How Much Does it Cost to Replace an HVAC System?
Your home heating and cooling systems provide you and your family with comfort each season. A well-functioning HVAC system prevents you from getting frozen in the winter and living in a sauna in the summer. However, after some time, you will have to replace even the best equipment on the market. When that time comes, it is helpful to have some knowledge about the average cost of HVAC installation.
Determining Your HVAC Installation Costs
A clear HVAC cost estimate is hard to calculate. A lot depends on the size of your home and the type of equipment you choose. If your equipment is not compatible to your home, it will run all the time and have a shorter life span. At the same time, you do not want to fork out extra money for a system that is more powerful than you need. One of your first steps will be to have an expert HVAC technician come to your home and measure your heating and cooling needs.
According to HVAC.com, the cost of a new air conditioning unit and gas furnace ranges from as low as $6,400 to almost $20,000. The difference in pricing is often a matter of power and efficiency. High-efficiency units usually cost more up front, but they are less expensive to operate over time. Larger homes need more power, and more powerful units are on the expensive end of the scale.
You have to consider the cost of labor when you install or replace your home systems. Once you know the equipment you want, it is always smart to get at least three estimates from the pros. If you are lucky, you will find a contractor who is on the low end.
Typically, the labor cost will come in at around 40% of the cost of the unit. However, if your situation is more complex, the costs will increase. For example, if the contractor must install ductwork for a central heating and cooling system, it will significantly add to the price.
This extra work will also add to the time of the project. In most cases, a well-organized company can perform an HVAC replacement in a single day. When there is extra ductwork or other additions involved, your house may be tied up for a week.
Tips for Finding the Right Professional
HVAC installation and maintenance require several years of training. Unless you are a skilled HVAC technician, you shouldn’t think about trying to do this project on your own. However, this means that you have to find a HVAC professional you can trust.
In addition to cost, there are some easy ways to find the right company for the job. Everyone who has a home has some kind of home comfort system. You can talk to people around you about their experiences with local professionals. These days, there are also many resources online that provide reviews.
At a basic level, you want to work with someone who is fully licensed, bonded and insured. Experience matters when it comes to your home. Most HVAC pros list how long they have been in business on their websites.
You also should look for someone who gives you great customer service. Ideally, the company that installs your home systems will be the one that maintains them. If the business was slow to respond to your calls or impatient with your questions, it may not be the team you want working on your home.
Additional HVAC Replacement Costs
You can run into unexpected costs in your HVAC system replacement project. Especially if you are installing a new system, the process can get complex. Depending on the scope of the project, you may need to obtain building permits. The cost of a permit varies from town to town but can be anywhere from $50 to $300.
If you have a historic home, you may experience the cost of working through the additional legal hurdles involved. Older homes can also have unusual spaces that require custom ductwork and creative installation solutions. Extra work can mean extra expenses.
How Long Does HVAC Equipment Last?
Modern HVAC systems last longer than older units. With proper maintenance, you can expect to get at least 15 years from your HVAC equipment. Your furnace will probably last a few years longer than your air conditioner.
How Do I Care for My HVAC Equipment?
The best thing you can do for the life and performance of your heating and cooling equipment is to have a professional company maintain it. Many HVAC businesses offer maintenance plans that will bring a technician to your home twice a year. Also, you can help the system by changing the air filter every two to three months.
Can I Lower My HVAC Unit Replacement Cost?
If you are wondering how to lower the cost of HVAC replacement, you are in good company. These systems are a serious financial investment in your home. Take the time to do some research about the cost of the equipment versus the cost of operation. Cooling systems with a higher SEER rating will be more expensive, but the energy costs may be worth it in the long haul.
Also, many high-efficiency units are eligible for rebates and incentives through state and federal government programs. These discounts can take a welcome chunk out of your initial expenses.
Planning Ahead for Home System Care
Once you have a new HVAC system in place, it is important to take care of it. These are complex systems that will need repairs over time. With a plan from HomeServe, you will be ready to handle the unexpected covered repairs. When an issue arises, just call our 24/7 repair hotline and we’ll send an expert HVAC technician to you to help get things back to normal.