If your home’s heating and cooling system is nearing the end of its lifespan, it may be time to consider replacing it. A new HVAC system can cost $5,000 to $12,500, depending on several factors.
The best HVAC companies offer quality products at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a deal, compare prices and warranties between brands.
1. The Size of Your Home
The size of your home plays a big role in what kind of HVAC system you need to cool and heat it. If you have a larger house, you’ll need a more powerful unit than if you live in a smaller home.
Another factor is the amount of insulation in your home. A well-insulated home can get by with a smaller, more affordable unit. But if you have poor or nonexistent insulation, your new system will have to work harder to keep your house warm and comfortable, which means it will cost more to operate.
If you want your new HVAC system to be as energy-efficient as possible, look for a unit with a high SEER rating. This is a measure of how efficient the unit is, and the higher it is, the more you’ll save on your utility bills each year.
Your local climate also tips the scales. You’ll spend more on air conditioning BTUs in Louisiana than in Vermont, and humidity will play a factor as well. Depending on your climate, you may need to add a dehumidifier or other specialized equipment to your system.
A major part of the expense associated with a new HVAC system is the installation. Your installer will need to duct the system, run electrical hookups, and install new filters. This can add up to thousands of dollars in costs.
Many HVAC companies offer in-house financing, which can help you spread the cost of a replacement over time. This can be a good option if you don’t have the money to buy the unit outright but be sure to read the fine print carefully before agreeing to any financing terms.
If you’re replacing your entire system, be sure to include the cost of removing and disposing of any asbestos in your house. Homes built before the 1970s could contain this hazardous material, and it’s often uncovered during the course of an HVAC replacement.
2. The Type of System You Need
There are different types of HVAC systems, and the type that you need will impact the cost of your system. For example, a geothermal heat pump system is much more expensive than an air-source heat pump. Your home’s climate will also impact what system you need. For instance, if your home is in a humid area, you’ll need to use a larger AC unit to cool it. If you live in a cold area, on the other hand, you’ll need a large heating system to warm your home.
If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, it is best to shop around and get multiple estimates from reputable contractors. This will help ensure that you’re getting the cheapest system for your needs. Also, try to schedule your HVAC installation during the fall or spring when HVAC contractors are less busy and more likely to offer discounts.
In addition, ask about tax incentives and utility rebates that may be available to you for purchasing a newer, more energy-efficient HVAC system. This will also lower the initial price of your new unit, and you’ll save money on higher utility bills in the long run.
The brand of your new HVAC system will also play a role in the price. The most recognizable brands charge more, but they also typically have better quality equipment that lasts longer. However, you should avoid buying a used or refurbished HVAC system. While these units are often advertised on Facebook and Craigslist, they’re not as reliable as a new, factory-fresh unit.
If you are interested in adding any upgrades or add-ons to your new HVAC system, such as a dehumidifier, air purifier, smart thermostat, or zoning system, these will also increase the overall price of the system. Some of these extras can be a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality, but they should never be considered necessities when calculating the cost of your new HVAC system.
3. The Season
The HVAC industry is seasonal, and that means you’ll likely see prices dip during slower times. That’s why it’s important to shop around during the slow season and look for HVAC companies offering preventative maintenance plan packages or even discounts on a system.
Replacing an HVAC system is a major undertaking, and the total price can add up quickly. If you can, wait until the off-season to have your HVAC replaced so you’ll be able to take advantage of discounts and specials. Plus, it’ll give you the opportunity to schedule a time when HVAC contractors aren’t busy and can work more efficiently.
Getting a new system during the off-season will also help you avoid expensive add-ons and upgrades. If you need ductwork to be replaced, that will add up quickly, as will adding zones or insulation. You’ll also need to factor in electrical hookups, and if you’re replacing an old system, you’ll likely have to pay for the removal of the unit and hauling.
The climate you live in can also affect your HVAC replacement cost. You’ll need more air conditioning BTUs in Louisiana than in Vermont; humid environments require dehumidifiers. If you’re shopping for a new system, ask an HVAC pro to use a climate zone map to determine how many cooling and heating BTUs your home needs.
Another way to save on an HVAC is to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model. You can usually get a much more efficient system by converting to a higher SEER rating, which will also save you on your utility bills.
If your current system is nearing the end of its lifespan, that may be a good time to consider upgrading. Many older systems don’t meet current energy efficiency standards, and it can make more financial sense to switch over than continue paying for repairs. Additionally, with rapid technological advances, newer models may offer better performance and energy efficiency. That might be enough to offset the cost of the new system. Plus, newer systems often come with warranties that can cover the labor costs of installation.
4. Your Budget
It’s important to get quotes from multiple HVAC contractors so you can compare prices and features. Then, determine how much you can afford to spend on a new system. A new HVAC system will cost more upfront than a replacement but will pay for itself through energy savings in the long run. Plus, a higher-quality system will have a longer warranty, so you can save on repair costs down the road.
In addition to the initial price of the unit, you will also need to consider other installation costs, such as ductwork. Some high-efficiency systems require specific ductwork to work. You may also need to have ductwork cleaned or replaced, which adds to the overall cost.
Other factors that affect the price of an HVAC system include the type and brand of the system and the size and quality of the home’s insulation. For example, homes with better-sealed and insulated ductwork will need less AC capacity than uninsulated homes.
When choosing an HVAC system, look for manufacturers that offer rebates or discounts to their customers. Check with your local and state energy companies for available incentives, too. These can be stacked with manufacturer rebate offers for even more savings.
A reputable and experienced HVAC contractor will provide you with an accurate price estimate for the work to be done before starting any repairs or installations. In addition, they will give you a detailed contract that includes the project scope, labor, and material costs. Also, ask the company for references from past clients and make sure to read reviews of the company online.
Finally, don’t be lured by those Facebook, refurbished, or open-box HVAC systems advertised for low prices. Generally, these units aren’t installed properly and can result in higher maintenance and repair costs down the line.
While choosing the cheapest HVAC system isn’t a bad idea, you should always weigh all of the options. Cheaper systems aren’t necessarily the best and may be less efficient than a more expensive model. Always consider other factors, including long-term energy savings and warranty coverage, before deciding which HVAC system to purchase.