Wall Air Conditioning Costs

Wall air conditioning (A/C) units have their hot air output exterior to the building, and their cooling air output to the interior climate zone with no ductwork. The unit will occupy a wall opening.

You will find that the cost of average wall A/C varies by type of unit, its cooling (and heating) capacity and efficiency rating, preparation and special needs, and the labor rate.

In the following tables the Labor Cost figure is what the able DIY person should expect to save by performing the corresponding tasks.

Wall A/C: for cooling a room of 17' x 20' = 340 sq.ft.; include delivery, all material, equipment, and waste.

ItemUnit CostQuantityLine Cost
A/C unit: 8000 BTU cooling only, 115 VAC, with all trim, weather stripping, hardware, and touch-up.$856each1$856
Upgrade: install new circuit; 30 feet of ROMEX surface mounted cable, #14/3; 15 amp breaker into existing space; two outlet receptacles with box and cover.$0.85per foot32$27
Material Cost$883each1$883
+ Labor Cost (install AC unit)$34per hour10$340
+ Labor Cost (upgrade circuit)$42per hour3$126
Total Cost$1,349each1$1,349


Wall A/C: for cooling a room of 25' x 40' = 1,000 sq.ft.; include delivery, all material, equipment, and waste.

ItemUnit CostQuantityLine Cost
A/C Unit: 18000 BTU cooling only, 230 VAC, with all trim, weather stripping, hardware, and touch-up.$1,817each1$1,817
Upgrade: install new circuit, 30 feet of ROMEX surface mounted cable, #10/3; 30 amp breaker into existing space; single outlet box and cover.$1.66per foot32$52
Material Cost$1,869each1$1,869
+ Labor Cost (install AC unit)$34per hour12$408
+ Labor Cost (upgrade circuit)$42per hour3$126
Total Cost$2,403each1$2,403


Other considerations and costs

  • If the installation requires a new opening of a wood-framed exterior wall, that work will cost from about $55 to $75 per square foot of rough opening, depending mostly upon local labor rate. Masonry work is a bit more expensive.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.
  • Energy efficient A/C will save money, and in some cases rebates may be available.
  • For A/C units of greater than 12,000 BTU’s per hour (or 3.5 kilowatts) a multi-phase electrical circuit is generally required.
  • For a sunny room, add 10% more A/C capacity than required for room size.
  • Add 600 BTU/h’s per person if usually occupied by more than two persons.
  • For the kitchen, add 4,000 more BTU/h’s than required for room size.
  • During the initial inspection the contractor should inform the homeowner of any and all necessary modification or upgrade on electrical circuits or building structure.
  • Labor cost will rise with a “hidden” circuit installation in a finished environment.

DIY considerations

  • This project may be suitable to an able and prepared DIY person with tools.
  • The work may include heavy lifting and moving.

References

  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.               

Cost to install wall air conditioning in my city

Cost to install wall air conditioning varies greatly by region. To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.