Are you a homeowner wondering what the average cost to replace a heating and air conditioning system is? While the majority of contractors chose to keep the cost of HVAC installation close to their chests, there are ways you can determine whether the price you have been quoted is a fair price for a new HVAC system.
How much a new HVAC system costs is largely dependent on the type of system installed and if there is additional work that needs to be completed to facilitate the installation of the new HVAC system like ductwork.
What You Need to Know Before Purchasing a New HVAC System
It’s important to determine whether you really need a new HVAC system. Maybe your current HVAC system is approaching the end of its lifespan, which will be evident by the continuous need for repairs and the decreased efficiency of your HVAC system.
If your HVAC system is not heating or cooling air sufficiently or consistently throughout your home, and you see a spike in your energy bills, these are telltale signs that you may need a new system. However, always be sure that whatever problem you are experiencing with your HVAC system is investigated thoroughly to determine exactly what the problem is.
Oftentimes, homeowners are advised to purchase new HVAC systems, but a second opinion reveals that they just needed some repairs on their current system. Since installing a new system is costly, we always recommend that you get a second opinion if a contractor advises you to replace your current heating and air conditioning system.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Central Air Conditioning Unit?
Asking how much it costs to install a new HVAC system is like asking how much it costs to purchase a new vehicle. It depends. The features of your HVAC system are a huge driver in how much the system will cost.
Based on the band you select, it can cost anywhere from $1,100 to $1,800 to purchase a new HVAC system. Keep in mind that this does not include the installation cost.
It’s also important to note that just because a particular brand costs more does not necessarily mean that it gives you the best value for your money. It’s important to do your research on the various brands on the market to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.
HVAC replacement costs can also vary based on where you live. Various regions have different guidelines that could affect how much your new HVAC system will cost to install.
Whether you have your new HVAC system installed by a licensed contractor or just someone who may have some knowledge on heating and air conditioning units will also affect the installation cost. Having your HVAC system installed by a professional is always recommended. This equipment requires some finessing at times to get the system installed correctly.
Many homeowners who opt to go the cheaper route end up paying more in the long run. This is because substandard materials may be used and unlicensed contractors are not as skilled as they should be.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Brand for Your Needs
Size of your home
The size of your home will affect your HVAC system costs. Central air conditioners come in various sizes which determines the cost. The strength of your air conditioner is measured in tons, but not actually based on weight.
A ton, in this case, is the measurements of an air conditioner’s ability to cool your home. One ton means that the HVAC system can cool 12,000 BTUs, which stands for British Thermal Unit, per hour. Similarly, two tons would mean that the system is able to cool 24,000 BTUs per hour.
BTUs measure the amount of energy needed to heat or cool a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
So, how does this affect your HVAC installation cost? The larger your home is the more tons it will need to heat it up or cool it down.
As a guideline, one ton typically is needed for every 400 – 600 hundred square feet of floorspace. This means that if your home is between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet, it will roughly need a 5-ton HVAC system.
Installing new ductwork can raise the cost of installation by $2,000 to $3000 on average. The process requires extensive labor and often takes a few days when done correctly. If ductwork is part of the new installation, it should have custom fabricated manual dampers at each T-Y junction. This ensures that airflow is being balanced appropriately in each room. Sometimes contractors skip this step because it saves time and money, but it is important to have it new ductwork installed when replacing a HVAC system.
The SEER value of a HVAC system is the standard used to measure the efficiency of your system. The higher the SEER value of the system is, the lower it costs to operate it. Do take note that models with a higher SEER value cost significantly more. A SEER-16 model will give you good value for your money.
Level of Project Difficulty
If your home has an attic that is small and difficult to access or requires numerous custom fabricated parts, the cost of installation will increase. The type of home that you live in and existing features are often considered when getting a quote for the installation cost. The more complex the installation is the longer it will take and the more money it will cost you.
Price Range for New HVAC Installation
The cost to simply switch out an old HVAC system and replace it with a new one is roughly $6,000 to $8,000. This does not include any ductwork and is typically a one-day job.
The cost for a full HVAC installation, which includes ductwork, is between $9,200 to $12,300, and typically takes 3 to 5 days to complete.
Finally, the cost of a full HVAC installation with additional features ranges from $13,100 to $17,000 or higher. And typically takes 3 to 7 days.