How Much Does It Cost to Install or Replace an HVAC System?

The cost to replace an HVAC system averages $7,000, with a typical range of $5,000 to $10,000. This translates into $25 to $60 per square foot of coverage, depending on the brand and size. For a new installation, you can expect to pay $1,500 to $12,500.

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost to Replace HVAC

July 12, 2021

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Home Building & Remodeling Expert.
Written by HomeAdvisor.

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  • Repair an AC Unit
    National Average $383
    Typical Range $166 - $599
    Low End - High End $75 - $2,000
  • Repair a Furnace
    National Average $304
    Typical Range $131 - $478
    Low End - High End $64 - $1,164
  • Install an AC Unit
    National Average $5,659
    Typical Range $3,835 - $7,528
    Low End - High End $1,600 - $11,000

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Heating & Cooling
Repair an AC Unit
(53,165 projects)
$383 Average National Cost
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Repair a Furnace
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$304 Average National Cost
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$5,659 Average National Cost
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Clean Ducts & Vents
(19,415 projects)
$375 Average National Cost
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$252 Average National Cost
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$4,527 Average National Cost
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$246 Average National Cost
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$540 Average National Cost
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$526 Average National Cost
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$1,706 Average National Cost
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(4,391 projects)
$392 Average National Cost
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$5,696 Average National Cost
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Repair or Maintain a Heat Pump
(3,642 projects)
$374 Average National Cost
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(3,296 projects)
$1,188 Average National Cost
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(2,627 projects)
$595 Average National Cost
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$1,287 Average National Cost
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$175 Average National Cost
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$24,528 Average National Cost
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(1,470 projects)
$5,831 Average National Cost
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(1,426 projects)
$294 Average National Cost
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Repair a Ceiling Fan
(1,398 projects)
$139 Average National Cost
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Repair a Swamp Cooler
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$189 Average National Cost
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Install a Window Air Conditioner
(943 projects)
$290 Average National Cost
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$2,397 Average National Cost
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$5,598 Average National Cost
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Install a Humidifier
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$562 Average National Cost
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$354 Average National Cost
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(675 projects)
$208 Average National Cost
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(611 projects)
$263 Average National Cost
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(535 projects)
$228 Average National Cost
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(479 projects)
$2,513 Average National Cost
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(459 projects)
$708 Average National Cost
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(357 projects)
$2,159 Average National Cost
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(339 projects)
$2,129 Average National Cost
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(281 projects)
$791 Average National Cost
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Repair an Electric Baseboard or Wall Heater
(265 projects)
$285 Average National Cost
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Repair a Humidifier
(243 projects)
$241 Average National Cost
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Install an Electric Furnace
(231 projects)
$4,060 Average National Cost
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Repair a Refrigeration System
(205 projects)
$259 Average National Cost
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(187 projects)
$10,530 Average National Cost
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Repair a Geothermal Heating or Cooling System
(186 projects)
$609 Average National Cost
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$3,882 Average National Cost
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Heating and cooling are two of the most important aspects of your home comfort. When your HVAC system isn’t working, it’s one of the first things you’ll notice. Make sure you understand all the details involved in this project before you start shopping and keep these cost considerations in mind.

Average HVAC Replacement Cost

Average Cost$7,000
High Cost$10,000
Low Cost$5,000

Full HVAC Replacement Cost

A full HVAC replacement costs $5,000 to $10,000. The price includes the new unit, installation, removal and disposal.

Your estimate depends on the type you have right now, as well as the size of the system you want to buy. It may cost less than a completely new installation.

TypeCost
AC$3,800 - $7,500
Furnace$2,600 - $6,300
Heat Pump$4,100 - $7,200
Boiler$3,500 - $7,700
Ductwork$500 - $2,000

AC Replacement Cost

The cost to install central air ranges from $3,800 to $7,500, not including ductwork. The price depends on the size of the unit and whether the technician needs to perform any repairs to your existing system.

AC Unit Prices
2-ton$1,500 - $3,000
3-ton$2,000 - $4,000
4-ton$2,500 - $6,000
5-ton$3,000 - $8,000

Furnace Replacement Cost

HVAC repair specialists charge $50 to $150 per hour

Replacing a furnace costs $2,700 to $6,400. You’ll pay more for high-efficiency models or if your ductwork needs repair.

Heat Pump Replacement Cost

Heat pump installation prices range from $4,200 to $7,300. This system runs similarly to an air conditioning unit, but it tends to be larger and slightly more expensive.

Boiler Replacement Cost

The cost to install or replace a boiler is $3,700 to $8,200. Your estimate depends on the BTUs and the type of system.

HVAC Duct Replacement Cost

HVAC duct replacement costs $500 to $2,000. If you only need to repair a section of your existing system, you can plan to pay about $10 to $20 per linear foot.

