HVAC systems are built to work for a long time, but they don’t last forever. At some point, you will have to consider replacing the existing heating and cooling units with more efficient solutions.
Before committing to any type of HVAC replacement, it’s imperative to take a closer look at what it might end up costing you. Fortunately, the HVAC industry is versatile, and there are many options to consider for any budget.
To replace an old HVAC system (Centra Air Conditioning unit), will cost $4,700 – $7,200 depending on size and SEER rating. To include a furnace, will bring the cost up to around $8,450 to $13,780 for a Central AC + 96% Furnace combo.
Cost To Replace An HVAC System
See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code
To get started on installing a new HVAC system, contact your local HVAC pros for FREE ESTIMATES!
If you’re installing brand-new HVAC and ductwork in a residential property, your total installation cost will go up to $6,700 – $12,100.
|HVAC Replacement Packages|
|Change-out||$4,700 – $9,200|
|Installation with New Ductwork||$6,700 – $12,100.|
|Installation with Add-Ons||$12,500 – $16,000.|
Keep in mind that these are low-end and high-end prices. In most cases, the price tag will be somewhere in the middle.
Also, it’s essential to point out that the actual HVAC replacement for the individual home can vary drastically. For the purposes of this article, we’re taking the single-family residential unit as a reference point and not apartment buildings or multi-family homes.
How Much Are Standard HVAC Replacement Packages?
When you start shopping around for an HVAC contractor, you’ll likely learn that there are three go-to installation packages. Each comes with specific services and costs attached.
Cost of HVAC Change-Out
A relatively common type of HVAC installation is the change-out. This consists of replacing the system’s central unit and leaving the existing ductwork.
It’s a straightforward approach and usually doesn’t take more than a day to complete. It’s also the cheapest package, so the cost of replacing an existing central air system is anywhere between $4,700 and $9,200.
However, it’s necessary to highlight that most HVAC replacement jobs (over 75%) will also require ductwork replacement. You should only go with this package if you’re sure the ductwork in your home is in flawless condition.
Cost Of HVAC Replacement With New Ductwork
In many homes, an HVAC replacement means changing the cooling or heating unit, or both, as well as installing new ductwork.
This is a considerably more complex process and can take from three to five days, depending on several factors, such as the size of the home and the contractor’s skill level.
If you need a complete replacement of the HVAC system including new ductwork, this can cost between $6,700 and $12,100. While the ductwork does add to the final cost, it’s mostly the labor that significantly raises the price.
That said, many homeowners choose to install new ductwork anyway, as it plays a big role in lowering utility bills in the long run.
Cost Of Replacing HVAC With Additional Features
The third category is HVAC installation with special add-ons and features. Some homeowners may want a zoning system that allows them to set specific temperatures for some areas of the house.
It’s a great way to save money on bills, but it does cost much more upfront. This type of HVAC installation starts at $12,500 and could rise to $16,000.
Pro Tip: Many HVAV contractors will suggest the change-out as the best solution for your home.
While that may be the case sometimes, they could be looking to avoid more challenging work, such as ductwork installation. Make sure to do extensive research and get second opinions when hiring an HVAC pro.
HVAC Unit Replacement Cost
|HVAC Unit Replacement Cost|
|Furnace and AC Combined||$4,700 – $9,200|
|AC Replacement||$3,200 – $5,800.|
|Furnace Replacement||$1,900 – $5,300|
|Heat Pump Replacement||$1,400 – $10,000|
One of the most important decisions to make when replacing an HVAC system is picking a suitable unit.
For a 1,000-square-foot home, the price for a single HVAC unit can range from $1,200 for a ductless mini-split to as much as $2,500 for a heat pump for the same exact square footage.
Remember, these prices are without installation, accounting for a significant amount of the final price. Let’s take a closer look at the specific HVAC unit cost with installation.
$3790 - $6130
Cost to Install A Furnace and AC Combined
It is not unusual for homeowners to choose to replace the furnace and AC simultaneously. If the repair costs accumulate, this is often the most cost-effective solution, even though it can be a blow to the household budget.
However, it’s something most HVAC experts recommend, as you might get the most compatible systems that way. If you’re going down this road, prepare to pay between $4,700 and $9,200.
AC Replacement Cost
AC replacement is a standard service HVAC contractors provide. Having an efficient AC, especially in warmer climates, is essential.
Plus, the indoor air quality can largely depend on the AC system in your home. To get a brand-new AC installed, homeowners need to set aside somewhere between $3,200 and $5,800.
Furnace Replacement Cost
You can get various types of furnaces these days, even though a gas-operated unit is still one of the most popular options. Some people prefer electric and oil-based furnaces.
The average cost for furnace installation in the US is close to $3,100. The low-end price sits around $1,900, and the high-end furnace installation cost can go up to $5,300.
Heat Pump Replacement Cost
Heat pumps have become an increasingly popular choice for many homeowners and present an alternative way to heat any space. They’re incredibly energy-efficient and can last for many decades.
A typical heat pump uses air as a source to maintain the desired temperature of your home and requires very little maintenance overall.
