A new HVAC system is not a trivial investment. We asked an HVAC pro to fill us in on likely costs and how to tell if a system needs replacement.
The HVAC system is crucial for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the year. However, due to the high cost of replacement, numerous homeowners postpone its maintenance longer than necessary.
Making that decision is usually being frugal in the short term yet extravagant in the long term. First, homeowners will end up shelling out more funds for repairs compared to the cost of replacing the item. Second, they’ll also be squandering money on ineffective heating and cooling.
Tim David, the CEO of Airlucent.com and an HVAC pro with more than 25 years of experience, says upgraded energy efficiency requirements from the Department of Energy are making new HVAC systems more expensive. “Consumers … should expect slightly higher costs for equipment, but better efficiency on their energy bills,” he says.
Despite this, replacing an HVAC system frequently proves to be a better financial decision than repairing an obsolete one. It’s akin to expending a sizable sum to maintain a 20-year-old automobile running as opposed to purchasing a contemporary, fuel-efficient model.
Several factors contribute to the cost of installing a new HVAC system, but HomeAdvisor estimates the average price to be $7,000 nationally. To determine your expenses for a new HVAC system, consider the following tips.
Factors That Determine the Cost of HVAC System Replacement
The cost of replacing a HVAC system varies based on geographic location and whether a furnace or heat pump is installed. The price range for replacement can be between $3,000 and $10,000. David estimates that a new electric furnace installation costs approximately $3,000, and a new heat pump installation ranges from $5,000 to $8,000.
David explains that taking advantage of the current subsidies for improving your home’s energy efficiency can result in a write-off of up to $2,000. Moreover, you could also receive an additional $1,200 write-off if you choose to upgrade your insulation or windows.
Please take note that the $2,000 grant is exclusively for heat pumps, reflecting the federal government’s effort to encourage the adoption of electric home heating systems.
The cost of replacing your gas furnace will vary between $3,800 and $10,000, with the possibility of a slightly higher cost if you choose a high-efficiency model, depending on whether gas is still the best option for your home. However, if you use oil to heat your home, furnace replacement will cost between $6,750 and $10,000. The prices are determined by:
- The brand of equipment;
- The size of your home’
- Your climate zone;
- The local cost of labor.
Signs That It’s Time for a New HVAC System
According to David, if you have to call an HVAC technician annually for three consecutive years and your system is at least 15 years old, then it’s time for a replacement.
If either of the conditions are present, it means that the system is not functioning at its optimal efficiency and is causing energy and monetary waste. Moreover, David suggests that if the cost of a single repair is close to 50% of the cost of a new system, it is better to replace the system altogether.
David suggests that there is probably a significant issue at hand, and if you merely replace a portion of it, you may cause undue strain on other outdated components that remain unchanged.
Determining HVAC Installation Costs
Calculating the exact cost of an HVAC replacement is difficult as it hinges on the dimensions of your house and the equipment you opt for. Incompatible equipment can lead to overexertion or overpowering, resulting in a shorter lifespan for the machine. One way to begin the process is to have a knowledgeable HVAC technician evaluate your home’s heating and cooling requirements. HomeGuide suggests that the cost of calling an HVAC technician ranges from $75 to $200 (CAD 100 and CAD 270).
According to Forbes, the price range for a new air conditioning system or gas furnace is between $5,000 (CAD 6,800) and $10,000 (CAD 13,500). The pricing difference is typically attributed to the level of power and efficiency. While high-efficiency units tend to cost more initially, they have lower operating costs in the long run. Additionally, bigger homes require more heating or cooling power, and more powerful units are situated towards the higher end of the price spectrum.
When installing or replacing your home systems, it is important to factor in labor expenses. On average, labor costs can range from $75 to $150 (CAD 100 to CAD 200) per hour, amounting to an average total of $1,000 to $3,000 (CAD 1,350 to CAD 4,000). If your situation involves a more complicated procedure, such as installing ductwork for central heating and cooling, the expenses will be higher.
Additionally, the project timeline will be extended by this supplementary task. Typically, a proficient company can execute furnace or AC replacement within 24 hours. However, if additional ductwork or other modifications are required, your residence could be inaccessible for up to seven days.
How to Find the Right Professional
Extensive training is necessary for HVAC installation and maintenance. Thus, it is not advisable to attempt this project if you lack expertise as an HVAC technician. Consequently, you need to search for a reliable HVAC professional.
Aside from the expense, there are simple methods to locate the suitable company for the task. Any individual who possesses a dwelling has some type of household relaxation equipment. You may converse with those in your vicinity concerning their encounters with regional experts. Nowadays, various online outlets provide evaluations as well.
Working with someone who is fully licensed, bonded, and insured is essential when it comes to your home. It is also important to consider the HVAC professional’s experience, which is usually indicated on their website by the number of years they have been in business.
Obtaining a minimum of three cost estimates from various HVAC businesses in your locality will ensure that you obtain the most favorable pricing. This method will guarantee that you receive the best value for your money.
It’s important to seek out a company that provides excellent customer service. It would be optimal if the company responsible for installing your home systems is also the one overseeing their upkeep. In the event that the company has been unresponsive or impolite when answering your inquiries, you may want to reconsider entrusting your home to their care.