How Much Does An HVAC System Cost? An Ultimate Guide

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The initials (HVAC) refer to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC system controls the areas around it by way of cooling or heating the air. The cost of installation varies based on several factors. Replacing the air conditioner together with ducts is more costly than replacing the unit alone. However, cost-saving is not the only important thing here; the stability of your HVAC system is.

Replacing both at the same time helps keep a healthy balance in the performance of the whole system. Besides, the difference in cost is not so big, hence making it more sensible. Here is some information to guide you in making cost choices.

Factors that affect the cost of AC System

AC System or Brand

Like everything else, AC systems come to the market in different shapes, models, sizes, and types of air conditioning systems. The type of system that you choose affects the cost. For instance, installing the ductless split-air units is less costly compared to the installation of a packaged air conditioner.


As stated in HVAC Seattle, Different manufacturers have different prices for the same product. It goes with the name that the manufacturer has made in the market. Some brands are so costly that their equivalent from rival manufacturers. However, in most cases, the cost goes together with the quality and durability of the brand. If it is worth the money you put into it, then it is good.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

SEER considers the measure of energy that the unit takes in against the cooling output. A unit with a higher SEER ratio cost higher. If it takes in more energy, then it has more monthly costs in terms of power bills.

Costs of the Installation

To find the total, you calculate the cost of the HVAC unit itself, the cost of installing ducts, ventilation, and all the other additions. It would be best if you also considered the labor charges of the technician.

Some contractors charge per hour. However, others charge based on the overall job value. They charge once, in relation to the whole job estimation. Unscrupulous contractors may take advantage of the pay-per-hour system. They could deliberately use delay tactics to increase work hours.

Replacing AC without Ducts

According to Home Guide, one unit would cost around $4,820 on the minimum and $9,350 on the upper side. These two prices are estimates on the average at the national level. These are prices for the units alone.

If it is a new installation with no pre-existing duct system, the cost of the whole job to a maximum of $12, 350, the price goes up because the installation of ducts is another activity that is time demanding, and energy draining. This process can take up to 5 days.

The installation of ducts comes with a further increase of $2000 – $3000. You may decide to replace your AC without touching the existing pipes to save on costs. However, this should be the best time for replacing the ducts too.

Replacing AC and Ducts

If it has reached a point where you want to replace the HVAC unit, then it is time for replacing the ducts too. The chances are that the ducts are as old as the AC unit is

• They have stayed for long and have started to develop holes or general signs of wear and tear

• Damaged parts are making irritating noises

• If you experience non-uniform heating or cooling- could be an indicator of blockages or leakages

• To correct installation defaults that occurred with the first installation

Despite some of the conditions above, it does not always have to require replacement of ducts. As such, you may choose to install the AC unit without interfering with the duct system.

This is a mostly one-day event since it does not involve a lot of work. In this case, installation costs only a minimum of $4,820 and a maximum of $9,350. It is important to note that the only time where you can be this lucky is when the pre-existing ducts are working properly.

You should never avoid replacing them for the sake of reducing costs. Doing this will only give rise to new opportunity costs. It may not take long before the ducts you ignored develop serious problems that require only replacement as a solution.

You will have to dig dipper into your pockets if you decide to replace the HVAC system together with ducts, and also have some other extra installations. These additional installations like humidifiers and ultra-violet light purifiers may be luxurious. However, they are essential if you can afford to incorporate them into your air conditioning system. The cost, in this case, may shoot to $13,000 at the lowest and $17,000.

If you go by these estimates, it is not difficult to have a working figure in your expectations. You can get a full HVAC installation with a budget of $15,000 – $25,000 based on these factors:

• The type of unit, which dictates the cost and size

• Your region

• Your contractor’s labor charges and profit

• The size of your house also determines the cost.

The professional contractor will use their skills and training to decide the optimal size of the HVAC system. It should not be too big nor too small.

Some General Tips

Do not accept inexperienced technicians when hiring HVAC contractors. Pick contractors who serve in both business and home settings. Their experience is likely to be higher. Also, do not let the contractors decide your installation plan for you. They would most likely choose the most comfortable option of fixing the AC unit without touching the ducts.

It is good to compare costs before you decide how to go about with your HVAC project. You do not have to compare the costs from one contractor to another. Most important is cost comparison based on your needs. When dealing with air conditioner systems, the cost factor transcends immediate gratification of saving a few cents during installation. The stability of your HVAC installation could save you so much energy and repair costs.



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