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Decoding the Cost of a 4-Ton AC: Factors that Influence the Price

HVAC Logo IconBy Tom MoorApril 18, 2024
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Outside AC condenser unit

When you’re shopping for a new air conditioning system, size matters. Every home requires a system that’s perfectly matched in order to receive efficient cooling.

One popular air conditioner size is the 4-ton unit. To help you decide if it’s the right choice for your home, HVAC.com breaks down the cost of a 4-ton AC system and which homes usually need this kind of cooling power.

Understanding AC Sizing

AC sizing may be confusing for some homeowners. Against popular belief, an air conditioner’s size doesn’t refer to its actual physical dimensions or weight, but, instead, its cooling capacity which is measured in tons. You typically need one ton of cooling for every 600 square feet of living space.

Most homes require an air conditioner with a capacity ranging from 1.5 to 5 tons. A 4-ton air conditioner is ideal for cooling homes about 2,200 to 2,600 square feet in size.

However, the actual square footage that a 4-ton AC can cool effectively depends on factors including insulation levels, ceiling height, climate, and the home’s layout. A professional HVAC contractor can help you learn more about HVAC sizing.

What’s the Cost of a 4-Ton Air Conditioning System?

The average cost of buying and installing a 4-ton air conditioner is about $6,250, with a range of $3,800 to $8,300.

Factors Influencing the Price of a 4-Ton Air Conditioner

The size of the air conditioning system is just one of many factors that influence the overall cost of a 4-ton AC. Others include:

Make and Model

Four-ton air conditioners come in a variety of makes and models. Spending more on a highly regarded brand may yield long benefits such as increased reliability, efficiency, and a reputable warranty. However, a lesser-known brand may be the right choice if you’re on a budget.

Efficiency Rating

An air conditioner’s overall efficiency is determined by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. Higher SEER-rated units have a higher upfront cost but are more environmentally friendly and save on energy costs. A SEER 16-rated unit offers a blend of affordability and efficiency which makes it a wise investment for most homeowners.

Installation Requirements

The cost of installing a 4-ton AC can vary significantly depending on factors such as the need for new ductwork, electrical upgrades, or permits.

Region

Where you live also impacts the final cost of installing a 4-ton air conditioner. You’ll likely pay more for an air conditioner and installation if you live in a large metro area such as New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles, compared to a rural region of the country.

Additional Features

Installing optional features that can add to the cost of a new AC unit include smart thermostats, dehumidifiers, and air purification systems.

Compressor Type

There are three types of AC compressors to know about: single-stage, 2-stage, and variable-speed. While single-stage compressors cost less upfront, they are less energy efficient. Meanwhile, 2-stage and variable-speed compressors offer improved efficiency and comfort, albeit at a higher initial investment.

The Importance of Properly Sizing Your Air Conditioner

Pay close to the size of the air conditioner the next time you’re shopping for a replacement. Systems that are too large or too small can lead to issues that may require repair or replacement. For example, an undersized unit may struggle to cool the space effectively, causing discomfort and higher energy bills, while an oversized unit may short cycle, leading to inefficient operation, increased wear and tear, and higher humidity levels.

Unfortunately, the only solution to an undersized or oversized air conditioner is buying the appropriate size unit for your home. Work with an HVAC professional who will take not only the size of your home into consideration when sizing your air conditioner, but also includes factors such as insulation, the climate, and the home’s layout.

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