How Much Does it Cost to Replace Your AC Unit in Tucson?

It only takes one hot summer in Tucson for homeowners to realize that their AC unit (and their freezer) are the most important components of their home. Your air conditioning unit is a workhorse. It has a heavy load to carry throughout the warmer months, and it’s important to keep it working properly.

 If your AC unit has stopped working properly and you’re worried it may be beyond repair, Heatwave Air Conditioning and Heating is ready to help. Here’s what homeowners in Tucson can expect when it’s time to replace their AC units.

How Long Does an AC Unit Last?

AC Units made within the past decade or so can last as long as 20 years with regular maintenance. Most homeowners can expect their units to last 10 to 15 years if they’re not up to date with maintenance.

Older AC Units are far less efficient than modern units. They use a lot of energy and they’re not as sturdy. If your AC unit is old, it’s better to replace it than to attempt to repair it. It will save you money on your energy bill in the long run if you opt for a newer efficient unit and maintain it properly.

Do I Need an Energy Efficient AC Unit?

Your air conditioner requires a lot of power to run. Increasing its efficiency will allow it to cool your home with a lot less energy. You’ll notice a big difference on the first electricity bill you get after switching to a highly efficient AC unit.

AC Units have something called a SEER rating. SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio”. The SEER rating is used to show how well your air conditioner works for the amount of power that it uses. The higher the number, the more energy efficient an air conditioning unit will be.

SEER ratings on AC units span from 14 to 22. A SEER rating of 14 is the minimum required. The closer you get to 22, the more efficient your unit will be. If you’re interested in a highly efficient ENERGY STAR unit, mention this to your technician.

Is it Better to Repair or Replace My AC Unit?

You don’t need to replace your entire AC unit just because the compressor went out or the fan needs to be replaced. You don’t need to replace it if the unit is leaking. Most of the things that go wrong with a newer unit can easily be fixed. If your AC unit is less than ten years old, it’s almost always better to repair it than to replace it.

There may be some exceptions. If your AC unit is significantly damaged by an event like a severe storm or a house fire, it’s usually better to replace it than to repair it. If you used an inexperienced or cheap contractor, your AC unit could be pieced together out of mismatched components that will continue to break down.

At Heatwave, we pride ourselves on our no-nonsense approach. We’re very transparent. If we believe a repair would be a better solution than a replacement, we’ll always let you know. We’re not interested in making unnecessary work for ourselves just to drive up a bigger bill for you.

What is the Average Price of AC Unit Replacement in Tucson?

The cost to replace your AC unit depends on a few factors. The size of the unit, as well as the scope of the work necessary to replace it, will determine the final price. These are the median prices for replacement. You may spend more or less than the median price depending on the equipment needed.

The median price of Tucson AC replacement only estimates the cost of an entirely new unit and standard labor to properly install it. It doesn’t include the cost of code violation upgrades such as a required roof stand, unit clearance requirements, or an extra component needed such as a new gas furnace.

Keep in mind that your replacement unit may be a different size than your current unit. It’s important to have an appropriately sized AC unit not only for proper cooling but to maintain a comfortable humidity level in your home.

Just a further note, we have always taken the time to actually read the installation instructions for systems that we install. You may think I am making a joke, but I am seriously not. Unfortunately, some of our competitors do not only fail to follow the manufacturers recommendations, but they sometimes cut corners by not installing matching, rated, or approved components which sadly does allow the system to obtain the published SEER rating and, worse, can be dangerous.

When all is said and done, the median cost using proper installation practices to replace your AC unit in Tucson is approximately $8,600. Your bill may be more or less than this figure.

Typical 4-ton (48,000 BTU) unit

Median Price for Replacement

Split System

$7,400 (includes necessary matching indoor coil)

Split Heat Pump

$9,800 (includes necessary matching air handler and coil)

Mobile Home Split System


Packaged Heat Pump (single component)


Gas Pack (AC and Gas Furnace Combo)


Can I Get a Tax Credit for Replacing my AC Unit in Tucson?

Tax rebates are sometimes available for homeowners to upgrade to an energy efficient air conditioning unit. These rebates and tax credits come and go. Keep an eye on the news for information about tax rebates. You may be eligible if you choose a new unit that meets the requirements.

How Long Does it Take to Replace an AC Unit?

An AC unit replacement is an extensive job. It’s more than just a repair. The old unit needs to come out and a new unit needs to be properly installed and tested. New installations will take more time.

Replacing an AC unit will usually take between 8 and 12 hours of labor. Usually we can get the cooling back on in one day, but we may have to come back the next day to finish. We’ll work hard to keep the disruptions to a minimum. We’ll get the job done as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality of the work.

Heatwave has a one total cost guarantee. When we tell you how much your AC unit replacement is going to cost, that’s how much it’s going to cost. We’ll never talk you into a service you don’t need. We’ll never jack up the price. Most of all, we’ll never incorporate hidden fees. We put everything in black and white so you can feel comfortable about the service you’re paying for.

How Often Should I Service My AC Unit in Tucson?

You should never wait until your AC unit breaks to fix it. You should regularly maintain your AC unit to prevent it from breaking down in the first place. You should have your AC unit serviced twice a year.

Members of our Comfort First program get two maintenance visits per year. We’ll send an expert technician to come and take a look at your AC unit to make sure everything is working properly. Comfort First members get priority service, a 10% discount on all parts and labor, and an extended warranty on parts and labor. Also, if something does break down anyway, we won’t charge you the overtime rate to fix it, even if it happens at night or on the weekend.

Comfort First is the easiest way to keep your air conditioner in great shape year-round. Learn more about the program here.

What if There’s Water Damage or Mold Around My AC Unit?

If your AC unit has been leaking into your home, you may notice water damage or mold. You need to have a contractor inspect the problem right away. Water damage can cause permanent structural damage to your home. If it’s extensive and goes unmanaged for a long time, you may need to tear out large sections of your house and have them completely rebuilt.

Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours. When it does, it spreads very easily. It’s extremely dangerous to breathe in mold. The last place you want to find mold is within your air conditioning system.

Heatwave can repair or install your AC unit, but you’ll need to call an expert home contractor to repair water damage or mold damage to your home. The situation is urgent, and you don’t have time to waste.

What About My Furnace or My Heat Pump?

You’re probably not thinking about your furnace or your heat pump during the summer, but they’re just as important. They need regular maintenance to work properly throughout the year. Heatwave also repairs heating systems. Don’t wait until a freezing cold night to discover that they aren’t working properly. We can take a look before winter comes.

Ready to Replace Your AC Unit In Tucson?

When you’re ready to replace your AC unit in Tucson, give Heatwave Air Conditioning and Heating a call at 520-623-1855. We’ve been servicing homes and businesses in Tucson for over 40 years. Our experienced certified technicians are the best for the job. Our no-nonsense approach and commitment to quality work make us the best people for the job.