HVAC System

Average Cost to Install an HVAC System in 2024

If you are looking for ways to maintain a comfortable temperature at your home this year, consider installing an HVAC system. However, if there is a question in your mind – What is HVAC system?– you must know more about it before considering installing it at home. The term “HVAC” means Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning. It is the heating and cooling system of any indoor area. In other words, it is a complete home comfort system that maintains a soothing temperature and improves the indoor air quality.

Setting up an HVAC system at home may cost you around $10,000. However, the costs may vary, ranging from high-end installations costing about $15,000 to affordable options around $5,000. Also, the cost can get as low as $3,000 if you want to replace the existing one. Many factors influence where the price of your HVAC system will fall. This blog will provide some insights and information in simple terms to help you prepare for the HVAC installation.

Average HVAC System Installation Cost

The average HVAC system cost can vary depending on multiple factors, as mentioned earlier. This includes the size of your house, the type of HVAC system you want to install, and the complexity of the installation process. Most homeowners spend nearly $7,000 or around $3-$7 per square foot installing an HVAC system. Also, you may need to replace the ductwork in your house while installing a new AC unit or furnace, costing you around $2,100 for an average-sized, single-story, 2,000-square-foot house.

Your equipment type also highly influenced the cost of a new HVAC system. You must check your old heating and cooling units to know which kind of HVAC system to order. There are plenty of heating and cooling system combinations available in the market. You have to choose one depending on your local climate and home specifications. In case of any confusion, consider talking to an HVAC technician to help you select the ideal heating and cooling system combination that matches your needs and budget.

Here are some popular HVAC system types and their average costs, including the installation charge. 

  • Electric furnace: $2,500-$3,500
  • Ductless split AC: $3,000-$4,000
  • Gas furnace: $3,000-$5,000
  • Central AC: $5,000-$10,000
  • Oil furnace: $5,000-$8,000
  • Heat pump: $5,500-$8,000
  • Geothermal heat pump: $15,000-$40,000

Factors Affecting HVAC Installation Costs

Brand

Like any other electrical appliance, the brand of the HVAC system affects its cost. Popular brands, like Trane and American Standard, offer HVAC units at a higher price, but they are higher in quality and work well for large spaces. Remember, any energy-efficient unit will always be more expensive. To make your home more energy-efficient, you should consult an HVAC technician and receive guidance on choosing the right brand for your house.

Climate

The location of your house also plays a role in determining the type of HVAC your house needs. For example, if you reside in the southern part of the USA, you may need a sizable AC capable of cooling the house during humid and hot summers. Likewise, a house in the northern part may need a larger heating unit to withstand frigid cold winters.

Efficiency Ratings

According to the US Department of Energy, current AC units save 30%-50% on monthly electricity consumption compared to their energy consumption 30 to 40 years ago. For AC units, look for units with higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. For heater units, look for units with higher HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Ratio) ratings. These ratings tell you about the energy efficiency of the units. The higher the efficiency ratings, the less energy your units will consume and the less it will cost you. However, units with higher energy efficiency come at a higher price. You can also look for ways to upgrade energy efficiency at home to save money and reduce expenses.

Hidden Costs

An HVAC technician may hide certain costs during the initial evaluation of the installation costs. But to be on the safer side, make sure to ask your technician the following things:

  • Permit fees: Your local city building department may need a permit. For that, ensure your building department representative inspects your HVAC unit. This may have an additional fee. 
  • Additional contractor work: HVAC installations may sometimes need extra work, like plumbing and electrical, to install the unit completely. Also, the contractor may need to modify your house’s framing or surfacing to bring the unit up to code. All these additional works will increase the total installation cost.

Home Size, Age, and Layout

The size, age, and layout of your house will influence the cost of your HVAC unit. For example, a 3,000-square-foot house needs a large AC and furnace compared to a 1,000-square-foot house. Likewise, if your windows are well-sealed and energy-efficient, you can use a lower AC capacity to maintain a comfortable temperature at home. A home with poor installation needs a more efficient HVAC system than a well-insulated one. Removing potential asbestos or lead paint can be an additional expense if you live in an older house.

Labor Cost

The labor cost can cost between $500 and $3,000. Depending on the complexity and size of the task, the installation can take from 6 to 10 hours. Replacing an old one may take longer and cost more. If your HVAC unit needs new ductwork, the task may take an additional time of 1 to 3 days to complete.

Unit Size

The size of the unit influences the cost. Your technician will calculate the required size of the new furnace or AC based on BTUs (British Thermal Units). Here is a breakdown of central AC units’ average cost based on BTUs.

Central Air Conditioner Size

BTUs

Average Cost 

1.5 Tons

18,000 $2,000

2 Tons

24,000

$2,650

2.5 Tons  30,000

$2,900

3 Tons 

36,000

$3,000

3.5 Tons 

42,000

$3,500

4 Tons 

48,000

$3,750

5 Tons 

60,000

 $3,900

 

The Key Takeaway

Whether you are unfamiliar with HVAC and wondering, “What is HVAC?” or plan to replace your old HVAC unit, this blog must have given you an idea of how much it will cost to install an HVAC unit. Contact a professional HVAC technician if you want to get a new HVAC system for your house.

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