Cost Comparison: DIY vs. Professional AC Unit Replacement for Two Units

Ever wondered how much it would cost to replace not just one, but two AC units in your home? Picture this: it’s the peak of summer, and suddenly both your AC units decide to call it quits. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, fret not, because in this article, we’ve got you covered with all the essential information on the cost of replacing two AC units.

Factors Affecting the Cost

When it comes to replacing two AC units, several factors can influence the overall cost. Understanding these variables can help you anticipate and prepare for the expenses involved.

  • Type of AC Units: The size and efficiency of the units can significantly impact the cost. High-efficiency models tend to be pricier upfront but can lead to long-term energy savings.
  • Installation Complexity: Factors such as the layout of your home and any existing ductwork can affect the complexity of the installation, thereby influencing the overall cost.
  • Location: Your geographical area can also play a role in determining the cost. Labor rates and local regulations can vary, affecting the total expenses.
  • Additional Upgrades: If your ductwork needs repair or you opt for smart thermostats, these additional upgrades can add to the overall cost of replacing the AC units.

Remember to consider these factors when budgeting for your AC replacement project. It’s essential to get quotes from multiple contractors to compare prices and ensure you’re getting the best deal for your specific needs.

Cost Breakdown for Single AC Unit Replacement

When replacing a single AC unit, there are several key cost components to consider.

  • Unit Price: The cost of the AC unit itself can vary based on the brand, size, and efficiency. A more efficient unit will generally have a higher upfront cost, but it can lead to long-term savings on energy bills.
  • Installation Costs: Hiring a professional to install the unit is essential. Installation costs can be influenced by factors such as complexity of the installation, labor fees, and additional materials needed.
  • Permit Fees: Depending on your location, you may need permits to replace an AC unit. Permit fees can add to the overall cost of the project.
  • Ductwork: If your existing ductwork is not in good condition or compatible with the new unit, you may need to invest in ductwork modifications or replacements.
  • Additional Upgrades: Consider if you want to add any extra features or upgrades to your new AC unit, such as a smart thermostat or air purification system. These additions can increase the overall cost but may enhance the efficiency and comfort of your home.
  • Maintenance Plans: It’s also advisable to factor in the cost of regular maintenance for your new AC unit. Routine maintenance can extend the lifespan of the unit and help prevent costly repairs down the line.

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Cost Component Average Cost Range
AC Unit $2,500 – $7,500
Installation $1,500 – $4,000
Permit Fees $100 – $500
Ductwork $1,000 – $5,000
Additional Upgrades $200 – $1,000
Maintenance Plans $150 – $500/year

Additional Costs for Replacing Two Units

When replacing two AC units, there are a few additional costs to consider beyond the standard expenses for a single unit. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Labor Costs: Installing two AC units may involve more labor compared to just one, especially if the units are located far apart or on different levels of your home.
  • Ductwork Adjustments: If your ductwork needs modifications to accommodate the new units, this can incur additional expenses. Make sure to have your ductwork assessed beforehand to avoid surprises.
  • Electrical Work: Wiring two units may require more intricate electrical work, potentially increasing the overall installation costs.
  • Permit Fees: When replacing two units, you might face higher permit fees due to the scope of the project. Check with your local authorities to understand the permit costs involved.
  • Bulk Discounts: Some HVAC companies offer discounts for replacing multiple units simultaneously. Don’t hesitate to inquire about bulk pricing to potentially save on overall costs.
  • Maintenance Plans: Investing in maintenance plans for two units can provide long-term benefits, ensuring both systems operate efficiently and potentially extending their lifespan.

Consider these factors to budget effectively for replacing two AC units and ensure a smooth transition with minimal surprises along the way.

DIY vs. Professional Installation Costs

When considering DIY vs. professional installation costs for replacing two AC units, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.

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DIY Installation

  • Initial Cost Savings: Opting for DIY installation can save you between $500 to $1,000 per unit.
  • Skill Level Required: A moderate to advanced level of HVAC knowledge is necessary.
  • Risks Involved: Improper installation may lead to reduced efficiency, frequent breakdowns, and potential safety hazards.
  • Professional Expertise: HVAC technicians have the necessary skills and experience to ensure proper installation.
  • Quality Assurance: Professional installation often comes with guarantees and warranties for the work done.
  • Cost Consideration: On average, professional installation can cost around $3,000 to $5,000 per unit, depending on various factors like unit size and complexity.

Whether you choose DIY or professional installation, ensuring a thorough and accurate installation is crucial for the long-term efficiency and performance of your AC units.


When it comes to replacing two AC units, the choice between DIY and professional installation boils down to cost, expertise, and long-term efficiency. DIY can save you money upfront, but it requires a good HVAC knowledge level and comes with risks. On the other hand, professional installation ensures quality work, expertise, and warranties, albeit at a higher cost. Whether you opt for DIY or professional installation, the key is to prioritize accurate and thorough installation to guarantee the optimal performance and longevity of your AC units. Make the decision that best fits your budget and comfort level, keeping in mind the importance of a job well done for your cooling system’s future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DIY installation of AC units cost-effective?

Yes, DIY installation can save $500 to $1,000 per unit. However, it requires a moderate to advanced HVAC knowledge level and carries risks if done improperly.

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What are the advantages of professional AC installation?

Professional installation typically costs $3,000 to $5,000 per unit but offers expertise, quality assurance, and warranties for the work.

What is the importance of thorough installation for AC units?

Thorough and accurate installation, whether DIY or professional, is crucial for ensuring long-term efficiency and performance of the AC units.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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