But it’s the most expensive heating solution, costing around $5,500 on average. Smaller homes and installation of more affordable units can cost as little as $1,400, but a high-end price tag can reach $10,000.
Cost Of Top HVAC Brands
The HVAC brand is the last but by no means the least important factor in determining the installation cost. Options are many, and prices vary a lot, so making a decision can be pretty overwhelming.
There are name brands in any industry that people naturally gravitate towards. However, you can purchase a high-quality HVAC unit without breaking the bank with some careful research.
See the table below for the estimates costs of HVAC units by popular manufacturers. Note, that these are unit prices only, and don’t include the cost of installation.
|HVAC Brands||Gas Furnace||AC Unit|
See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code
Factors To Consider When Buying A New HVAC System
As we’ve touched on before, the size and scope of an HVAC replacement will impact the final installation cost. If new ductwork installation is involved, it will affect the complexity of the install as well as the price.
There are several essential features that every HVAC contractor will consider when presenting the HVAC installation cost estimate.
Your Home’s Size
Estimating the size of the HVAC unit is one of the biggest conundrums people face during this process. But most experienced contractors will tell you that the size of your home is the number one factor to consider.
It’s not unusual for clients to want the biggest and most efficient HVAC unit available, but that’s not always going to be most financially prudent decision.
Skilled HVAC experts use sophisticated calculations to correctly assess the size of the unit you need, with the dimensions of your home being the crucial factor.
British Thermal Units or BTUs
The measure to remember when installing a furnace is BTU output or British Thermal Units. The furnaces available on the market range significantly in terms of capacity – 18,000 to 200,000 BTUs.
However, the average furnace across North American homes will have between 35,000 and 100,000 BTUs. For example, a 30,000 BTUs furnace can adequately heat a 2,000 square-foot home.
Pro Tip: If your home has high ceilings, choosing a higher BTU output is advisable. The same applies if the number of household members is large.
On the other hand, if you live in an area with a milder climate, choosing a unit with lower BTU output is usually the more efficient choice.
You can use our HVAC Load Calculator to estimate your system size in BTU’s.
When you’re buying a new AC, the sizing of the unit is determined by tonnage. Essentially, it measures the cooling capacity within one hour of output.
Residential ACs start at 1-ton, rising to 5-ton units, and include half-sizes such as 1.5-ton. The most straightforward calculation is 1 ton per 1,000 square feet.
Of course, AC units with higher tonnage are more expensive. With each ton, the price will go up by $250-$350.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER
The new HVAC systems come with a SEER or seasonal energy efficiency rating. Older systems may have an 8 SEER rating, which is not considered enough these days. In fact, anything below 13 SEER is deemed to be inefficient.
But that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to buy an HVAC unit with the highest SEER rating you can. Whether the energy-efficiency effect will be increased depends on where you live and the condition of your home as well.
HVAC contractors also have a formula for SEER measurements and can help you determine what’s right for your home. Air conditioner units available these days range from 14 to 21 SEER rating.
Also, some zones in the US have mandatory minimum SEER ratings for mini-split ACs. For example, in most states, 13 SEER is the required minimum, whereas that’s 14 SEER in the Southwestern Region.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE.
This is another important unit of measure that relates to gas furnaces. The AFUE is vital because it measures the unit’s efficiency to convert gas into energy.
These days, the bare minimum is 78% efficiency, but high-efficiency models have up to 97% AFUE rating. The mid-efficiency in most homes today is between 80% and 85%.
Difficult access to the existing HVAC system will increase the final cost of the replacement. It might be that your AC or heat pump is installed in a very small attic or one with blown-in insulation.
Other potential problems are custom-made adjustments and more expensive pieces required to complete the installation. Also, some people live in old or historic homes, and everything about the project is complex and requires a customized approach.
If this is the case for your home, it’s best to ask how these factors will affect the price upfront. Finally, the ductwork can be pretty complex and extend the duration of the project and its price tag.
No homeowner should forget to check whether they need an HVAC installation permit. This can cost anywhere between $200 and $380, but it’s essential to check with your local zoning office first.
It’s crucial to check whether you need a permit personally and not rely on second-hand information.
Some HVAC contractors may tell you that it’s unnecessary, thus putting you in a compromising position where you’ll be forced to pay a fine.
Cost of Labor
This is another crucial factor in the HVAC replacement process. The price of labor per hour can vary significantly depending on the area where you live and other factors we’ve listed.
However, the national average is $60 to $75 per hour. Higher income areas located in the states along the East and West Coast have much higher HVAC labor rates: $75-95 per hour.
Or, in other terms, half of what you’ve paid for the HVAC unit is what you’ll pay for the labor.
In some cases, HVAC replacement involves more than one person and can take several days. But a more straightforward project can be done in 7-8 hours and involve only one installer.
Homeowners that want special features and add-ons to their HVAC system will have to pay extra. Consequently, a zoning system that achieves excellent energy efficiency can cost you between $2,400 and $3,400.
Also, if you want a variable speed fan that works harder than a single-speed motor, it will cost considerably more. On average, a variable speed fan can add up to $5,000 to the final HVAC installation bill.
