Case Study: AC Install Cost

If you’ve lived in San Diego for any length of time, you know that air conditioners are a necessary evil. Nothing takes money out your wallet each summer more so than your energy bill. This causes many to consider what they can do to lower that bill, including considering a new air conditioning system that functions more efficiently. But how much does an ac install cost?

I’m glad you asked!

Many local HVAC companies, like Precision Temperature, don’t list their prices online. (But don’t worry! Keep reading and we’ll tell you).

That’s not to deceive you or because it’s a hugely guarded secret. It’s not because we think you’ll run far away if you know the price beforehand.

But rather it’s because every house is different.

When it comes to air conditioning, one size does not fit all. That’s why we offer free in-home quotes. We want you to get the system that is right for you with the best materials at the lowest possible cost.

Shopping around for HVAC technicians is par for the course when you’re considering such a huge purchase.

We can help you with that!

Instead of wasting your valuable time meeting with and dealing with contractors just to get their sticker price, we’ve put together this case study just for you.

AC Install Cost Case Study

A recent Precision Temperature customer–we’ll call her Katie to protect her privacy–shared with us the quotes and experience she received from three other San Diego-based companies.

The numbers surprised us.

Before we jump into all the details, there’s a few bits of information you need to know upfront. This particular installation was on a small to medium two story home that didn’t previously have ductwork.

There was no possible way to install ducting based on the layout, and the only option for Katie was a ductless mini-split system.

If you already have centralized air and are looking at getting a system replacement, then these numbers will be significantly lower.

In addition to the type of system, Katie was looking to have three units installed. One in the living room where her family spent most of their time, and one in each of their two bedrooms.

Katie explored other options and ultimately decided to install just two units, one in her bedroom and one in the living room. But for the sake of this case study, we’ll look at the ac install cost of the full three units.

1. Airmaxx

Katie’s first quote was from Airmaxx.

Katie told us that she almost stopped her search for air conditioning here, but was so glad she didn’t.

The Airmaxx technician came to her home and told her all about how and where they would install a full central air system in her home. A fact that each subsequent company, including our own, told her was an impossibility.

We have no idea how they planned to accomplish this feat, but Katie told us Airmaxx said they wouldn’t cover the cost of repairs to the drywall. Instead, leaving Katie and her family to deal with another contractor and spend yet more money.

Even so, Airmaxx also quoted her on a ductless mini-split system.

ac install cost

Katie told us that this price was a little high for what she was expecting, but she quickly discovered it was only the beginning.

2. Anderson Plumbing, Heating, and Air

Later that same day, Katie had a representative from Anderson Plumbing, Heating, and Air come giver her an AC install cost quote.

Katie said that the difference between the two companies was night and day.

Where the Airmaxx representative had been quiet and lacked confidence, the Anderson representative was authoritative and instilled confidence.

Once again, Katie felt her AC hunt was over…

…until she saw the numbers.

anderson ac install cost

From Airmaxx’s $10,000 to Anderson’s $18,000.

That’s a huge difference!

Katie couldn’t understand why, but we noticed it immediately.

Scroll back up and take a look at Airmaxx’s breakdown. They wanted to give Katie a 26k BTU outdoor unit with one 12k BTU indoor air handler for her living room, and two 7k units for the bedrooms.

Those numbers might not mean anything to you. But you need to know, they were severely undercutting Katie, sacrificing her comfort to give Katie the lowest bill and hopefully win her business.

With the size and dimensions of Katie’s home, the absolute minimum power needed for her living room unit would be 18k BTUs. Something we at Precision Temperature, as well as Anderson, noticed.

Anderson’s quote is for a 36k BTU outdoor unit, one 18k air handler for the downstairs, and two 9ks for the upstairs.

Additionally, Anderson uses Daikin, one of the most expensive brands on the market. While you might be tempted to think it’s better equipment, they all function about the same.

Even with these differences, though, Anderson was still far too overpriced.

Katie’s search continued.

3. Mauzy Heating, Air, and Solar

After a long weekend debating whether she could afford air conditioning, Katie decided to have another company in.

Perhaps they’d help bridge the disparaging price gap and solve her air conditioning dilemma.

Katie reports that the Mauzy representative was kind and courteous and his winsome personality almost sealed the deal…

…until once again her hopes, or rather her wallet, was dashed.

mauzy ac install quote

Mauzy was a little better than Anderson, coming in $1,000 cheaper, but $17,000 was still a hefty bill, and one she wasn’t sure she would be able to pay.

Wasn’t there someone out there who could provide confidence and reliability with great products all the while keeping her and her budget in mind?

4. Precision Temperature

That’s when we came on the scene.

Our quote came in at $11,495.

AC Install Cost

Had Katie stopped with Airmaxx, she would have been left with a system that couldn’t stand up under the brutal summer heat.

And had she gone with Anderson, she’d have paid 54% more money than was necessary.

That’s a $6,300 savings over Anderson, and $5,300 on Mauzy.

Yes, we’re $1,400 more expensive than Airmaxx, but take a look at what you’re getting for the extra money:


26k BTU Outdoor Unit

12k BTU Living room

7k BTU Bedroom 1

7k BTU Bedroom 2

Repairs not included

15 years in business

Precision Temperature

36k BTU Outdoor Unit

18k BTU Living room

9k BTU Bedroom 1

9k BTU Bedroom 2

Repairs included

32 years in business

When we asked Katie why she chose Precision Temperature, she told us she felt she could trust us to provide her with the best system at a reasonable rate.

She also called attention to the informational brochure we left with her. She said if companies she trusts like Sharp hospital and UCSD rely on Precision Temperature, then she could too.

The Bottom Line

Air conditioning installation costs in San Diego are not cheap. But here at Precision Temperature, we promise you that our prices aren’t any higher than they have to be.

We guarantee our workmanship for the lifetime of your unit. We also provide a 2-year warranty on all labor needed to make repairs, and a 10-year warranty on parts.

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable AC installation service, Precision Temperature is here for you.

Since we partner with Trane, America’s #1 brand, you can have confidence that your comfort is just a phone call away.

Call us today to schedule your free personalized in-home quote.

to top