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Sacramento AC Replacement

Upgrade Your Cooling Experience: Efficient AC Replacement Services by Clarke & Rush!
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Benefits of a New AC

Replacing an aging or inefficient ac unit can provide multiple benefits. A new air conditioner will be more energy efficient, helping lower electricity bills. Air conditioning replacement will also provide more reliable cooling and reduce costly hvac repair costs. Upgrading air conditioners can improve home air quality and comfort.

Average Replacement Cost

In the sacramento area the average cost to replace an ac unit ranges from $3,500 to $7,000 depending on the size and type of unit. Additional costs may include permits, ductwork modifications, thermostat upgrades, etc. Get quotes from multiple hvac companies to find the best rate.

When it's Time for a New System

It’s time to replace your ac unit if it is over 10 years old, your energy bills are high, ac repair costs are excessive, cooling is uneven, or it constantly breaks down. An HVAC technician can advise you if replacement is needed.

How AC Systems Work

AC System Components

Central heating and cooling systems contain an outdoor condenser, indoor evaporator coil, refrigerant lines, ductwork, thermostat and furnace. Window air conditioners have the compressor, evaporator and condenser in one cabinet.

Common AC Issues

Frequent ac repair services in Sacramento, CA involve refrigerant leaks, worn compressors, faulty capacitors, clogged drains, dirty filters and coil issues. Proper maintenance can prevent many HVAC system problems.

Signs You Need a New AC

Indicators your ac unit needs replacing include no cold air, high energy bills, odd sounds, rust and corrosion, refrigerant leaks, and age over 10-15 years. Have an HVAC technician inspect your HVAC system.

The AC Replacement Process

Getting Quotes

Get estimates from 3-5 licensed HVAC contractors in Sacramento, CA. Compare warranties, unit brands, SEER ratings, company reputation and services offered. Beware of extremely low quotes that seem too good to be true.

Questions to Ask Contractors

Ask prospective HVAC companies about licensing, insurance, years in business, warranties, unit sizing methods, efficiency ratings, brands carried, maintenance plans, installation process, ductwork needs, permits, and any  rebates. Choose a respected  hvac company like Clarke & Rush, with NATE-certified technicians and 60 years of ac repair expertise.


Sacramento County requires permits for air conditioner replacement. The HVAC contractor will usually obtain the permit but double check. Electrical permits are also needed if wiring must be upgraded. Common permit applications include:

  • AP-01 Residential Building Permit Application
  • AP-16 – Notice to Property Owner as Owner Builder
  • AP-17 Authorization of Agent to Act on Property Owners Behalf

Review the Building Permits Office to learn more about permit requirements and download application forms.


After selecting an HVAC contractor it typically takes 1-3 weeks from project quote to ac installation. The ac installation itself takes 1-2 days, sometimes with minor prep work done beforehand.

Preparing Your Home

To prepare for air conditioner replacement, remove any obstacles around the HVAC unit, trim nearby trees/bushes, clean the coil cabinet if possible, confirm electrical box meets code, obtain permits.

AC Brands & Features

Top Brands

Top central ac units include Carrier, Trane, Lennox, Rheem, Goodman, Bryant, American Standard, and Amana. Get professional advice on the best HVAC system for your home. Clarke & Rush’s highly trained techs can recommend the ideal brand and model to meet your cooling needs.

Efficiency Ratings

Look for ENERGY STAR rated units with a SEER rating of at least 14 to 16 SEER for optimal efficiency. Carrier, Trane and Lennox offer especially high efficiency models to help save energy.


A professional load calculation based on your home’s size, windows, insulation, layout and other factors determines proper ac unit size. Oversizing decreases efficiency.

Smart Features

Many new ac units come with smart features like wi-fi connectivity, smart thermostats, monitoring apps, variable-speed compressors, and integration with other smart home devices.

Professional Installation

Hiring a Contractor

Verify HVAC contractors have current licensing, insurance, and a reputation for quality work. Get 3-5 written quotes to compare. For over 60 years, Clarke & Rush has provided NATE-certified expertise for ac installations and replacements in Sacramento, CA.

The Installation Process

Air conditioning installation includes disconnecting old unit, modifications to ductwork or electrical if needed, new unit placement, refrigerant line connection, evacuation of air, electrical and duct reconnect, and testing.

Ductwork Needs

If your existing ductwork is leaky or incorrectly sized, the HVAC installer may recommend modifications or partial duct replacement for optimal airflow and efficiency.

Electrical Considerations

If your home’s electrical panel or wires are outdated, they may need upgrades to support a new air conditioner’s power demands. The installer will determine this.

Maintenance & Repairs

Maintenance Tips

To maintain an HVAC system, change filters monthly, clean outdoor coils annually, trim foliage away from unit, keep ductwork sealed, perform tune-ups, and address odd noises/smells promptly.

DIY vs. Professional

Minor ac repairs like filter changes, coil cleaning and condenser hose flushes can be DIY. More complex hvac repair services involving refrigerant, electrical issues, etc. require a licensed technician.

Maintenance Plans & Warranties

E.S.P. – Energy Savings Program

Our team at Clarke & Rush wants your HVAC maintenance to be as stress-free as it can be. That’s why we offer our Energy Savings Program Membership. Joining this exclusive club guarantees two seasonal HVAC tune-ups every year, plus more service benefits:

  • Priority Scheduling Avoid waiting in line and cut to the front with E.S.P. your service request will be our #1 priority!
  • Save 10% off repairs Repairs can be costly, but with E.S.P. rest assured this plan can pay for itself in one repair. Includes HVAC services and Plumbing Repair. Does not include replacements.
  • Extended warranty 1 year, on specific repairs. No diagnostic fee – (client must have no previous recommendations that have been declined.)
  • $39.95 Plumbing Inspection We want you to have peace of mind with your home. That is why we offer one discounted plumbing inspection per year.
  • Transferrable to your new home (within our service area)

If you’re interested in our membership, sign up today! Our team will be happy to answer any questions you have and get you on the path to promoting optimal health in your heating and cooling systems. You can also check our site for our AC tune-up specials around the spring and the fall!

