How much does HVAC service cost?

With summers getting hotter and hotter, the necessity for a fully functional HVAC system continues to grow. However, many homeowners neglect the necessity of their systems regular maintenance and check-ups that results in more frequent need for a complete replacement of the whole system and not its parts. Professional HVAC experts report that on average the system requires major attention after about 25 years but today this number has dropped to 18-20 years. Don’t disregard the necessity of the expert help and find a reliable HVAC contractor for your home.

Here you will learn about:

HVAC services stand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance service. Contractors who perform such duties can choose and install a completely new ventilation system, clean the old furnace as well as create a whole-house air conditioning system. These are professionals in a very wide range of services related to the HVAC home systems.

Average HVAC services cost

The average HVAC services cost is $2,700-$3,400; however, the final number on your bill heavily depends on the amount of work required to fix your problem or install a new system, on the project size, as well as on the units and materials used during the performance of the service.

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Cost-related questions

What are the costs of the most common HVAC units?

  • Central a/c installation
  • $3,300-$6,000 is the average total cost of a/v installation. The price depends on the a/c unit size, compressor performance, and SEER number.

  • Heat pump installation>
  • The cost of heat pump installation is heavily dependable upon the pump type (half-ton or one-ton). A half-ton unit is generally more efficient than the one-ton unit and so its price is usually higher. You can expect to pay $2,300- $6,300 for such an HVAC service.

  • Air handler installation
  • Air handlers are designed to support heat pumps and ACs that are rarely used. They consist of a blower and often the indoor coil. The average cost of an air handler installation is about $2,200-$3,000. The unit’s airflow capacity and the inclusion of a variable-speed blower can significantly alter the cost.

  • Gas furnace installation
  • Gas furnaces are a perfect affordable solution for homes located in cold climates. The common cost of these units ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 in total. Make sure that in the case of gas furnaces you don’t purchase a number of additional and in fact useless features that will get your furnace cost closer to the higher end.

  • Oil furnace installation
  • Unless you already have an oil furnace, experts don’t advise purchasing one due to the high risks and vast maintenance costs. The average installation, however, costs $3,500-$5,400 in total.

  • Electric furnace installation
  • Most often these units are advised for houses in warm climates since they are effective only if the heat is rarely needed and not in large amounts. Installation costs around $2,000-$2,700, which is a relatively low investment, yet it’s essential to cooperate with expert HVAC services since wrongful installation will lead to a non-working unit.

  • Thermostat installation

Thermostat replacement and installation costs are very close in numbers since replacement and even repair of this unit usually involves removal of the old unit and installation of a new one with the same wiring. Thermostat installation cost begins at $50 and raises as high as $600 for a WiFi, full-color unit.

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What HVAC system features affect the cost?

  • Air purifiers differ a lot on their functions and price. The most advanced options cost about $3,000 while the basic UV germicidal light units get as low as $500.
  • HRV/ERV ventilators allow for air exchange inside of the house. Heat recovery ventilators (HRV) are used in cold climates while energy recovery ventilators (ERV) are perfect for warm climates. The average cost of these units falls between $2,000 and $5,000.
  • Humidifiers/dehumidifiers are required to work with moisture. Basements usually need dehumidifiers while living rooms are more often supplied with a humidifier. Humidifiers are much cheaper than dehumidifiers. The former cost about $350-$800 with installation while the latter range from $1,250 to $2,000 and even more.

What other factors may increase HVAC services cost?

  • Brand
  • While there is no significant difference among the brands, each has occupied its niche (whether an elite product or a mass market). And for this reason brands like Trane and Lennox cost the most.

  • Grade
  • Almost all brands have different products on offer: from the affordable ones to the highly expensive ones. Depending on the class of the unit you choose, you may pay a different price for the same functionality.

  • Size
  • Unit size is one of the main cost-influencing factors. The size is based on the product’s capacity and efficiency. So generally the bigger the size is, the more you will be paying.

  • Job complexity
  • Job complexity can significantly increase the standard price of the service. The final bill may be increased even by 50%. For instance, if you need to install a furnace in a walkout basement you will pay $1,400 while for an attic or crawlspace installation the cost will be about $2,100.

  • Home location
  • Small town prices are significantly lower than in the metro areas along the coasts. And this is related both to the initial cost of the units as well as labor charges.

  • Ductwork condition

If you need to install any of the HVAC elements in a home with old and shabby ductwork that requires replacement or major maintenance, be ready that you will pay between $1,000 and $5,000 for the new ducts.

What is fair and unfair profit?

The markup equals 35%-60% in the HVAC industry. But these are numbers common for the reliable and reputable contractors. Of course, you won’t know what the added percentage is but you should be ready that during the high season you will be overpaying for the service.

For example, usually the company charges $7,000 for gas furnace replacement; this price consists of $4,200 for the materials and new unit and an added up a fair profit of $2,450 (35%). However, in the high season the added up profit may reach 70%-100% of the price and in this case, you will be paying $8,400. This markup is called unfair since you can receive the same service at significantly lower rates.

This means that if you would like to save on your HVAC services, call for the contractors before the high season and ensure that you choose the lowest season for them (spring or late autumn).

How to hire a reliable HVAC contractor

  1. Self-study. Before you call an HVAC contractor, ensure that you know what you need. For instance, learn if you have an uneven cooling problem and whether you need to replace ductwork. This additional information will help you not overpaying for the service you don’t need.
  2. Get recommendations. Ask everyone you know for a reliable tip of an HVAC expert. Don’t forget to verify the probable candidates via reading reviews and opinions about them on various web listings and forums.
  3. Check the license. Always ensure that the contract you are hiring is licensed and certified to perform all the services. Most states require HVAC companies to be licensed by the state Board of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors. Besides that, your city may require them to also obtain a Mechanical Administrator license. Sometimes they will also need to be active in the state Registrar of Contractors. Always verify license information required by your state and city. This is the only way to get a qualified expert in your home
  4. Insurance. Liability insurance and workers’ insurance are must-haves in the HVAC business. The former guarantees that if something goes wrong and your home is damaged, you will be refunded for it. The latter ensures that the workers present in your home are covered and that you will not be responsible for any injuries that might happen.
  5. Contract. At all times you must have a contract with the contractor’s signature and the description of the whole project scope. The contract is the only legal document that legitimizes any work done on your property and helps you keep track of all the work.

Other frequently asked questions

What is the average life expectancy of an HVAC system?

The life expectancy of an HVAC system heavily depends on the frequency of the maintenance, parts quality, and your climate. However, on average, experts report 25 years as the usual efficiency of the systems.

How often should I replace the filter?

The rule of the thumb is to check your filters monthly and replace them every 30-45 days. However, if you are living in a big city where the quality of air is low or there is a lot of sand in the air, then you should consider more often filters exchange.

Is a bigger HVAC system better?

No. Bigger than you need units will require more energy without offering any perks. Smaller systems won’t be efficient enough and so won’t heat or you’re your home. Choosing a unit designed specifically for your home ensures that you receive even home heating and cooling without overpaying.

Bottom line

HVAC services include a wide variety of air conditioning, heating, and ventilation related services. They can install a furnace and even replace the whole-house ductwork. The average HVAC services cost is $2,700-$3,400 while smaller projects may cost as little as $1,900.

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