How Much Does It Cost To Install Central Air Conditioner With No Existing Ductwork?

Cost To Install Central Air Conditioner With No Existing Ductwork

Installing a central air conditioner without existing ducts can be a big task. Before you call an HVAC contractor, you should know how much it costs to install a central air conditioner with no existing ductwork. We conducted some research to assist you in locating the answer, and here is our opinion. Central Air Conditioner installation costs range from $ 5,000 to $ 12,000, with most homeowners paying slightly more than $ 7,000 for a 16SEER unit with a new duct. The main factors determining the installation price of a central air conditioner and other important considerations when purchasing a central air conditioner are discussed below.

Also check: 8 Best Fans That Blow Cold Air

Do You Need Ductwork To Install The Central Air Conditioner?

Central air conditioners supply and distribute air through ducts, unlike traditional air conditioners, which use evaporators to blow cold air. As a result, the former is required for operation.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Central Air Without Ductwork?

Are you wondering how much does it cost to install HVAC in the basement or in the home? The average central air cost is $ 4,800 for small units and $7,000 for large systems. Prices on existing channels will fall. The following factors can also have an impact on the price:

  • Size of the house: A properly sized central air conditioner provides excellent cooling functionality. The larger your home, the larger the air conditioner you require—thus, the higher the price.
  • Location of the duct system: Additional tools and accessories may be required depending on the duct system location (basement, interior wall, or attic), which can raise costs.
  • System Type: Other system types include additional features and accessories for an additional fee.
  • Temperature Control Zone: This feature enables homeowners to regulate the temperature of individual rooms. There will be an extra


  • The number of vents: The more vents you require in your home, the more ducts you will need, raising installation costs.
  • The duct material (tin, fibreboard, and wire carbon) can affect the count.

Types of Air Conditioners:

Split AC:

This is the way to go if you want to add air conditioning to your existing furnace and duct system. You are finished after connecting the air handling unit and the duct. Because the evaporator and fan are located outside, the system is relatively quiet.

Package Air Conditioner:

This is a single outside unit. However, it takes up less space and is ideal for tiny homes. The only disadvantage is that it requires more upkeep and is usually more expensive to repair.

HVAC Package Unit:

It includes all the HVAC, furnace, and air conditioner components in one package. The air conditioning system is easily switchable.

The Top Central Air Conditioner Manufacturers:

  1. Goodman: Goodman Central Air Conditioners may not have cutting-edge technology, but they are dependable and efficient. They are long-lasting materials with SEER ratings starting at 13. The best part is that it is inexpensive and ready to use.
  1. Lennox: The Lenox Central Air Conditioning Unit has an advantage in terms of SEER rating or energy efficiency. You can significantly reduce your energy bills with an unrivaled 28SEER rating. They are high-end items, but the price is irrelevant. Lennox is divided into three levels. You select the one that best fits your budget.
  1. Trane: Trane air conditioners have advanced cooling technology and features that allow precise temperature control. It is, however, more expensive than other brands.
  1. Amana: Amana air conditioners are packed with cutting-edge technology. Their advanced technology and efficiency can help to offset the high installation costs.
  1. Carrier: Carrier Central Air Conditioners are well-known for their 51-decibel silencer systems! You can get a good night’s sleep! This central air conditioner is by far the quietest.

Seer Evaluation Of Central Air Conditioner:

An air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures its efficiency. The total BTU is divided by the wattage to calculate it. The higher the rating of the unit, the better.

  • 13-15 SEER is recommended for people who live in cold climates and only use their air conditioner on the hottest days.
  • 16-18 SEER: These are ideal for people who live in slightly warmer climates or have higher AC demands.
  • 19-21 SEER: High-efficiency units are ideal for harsh climates and large homes with multiple occupants. You have a large prepayment, but lower utility bills can offset it.
  • 22-24 SEER ratings are intended for commercial buildings with long-term air conditioning.

Ways To Save On Central Air Installation Costs:

Central AC installation is costly. However, these simple tips can help you save money in the beginning.

Suitable timing: HVAC contractors are in high demand during the summer and winter seasons. Scheduling central air conditioning during these times will result in higher prices and longer travel times. So, make a schedule for the off-season.

Various Estimates: Get quotes from three different HVAC contractors to get the best deal on central air conditioning equipment.

What to Look for in a Central A/C Unit:

The quality of the installation can have an impact on your system’s performance. Working with a contractor who knows what they’re doing is critical. Check out these qualities to look for in a contractor:

License: This demonstrates that the contractor or installer has passed the trade and experience tests.

NATE Accredited: NATE Certified contractors have completed additional training to expand their knowledge of HVAC system installation.

Insurance: You want to work with an insured contractor who will cover the replacement cost if they damage your device.

Factory Approved: Factory Certified Contractors are insured, licensed, and NATE-certified. They’ve most likely been around for a long time. You can rely on them to service your central air conditioner efficiently.

Reviews: Read company reviews to gain insight into how they operate and the quality of their service.

Might be helpful for you:  Lennox Vs Goodman Air Conditioner: Which Is Right for You?

Also check: Where Should Cold Air Returns Be Located In Basement?


The installation of a ductless central air conditioning system is expected to pay an average of $ 5,000 to $ 12,000. If the duct installation does not apply to your home, you can opt for a ductless mini-split system.


What HVAC system works without ductwork?

A ductless air conditioning system with one outdoor condenser unit and multiple indoor units is known as a VRF system. They function similarly to central air conditioners, with one important difference: they do not require ductwork. Instead, refrigerant lines connect multiple indoor units.

How long does it take to install central air if no ductwork is present?

If you are replacing an older AC unit with a newer or similar model, the job should take one day, or eight hours, as long as the other components, such as the ductwork, remain the same. This is referred to as a changeout.

Is it possible to install central air without existing ductwork?

It is possible to install a central air conditioner without ductwork, but it may not be the best option for all homes. Installing central air conditioners in rooms with no vents or registers may provide minimal cooling and airflow. This may result in higher utility bills.

Which is better, ductless or central air conditioning?

Because ductless systems are potentially much more efficient, your utility costs will be much lower than with central air. The disadvantage is that the initial investment is higher. This may seem counterintuitive because we consider the “smaller” option.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

About the author

Gulzar Abid

Gulzar Abid is a passionate entrepreneur with a thirst for knowledge and yearns to help empower people to initiate their journey of growth and success.
Chief Executive Officer K2 Groups
Chief Executive Officer
K2 Heating & Air Conditioning