New HVAC System Cost

New HVAC costs $1,500 to $12,500. You’ll pay less for single units or one designed to cool a smaller area.

New HVAC Unit Cost

New HVAC unit prices range from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the size and brand. An air conditioner costs $1,500 to $8,000, while a new furnace runs $1,000 to $4,000.

BrandPrice Range
Amana/Goodman$1,500 - $4,000
American Standard$2,500 - $5,000
Bryant$1,500 - $4,500
Carrier$2,500 - $6,000
Coleman$1,000 - $5,000
Lennox$2,000 - $5,000
Magic Pak$3,500 - $6,000
Mitsubishi$2,000 - $7,000
Trane$2,000 - $10,000
Rheem$1,500 - $5,000
York$5,000 - $10,000

HVAC System Cost Per Square Foot

The cost for a new HVAC system runs $25 to $60 per square foot of coverage. This range includes central air and a furnace. You’ll pay on the lower end if you only need to install one, or if you’re buying a heat pump.

Square FeetPrice
1,000$3,000 - $6,000
1,500$4,000 - $7,000
2,000$5,000 - $9,000
2,500$6,000 - $10,000
3,000$7,000 - $12,000

Most HVAC units measure output in BTUs. You’ll need 20 to 60 BTUs per square foot, depending on the system and where you live. Someone who lives in Phoenix needs more BTUs for cooling, while a homeowner in Minneapolis might need more BTUs for heating. A professional installer can help you choose the correct size for your space.

In the USA, BTUs are used for both heating and cooling, but there is another measure that helps homeowners understand efficiency: SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and was defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. The SEER number shows how much energy and money that your AC unit will use in a year.

Ductless Mini-Split HVAC Cost

The cost to install a ductless mini-split AC ranges from $2,000 to $14,500. The price depends on the size of the system and how many air handlers you need. Most houses have 4 to 8 air handlers. It’s ideal for buildings without ductwork, or anyone who wants to set specific temperature zones.

This system relies on one exterior unit, which is typically an air conditioner or heat pump. It uses a thin conduit to cycle refrigerant to a series of air handlers located throughout the house. The heat exchange happens in each room, which means there’s no ductwork.

High-Velocity HVAC System Cost

A high-velocity HVAC system costs $3,000 to $7,000. It circulates air through ductwork that is about 2 inches in diameter, which makes it ideal for retrofits or installation in tight spaces.

The air handler runs much faster than other forced-air heating and cooling systems. This speeds up the process, but also creates more noise.

This system is easier to install in older or historic homes, with smaller vents in each room. If you want modern HVAC but you’d hate to cut into those architectural ceilings, it might be a great alternative to the standard.

Other Heating & Cooling Systems

If you want a different type of heating or cooling system, you can expect to pay $400 to $13,000. Price varies depending on the quality, style and size. If you have a tight budget, think of going smaller and upgrading over time.

TypeCost
Geothermal$3,700 - $17,000
Attic Fan$400 - $900
Baseboard Heaters$450 - $1,200
Radiant Heating$1,800 - $6,000

Geothermal Heating & Cooling

The price to install a geothermal heating or cooling system ranges from $3,700 to $17,000. This depends on the size of the system and how complicated it is to place underground.

As an eco-friendly HVAC choice, this system uses a heat pump to move warmth inside or outside. With a range of 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, ground temperatures can be much cooler or warmer than the air outside. That makes a geothermal setup more effective and efficient than one that an air-source model.

Attic Fans

Installing attic fans or vents costs $400 to $900. The price relates to the type of fan and its location.

Attic fans reduce the amount of heat that rises to the roof. They’re ideal for homeowners who want to cut down on their air conditioning use in the summer. They also help to manage humidity and eliminate moisture above your ceiling.

Electric Baseboard Heaters

The cost to install an electric baseboard or wall heater ranges from $450 to $1,200. The total depends mostly on the number of units you need.

These are an affordable alternative to a whole-house heater if you don't want to install ducts and vents. They're also great for small apartments or condos if you need to warm one or two rooms.

Radiant Heating

Radiant floor heating costs $1,800 to $6,000, depending on the type of system and whether or not you have to remove existing flooring.

Although it’s not a traditional HVAC method, radiant heating is great for regions with mild winters. It’s ideal for chilly nights where you don't want to walk across cold floors in your kitchen or bathroom.

HVAC Installation Cost

HVAC installation prices include $500 to $2,500 for labor. The total depends on the type and the state of your existing system. It usually costs more to retrofit central air or forced-air heating into a home than to replace a current one.

HVAC Installation Cost Breakdown
Labor$500 - $2,500
Materials$1,000 - $10,000
Total$1,500 - 12,500

Cost to Install HVAC System with Ductwork

The cost to install an HVAC system with ductwork ranges from $5,000 to $12,500. You’ll pay more if you’re getting a separate furnace and air conditioner.

