How Much Does it Cost to Install Central Air in Shreveport?

Louisiana summers are only getting hotter and having a central air conditioner in your home can be a lifesaver. No unit is made to last forever, and trying to find an air conditioner that is within your budget and right for your home can be a challenge.

If you have recently bought a home without central air, or your current system just gave out, you may have a lot of questions.

  • How much does it cost to install central air conditioning in Shreveport?
  • Is central air really worth the investment?
  • How can a new air conditioner help me save money in the long run?
  • Can I install a new air conditioner on my own?

In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions and help you better understand the cost to install central air.

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Average Cost of Central Air Installation in Shreveport

On average, it costs about $5,800 to install central air conditioning in a home.

It can take about 2-3 days to install a new AC unit in a home with existing ductwork. If there isn’t existing ductwork, it may require more time to install the unit as well as add air ducts to the home.

Is Central Air Conditioning Worth the Investment?

Proper air conditioning is an essential need in Louisiana. AC units keep our homes cool and comfortable throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

While purchasing an AC unit can be expensive in the short term, it may be worth the investment. As technology advances, newer AC units often run more efficiently, which can save you money on your monthly energy bills.

Additionally, if your old system requires frequent repairs, a new and improved HVAC system will require fewer repairs and will have more easily-available parts, which can lower your AC costs.

Factors that Influence Central Air Costs

While the labor costs of installing an HVAC system can vary depending on who you hire to do the job, different homes may require different air conditioners.

Many things can influence the cost of a central air system, including the size of the home, the heat gain of the home, and the location of the home.

Homes in warmer climates, like Shreveport or Bossier City, may experience hotter summers, which would require a higher capacity air conditioning system in order to cool the whole house.

Calculating the Size and Capacity

In order for an air conditioning system to push cool air throughout an entire home, it has to have the capacity to do so. The “size” of an AC unit often refers to the capacity of the system, which is measured by how many tons of air the system can produce. The energy required to run an air conditioning system is measured in British thermal units (BTU). 

A Manual J load calculation can help evaluate your home and find the right system for you and your home. Manual J calculations take into account the square footage of the home, the height of the rooms, the number of occupants, and the number of exterior doors to find the required BTUs a system would need to cool a particular home.

Energy Efficiency

Another thing to consider when installing a new AC system is how energy efficient it is. Unit efficiency is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency rating, sometimes known as the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. The higher the SEER rating of a particular AC unit, the less energy it needs to cool your home.

However, homes in hot climates may require air conditioning systems with higher SEER ratings than homes in cold climates, so it’s important to consider the location of your home when looking for a new air conditioner. We often hear the complaint that the AC can’t keep up on hot days.

A skilled HVAC technician can help you decide on the right size unit with the cooling power to overcome the Louisiana heat. 

Installing Central Air in Older Homes: Challenges and Cost Considerations

Adding central air conditioning to older homes can be tricky, especially if the home doesn’t have any existing ducts from a previous system.

An HVAC company can install ducts behind walls, inside attics, and through crawlspaces to ensure your system can keep your home cool and comfortable year-round.

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Different Types of Central Air Conditioning Systems and Their Cost

When you consider buying a new air conditioning system, it’s important to look at your options and decide what would be best for you and your family. 

A few different types of HVAC systems include:

  • mini split systems
  • heat pumps
  • furnaces
  • air handler systems
  • individual AC units like window units

These systems come at various price points and serve various functions. For example, if you primarily stay on the first floor of your home, you may only need a window unit or two to keep the downstairs cool.

If you’re renovating your home, you may want to invest in a portable unit that can cool that area of the home when you’re working on it before installing a more permanent system like a central air unit.

Central Air Conditioner vs. Window Units

One alternative to installing central air is using a window unit. The average window AC unit costs between $150 and $800, but it’s important to consider how many rooms you plan to install a window unit in, as well as how long you plan to utilize it.

While it costs more to install central air conditioning systems, they tend to last longer than window units and use less energy in the long run. 

Additionally, you may want to consider the potential risk of installing a window unit. Window units can make it easier for intruders to gain access to your home since they require you to leave your windows partially open. Open windows can also let in warm air, which can make the window unit use more energy to keep a room cool.

Central Air vs. Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Another alternative to central AC is a ductless mini-split system. A mini-split system is comprised of an indoor unit that is connected to an outdoor condenser or compressor unit.

The outdoor unit pulls warm air from outside through the condenser and pushes cool air into the home through the indoor unit. The average mini-split system can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $14,000, making it more expensive than a central air conditioning system in some cases.

