HVAC installation costs can vary greatly depending on the size of your home, the type of system you select, and the complexity of the installation. On average, homeowners can expect to spend between $5,000 and $9,000 for an installed HVAC system.
Basic, single-unit HVAC systems can be installed for less than $4,500, while larger, more complex systems can cost over $15,000. These prices are just averages, and your actual cost will vary depending on the specific system you select and the installer you use.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This system helps regulate a space’s temperature, humidity, and air quality. The main function of an HVAC system is to provide comfortable indoor air year-round.
It’s worth noting: Many HVAC installations are eligible for $10,000+ government subsidies thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. Call the HVAC hotline at (330) 449-4440 to talk with an expert and see if Uncle Sam will foot the bill for your new HVAC system.
In this article:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Home Size
- Cost by Efficiency Rating
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Cost by Location
Average HVAC Installation Costs in 2023
|National Average Cost||$7,500|
|Typical Price Range||$5,000 – $9,000|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$4,500|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$15,000|
The national average cost of an HVAC system is $7,500, with a typical range between $5,000 and $9,000, including professional installation. Typically, an HVAC contractor will charge between $3 and $6 per square foot of your home to install a central air system, depending on the complexity of the installation.
Several factors can affect that cost, such as:
- The size of your home
- The type of HVAC system you select
- The HVAC brand
- The installation cost
- The climate you live in
- The ductwork size
- The energy efficiency of the system
On the high end, a new HVAC system could cost you as much as $15,000 or more. But on the low end, it could be closer to $4,500. If you have a small area to heat and cool, such as an apartment or condo, your costs will be on the lower end. Larger homes with multiple levels will require a more complex and expensive system.
HVAC Installation Cost Estimator by Home Size
Generally, the larger your home, the more expensive it will be to install an HVAC system. A bigger space means more work for the contractor, and more materials will be needed to complete the job. On average, installation costs range from $3 to $6 per square foot of area that needs to be heated and cooled.
For a 1,200-square-foot home, that would come out to an estimated cost of $3,600 on the low end and $7,200 on the high end, depending on the type of system installed and the ductwork required.
Here is a quick breakdown of average HVAC installation costs by home square footage:
|Home/Condo Size||Average Cost of Installation|
|800 square feet||$2,400 – $4,800|
|1,200 square feet||$3,600 – $7,200|
|1,500 square feet||$4,500 – $9,000|
|2,000 square feet||$6,000 – $12,000|
Residential HVAC Unit Cost Per Ton
A ton of air conditioning is the cooling power of a system that can melt one ton (2,000 pounds) of ice in 24 hours. In other words, it’s how much heat a system can remove from a home in one day. The smaller the house, the less tonnage is required to cool it down. BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a measurement unit corresponding to the cooling power of one ton of air conditioning.
*Note: 1 ton = 12,000 BTUs per hour
For example, if you have a 1,500-square-foot home that requires two tons of cooling, that’s 24,000 BTUs per hour. The average cost of an installed two-ton AC unit is between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on the system type and the installation’s complexity.
|Size||BTUs||Area (square feet)||Cost of HVAC System Installed|
|1.5 tons||18,000 BTU/h||800 – 900 sq. ft.||$2,400 – $4,800|
|2 tons||24,000 BTU/h||900 – 1,500 sq. ft.||$2,500 – $5,000|
|3 tons||36,000 BTU/h||1,600 – 2,000 sq. ft.||$3,200 – $6,000|
|3 to 4 tons||48,000/h BTU/h||2,000 – 2,400 sq. ft.||$3,500 – $7,500|
|3.5 to 5 tons||60,000/h BTU/h||2,500 sq. ft.||$4,200 – $9,000|
Residential HVAC Unit Cost by Efficiency
The efficiency of your HVAC system will directly impact the cost of installation and operation. The most common type of residential HVAC system is a central air conditioner, which is typically paired with a natural gas or propane furnace. These systems are measured by their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which indicates how much energy they use to cool a home.
For example, a system with a SEER of 16 uses less energy than a system with a SEER of 13. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system and the lower the operating costs. However, systems with a higher SEER rating also tend to be more expensive to install.
The most common SEER rating for central air conditioners is 13, which is the minimum allowed by law. But you can find systems with a SEER of up to 24. The average cost to install a central air conditioner with a SEER of 13 falls between $1,500 and $3,500, while the average price to install a system with a SEER of 24 runs from $4,300 to $7,500, including installation.
|SEER||Efficiency||Average Cost (Labor + Materials)|
|13 – 14||Standard-Efficiency||$1,500 – $3,500|
|15 -16||High-Efficiency||$1,700 – $4,900|
|17 – 18||High-Efficiency||$2,000 – $5,500|
|19 – 21||Very high-Efficiency||$2,500 – $6,700|
|22 – 24||Maximum-Efficiency||$4,300 – $7,500|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
An HVAC system can be a significant investment, so it’s important to consider all factors that will affect the overall cost before making a purchase. In addition to size and efficiency, several other factors can have an impact on the price of your HVAC system, including
Type of System
An HVAC system is a complex piece of machinery with multiple components, so the type of system you choose will significantly impact the cost. The most common types of residential HVAC systems are:
Central Air Conditioner
A central air conditioner is a system that cools your home by circulating cooled air through a network of ducts. The main parts of your central AC system include an outdoor unit containing a compressor and condenser and an indoor unit with a furnace and evaporator coil.
The cost of a central air conditioner will depend on the size of the unit, its efficiency rating, and any special features. The average price of a central air conditioner is between $7,000 and $10,500 in total.
There are two main types of central air conditioners:
- Split-System Air Conditioner: This system is a central air conditioner paired with a furnace and is the most common type of HVAC system in the US. It includes an outdoor unit (compressor/condenser) and an indoor unit (air handler/furnace). The two units are connected by copper tubing. The average cost to install a split system is between $5,000 and $8,500 in total.
- Packaged Heating and Air: A packaged heating and air-conditioning unit is a single, self-contained system that is typically installed on the roof or a concrete pad. These units are very popular in warmer climates and are available in both gas and electric models. The average cost of a packaged unit is between $9,000 and $12,500, including materials and labor.
|Central Air Conditioner Type||Average Cost|
|Split-System Air Conditioner||$5,000 – $8,500|
|Packaged Heating and Air||$9,000 – $12,500|
Ductless Mini-Split System
A duct-free or mini-split system is a great way to heat and cool your home without requiring ductwork. These systems are very efficient and can be installed in almost any home, regardless of the size or layout. A complete ductless AC installation typically ranges from $2,800 to $7,500 in total.
There are many benefits to using a duct-free system, including the following:
- Reduced energy costs
- Increased comfort levels
- Improved indoor air quality
- Flexible installation options
Cost by HVAC Units
The cost of your HVAC system also depends on the type of units you need installed. Here is a breakdown of some common HVAC units and their costs:
The AC unit is the heart of your cooling system and is responsible for circulating cool air throughout your home. The average cost of an air conditioner is between $3,000 and $6,500, including installation.
When choosing an HVAC furnace, it is also important to select a unit that is the right size for your home. The average cost of a new furnace is $2,000 to $4,500, depending on the size of your home.
Several different types of HVAC furnaces are available on the market today, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Furnaces are typically powered by natural gas or electricity, and they use a blower to circulate warm air throughout your home.
Some key considerations when choosing an HVAC furnace include the initial cost of purchase and installation and the long-term operating costs. In general, electric gas furnaces are the most affordable option, followed by gas furnaces. Oil furnaces tend to have the highest initial price.
|Furnace Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
A heat pump is a system that uses a refrigerant cycle to transfer heat from one place to another. The price tag for a heat pump is typically higher than a furnace, but heat pumps are much more energy-efficient. In fact, heat pumps can save you up to 50% on your heating and cooling costs. The typical range in price is from $4,000 to $8,000, including professional installation.
Geothermal heat pumps are one of the most efficient types of HVAC systems today. They use the earth’s natural heat to provide both heating and cooling for your home. The average cost is between $14,000 and $34,000, depending on the size of your home.
Air-source heat pumps are less efficient than geothermal heat pumps but are much more affordable, with a typical installation cost of $3,500 to $14,300, including material and labor.
|Heat Pump Type||Average Cost t (Installed)|
|Air-Source||$3,500 – $14,300|
|Geothermal||$14,000 – $34,000|
Boilers also fall in the category of HVAC units. A boiler is a unit that heats water and circulates it throughout your home to provide heat. The cost of a boiler is between $3,500 and $8,500, including installation.
Window AC Unit
A window AC can be a great option for cooling your home if you don’t have central air conditioning. Window AC units are less expensive than central AC units, and they are relatively easy to install. The average cost of a window AC unit is $630 to $2,300, depending on the size and BTU rating.
The average cost of a whole-house fan is $200 to $1,100, including installation. The cost will depend on the size of your home, the type of fan you choose, and the complexity of the installation. You can expect to pay more if you have a larger home or a more complex installation.
Whole-house fans can be a great way to improve the ventilation in your home, and they can also help to keep your energy bills down.
Cost by HVAC Components
Various components make up an HVAC system, and the cost of each component will vary depending on the type of system you choose. Here is a breakdown of some common HVAC components and their costs:
Ductwork is an important component of your HVAC system, and it is responsible for delivering conditioned air to each room in your home. The cost of an installed new ductwork system will vary depending on the size and layout of your home, but the average price is between $2,000 and $5,000.
If your home does not have an existing system, or if the current ductwork is in poor condition, it will need to be replaced. This can be a very costly project, so be sure to get multiple quotes from different contractors before making a final decision.
The thermostat is the control center for your HVAC system, and it is responsible for turning the system on and off as well as regulating the temperature. The average cost of an installed thermostat is between $120 and $330. You can save money by choosing a programmable thermostat, which can save you up to 10% on your energy bill.
An air purifier can be a valuable addition to your HVAC system if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Air purifiers remove contaminants from the air, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. For a whole-house air purifier, you can expect to pay between $450 and $4,000, without installation.
A dehumidifier is designed to remove excess moisture from the air. It can be an essential feature in homes in humid climates or homes with many indoor plants. Dehumidifiers range in price from $1,300 to $3,000, depending on the size and features of the unit.
UV lamps are designed to kill bacteria and viruses in the air. This can be a valuable feature for people with allergies or asthma. UV lamps typically cost between $100 and $400 each.
Cost by HVAC Brand
When determining the cost of a new HVAC system, one important factor to consider is the brand of the unit. Whether you are looking at a furnace, an air conditioner, or a heat pump, the brand of the unit will have an impact on both the up-front cost and the long-term costs.
Name-brand units will cost more than generic ones, but they often come with better warranties and service agreements. When considering the cost of a new HVAC system, be sure to factor in the unit’s brand and the initial cost.
Here is a look at the cost of some of the most popular brands on the market:
|HVAC Brand||AC Unit Cost||Furnace Cost||Heat Pump Cost||Total Average Cost|
|Amana||$2,000 – $4,500||$1,000 – $2,700||$1,100 – $3,900||$4,100 – $11,100|
|Bryant||$2,000 – $3,500||$1,000 – $3,400||$1,600 – $4,000||$4,600 – $10,900|
|Carrier||$2,600 – $4,500||$1,300 – $3,000||$2,100 – $4,600||$6,000 – $12,100|
|Coleman||$1,600 – $3,500||$800 – $1,750||$1,200 – $3,700||$3,600 – $8,950|
|Lennox||$2,500 – $4,800||$2,000 – $5,400||$1,800 – $4,500||$6,300 – $14,700|
|Rheem||$2,100 – $4,200||$800 – $2,350||$1,700 – $3,700||$4,625 – $10,250|
|Trane||$2,400 – $4,700||$1,500 – $3,100||$1,500 – $4,000||$5,400 – $11,800|
HVAC Labor Costs
The total cost of your HVAC system will also depend on installation labor rates. Installation labor costs can range from $1,000 to $2,500 per project, depending on the size and complexity of the system. It is always best to get multiple quotes from contractors before making a final decision.
Some contractors charge by the hour, while others charge a flat rate. Be sure to ask each contractor how they charge so that you can compare apples to apples. On average, expect to pay between $60 and $150 per hour for labor.
A few other services may be required in conjunction with your HVAC system installation, such as HVAC maintenance or repairs, insulation, or weather stripping. These services can add to the overall cost of your project, so be sure to ask each contractor if they offer these services and how much they charge.
It is important to have your HVAC system regularly serviced to ensure that it is running properly. HVAC maintenance typically costs between $85 and $170 per visit, depending on the size and type of system.
There are several things that a technician will do during a regular HVAC maintenance visit, such as:
- Inspect the system for any potential problems
- Clean the system to remove any dirt or debris that could cause issues
- Change the filters to ensure optimal performance
- Test the system to ensure it is running properly
If your HVAC system needs repairs, it is important to have them done as soon as possible to avoid further damage. The cost of HVAC repairs can be as low as $75 or high as $3,000, depending on the severity of the problem.
Some common HVAC repairs include:
- Refrigerant leaks
- Compressor issues
- Ductwork leaks
- Thermostat issues
If your HVAC system is not working properly, it is essential to contact a professional for assistance. A qualified technician can diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.
HVAC Replacement Cost
A replacement may be the best option if your HVAC system is constantly breaking down or needs repairs. Constant repairs can be expensive, and a new system will likely be more reliable.
The cost of HVAC replacement can vary depending on the size of your home, the type of system you need, and the quality of the unit. Expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for a new HVAC system.
It is important to consult with a professional when considering HVAC replacement. They can help you determine if a new system is necessary and help you select the best option for your home.
One way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system is to ensure that your home is properly insulated. Proper insulation will help keep the heat in the winter and the cool air in the summer.
The insulation cost can vary depending on the type of insulation you need and the size of your home. On average, insulation costs between $2,000 and $7,500, including materials and labor.
Another way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system is to install weather stripping around your doors and windows. Weather stripping helps seal off gaps where air can escape, which can help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
The cost of weather stripping is relatively low, and it is a quick and easy way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. On average, the price of weather stripping is between $150 – $500 per project, and it can be installed in just a few minutes.
Cost by Location
The cost of HVAC services can vary depending on the location of your home. If you live in an area with a high cost of living, you can expect to pay more for HVAC services than someone who lives in a less expensive area.
For example, the average cost of HVAC services in New York City falls between $4,000 and $19,000, while the average price in Atlanta is $3,100 to $12,000 in total.
Plus, if you live in an area prone to extreme weather conditions, the cost of HVAC services can be higher. Extreme heat or cold can put a strain on your HVAC system, which can lead to more frequent repairs or replacements.
See sample prices from locations around the US in the table below:
|Location||Average HVAC Installation Cost|
|Florida||$3,500 – 7,000|
|Arizona||$6,200 – $9,500|
|New York City||$4,000 – $19,000|
|Montana||$4,400 – $6,300|
|Washington||$3,500 – $12,000|
|Atlanta||$3,100 – $12,000|
No, you should not attempt to install your own HVAC system. HVAC installation is a complex process that should be handled by a qualified professional. Trying to install your system could result in serious injury or damage to your home.
The main difference between AC and HVAC is that AC refers to air conditioning, which cools the air, while HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Both systems regulate the temperature of the air in your home, but HVAC includes both heating and cooling.
It is typically recommended that you have your HVAC system serviced once a year to ensure it is running properly and to avoid costly repairs.
HVAC replacement can be expensive because it is a complex process requiring a qualified professional’s expertise. In addition, the cost of the unit itself can be high, depending on the size and type of system you need.
There are a few ways to save money on HVAC services. One way is to have your system regularly serviced, as this can help avoid any major repairs that may be needed down the line.
Another way to save money is to be sure your home is properly insulated, as this can help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Finally, you can also install weather stripping around your doors and windows to help seal off any gaps where air might escape.
Some common issues with HVAC systems include poor air circulation, leaking ductwork, and faulty thermostats. These issues can often be resolved with a simple repair, but in some cases, they may require a more extensive fix.
The average lifespan of an HVAC system is 15-20 years. However, this number can vary depending on the type of system and the level of maintenance it receives.
Some signs that your HVAC system may need to be replaced include increased energy bills, strange noises from the unit, and frequent repairs. If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is best to call a professional to assess the situation.
You will most likely need a permit to replace your HVAC system. Check with your local building department to find out the requirements in your area. They may require that you submit plans for the new system, or they may have specific requirements for the installation.
Either way, getting the proper permits before starting any work is essential. Failing to do so could result in a fine or even having to tear down the new system. So, save yourself the hassle and make sure you get the proper permits before starting any work on your HVAC replacement project.
Some things to look for in a new HVAC system include energy efficiency, proper sizing for your home, and a good warranty. You will also want to make sure the system you choose is compatible with any existing ductwork you have in your home.
Yes, rebates and subsidies are often available for energy-efficient HVAC systems. This can help offset the cost of a new system, making it more affordable. You can contact your local utility company to find out if any rebates or subsidies are available in your area.
Installing a new HVAC system can be a significant investment, but it is essential to keep in mind that it can save you money in the long run. Be sure to do your research and choose a system that is right for your home. And don’t forget to take advantage of any rebates or subsidies that may be available to you.
If you have any further questions about HVAC systems or need help choosing the right system for your home, please contact a local HVAC company. They will be able to assess your situation and recommend the best option for you.