How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost for A 2,000 Sq Ft House

Central air conditioner cost for a 2000 square foot home is $3,250 to $15,400 installed. Average cost for an average size system in a warm-but-not-hot part of the country is around $8,000.

Cost Factors

That’s a wide range for the cost of air conditioning for a 2000 square foot home.

This page will help you nail down what your cost will be based on:

1). Your Climate Zone (hot climate = bigger AC)

2). Something called Design Temperature (peak summer temperature)

3). What Brand you choose (yes, Carrier costs a lot more than Goodman!)

4). How efficient the AC is that you choose (obviously, choose a higher SEER/more efficient AC in hot climates)

Installation factors will play a role too – how difficult it is and whether new wiring and an electrical circuit need to be installed, for example. Cost of living where you live can affect central AC cost by up to 15%.

Central AC Cost for 2000 Sq. Ft. House by Zone

It will surprise nobody that the price for central air is higher in hot, muggy Missouri than in where summers are mild in Minnesota.

This US Climate Zone map is very useful in helping break down the cost of central air conditioning for a 2000 square foot home around the country.

It’s pretty simple. Find your location on the map, and then use the chart below to see the cost range for AC installed in that zone.

Climate Zone

Estimating Tip: If you live near the edge of a zone, choose the hotter zone for your estimate. For example, Dallas, TX is right near the boundary between Zones 2 and 3. Summers seem to be getting warmer, so it makes sense to at least consider Zone 2 pricing as you estimate your AC costs.

Central AC Cost for 2000 Sq. Ft. Home by Zone:

ZoneCentral Air Equipment CostCentral Air Installed Cost
Zone 1 & 2$4,650 – $11,800$5,990 – $15,400
Zone 3 $4,200 – $9,400$5,450 – $12,300
Zone 4$3,800 – $8,650$4,900 – $11,300
Zone 5$3,350 – $7,850$4,350 – $10,250
Zone 6$2,950 – $7,050$3,800 – $9,250
Zone 7$2,500 – $6,300$3,250 – $8,200

This chart is based on average insulation and sun exposure of your house. You can use our central ac sizing calculator to get a more accurate size. The cost ranges due to factors like efficiency rating, compressor stages and location.

Ex. How much does a central air conditioner cost for a 2000 square foot home in Texas?

$4,900 to $15,400 installed. There are 3 zones represented in the State of Texas – Zones 2, 3 and 4. So, it depends on your exact location. And remember, use the hotter zone if you’re near the edge of two zones.

Central AC Cost For 2000 Sq Ft House By Design Temperature

Most HVAC contractors size an air conditioning system – central AC – using a 1% design temperature.

That means that the average warmest temperature of the location falls within the design temperature 99% of the time, exceeding it only 1% of the time.

Example: The 1% design temperature for Little Rock, AR (Pulaski County) is 97 degrees. That’s warm! And it means that the temperature exceeds 97 degrees just 1% of the year, based on the 30-year average.

Your local design temperature: We’ve made it easy to find your local design temperature. You can check your local design temperature here. It is by US Counties. The higher the design temperature, the bigger the size of your AC unit. The cost varies due to factors like SEER rating (14-26 SEER), compressor stage (single stage, two stages and variable-speed) and location.

Once you’ve located the design temperature for your county, you can use the chart to determine the cost of a central air conditioner for a 2000 square foot home where you live – and by “central air conditioner” we mean the outdoor unit, indoor coil and refrigerant lines and charge plus installation supplies.

Central AC Cost For 2000 Sq Ft Home By Design Temperature:

Outdoor Design TemperatureCentral Air Equipment CostCentral Air Installed Cost
85 F$2,100 – $3,950$2,700 – $5,150
90 F$3,150 – $5,900$4,100 – $7,700
95 F$4,200 – $7,850$5,450 – $10,250
100 F$5,250 – $9,800$6,800 – $12,850
105 F$6,300 – $11,800$8,150 – $15,400
110 F$7,350 – $13,750$9,500 – $17,900

This table is based on average insulation and 75F indoor design temperature from the Manual J load calculation used by HVAC technicians to determine the proper size for your AC system. 

Estimating tip: Our chart shows design temps in 5-degree increments. If yours is in between, consider rounding up to the warmer temperature. That will better prepare you for the central AC cost estimates you’ll get from local contractors.

Central AC Cost For 2000 Sq Ft House By Brands

At this point, you should have a good idea of what size AC system you’ll need based on where you live and how hot it normally gets in summer. See the FAQs for more details.

OK, use the chart to find the cost of brands you are considering.

Within the cost range for each brand, the larger the AC is (see the list just above) and the more efficient it is, the higher the cost on the price spectrum.

Central AC Cost For 2000 Sq Ft Home By Brands:

BrandEquipment OnlyInstalled Cost
Amana$2,100 – $5,850$4,000 – $9,500
American Standard$2,750 – $7,750$4,750 – $11,800
Bryant$3,550 – $7,950$4,750 – $11,050
Carrier$3,800 – $8,500$5,100 – $12,050
Coleman$2,850 – $6,200$4,900 – $10,350
Daikin$2,550 – $6,150$4,250 – $11,000
Goodman$1,750 – $4,500$3,150 – $7,650
Heil$2,300 – $5,850$4,150 – $9,950
Lennox$3,500 – $8,000$5,278 – $11,950
Rheem$3,850 – $7,400$5,256 – $10,450
Ruud$3,850 – $7,300$5,222 – $10,300
Trane$3,750 – $8,250$4,844 – $10,350
York$2,850 – $6,650$4,933 – $10,650

This table is based on a 3.5 ton AC unit, which is suitable for a 2000 sq ft house with an average 95F design temperature. The cost ranges due to factors like SEER rating (14-26 SEER), compressor stage (single stage, two stages and variable-speed) and location.

Ex. How much will a Trane central air conditioner cost?

$4,844 to $10,350 installed. If you live in Michigan, a 3-ton, 14 SEER Trane XR14 AC would be plenty. It’s cost is on the low side of the range.

But if you live in a hot zone, you will need a 5-ton unit, and it should be an efficient model like the Trane XL18i. The cost, because it is larger and more efficient, will be at the top of the range.  


What size air conditioner do you need for a 2000 square foot house?

Here’s an overview of AC size for a 2000 square foot house by climate zone

  • Zone 1 & 2: 4-5 tons
  • Zone 3: 3.5-4 tons
  • Zone 4: 3-3.5 tons
  • Zone 5: 2.5-3 tons
  • Zone 6: 2.5-3 tons
  • Zone 7: 2-2.5 tons

Can I install my own central AC?

You’ll need a refrigerant handling certification to obtain refrigerant to charge the system. That means most homeowners can’t DIY their AC. We include the Central Air Equipment Cost in a separate column just so you can see the breakdown of central AC equipment vs installation cost.

Is there a DIY AC?

Yes. Some mini split systems from MrCool and Klimaire are full-DIY options – no refrigerant certification is needed.

Some brands make what we call semi-DIY mini split systems that you can install with basic equipment costing less than $300.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

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