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How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Air Conditioner in Minneapolis?

The cost of replacing a central air conditioner in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area can range anywhere from $3,700 to $12,000+.

That’s a large range, we know. That’s because there’s many different factors that affect the price of a home air conditioner.

We’ll go into some of those below. But, in the meantime, if you want a price for replacing your home air conditioner (and you live in the Twin Cities area) get a free quote from us.

What affects the cost of replacing an air conditioner?


Like most products, size affects the price. Air conditioner size is expressed in tons and, in general, larger ACs are more expensive.

The size you need depends on many factors (including the size of your home, insulation levels, etc.). Your air conditioning installer should do a heat load calculation to determine the right size for your home.

Energy efficiency

The energy efficiency of an air conditioner is measured in SEER. The higher the SEER number, the more energy efficient—and the more expensive—the AC will be.

The minimum efficiency air conditioner you can buy in Minnesota currently is a 13-SEER unit. But air conditioners can also go as high as 21 SEER.

Type of system

There are several different kinds of air conditioners you can buy, and they all have different price tags.

Central air conditioners
A central air conditioner consists of an indoor unit, outdoor unit and the ductwork to blow the cool air through your home. Central air conditioners are usually the best option if you want to cool your whole home in the summer.

Mini-split (or ductless) air conditioners
Mini-split air conditioners are the most expensive type of air conditioner, coming in around 20-30% more than central air conditioners (not including ductwork). However, they work great in old homes where ductwork can’t be easily added.

For more info, check out our comparison: Central vs. Mini-Split Air Conditioners

AC installer

The person and company you hire to install your air conditioner will also affect the price. You might be able to find a really cheap AC installer, but you often get what you pay for.

Will that installer be around in the future if something goes wrong? Our experience says, probably not.

That’s why, in our (very biased) opinion, you should use a company that:

  • Has been around at least 10 years
  • Has a good reputation for quality work
  • Includes labor warranties as part of the install

Other additional items

Your AC replacement cost can cost more if it includes any of the following:

  • Duct repair/replacement—Sometimes ducts need to be repaired or replaced so that your air conditioner can work efficiently.
  • Smart thermostats—Wanna control your thermostat on your phone? A smart thermostat lets you do that.
  • Zoning—Zoning lets you control the individual temperature of different areas or zones in your home. A great time to install zoning is when replacing the air conditioner.

How can I get a good deal on my AC replacement?

Getting a good deal on a new air conditioner for your home is simple:

  • Shop for one before you need it (before your current AC breaks down). That way you’re not in a rush, which can lead you to settle for the first available air conditioner. It also lets you ...
  • Purchase the AC in the spring or fall. During this time, manufacturers typically offer their best rebates. Also, heating and air conditioning companies aren’t busy during this time, meaning you’re more likely to schedule an installation during a time that’s more convenient for you.
  • Consider purchasing a unit that qualifies for the $300 federal tax credit.

Related: When Can I Get a Deal on a New Air Conditioner and Furnace?

How do I know if the price I got is fair?

Try getting 2 or 3 quotes from different contractors. Just make sure what they’re offering you is apples to apples (same size, same efficiency, etc.)

Already have a quote on a new air conditioner and want to know if it’s fair? We’ll give you a free second opinion if you live in the area! Just contact us for an air conditioning replacement quote.

MSP Plumbing, Heating and Air has served the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area since 1918.