The quality of the air conditioning (AC) installation cannot be ignored. Most of the time, its non-functioning or malfunctioning is due to incorrect installation. The installation of an air conditioner requires the performance of standard operations, adapted to the needs of the customers and the possibilities that the house offers. Therefore, people interested in purchasing an air conditioner should know that it consists of two units: one indoor and one outdoor. They will occupy a wall opening and will be connected by a pre-vacuated refrigeration route.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Wall Air Conditioning?
The average cost for installing a wall air conditioning will depend on several factors such as the labor rate, type of the unit, special needs, its cooling and heating capacity, preparation, and efficiency rate.
In the table below you will find the average costs involved with installing a wall A/C for cooling a room with a surface of 20’ x 17’ = 340 square feet, including all the materials, waste, delivery, and equipment.
|Item||Unit Cost||Quantity||Line Cost|
|A/C unit: 8000 BTU cooling only, 115 VAC, weather stripping, with all trim, hardware, and touch-up.||$900||each||1||$900|
|Upgrade: install new circuit, 15 amp breaker into existing space, 30 feet of ROMEX surface mounted cable, #14/3, two outlet receptacles with box and cover.||$1.00||per foot||32||$32|
|Labor Cost (install AC unit)||$35||per hour||10||$350|
|Labor Cost (upgrade circuit)||$50||per hour||3||$150|
What are the additional expenses?
The price estimate we gave you in the table above does not include the permit fees and taxes.
In case you need a new opening of a wood-framed exterior wall for installing the A/C, you will have to budget anywhere between $58 and $77 per square foot of rough opening for this work, depending on the local labor rates. Expect to pay much more for masonry work.
In case you want to add a “hidden” circuit in a finished environment then the labor costs will get higher.
Steps required for air conditioning installation
In order to install the air conditioner in the most efficient and safest way, it is necessary to follow certain steps. In this way, the process will be done quickly, and the result will be a safe one, the device being positioned in such a way that it can run at maximum capacity, favoring thermal comfort in the home. So, how is the air conditioner installed? By following the next steps:
- Choosing the place for assembly
The first step is choosing the place where the air conditioner will be installed. If it is a single room, it is necessary to install it in an accessible and safe place. The task becomes more complicated if devices are installed in several rooms because there is a possibility that the temperature will become too low if several devices are running at the same time.
- Installing the board on the wall
The second step is the one that ensures a solid and resistant positioning. The air conditioner is quite heavy and, if it is not mounted properly, it can come off. The mounting plate must be placed on the inner wall and it is necessary to use plastic dowels in the holes. Also, the plate must be fixed with fixing screws.
- Installation of the outdoor unit of the air conditioner
The external unit is mounted near the windows, without blocking them, on the external walls of the building. There is no problem if the unit is directly exposed to natural light or bad weather, considering that the protection of the parts and components inside is ensured by the anti-corrosive materials.
- Establishing connections
To complete the installation of the air conditioner, it is necessary to establish the electrical connections and pipes. In the end, you can test the functioning of the air conditioner.
Important things to consider
Our recommendation is to install the air conditioning device in one of the rooms, depending on:
- cardinal points – the room with the window to the south or west will be the warmest in summer;
- the time spent in the room – if you spend more time in the living room in the afternoon or evening, why not feel good?
- the sensitivity of the people in the room – avoid installing the air conditioner in the children’s room (they will catch colds more often, they will become more sensitive) or in the grandparents’ room (they will be more satisfied with just a bit of coolness from another room that has an AC installed).
The best solution (but also the most expensive) is to install an air conditioner in each room where you feel the need.
In general, a multi-phase electrical circuit will be required for an A/C unit of more than 12,000 BTUs per hour or 3.5 kilowatts.
In case the room is occupied by more than two people, you should add 600 BTU/h per individual.
It is recommended to add 10% more A/C capacity than needed for room size in case the room is a sunny one.
Also, in the case of a kitchen, 4,000 more BTU/h should be added to what is needed for room size.
Most people hire a company specialized in air conditioning installation. However, if you have experience in the field of plumbing and electrical installations, you can install the unit on your own.
How can I save money?
You will be able to save money with an energy-efficient A/C. Moreover, in some situations, rebates might also be available.
Obviously, the installation of an air conditioner raises the level of comfort in the house, especially for those who live in areas where, in general, the temperatures are high, but also for those who live in an apartment building, on the top floor. In addition, air conditioners are affordable from a financial point of view for those who want to have total control of the temperature in the house. These can be found online, on online stores that sell air conditioners, and that usually provide their transport and installation.
The installation of the air conditioner must be done with great care. This process requires several mandatory steps that ensure a solid and safe installation, but there are also some tips that can be taken into account so that the device reaches its maximum potential.