Installing a new system may take several days, compared to a few hours for replacement. Putting in new ducts and vents takes most of that time, since it may require cutting into walls.

Adding HVAC to a House

Adding HVAC to a house costs $1,500 to $12,500, depending on what you need. For example, you’ll pay less to add central air to a home that already has a furnace and ductwork.

If you don’t have ducts, it may be worthwhile to consider a ductless mini-split or high-velocity HVAC system. These options cost more for replacement, but the total may run less than a new installation with ductwork.

Commercial HVAC Installation Cost

Commercial HVAC installation costs range from $7,000 to $30,000, depending on the system and size. The higher price relates mostly to a larger output needed for a bigger building.

Cost to Add Zones to HVAC

Adding zones to existing HVAC costs $2,000 to $3,000. If you want to install a new system, you can expect to pay $7,500 to $12,500.

Zoned systems use a special thermostat to check various parts of your house. Dampers in the ducting open and close, so the airflow goes directly to the rooms that need heating or cooling.

Cost Factors for Choosing or Installing an HVAC System

Certain factors can add up to $2,000 or more to your HVAC installation price. Keep these aspects in mind as you plan.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient HVAC systems cost 10 to 20 percent more than standard models. You can find these products by looking for the Energy Star rating.

To earn an Energy Star rating, a product or system must meet certain efficiency standards. Manufacturers earn this designation through testing by an EPA-approved third party.

Rebates

Rebates can help you save up to $3,000 on the purchase and installation of a new HVAC system. Your options depend on the year and the type of system.

Rebates usually save the most on larger, expensive systems like a geothermal heat pump. This is because they can decrease your energy consumption by 50 to 75 percent.

Keep in mind that rebates and tax credits may expire yearly. You’ll usually need a dated receipt to qualify. Be sure to confirm that it’s still available before you buy.

SEER Rating

Units with a high SEER rating may cost $1,000 to $2,000 more than average. Comparing ratings helps you choose an air conditioner or heat pump that meets your needs.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) tells you how much energy the unit uses in relation to cooling load. Since this also depends on your home and where you live, it isn’t an exact prediction of system efficiency.

Unit Size

The size of the unit is the biggest determiner of price. For example, a 5-ton AC costs $3,000 to $8,000, compared to $1,500 to $3,000 for a 2-ton model.

For HVAC, size doesn’t usually refer to actual dimensions. It means output or capacity, typically set by tons or BTUs.

Bigger is not necessarily better, and smaller isn't always more efficient. If your system is too small, it will run constantly to keep up with the temperature. Units that are too large won't run long enough to control the humidity.

Roof-Mounted

Roof-mounted HVAC costs up to $1,000 more for labor. These systems are harder to install because pros must find a spot that will support the weight. They also have to use more equipment to lift the unit.

Roof-mounted systems offer heating and cooling in one unit. They can be a great choice for properties with limited ground space. Some municipalities require owners to construct a parapet wall to shield the HVAC system from public viewing—ask your HVAC pro if installing a roof-mounted system.

Insulation

The cost to insulate a house ranges from $1,000 to $2,100. Proper insulation can decrease your heating and cooling costs by 10 to 15 percent.

Insulation isn’t usually a part of your HVAC system installation. You may want to consider it if:

  • You live in an older house.
  • Your attic is stiflingly hot in summer.
  • You have cold or drafty rooms in winter.

Thermostat

Installing a thermostat costs $125 to $275, depending on the type. Most HVAC technicians will include one with the purchase of a new AC, furnace or heat pump. Plan to pay up to $100 extra for smart models or those that connect to your Wi-Fi.

Programmable thermostats are more efficient than manual thermostats. You create settings to adjust the temperature automatically at certain times.

Additional Considerations

You may need to consider these added cost factors:

  • Multi-stage Operation: Increases energy efficiency by adjusting speed.
  • Filtration Systems: Removes dust and allergens more effectively.
  • Humidity Control: Regulates moisture in very dry or very humid regions.

FAQs

How do I buy an HVAC unit?

Most homeowners buy an HVAC unit from a qualified installer. In some cases, you may be able to buy equipment directly from the manufacturer or a wholesaler.

What is the cheapest HVAC system?

The cheapest HVAC system is a window AC. Installing a window air conditioner costs $150 to $500.

How long does an HVAC system last?

HVAC systems typically last 10 to 20 years. They may run longer than that, but they lose efficiency.

Can you install your own HVAC system?

Since HVAC equipment is heavy and tricky to install, it’s not a DIY job. Improper placement can cost you up to $1,000 in repairs. When you search for HVAC contractors near you, remember to get at least three quotes.

Why is HVAC so expensive?

HVAC involves large, complicated pieces of equipment that can take several hours for a professional to install. In exchange, you get effective heating and cooling for 10 years or more.