Are you planning to renovate your backyard or improve your landscaping but the AC unit in the current location is in the way? You’re not alone. Most people face this problem and wonder how much it would cost to move the AC unit.
When it comes time to move your AC unit, the cost is one of the big-ticket items you need to consider. AC units are costly, and you may want to avoid any potential problems with your new home’s HVAC system.
This article will estimate how much it costs to move an AC unit and some tips to keep in mind.
How Much Does It Cost to Move an AC Unit
The average cost of moving an AC unit is $1000 and $1500. However, the cost of moving an AC unit depends on various factors. Such factors include the type and size of the unit, the distance of the move, and whether you plan to do it yourself or hire professional help.
Why should you Move your Air Conditioning Unit?
1. Improved Access
Hard-to-access units might be frustrating for technicians during servicing. Moving it to a more accessible spot makes their work easier and saves on service costs. Improved access also makes it easier to clean the exterior coils yourself.
2. Noise Reduction
Noise is one of the main reasons people opt to move their air conditioning units. Although with modern technology, the HVAC industry has managed to create air conditioning units that produce minimal noise.
If your unit is located close to your bedroom window, you might consider moving it. Relocating it will help reduce the amount of noise that comes into your home.
3. Improved Aesthetics
The backyard is one of the most beautiful spaces in a home. However, air conditioners can completely ruin the look. If you have guests over, they might not even get to see your beautiful garden because of the AC unit. Moving it to the side or back of the house can help improve aesthetics.
However, before moving your air conditioning unit to a new position, you might consider blending some landscaping around it. This can be a more cost-effective way to improve the look of your yard.
4. Code Compliance
It is worth noting that building codes are always changing. And in some cases, they might require you to move your air conditioner unit. For example, the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) requires units to be at least seven feet from the property line.
If you’re not sure about your local codes, it’s best to contact a professional. They can help you determine if you need to move your unit and, if so, where it needs to go. Not complying with building codes can result in costly fines.
5. Construction of a New Porch, Patio, or a New Deck
Home addition like a new porch, patio, or deck is always something to celebrate. However, the only problem is that the AC unit sits in the same space! You don’t want your new outdoor oasis ruined by an ugly AC unit.
In this case, the best option is to move the air conditioner. Not only will it improve the look of your new space, but it will also free up some much-needed room.
Copper theft has become a big problem in many areas. And since AC units contain copper, they’re often targets for thieves. If your unit is located in an area prone to theft, you might want to consider moving it. Moving it will help protect your investment, but it will also give you peace of mind.
7. New System with a Larger Footprint
With your home’s changing heating and cooling needs, you might need to upgrade to a new unit. And in some cases, the new system might have a larger footprint. This means that it will take up more space than your old unit.
You’ll need to move the unit to accommodate the new system when this happens. This will ensure that your new system is installed correctly, improving the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system.
Do I Need an Air conditioner Mover?
Short answer, Yes. You will need an air conditioner mover if you have never moved an AC unit before. AC units are not only large and heavy but also delicate. Improperly moving an AC unit can damage the coils and other sensitive parts.
This will make your AC unit less effective and void the warranty. Additionally, a professional air conditioner mover guarantees you peace of mind with adequate training to handle your air conditioner.
Therefore, it is best to hire a professional mover who has the experience and equipment to move your HVAC components safely.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Air Conditioner Mover?
Air conditioners have a higher cost to relocate, but it’s worth it! When it comes to hourly rates, most AC movers charge about $259 per hour. However, some might charge extra for fuel, while others have a minimum number of hours required to be hired.
In terms of a flat rate, most air conditioner moving services will charge between $1000 to $1500. However, the cost of hiring an air conditioner mover might vary depending on some factors. These include;
- The air conditioner moving company; Some air conditioner moving companies charge hirer rates than others.
- The size and weight of the air conditioner; Heavier and bulkier units will require extra care and more workforce to move, which will cost more.
- The air conditioner’s moving distance; Longer distances will be pricier than shorter ones.
- The time taken to move the air conditioner; If the job takes longer, then it will cost more.
What is Involved with Relocating an Air Conditioning Unit?
Relocating an AC system is not a DIY project due to its complexity. This factor, therefore, requires you to hire a professional for the job. Below is a list of what is involved with relocating an air conditioning unit.
But first, let’s look at the essential items that need consideration when moving the central air unit.