Furthermore, if you live in a dry climate, you can ask the HVAC contractor to add a humidifier to your HVAC, costing around $200. It might seem unnecessary, but an HVAC with a humidifier can reduce allergy problems and help you sleep better.
Finally, if you’re worried about germs, fungi, and viruses, adding a UV light to your HVAC system can be a smart but pricey choice. It can cost between $350 and $750 to attach an ultraviolet light to your HVAC unit.
Did You Know? Homes built before 1980 might contain asbestos in walls. Tampering with asbestos can be dangerous and jeopardize the health of HVAC contractors and household members.
Before starting an HVAC replacement project, it’s best to hire an asbestos removal company to check. The process of removal can cost between $400 and $1,000.
What Is The Best Residential HVAC Brand?
Some people are loyal to a brand. If they’ve used one for years and are happy with it, they’ll likely choose the same option again.
But there have been many fantastic innovations in the HVAC industry in the last few years. Taking the time to explore your options can end up being a more satisfying and cost-effective choice.
To help you get started, we’ll examine the features of the most popular HVAC brands, the prices, and warranties.
There’s hardly a more recognizable name in the industry. They have been a leading name for over a century and are known for maintaining a high production standard.
On average, their gas furnaces cost around $1,100, and AC units $1,600. All parts are covered with a 10-year limited warranty.
While Carrier may be the most well-known choice, Lennox is considered the high-end HVAC system. Their units have exceptional energy-efficiency ratings.
This brand is an excellent choice for anyone who’s ready to invest in a long-lasting unit and doesn’t mind spending a little more in the process.
The average price point for a Lennox gas furnace is close to $1,300 and the AC unit over $1,700. Some units have a five or 10-year limited warranty for components, but the heat exchanges are covered with a 20-year limited warranty.
Another top-tier HVAC brand is American Standard. They have several different series of HVAC units that range from 13 to 21 in SEER rating.
Price-wise, the American Standard gas furnace typically goes for $1,250, and the AC unit is around $1,600. They cover the unit parts with a five-year limited warranty and replace the unit if it arrives with defects.
Trane’s HVAC units are known for being quiet and come in several categories based on price and energy efficiency.
The average cost for a Trane furnace is around $1,200 and ACs cost about $1,600.
Their units come with a base limited warranty that lasts from 1-20 years based on the specific product. You will need to register the unit within 60 days of purchase for the warranty to become valid.
This brand stands firmly in the mid-tier range. The quality is more than solid, and the price tag is pretty much the same. They offer HVAC units with single-stage and two-stage compressors and SEER ratings from 14 to 16.
Their gas furnaces are affordable and average about $950, while the ACs are close to $1,150. Also, you must register for the 10-year limited warranty within 90 days of purchasing the unit.
See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code
Besides having a recognizable logo, York is well-known for manufacturing high-quality cooling and heating solutions. They have a wide range of units available but are not the best choice if you’re searching for high SEER ratings.
York gas furnaces are priced at $750 on average, and the ACs about $1,300. Their lifetime limited warranty for the compressor is impressive, as well as a one-year warranty for labor.
The final HVAC brand featured here is Goodman. Even though they’re more affordable, they don’t compromise on quality. Some of their HVAC units have variable speed fans and high-quality copper tubing.
A Goodman gas furnace costs around $700 and AC around $1,000. If you register a Goodman HVAC unit within 60 days of purchase, you get a 10-year limited warranty. But unregistered products also get a five-year warranty.
Pro Tip: A 16 SEER rating is usually more than enough, regardless of where you live. Unless your home is large or you live in areas with extreme climates, going above 16 SEER is not cost-effective. In fact, it might increase utility spending as the unit won’t work efficiently.
Understanding HVAC Efficiency
The SEER and AFUE ratings are the features to look for when browsing for a new, energy-efficiency HVAC system. But those are not the only trademarks of an excellent product.
You also have to consider the Energy Star Certification issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) If a product has a sticker that confirms its Energy Star rating, it means it’s designed with the idea to protect the climate, produce better indoor air quality, and keep your energy bills lower.
Also, if you want to maximize the energy efficiency of your HVAC system and save money in the process, consider insulating the ductwork.
Proper ductwork insulation can help cool your home better in the summer and keep it warmer in the winter. Plus, you’re less likely to deal with condensation and mold growth.
Furthermore, don’t forget that proper ventilation goes a long way. To keep the indoor air fresh and allergen-free, consider investing in a sound ventilation system.
Finally, homeowners should never neglect regular HVAC maintenance. An annual professional tune-up can cost between $40-$190 and save you a lot of money by preventing major repairs in the future.
Make sure to call your HVAC contractor to change the filters, seal any air leaks, and fix the thermostat if necessary. Some contractors will offer HVAC maintenance contracts and remind you when the time comes for a tune-up.
Paying For The HVAC System You Deserve
It’s pretty evident that there is no clear-cut solution for HVAC replacement. The final bill will depend on many different factors.
But when you put them all together, you will get a clearer picture.
Undoubtedly, hiring a trustworthy HVAC company is the most critical step in the process.
A top service can recommend the HVAC system that will be most efficient for your home. Remember that you can still choose among various HVAC brands and ask for multiple upgrades.
See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code