How Much Do HVAC Systems Cost?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are what keep our homes and offices cool, warm, ventilated, and everything in between. When buying a new home, renovating an existing one, or updating a building’s HVAC system, costs can vary greatly. 

HVAC system costs depend on the state you live in, the square footage of the building, and the type of system being replaced. A ballpark number for a basic 1,500 square foot house would be about $7,000 to replace a standard central air conditioner and heat pump.

Factors Affecting HVAC Prices

HVAC systems come in many shapes and sizes. In some cases, you may need to replace certain parts of your HVAC system, while other situations could call for an all-out overhaul.

HVAC systems are used in everything from commercial warehouses to single-family homes. All of these factors will greatly affect how much you’re going to pay for a new HVAC system. 

Types of HVAC Systems

HVAC can refer to distinct types of systems that circulate air in, heat, or cool down buildings. Some systems also filter the air in that space. 

The most common HVAC systems are either two separate units for air conditioning (AC) and heat, or a central heating and AC system packed into one. 

There are 6 main types of HVAC systems. 

HVAC System

Price

Description

Furnace/split AC system

$6,500+

Furnaces use gas, propane, or oil to blow hot air throughout the house, while the AC cools the home from the outside in during summer. 

Boiler/AC system

$9,500+

Boilers heat buildings through interconnected radiators. You can have a boiler with a separate air conditioning unit, or opt for a combi-boiler for both heating and cooling.  

Electric furnace/AC system

$6,000+

Generally used in places with extreme weather conditions (e.g., Florida), this eco-friendly option uses electricity, eliminating the risks of using gas or oil.

Heat pump/air handler system

$7,000+

This uses an outdoor heat pump that heats and cools the air with a refrigerant and then blows the air into the building.

Mini split heat pump

$8,000+

This system uses inverter technology and is very energy-efficient. Most homes will have one outdoor and one indoor component, while multi-units will have multiple components.

Geothermal heat pump

$18,000+

These systems are the most expensive and the most energy-efficient. They use underground sources to climatize the building. It can be combined with a hydronic or air handler system to distribute the air.

Do note that these prices are generic estimates that can range depending on the remaining factors listed below. Any ductwork will also typically increase your HVAC system’s installation cost.

These prices are for the entire HVAC system, whereas, in many cases, only certain parts of the system may need replacing. 

Square Footage

It may go without saying, but a three-story commercial building will need an HVAC system that costs much more than your standard residential-home system. Since you’ll need to account for materials and labor, square footage plays a large part in the HVAC system cost. This is especially true if you need to replace the ductwork in your home.

While it’s difficult to give a general price, HVAC installation can run between $15 and $18 per square foot, including ductwork. Below is a chart with average ranges of HVAC costs per square foot.

Square Footage

Cost Range for HVAC System

1,000 sq. feet

$4,000-$5,000

1,500 sq. feet

$6,000-$7,000

2,000 sq. feet

$7,000-$8,000

2,500 sq. feet

$8,000-$9,000

3,000 sq. feet

$9,000-$10,000

Your State

Buying your HVAC system is only the first step – you’ll need professionals to install it correctly. HVAC techs can charge anywhere from $500 to $3,000 to remove and replace your old HVAC system. 

If you’re just looking to repair certain parts, you’re looking at paying between $75 and $200 per hour. The cost of labor will depend on the HVAC tech’s experience level and the state they’re working in. 

Parts and Prices of an HVAC System

Many times, you can instead get away with replacing one HVAC part or unit as opposed to replacing the entire system. 

The most common HVAC parts and their replacement costs are listed below, including installation and labor. 

HVAC Part

Price

Gas furnace

$1,800-$4,000

Oil furnace

$4,200-$6,900

Electric furnace

$1,600-$2,500

Central air conditioner

$2,500-$7,500

Heat pump

$3,800-$8,200

Boiler

$2,000-$10,000

Ductless split HVAC

$3,000-$10,000

Window AC unit

$300-$1,100

Fans for a residential home 

$600-$2,300

As you can see, some parts have an extensive price range. This will depend on the type of building you are outfitting. 

How Long Does an HVAC System Last?

Most HVAC systems will last between 15 to 25 years, but this varies greatly depending on their use, maintenance, brand, and location. Those in coastal areas may see air conditioners and heat pumps begin to fail after only a decade. 

Generally speaking, the following HVAC units will last the following:

  • Gas furnaces tend to last 20+ years with the proper maintenance
  • A boiler can last from 20 to 35 years, often requiring its heat exchanger to be replaced in the meantime
  • Heat pumps last an average of 15 years
  • Mini-split systems can last 10 to 30 years, failing prematurely in coastal areas

While it won’t be spot-on, investigating any warranties offered for an HVAC unit is a good place to start when estimating its lifespan.

When to Replace an HVAC System

While the general lifespans are listed above, every HVAC system is unique. Most homeowners don’t want to wait for their HVAC systems to break down completely before replacing them, lest they get stuck in extreme heat or cold in the process. 

To keep up with your HVAC system, it’s recommended to service your unit 1-2 times per year, typically in spring and/or autumn. Having a certified HVAC tech inspect your system can ensure all of the parts are in working order and in good shape. 

HVAC Cost Estimator

While there are some HVAC cost estimators online, the most accurate estimate is given by a local professional. Call up an HVAC company in your area and ask them to come in and give you an estimate for replacing your HVAC system.

Summing Up

Replacing your HVAC system can easily cost a few thousand dollars while replacing a single unit or part of the system can start in the hundreds. HVAC system costs depend highly on the size of the building, the cost of labor, location, and the type of system you’re replacing. For the most accurate estimate, reach out to local HVAC companies in your area today.

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