Costs & Savings

Average Replacement Cost

According to recent quotes, expect to pay an average of $5,800 to replace a central heating and cooling system in Sacramento, CA. Prices range from $3,500 to $8,000 or more.

Cost Factors

Ac unit type, brand, size, features, extent of labor, permits, duct replacement and other repairs or upgrades affect overall replacement costs.

Rebates & Financing Options

SMUD offers rebates up to $3,500 for energy efficient electric heat pump HVAC systems installed by a qualified contractor in their network. See SMUD’s website for full details. Clarke & Rush will take care of the rebate paperwork for you when you use them for your ac replacement in Sacramento, CA. Additional financing options are also available to spread out payments over time. Check with SMUD and your HVAC contractor for current promotions to lower your replacement costs.

Lower Energy Bills

A new efficient ac unit combined with good maintenance, programmable thermostat, weatherization improvements, and optimized ductwork can cut cooling costs by 20-40%.


Common AC Questions

Answers to frequent questions on ac repair cover topics like costs, timeline, warranties, efficiency ratings, brands, permits, installation process, ductwork, repairs needed, maintenance and more. The expert technicians at Clarke & Rush are happy to answer any HVAC questions and provide customized solutions for your home’s needs.

It’s generally recommended to replace your central air conditioning unit every 10-15 years. That’s when most AC systems start to have more frequent issues and operating costs increase. If your air conditioner is over 15 years old, replacement will likely be needed soon. Some units may last up to 20 years if properly maintained.
There are several signs that indicate your AC may be failing and replacement is needed: reduced cooling, frequent breakdowns, ongoing repairs needed, increased energy bills, strange noises, rust and corrosion on the unit, refrigerant leaks, and age over 10-15 years old. Have an HVAC pro inspect your AC if you notice these issues.
If your AC unit is over 10 years and needing frequent repairs, replacement is likely the better investment compared to sinking money into an outdated system. Newer AC units are much more energy efficient, reliable, and cost effective to operate long-term. Repairs on old units often indicate general wear and tear.
Top AC brands recommended by HVAC professionals include Carrier, Trane, Lennox, Rheem, Goodman, Bryant, American Standard, and Amana. Consider a two-stage or variable capacity unit for optimal comfort and efficiency. Clarke & Rush’s technicians can advise you on the best brand for your home.
The size of AC unit your home needs depends on factors like square footage, window area, insulation, roof material, and more. A detailed load calculation by an HVAC contractor takes all of this into account to determine the properly sized unit, typically in tons. Oversizing your AC decreases efficiency.
If your existing ductwork is very outdated, leaky, or improperly sized, your HVAC contractor may recommend partial or full duct replacement during the AC installation for optimal efficiency, airflow, and comfort. An assessment of your ducts will determine if replacement is advised.
Yes, a new, efficient AC unit can improve your indoor air quality. New systems filter out allergens better and dehumidify more consistently. Upgraded ductwork also eliminates dust, debris and other contaminants better. Ask your contractor about add-ons like UV lights and advanced air filters.
The average cost to replace a central AC unit is $5,800 in Sacramento, with most replacement costs ranging from $3,500 to $8,000 or more. The exact cost depends on the type and size of unit, brand, efficiency rating, labor involved, any ductwork or electrical upgrades needed, permits, and other site-specific factors.
The full replacement process takes 1-3 weeks from quotation to installation. The installation itself takes 1-2 days, sometimes with minor prep work done ahead of time like clearing the area or modifications to electrical or ducts. The AC company will schedule your installation at your earliest convenience once the permit is approved.
To prepare for a new AC unit installation, clear a space around the outdoor compressor, trim back bushes or trees, remove debris around coils, ensure electrical box meets code, obtain any permits, and consider scheduling other household projects before installation day.
If your home’s electrical panel is outdated, your HVAC contractor will likely recommend upgrading it to support a new AC unit’s power demands, especially if you currently experience tripped breakers or blown fuses. Replacing an old fuse panel with a modern circuit breaker panel may be needed.
Yes, SMUD offers rebates up to $3,500 on qualifying energy efficient AC replacements in Sacramento. Your contractor will submit the rebate paperwork for you. Manufacturer and retailer discounts may also be available. Ask your HVAC contractor about possible rebates and incentives.
Absolutely. A new, higher efficiency AC unit can reduce your electricity costs by 20-40% during peak cooling months. Combined with a programmable thermostat, weatherization improvements, ductwork upgrades, and proper maintenance, the savings add up quickly.

Regulation Changes

Stricter regulations on ac units and required disposal of old coolant tanks impact replacements. Many HVAC companies now install lower global warming potential refrigerants. Clarke & Rush stays up to date on all regulatory changes and provides compliant, environmentally responsible ac replacements.



Key takeaways covered: benefits, costs, when to replace your ac unit, how it works, replacement process, brands, installation, repairs/maintenance, costs/financing, FAQs.

Next Steps

To replace your ac unit research contractors, get multiple quotes, ask questions, check permits/rebates, prepare your home, hire a pro like Clarke & Rush, maintain the new HVAC system properly. Enjoy greater comfort and savings! Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Clarke & Rush now to get a free quote on new ac installation anywhere in Greater Sacramento! Call us at: (916) 609-2669

Our highly trained techs have over 60 years of experience providing Sacramento homeowners expert, reliable ac replacements. Call now to schedule your free estimate.