schedule releasing their best movies in the most crowded viewing season. Hence, the air conditioner has helped pen the term ‘summer blockbuster.’
Curiously, however, the original purpose for designing the air conditioning unit has nothing to do with providing comfort during the hottest times of the year. In fact, the American inventor named Willis Carrier created the first air conditioner in 1902 to control the humidity inside his New York publishing house and preventing an unpredictable indoor climate from damaging his texts.
Given that modern architecture has been shaped by the existence of air conditioning units, not having one at home or in the office causes considerable discomfort for every person. Despite new (post-modern) conventions of keeping the interiors energy-efficient, the cost to install window air conditioner is still an unavoidable necessity worth considering.
National Average Cost
The average window air conditioner installation cost is anywhere between $455 and $532. This price range is inclusive only in units that can cool down an interior measuring a total of 440 square foot. Window air conditioners of this price category can only consume about 10,000 British thermal units (more on BTU in the later part of the article).
The lowest cost to install window air conditioners can be anywhere between $165 and $345, considering that it only consumes a lower BTU count. As for the highest national average cost for setting up a window air conditioner, the estimate would not often exceed beyond $1,200. It is important to take note that the unit only comprises one aspect of the overall budget. One should also pay attention to other factors that include the entire spending.
Other Cost Considerations
As mentioned earlier, the inclusive cost to install window air conditioner can be broken down into more than one category. In fact, the national average estimate only comprises the biggest fraction of the overall material cost. Case in point: an air conditioning unit that is worth $345 (the highest estimated value in the low-cost price range) is actually worth a total of $372 in terms of the overall material cost. Here are the other features that cover the complete budget analysis:
- Upgrades (e.g. new circuit): $27
- A/C installation labor cost: $34 per hour
- 3-hour system upgrade labor cost: $42 per hour
Price Range via Energy Requirement
When it comes to the window air conditioner installation cost, it is important for homeowners to determine the specific measurements of an ideal air conditioning unit. The size of the window air conditioner itself does not necessarily reflect how much energy it consumes. In fact, every item sold in the appliance store has a BTU measurement attached to its product label.
In essence, one should look at the BTU count to determine what he or she needs. Too much BTU in a relatively smaller room and the interiors get too cold at a faster rate, which in turn necessitates an unsafe frequency (not to mention the hassle) of switching the dials on and off. Too little BTU and it would take a little longer to cool the room interiors, which in turn could cost a relative increase in the utility bills due to inefficient energy consumption. In order to accurately determine what kind of window air conditioning is needed, here is a data presented by Fixr:
- 5,000 BTU for 100 to 150 square feet: $150
- 7,000 BTU for 250 to 300 square feet: $200
- 10,000 BTU for 400 to 450 square feet: $300
- 18,000 BTU for 700 to 1,000 square feet: $500
- 21,000 BTU for 1,000 to 1,200 square feet: $600
- 30,000 BTU for 1,500 to 2,000 square feet: $830
- 34,000 BTU for 2,000 to 2,500 square feet: $900 or more
Top 7 Discounted Locations
As mentioned in the previous part of the article, labor comprises a significant aspect of the overall window air conditioner installation cost. In fact, it is the one value that proves to be changeable considering the usual hourly based rate that is relative to the level of difficulty. Even more so, professional help is required for all individuals who have no working knowledge and experience installing window air conditioners.
But all things considered, location can pretty much increase the chances of lowering the cost of professional assistance. Compared to the national average cost of setting up a window air conditioning unit, the following locations in the United States have a much cheaper rate:
- El Paso, Texas: 28% less
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: 12% less
- Omaha, Nebraska: 10% less
- Fresno, California: 6% less
- Colorado Springs, Utah: 3% less
- Buffalo, New York: 1% less
- Jacksonville, Mississippi: 1% less
Top 6 AC Brands
When it comes to choosing the best air conditioner, brand names also serve as the viable criteria. Consumer Reports have listed six notable manufacturers who produce units that have an Energy Star certification as well as reasonable projected price range of around $100 to $500. These are the enduring brand names in the United States that are worth considering.