Some pros and cons of a mini-split system include:


Just like the name implies, a ductless system does not require air ducts, meaning you won’t need to have ducts installed or have to pay for duct cleaning, either.

Additionally, each of the individual units can be set to a different temperature, which can help eliminate fighting over the thermostat and even lower energy costs.


If you only need one unit, the cost of a mini split can be much less expensive than a central air system. If you need multiple units, however, the overall cost of the mini split system may be similar to or more expensive than central AC.

Mini-split systems also require you to change the filters more frequently than a forced air system, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. 

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Central Air Installation for Commercial Properties

When looking to install central AC in a commercial building, there are a few options to choose from. Many commercial properties opt for a packaged central air system.

Packaged central AC has all the same elements as other central air conditioners, but rather than having parts of the system both indoors and outdoors, a packaged HVAC system is connected to a single metal cabinet that houses the condenser, compressor, and evaporator coil.

This kind of system is ideal for commercial and residential properties that don’t have attic or basement space to put an indoor central air cabinet. 

cost of central ac shreveport

Budgeting for Central Air Installation: Tips and Considerations for Shreveport Residents

With the high cost to install central air conditioning, it’s important to properly budget and save money where you can. Below are some things to consider when deciding on a new unit, as well as some tricks that can help save you money.

Understanding the Return on Investment

One of the biggest ways to see a return on investment with air conditioners is on your monthly electrical bill. Newer, more energy-efficient units can help you save on your energy bills. Additionally, choosing the right air conditioner for your home can help you see a return on your investment. A unit that is too big or too small for your home may waste a lot of energy, which, in turn, can waste money.

Government Rebates and Incentives

Another way you can save money on a new AC unit is through state and federal government rebates.

Both the Louisiana government and the US government provide monetary incentives to those looking to make their home more energy efficient. You can find a list of these incentives through the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).

Long-Term Savings of Central Air Conditioning

In addition to saving on electricity costs, installing a new AC system can save you money in the long run. Newer units often require less frequent repairs, which can lower the amount you’re already spending to keep your home cool. Additionally, newer air conditioning systems can increase the value of your home if you’re looking to sell it. 

Warranty Options for Central Air Conditioning Units

Many air conditioners come with a manufacturer warranty, which can protect the owner from paying to replace or repair parts of the system if they become damaged. This can include things like AC evaporator coils, compressors, tubing, and more.

While the length of the warranty depends on the brand and make of the unit, most central systems are under warranty for about 12-15 years.

DIY vs. Professional Installation: Pros and Cons

When you make a large investment into something new, like a new AC unit, you want to make sure you protect that investment.

While you may be able to install your own central air unit, certified AC professionals can ensure your central air system is installed properly and efficiently. They will have the experience to install the system and connect it to any existing ductwork or even install new ductwork throughout your home.

DIY air conditioning installation can help you save money on labor, but it may not help you save money overall.

AC installation can require a wide range of tools and parts, which can increase the final price of the installation. Additionally, the time and effort required to install the new system may be more than you’re willing to give. Hiring an HVAC company to install your new unit can help you save time and effort, so you don’t have to break a sweat to enjoy your new central air system.  

Permits and Regulations for Central Air Conditioning Installation in Shreveport

To install central air in a building in the city of Shreveport, you must get a permit from the city. If you plan to install your own air conditioner, you may need to obtain a permit from the city first.You can apply for a Shreveport air conditioning permit on My Government Online

Why It’s Important to Obtain Quotes from Multiple Contractors

It’s important to get more than one professional’s opinion when calculating the cost of installing central air conditioning in your home.

An AC technician can offer you a quote on the installation costs, including the cost of labor and materials, and give you the cost of a new air conditioning system. 

While many air conditioning installation companies will offer you an honest quote, some HVAC companies may not. They may try and get you to buy an expensive air conditioning system that won’t be right for your home or may try to get you to pay more than you should for their installation services. Getting multiple quotes can help you find an AC contractor that you can afford and you can trust.

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Shreveport & Bossier City Central Air Conditioning Contractors

If you’re in need of air conditioning services in Shreveport or Bossier City, look no further than Pioneer Comfort Solutions. Our team can give you an accurate estimate of the cost of labor, the AC system, and any other factors that will affect your total.

We will help you find the right unit for your home, as well as install it for you so that you can enjoy your time inside. We can also provide repair, maintenance, and installation services for your gas or electric heating system. Call us today at (318) 378-5729 or contact us online.