The cost of a new HVAC system (which includes an AC, furnace, and a heat pump) can range between $5,000 to $12,500¹, depending on the size of your unit and the brand you choose.
We hardly think of our furnace and AC systems when they’re doing their jobs properly. But the minute it starts to feel too hot in the summer or frigid in the winter, it’s time to embark on a diagnosis of whether you need to repair or replace your HVAC systems.
Both heating and cooling systems provide essential functions for your home, ensuring it stays at a comfortable temperature year-round. These systems tend to last for years and come with a hefty price tag.
Below, we dive into the average costs to replace and repair your HVAC systems.
HVAC Replacement Cost by System
HVAC provides three functions in your home: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The cost of a new HVAC system can range between $5,000 to $12,500.¹
Below, we dive deeper into replacement costs for ACs, furnaces, and heat pumps.
Air Conditioner Costs
Air conditioners are essential components of your home, helping to keep you cool during the sweltering summer months (or even longer depending on where you live!).
You have two options when it comes to AC units: window units and central air conditioners.
Window units: For areas with milder summer temperatures or small homes, you may be comfortable enough with one or two window units. These units typically range between $75 to $1,200.⁸
Central AC: For homes in areas where the summer months can be extremely hot, you’d be better suited to go with a central AC unit. The cost of a new central AC unit can range between $2,250 to $5,500¹, excluding the cost of installation which can range from $1,500 to $12,000.
The cost of your air conditioner unit will depend on the size of your home. Smaller homes may require a 2-ton unit with an average cost of $2,250, while a large home with multiple levels may need a 4-ton unit with an average cost of $4,250.
Central AC cost estimate²
Window AC unit cost estimate⁸
A furnace is the system responsible for keeping you warm and cozy when the temperatures begin to dip. These systems are measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), with a higher BTU number correlating to a more powerful system. As a general rule of thumb, you will need 30 to 50 BTUs per square foot.
40,000 – 60,000 BTUs
75,000 – 100,000 BTUs
120,000 – 140,000 BTUs
There are three main types of furnaces: natural gas, electric, and oil.
Natural gas furnace: This is the most common type of furnace and recommended for homes that experience cold winter climates. They work by igniting natural gas or propane in the furnace’s burner and funneling that hot air through your home’s ductwork.
Electric furnace: An electric furnace can be an energy-efficient option for homes in warmer summer climates where you won't use them as much. For homes that don’t have access to natural gas, electric furnaces can be a great option.
Oil furnace: This type of furnace is another alternative if your home doesn’t have access to natural gas. This unit typically burns a petroleum product called furnace oil, but it can also use diesel fuel used in vehicles.
Estimated Installation Cost³
Heat Pump Costs
Heat pumps are a type of central HVAC system that exchanges hot air from inside your home to the outside in order to cool down the interior or vice versa.
There are three main types of heat pumps:
Air source: Instead of generating heat, an air source heat pump transfers heat from inside your home to the outside to cool it in the summer months, or extracts heat from the outdoor air to warm your home in the winter.
Ground source: Also known as a geothermal heat pump, a ground source heat pump uses the energy from the ground to heat or cool your home.
Water source: This type of heat pump uses water from a well, lake, or other source to extract and disperse heat by water instead of air.
Heat Pump Type
Factors That Influence HVAC System Cost
The price of your system and the installation cost will depend on factors like how easily accessible your unit is, the climate where you live, and the age and size of your home.
The Size and Age of Your Home
Heating and cooling your home to a comfortable temperature relies on proper insulation and an HVAC system that is the right size for your home.
The square footage of your home determines the HVAC unit size you need. Larger units tend to cost more than smaller units, and some large homes may need more than one unit to properly heat or cool it.
Another factor to consider is the quality of your home’s insulation. Insulation loses its effectiveness over time, leading to more energy required to heat and cool older homes.
