How much does it cost to install a 5-ton AC?

National Average Range:
$7,000 - $12,000

Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors near you

Get local cost

Updated: August 18, 2022

Reviewed by Cristina Miguelez remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

Central air conditioning keeps your home cool no matter how hot it gets outside. Central air uses the same ducts that can carry heat through your home from a forced hot air furnace and is the most common method of cooling the home with a 5-ton unit. The systems work by condensing the outside air and cooling it with refrigerant before forcing it through the ducts to the various rooms of your home. They come in a few different types of systems, including those that can be packed with a furnace. For those that live in large homes of over 3,500 sq.ft., you need a 5-ton air conditioner to cool the space, regardless of type.

The national average cost to install a 5-ton AC unit is $7,000 to $12,000, with most homeowners spending around $10,000 on a 5-ton split system installation with a SEER rating of 16 and a new concrete pad. The low cost for this project is $6,000 for a 5-ton split system installation with a SEER rating of 13 and no changes or modifications to the area. The high cost is $15,000 for a packaged HVAC unit installation with a SEER rating of 21, with moderate modifications to the ducts.

5-Ton AC Unit Cost Calculator

If you have a home over 3,500 sq.ft in size, you need a 5-ton AC unit to cool it properly. 5-ton units produce roughly 60,000 BTUs. They come in different efficiencies from 13 to 21, with 13 being the lowest and 21 being the best efficiency possible. Higher efficiency ratings mean lower monthly costs but cost more upfront. These systems come in three types. Split systems are the least expensive and most common. Packaged systems are best for cramped spaces. Packaged HVAC systems combine a furnace with the AC and are the most costly to purchase and install. Below are the average costs for installing a 5-ton AC unit of varying qualities.

In addition to the type of AC unit you purchase and its efficiency rating, other things impact the total cost of your project. AC units sit on a concrete pad. If you need one installed, this increases the cost of the project. In addition, sometimes modifications need to be made to existing ductwork to add an AC unit to an existing furnace system. In either of these scenarios, your costs can be higher than if you use your existing setup without any modifications or changes.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

5-Ton AC Unit With Heat Pump Installed

5-ton AC units are excellent at cooling large spaces, but they do not produce heat on their own. If you live in a warm climate and do not need a forced hot air furnace, you could install a heat pump at the same time as your AC unit to provide some degree of warmth. Heat pumps are installed separately from the AC unit because they work differently and distribute the air in two different ways. The cost of installing a heat pump ranges from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the type, plus the cost of the AC, which averages $7,000 to $12,000 for a total cost range of $12,000 to $42,000.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Lifespan. Most 5-ton central air units last between 15 and 20 years with regular use and maintenance
  • Maintenance. Maintenance for your 5-ton air conditioner includes changing the filter seasonally and having it serviced yearly by your local HVAC technician.
  • Top manufactures. Many good, reputable brands offer 5-ton AC units. These include Carrier, Lennox, Rheem, Goodman, Ruud, Payne, and York. Each has its own specialties and characteristics that may make one a better fit than another.
  • Mounting. 5-ton AC units are normally installed in a split system, with the condenser outside being mounted on a concrete pad. Adding a new pad increases costs.
  • Permit. You may need a permit to install a new air conditioning system, depending on your area. Speak with your local municipality for more information.
  • Rebates. Some manufacturers offer rebates to help lower your costs. In some areas, you may also get rebates for installing a higher efficiency unit. Speak to your installer about what rebates may be available in your area.


  • How many square feet will a 5-ton AC cool?

A 5-ton AC unit cools roughly 3,500 sq.ft., depending on your insulation and other factors. Speak to your installer about what size may be best for your home.

  • How long should a 5-ton AC unit last?

A 5-ton AC unit should last between 15 and 20 years, with regular use and maintenance.

  • How long does it take to install a 5-ton AC unit?

Installation takes 4 to 8 hours, depending on the type of unit, its location, and what modifications may be needed.

  • How much is a 5-ton AC condenser unit?

A new condenser unit by itself for a 5-ton unit costs between $3,500 and $4,500.