- The refrigerant line
- It’s weight
- Municipal laws on AC placement
- Rewiring the thermostat
1. The Refrigerant Line
The refrigerant line is a crucial part of an air conditioner. It helps cool the air and circulate it through your home. When relocating an AC unit, the refrigerant line must be disconnected and reconnected at the new location.
The technician will pump the refrigerant out of the line using a special vacuum. They will then reconnect the copper line set to the new location.
Connecting the line set should only be done by a professional as it can be dangerous if not done correctly. The entire process can take several hours, depending on the complexity of your AC unit and your home’s layout.
2. The Weight of the Unit
Another important factor to consider when relocating an AC unit is its weight. Most units weigh between 150 and 250 pounds. This means that they need to be handled with care to avoid any damage.
3. Municipal Laws On AC Placement
Before you move your AC unit, you need to check with your municipality to see if there are any laws regarding their placement. Some cities have rules about where you can place your unit away from the property line and how to install it.
The general rule of thumb is at least 12 inches. Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines or even the removal of your unit.
4. Rewiring the Thermostat
Once you have moved your AC unit to its new location, you will need to rewire the thermostat. This is a relatively simple process that most homeowners can do. However, if you are unsure about how to do it, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.
Steps Involved in Relocating the AC Unit;
- Pumping out the refrigerant.
- Extending the copper lines
- Turning off the system
- Moving and placing the unit in a suitable location
- Removing moisture in the refrigerant
- Redoing electrical wiring on the thermostat/disconnect box out the side of the house
- Turning on the refrigerant and doing leak tests
- Attaching fuel lines, exhaust vent, and ductwork by going in the crawl space
- Final checks to ensure the system is safe to operate
Pros and Cons of Relocating Your HVAC System
Below are the pros and cons of relocating your HVAC system.
One of the main reasons homeowners relocate their AC system to a new location is safety. AC units are made of copper and are prone to theft. By relocating your system, you make it more difficult for thieves to access.
Additionally, relocating your AC unit can improve the safety of your home in other ways. For example, if you have a gas furnace, relocating the AC unit can help increase airflow and prevent dangerous back-drafting.
Backdrafting can occur when exhaust gases from a gas appliance such as a furnace leak into the living space instead of going up the chimney. This can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is deadly.
Another common reason for relocating an AC unit is to redesign the landscape around your home. Perhaps you want to move your system from in front of a window to the side of your house so you can add a window box or flower bed.
A relocated AC unit can provide enhanced comfort in your home. For example, if your system was noisy before, relocating it to a different part of your home could quiet it down.
Additionally, you may find that a relocated AC unit provides more cooling or heating in certain parts of your home than the original unit did.
More space is created for other use
When you relocate your outdoor unit, you create more space in your yard for other uses. For example, you could put a garden where the AC unit used to be or add a deck or patio.
The initial AC unit cost for relocation can be high, depending on the contractor you hire and the distance your system needs to be moved.
Relocating an AC unit can be difficult, especially if you don’t have DIY experience. You’ll need to hire a contractor to move the unit for you, and they may not be available in your area.
Injury or Property Damage
There is also a risk of injury or property damage if something goes wrong while relocating an AC unit. If you drop the unit while moving it, you could injure yourself or someone else.
If the system isn’t properly secured after being relocated, it can fall and cause damage to your home.
Another potential issue with relocating an AC unit is that it can lead to leaks. When the unit is moved, the lines and fittings may not be reconnected properly, which can cause liquid refrigerants to leak out. This could result in significant damage to your home and require extensive repairs.
Things to Consider When Relocating your HVAC Unit
Here are things to consider when relocating your HVAC unit?
1. Cost of Installation
Before relocating your AC unit, you need to factor in the installation cost. This will vary depending on the contractor you hire, and your system’s distance needs to be moved.
It may be cheaper to replace your entire AC system than to relocate it in some cases. Be sure to get several estimates before deciding on a contractor.
2. The Company you Choose to Install your Unit
When selecting a company to install your AC unit, ask about their experience with relocating units. Some companies are more experienced than others and may be able to do the job more quickly and efficiently. Also, make sure the company is licensed and insured in case of any accidents or damage during installation.
3. The New Location of your Unit
Before relocating your AC unit, take some time to measure the new area and ensure it will fit. You’ll also need to make sure there is enough space for the unit to sit and that it’s in a good airflow spot.
If you have a gas furnace, check that the new location is not too close to windows or doors. This could cause dangerous back-drafting and increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Moving an AC unit can be expensive, but there are many benefits to doing so. If you’re considering relocating your AC unit, weigh the pros and cons and talk to a contractor about the best way to do it.