If you live in an older home and notice cold drafts in the winter and scorching heat in the summer, you may want to consider replacing your insulation. You can also ask your HVAC pro about insulating your ductwork to help the system run more smoothly and save you money on energy bills.
The Location of Your Unit
Accessibility is another key component of your overall HVAC installation cost. Systems in a historic home or in hard-to-reach places like a small attic will increase the price of installation.
Your Home’s Ductwork
Your home’s ductwork transports the heated or cooled air throughout your home. Depending on the age and condition of your home, you may not need to replace or repair your ductwork when replacing your HVAC system.
However, if you do need to replace or repair the ductwork, you can expect your installation cost to rise significantly. For context, ductwork can cost anywhere from $1,170 to $4,600.⁶ Price can fluctuate based on the material you choose and whether you need to add vents throughout your home.
Average Costs of Common HVAC Repairs
There are a number of repairs for HVAC units that can help prevent the need for a brand new system. Here’s a look at the average cost for some of these common furnace and AC repairs.
Estimated Repair Cost⁷
Evaporator and condenser coils
Circuit board capacitor or fuse
Condenser fan motor
Blower fan motor
How To Reduce the Cost of a New HVAC
While new HVAC systems are going to be an investment any way you slice it, there are steps you can take to help reduce the overall cost.
Get a variety of estimates: Collect quotes from at least three HVAC installation professionals. The cheapest option isn’t always the best, so be sure to ask about labor warranty and other factors that can protect your wallet after the system is up and running.
Do your research: Ask your friends and family for reputable referrals to help you determine the best HVAC installer for your home. You can also spend some time researching online reviews or ask the company you’re considering for references.
Seek out rebates or tax breaks: Some HVAC unit manufacturers offer rebates throughout the year or on specific models. Installing an efficient unit may also make you eligible for a tax credit — not to mention these these types of units can reduce your energy costs by 20%.
Commit to regular system maintenance: While this doesn’t really save you any money upfront, it will save you in the long run. Annual tune-ups and regularly replacing your filters will prolong the life of your systems and ensure you get your money’s worth.
Consider a home warranty: Purchasing a home warranty for your home’s major systems (including your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical) can protect your wallet against unexpected system failures by assisting you with the cost for repair or replacement. Interested in learning more about home warranties? Check out our list of the best home warranty companies for 2023.
4 Signs That You May Need to Replace Your Unit
Is your home not cooling or heating like it used to? Below are four signs that indicate it may be time for a new or replacement system.
Your System’s Age
The U. S. Department of Energy recommends that homeowners replace their HVAC system every 10 to 15 years. Just like your common home appliances, HVAC systems wear down with age, leading to inconsistent temperatures and higher energy bills.
High Energy Bills
Exceptionally high bills can be a sign that there’s a problem with your HVAC. While it’s normal to have a fluctuation in your energy bill month-over-month, if you see your bills skyrocketing and can’t pinpoint a reason, call a service technician to come inspect your unit.
Inability to Keep Temperatures Consistent
If you can’t keep your home cool in the summer or warm in the winter, there may be motor damage, cracked ducts, or clogged filters within your HVAC system. This can also be a signal that your home’s insulation has worn down and your HVAC has to work double-time to keep your home’s temperature steady.
Dust in the Home
HVACs not only cool and heat your home, they also help circulate air to reduce dust buildup. More dust in the home than usual can be a sign that your system isn’t working properly.
Below we answer some common questions surrounding HVAC cost and installation.
Find a Local HVAC Expert Near You
HVAC systems are essential components of our home. Ensure yours is in good hands by working with one of our Expertise-backed local HVAC technicians near you.
At Expertise.com, we're passionate about guiding people to find the best in life, whether they're researching how to start a small business, planning a home remodeling project, or discovering a new hobby.
¹ Angi.com ² Angi.com ³ Angi.com ⁴ Angi.com ⁵ Homeserve.com ⁶ BlackHillsInc.com ⁷ Angi.com ⁸ Angi.com ⁹ PickHVAC.com