How Much Does It Cost to Install a 10-Ton AC?

National Average Range:
$9,000 - $13,000
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Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by

Central air conditioning is important in keeping buildings cool in hot weather. Central air conditioning is the most effective way to cool a large commercial 5,200 to 6,400 sq.ft. building. The most common method of cooling is a 10-ton unit. 10-ton air conditioners are sized to cool big commercial spaces. They can be found in several efficiencies and qualities, influencing your project’s cost.

The national average cost to install a 10-ton air conditioner is $9,000 to $13,000, with most people spending $11,000 on a 16 SEER commercial 10-ton air conditioner installed with minimal modifications. This project’s low cost is $7,750 for a 13 SEER 10-ton air conditioner installed with no modifications. The high cost is $15,000 for a 10-ton air conditioner with 21 SEER installed with moderate modifications to the area and ducts.

10-Ton AC Unit Cost Calculator

10-ton AC units are frequently installed in 5,200 to 6,400 sq.ft. commercial buildings. This includes offices, retailers, and eating establishments. Air conditioners of this size come in several qualities and efficiencies. More efficient models may have variable-speed air handlers 1, lowering monthly costs. However, these have higher upfront costs. Less-efficient models cost less but may have single-speed air handlers, increasing monthly costs. Below are the average costs for installing a 10-ton air conditioner of varying qualities.

10-Ton AC Unit Costs
Zip Code Tons
Basic Standard Best Quality
10-Ton AC Unit Cost (Material Only) $6,000 - $7,000 $7,000 - $10,000 $10,500 - $11,500
10-Ton AC Unit Installation Cost (Labor Only) $1,750 - $2,250 $2,000 - $3,000 $2,500 - $3,500
Total Costs $7,750 - $9,250 $9,000 - $13,000 $13,000 - $15,000
10-Ton AC Unit Cost per Ton $775 - $925 $900 - $1,300 $1,300 - $1,500

In addition to your unit’s quality and efficiency, other factors can influence your project’s cost. Commercial air conditioners are usually installed outside the building or on the roof. In this case, you may have higher installation costs. Costs also increase if the current setup or ducts must be modified to install the system.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Lifespan. Most 10-ton air conditioners last 15 to 20 years with proper usage and maintenance.
  • Maintenance. Maintenance for a 10-ton air conditioner involves changing the filter regularly and having yearly service done by your HVAC technician.
  • Top manufacturers. Several brands and manufacturers make 10-ton AC units. These include Trane, Carrier, and Lennox. Each company may have attributes that may make it a better fit than others for your project.
  • Mounting 2. 10-ton air conditioners may be mounted at ground level outside the building or on the roof. Rooftop installations may cost more than ground-level installations.
  • Permit. Permits may be required to install a commercial air conditioner in some areas. Speak to your local municipality for more information.
  • Rebates. Some manufacturers offer rebates to lower your costs. You may also get rebates for installing a higher-efficiency unit in some areas. Speak to your installer about available rebates.


  • How much does a 10-ton rooftop unit cost?

Installing a 10-ton air conditioner on the roof costs $9,000 to $13,000. Your costs can be higher or lower, depending on the amount of work needed.

  • How many square feet will a 10-ton AC unit cool?

A system of this size cools between 5,200 to 6,400 sq.ft. The exact amount varies based on insulation and climate.

  • What does a 10-ton AC unit mean?

A 1-ton AC unit can remove 12,000 BTUs of heat from a space per hour, which means that a 10-ton unit is an AC that can remove 120,000 BTUs of heat per hour.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Air handlers: A unit that distributes heated or cooled air to the different areas of the home. Air handlers do not heat or cool the air, but instead pull the heat out of the air and direct it outside in the summer and inside in the winter. Air handlers are often part of a heat pump system
2 Mounting: A support on which something is attached or hung

Cost to install a 10-ton AC unit varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources