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HVAC Cost Estimator – How Much Does It Cost to Install or Replace an HVAC Unit in 2024?

$4,800 – $11,300 cost to replace an HVAC system

$7,200 – $16,500 cost to install an HVAC system

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Written by:


Dale Irvine


Reviewed By:

MyHomeQuote editorial team

A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is an essential home element responsible for a comfortable environment, clean air, and adequate humidity. HVAC keeps your premise warm on the coldest winter days and cool when it’s scorching sun outside while circulating fresh air through your home and preventing pollutants from settling. Modern systems are smart and energy efficient, meaning they can maintain desired conditions using less energy. If you are about to sell your property in the future, a well-maintained HVAC system can substantially add value due to the comfort it provides.

Most units are meant to serve for 10-15 years with adequate upkeep. As HVAC units get closer to the end of their service life, they become less efficient. Sometimes, the cost to replace an HVAC unit with a new one appears more reasonable than investing in repairs. For example, the latter does not make sense if they take up to 30% of the overall cost of a new unit. Getting a modern, energy-efficient system will bring you rewards in enhanced comfort, fresher air, and lower utility bills.

This article will help you make the most out of an HVAC installation cost calculator by delving deeper into an HVAC system’s price formation process, including the role of house size, ductwork, system type, and more. It’s aimed at removing the stress of installing or replacing a unit in your house. Once you understand possible project expenses, you won’t be afraid to make a mistake or go beyond the budget.

New HVAC System Cost Calculator

Whether you are constructing a new building or are up to your eyes in extensive home renovations, you can seize this chance to make your home more comfortable all year round. If you have an inefficient ductless HVAC system or don’t have any at all, consider installing a central air alternative. How much is a new HVAC system with ductwork? The average cost range is between $7,200 and $16,500, whereas the unit alone can set you back $4,000 to $8,100. Hence, you can spend from $3,200 to $8,400 in labor (ductwork included).

The price of installing an HVAC system with ductwork

National average cost $4,000 - $8,100
Low-end cost $3,200 - $8,400
High-end cost $7,200 - $16,500

Factors Affecting a New HVAC System Cost

When breaking down the average cost of installing a new HVAC system, it is essential to enumerate the factors affecting it. There is no one-size-fits-all estimation formula, as each particular situation is unique and requires an individual approach. Below, you will find the list of the cost-affecting factors you need to consider when calculating your spending on the new system.

HVAC Location and Accessibility

You will have to spend more on labor if your HVAC system needs to be installed in difficult-to-reach areas like the attic or basement. All HVAC systems that must be placed in hard-to-reach areas require higher replacement costs. The same goes for older homes, as ductwork modification is a must here.


One of the biggest determiners of the HVAC system cost is its size. The higher the BTU of the AC unit or furnace, the higher the bill you will pay for their installation. For instance, a 3-ton AC costs around $3,000, while a 5-ton one costs $5,000. The size of your HVAC system should correlate with the size of your house. Bigger is not always better. That is why don’t hurry up to invest in a heating or cooling unit of higher capacity if the area of your premise does not require it.

HVAC Brand

It’s a rule of thumb that high-end brands sell their heating and cooling equipment at much higher costs than mid-range companies that have recently begun their path in the HVAC market. However, not only does the unit cost higher if you deal with lauded brands, but its installation and maintenance also require more investment.

SEER Rating

When using the HVAC cost calculator, it’s necessary to consider the seasonal energy efficiency rating. It is the ratio that is used to measure a system’s energy efficiency. The higher the SEER, the more money you will save on utility in the long run. HVAC units with a higher SEER rating may cost up to $2,000 more than average options.

Investing in the unit with the highest seasonal energy efficiency ratio makes financial sense if you live in a region with extreme climate conditions. For instance, Texans and Floridians can cut energy costs while maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature during heat waves.

Home Size, Age, and Construction

To get the most precise results when utilizing an HVAC pricing calculator, make allowance for your house dimensions. The overall square footage of your home determines the size of the required HVAC unit. If your 2- or 3-story home has more than 3.000 square footage, you may need a few heating and cooling systems to cover it. The home’s construction also impacts the choice of HVAC system. High-capacity units are more commonly installed in poor insulated or old houses. Newly-built homes are cooled and heated quickly. That means a ductless mini-split HVAC unit might be enough to install in them. Other criteria affecting the choice of a heating and cooling system’s capacity include basement, roof, attic, and foundation insulation.


It is an essential part of the HVAC system that transports heated or cooled air through the home. The ramifications of the system, its size, material, and accessibility can affect the overall HVAC replacement cost. You will also be charged extra to have the ducts encased and hidden.

Fuel Type

The cost of the heat pumps and furnaces drastically vary depending on the fuel type needed for their work. Electric-powered options are more affordable than those that require oil and gas. See the table below to find out how heating unit installation costs vary depending on the fuel source.

The price of replacing an HVAC system by fuel type

Fuel Type Average cost
Electricity $2,000 - $5,000
Oil $2,500 - $6,500
LPG $3,000 - $7,000
Kerosene $2,000 - $3,500
Wood & coal $2,600 - $5,300


Most local governments around the country require homeowners to get a permit before installing or replacing an HVAC system. Contractors should work following the set building norms to ensure the system is up to code. Paying the fees for getting permits is on you. They depend on the size and capacity of a new HVAC unit and may range from $100 to $450.

Old HVAC Equipment Removal

The answer to “How much does it cost to replace an HVAC system?” hinges also on whether add-on services are required. For instance, you may need to remove old HVAC equipment. Depending on local disposal and freon removal fees, this service will cost you $250 on average. Electrical, plumbing, or framing works will also cost you extra.

HVAC Installation Cost Estimator by House Size

The size of your house is one of the main determinants of the cost of HVAC system installation. First off, it directly influences the capacity of the unit needed. As a rule of thumb, larger houses require more powerful – and often more expensive – systems to cool or heat the entire space effectively. While small buildings can be okay with a ductless mini-split option, their oversized counterparts may only require a central air system. 

What’s more, the amount of ductwork needed can also increase with the size of the house, inevitably increasing labor costs. It is not to mention that three-square-foot homes may also call for additional components, like multiple thermostats or zoning systems, to maintain uniform temperatures throughout. For 1.000 sq. ft houses, the new HVAC system costs between $2,900 and $6,100, while you may shell out between $5,800 and $12,300 for twice as big ones.

The price of replacing an HVAC system by house size

Size (sq. ft.) Average cost
1.000 $2,900 - $6,100
1.200 $3,500 - $7,300
1.600 $4,900 - $9,700
2.000 $5,800 - $12,300
2.500 $7,600 - $15,100
3.000 $9,200 - $17,800

Residential HVAC Installation Cost by BTU

BTU stands for the measure of thermal or heat energy. Hence, if you want your house to be cooled or heated properly, whatever weather dominates in your region, you need an HVAC system with an adequate BTU rating. Please note that larger, more powerful units usually have higher HVAC replacement costs. Furthermore, they can be more expensive to operate as well. Hence, it is essential to choose the HVAC unit wisely to balance the upfront installation cost and long-term energy expenditure.

The price of replacing an HVAC system by house size

1.5 tons
2 tons
2.5 tons
3 tons
3.5 tons
4 tons
5 tons
Average cost per unit
$900 - $3,700
$1,100 - $3,900
$1,400 - $4,600
$1,600 - $5,100
$1,800 - $5,300
$2,000 - $5,700
$2,500 - $6,200

HVAC Replacement Cost Estimator

If your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system fails, the time is ripe to replace it. It’s especially true for units that are not long for this world. Whether it’s a scorching sun outside or a bitter cold, you may want to get your HVAC unit replaced as quickly as possible. With pre-installed ductwork, the average cost to replace an HVAC system lands between $4,800 and $11,300, with most homeowners spending $8,000. The minimal expenditure can be about $2,400, while the maximal one is $19,000. Please note that these numbers only apply to cases where the ductwork is in excellent condition.

The price of replacing an HVAC system

National average cost $8,000
Low-end cost $2,400
High-end cost $19,000
Average cost range $4,800 - $11,300

The Cost to Replace an HVAC System by Individual Components

An HVAC system consists of multiple components which may start malfunctioning over time. As they all have their peculiarities and price tags, you need to learn more about them before using a new HVAC cost calculator. Let’s take a closer look at high-priority elements and discover how much they can set you back.

If you have rooms with different temperature requirements around the house, the HVAC installation project can be defined as a sophisticated one. Consequently, the overall cost can be sky-high because multiple types of conditioning may be applied. It’s recommended to discuss your wishes at the initial stage to ensure the chosen contractor can get things done to the highest standard and on time.

Central AC

Most homes are equipped with central cooling systems. They work by extracting air from within the house and compressing it into gas within an external condensing unit. This gas passes through coils, converting into a hot liquid, which then makes its way to the evaporator coils. Once the hot liquid is converted back into a cool gas through evaporation, it is distributed around the house via the duct system. A central AC can cost you from $3,400 to $6,700.

Ductless Mini-Split AC

For a small apartment or a guest house, ductless mini-split AC can be just the ticket. It consists of indoor and outdoor units interlinked via tubes, allowing the refrigerant to circulate differently based on the specific usage type. Typically, its cost is determined by BTU size and SEER rating, to name a few. You can spend from $1,800 to $4,700 per unit installed.

Window AC

Like central AC, these units draw in outdoor air, cool it, and distribute it into the space via built-in fans. However, they are less powerful (and smaller) than their counterparts, meaning installing a unit in a room with a maximum of 1.500 square feet is better. The cost can fall between $260 and $800.


Large appliances that generate heat through burning coal, wood, gas, or other fuel types are called furnaces. They’re equipped with a blower to distribute heated air into different home areas, maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature in cold months. A new furnace can cost from $3,000 to $9,500, depending on its fuel type, energy efficiency, and sophistication of the equipment.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are installed outside and work by pulling heat or cold from the outdoor air and transferring it indoors at the required temperature. Such a unit maintains a comfortable temperature inside the home all year round and can be used as a stand-alone heating and cooling system if you live in a climate with mild winters. The cost ranges from $3,900 to $8,000, depending on whether you select an air-source, ductless mini-split, dual-fuel, or gas-fired one.


A boiler’s primary working principle is converting water into steam using heat energy. It produces hot water for different purposes, including heating appliances and water supply. It can be powered by fuel or electricity. The last option is more common for boilers of a small capacity. There are three primary boiler types - water, steam, and combi. They differ by working principle, functionality, capacity, and cost. The latter ranges from $1,600 to $11,000.

Baseboard Heater

Baseboard heaters utilize convection to heat the room, drawing in cold air from the floor and discharging warm air from the top. They provide a quiet and efficient heat source compared to other heating systems. You can employ such a unit as supplemental heat in colder rooms or spaces. The cost is between $320 and $1,200, based on the installed system type – electric or hydronic.

Radiant Floor Heating System

Radiant floor heating systems distribute heat directly from the floor using electricity or warm water tubes installed under the flooring. These systems provide consistent, even warmth, eliminating cold spots synonymous with forced air systems. They operate noiselessly and reduce the circulation of allergens, as there is no need for blowing hot air. However, the installation involves significant labor and costs $1,550 to $6,400.

Whole-House Fan

It is an efficient cooling solution that primarily cools homes by pulling outside air through open windows and expelling hot air through attic vents. These fans are majorly energy-saving as they consume less power than air conditioners. However, their effectiveness depends on the outdoor temperature and requires strategic window placement. The cost lands between $700 and $2,500.

The price of replacing an HVAC system by components

Components Average cost
Central AC $3,400 - $6,700
Ductless mini-split AC $1,800 - $4,700
Window AC $260 - $800
Furnace $3,000 - $9,500
Heat pump $3,900 - $8,000
Boiler $1,600 - $11,000
Baseboard heater $320 - $1,200
Radiant floor heating system $1,550 - $6,400
Whole-house fan $700 - $2,500

HVAC Cost Calculator by Unit Combinations

The budget needed to replace an HVAC unit depends on its type, size, cooling capacity, seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and add-ons like air purifying and humidification systems. On top of that, additional spending can involve installing or replacing ductwork, drains, and control wiring. It may happen that no HVAC system meets your needs completely. What can you do? Consider some popular combinations like those mentioned below.

Heat Pump + Air Handler System

This variation of an HVAC system saves a lot of money on electricity, keeping an optimal temperature in the home regardless of the season. With this system, you don’t need to worry about the uniformity of your home’s cooling and heating. An air handler equipped with a blower fan ensures even circulation of air through the whole premise. The average cost of an air source heat pump and an indoor air handler ranges from $4,000 to $5,700. The more handler units are required for your home, the higher the overall installation cost.

Electric Furnace + AC System

Furnaces that work on electricity rather than fuel are good for mild southern climates where the temperature never drops below zero. A system consisting of an electric furnace for heating and an electric unit for cooling requires ductwork to push heated or cooled air throughout the home. These systems may vary in efficiency (from 13 to 19 SEER) and capacity (1.5 to 5 tons), which affects their final installation quote. Adding a furnace and AC replacement to the cost calculator, you can see that the price varies from $2,200 to $4,500.

Furnace + Split AC System

This HVAC system is made of both an outdoor and indoor unit. An outdoor cabinet is equipped with a compressor to generate cool air and a contender to generate heated air. An indoor cabinet, in its turn, comes with an evaporator coil for heating and an air handler for cooling. Indoor and outdoor units are connected by a line set that ensures cold air is transported to the home. Depending on the capacity and SEER level of the system, its cost may range from $2,400 to $4,300 without labor.

Boiler + AC System

This combined system has a boiler component that makes it stand out in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning market. A boiler connects radiators and pipes through the house to distribute heated water. An air conditioning system can accompany it to cover both the home’s cooling and heating needs. You can select three AC options to install with a boiler – ductless mini-split systems, window units, and ducted air conditioning systems. The national cost of HVAC replacement that is charged for installing a merged system of boiler and an AC system ranges from $2,500 to $3,700.

The price of replacing an HVAC system by unit combinations

Unit combinations Average cost
Heat pump + air handler system $4,000 - $5,700
Electric furnace + AC system $2,200 - $4,500
Furnace + split AC system $2,400 - $4,300
Boiler + AC system $2,500 - $3,700


How Much Does It Cost to Install an HVAC System with Ductwork?

The installation cost of an HVAC system with ductwork can vary greatly, but typically it falls in the range of $7,000 to $17,000. The price can fluctuate based on factors such as the size of your home, the type of system you opt for, and the complexity of the ductwork installation.

What Is the Cost of a Residential HVAC System for New Construction?

Homeowners can expect to pay somewhere between $2,000 to $5,000 for a new HVAC unit. Additional costs for ductwork and installation can add $3,000 to $10,000, based on the size and design of the home. Keep in mind that larger, more energy-efficient systems might be more expensive upfront but can potentially save money in the long run thanks to lower energy bills.

How Often Is It Recommended to Replace an HVAC System?

Most specialists recommended to replace an HVAC system after 15 to 20 years. However, if you regularly service and maintain the system, its lifespan can increase. But frequent repairs and rising energy bills make for telltale signs that it might be time for an earlier replacement.

How Much Does a New HVAC System Cost?

Your expenses on a new HVAC system can vary greatly, typically ranging from $2,400 to $7,500. This cost fluctuates based on the type of system, the brand, the size of your home, and the state where you live. Installation charges are also an additional expense to consider.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an HVAC System?

The cost of replacement can land between $5,000 and $12,000. This includes the cost of the unit itself as well as professional installation. You should pay heed to factors influencing the price, like SEER rating, your house size, and the complexity of the installation process.

How Much Does It Cost to Add Zones to an HVAC System?

The cost of adding zones can vary, but on average, it ranges from $2,000 to $4,500 per zone. This includes the cost of dampers, a zoning panel, and thermostats. For a more precise HVAC cost estimate, turn to MyHomeQuote.


A wide range of sources contribute to the information provided in our cost guides, from real-time contractor estimates to published cost studies and specialized websites.

Refer to our Methodology and Sources for more in-depth information.