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How Much Does It Cost To Install An HVAC System? – Forbes Home

The ideal HVAC system can transform your home into a warm winter haven and a breezy summer hideaway with the press of a button. When it’s time to upgrade your home’s heating and cooling, the price of a new HVAC system runs anywhere from $5,000 to $34,000. The wide price range accounts for some common outliers on both ends—such as the budget-friendly ductless heat pump and the rather complex geothermal heat pump. On average, however, HVAC installation will cost an average of $8,000 between parts and labor.

You have your pick of HVAC styles, however. A trained professional can help you choose the best HVAC system for your home based on its size, your local climate and your budget. Here’s what to keep in mind when calculating HVAC system costs.

Average Cost $8,000
Highest Cost $34,000
Lowest Cost $1,900

What Is an HVAC System?

As the acronym implies, an HVAC system covers all of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning components in your home. If you’re considering updating your HVAC—or if a broken system in the dead of winter leaves you with no choice—you have some decisions to make.

You can heat your home with a furnace or boiler and cool it with an air conditioner. Or, depending on if the local climate allows, you can pull off both tasks with a heat pump. These technologies even combine for great efficiency.

We’ll explain each of these below.


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HVAC System Costs by Type

There are many types of HVAC systems and ways to tailor your design. A split system, for example, separates the heating and cooling elements between the inside and outside of your home. Mini-split systems allow for zoned temperature control without ducts and hybrids combine system styles. Let’s take a look at popular options.

Average Cost $9,600
Highest Cost $13,000
Lowest Cost $6,100

One of the most common examples of a split HVAC system pairs a furnace and a central air conditioner. The prices above combine the cost of a new furnace plus the cost of AC installation.

Choose from an electric, natural gas or oil furnace, for example. Additionally, a split system typically includes ductwork to put the air through your home. Ductwork adds between $10 to $20 per linear foot for material and labor.

Average Cost $10,800
Highest Cost $14,800
Lowest Cost $6,700

While a furnace uses forced hot air to heat your home, a boiler sends heated water or steam through radiators, baseboards or pipes. The size of your boiler, and thus the price, will come down to how many BTUs—or British Thermal Units—you need to heat your home. Colder climates in larger homes will require more BTUs and vice versa.

Similar to furnaces, boilers are either powered by electricity, gas, oil or propane. The HVAC professional will often pair your central AC system with proper ductwork based on your home size and layout.

Average Cost $7,800
Highest Cost $21,000
Lowest Cost $5,100

Older homes and those without the room for ductwork can benefit from the customizable mini-split system. In this particular setup, a traditional furnace heats your home with an indoor unit, often in the basement. The AC, however, splits between a compressor outside the house and a series of indoor units, known as heads, in individual rooms. Spending a bit more on the cost of a mini-split air conditioner allows homeowners to cool off individual zones.

Average Cost $6,000
Highest Cost $8,700
Lowest Cost $3,300

Quickly growing in popularity for its efficiency, a heat pump transfers warm and cool air in and out of your home to balance your indoor temperature.

An outdoor heat pump unit contains a condenser, a compressor and an evaporator with a refrigerant coil. As the air passes over the coil, it moves in or out of an indoor unit. Indoors, an air blower circulates the cooled or heated air appropriately, typically through a ductwork system.

The Department of Energy notes that an average home will use 50% less energy each year on electricity to heat your home.

Average Cost $8,500
Highest Cost $11,000
Lowest Cost $6,000

Cold-climate dwellers can enjoy the perks of a heat pump by installing a dual-fuel hybrid system. A heat pump circulates air in warm and cool times of the year, but the furnace will pop on when the temperatures dip. While some cold-climate heat pumps handle lower temperatures, adding a furnace will offer peace of mind during extreme winters.

Average Cost $4,800
Highest Cost $7,800
Lowest Cost $1,900

Combine the energy efficiency of the heat pump and the customizable ductless design, and you’ll get a mini-split heat pump. While the outdoor heat pump unit stays the same, add multiple indoor air handlers in individual zones of your house. Additional zones will raise the installation and materials price.

Average Cost $24,000
Highest Cost $34,000
Lowest Cost $13,300

Geothermal heat pumps HVAC costs are a bit of an outlier due to the extensive installation. The heat pump design sources its hot and cool temperatures from the surrounding water and soil. A team of professionals must excavate the property to install underground pipes to serve the system. While costly, and highly dependent on your landscape, the Department of Energy also mentions energy savings between 30 and 60%.

HVAC Installation Cost by Size

When you initially estimate the cost of a new HVAC system, the size of your home can help you determine the proper size, and thus the cost, of your system. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as a per-foot-cost price tag.

As we mentioned, HVAC professionals use BTUs to determine the appropriate output of your AC and heating unit. As a very general rule of thumb, you’ll need between 20 and 60 BTUs per square foot, or an average of 40 BTUs to heat and cool your home.

Why the large range? Many factors go into the number of BTUs you need, including:

  • Efficiency rating
  • Regional climate
  • Humidity
  • Insulation
  • Window size
  • Age of your home

HVAC Installation Cost of Parts

The versatility of an HVAC system means that you can build a rather unique HVAC system for your space. Breaking down the cost of the parts of an HVAC, therefore, may give you the clearest picture of the final price.

Air Conditioner

Opt for individual window units, wall-mounted AC models or a central AC condenser and compressor. If you choose central air, an outdoor unit will connect to either ductwork or individual mini-split heads.

Here are some of the common costs of AC installation, including labor:

  • Window AC: $300
  • Wall-mounted AC: $600
  • Mini-split AC: $3,000
  • Central AC: $6,000


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Furnace or Boiler

Boilers and furnaces vary in price based on their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating—or AFUE—rating, their size, connected radiators or ductwork and the cost of labor in your area. Here are the average furnace installation costs and boiler prices to keep in mind.

  • Electric furnace: $4,500
  • Natural gas: $6,900
  • Oil: $8,400
  • Standard boiler: $5,000
  • High-efficiency boiler: $8,000
  • Combination boiler: $9,000

Heat Pump

The fascinating technology of the heat pump keeps homes in temperate regions in balanced comfort. As the cold and warm air dances between the inside and outside of your house, you’ll save money on operational costs despite the heat pump’s comparatively higher installation costs.

And remember, heat pumps come in a range of installation options:

  • Standard heat pump: $6,000
  • Dual-fuel heat pump: $8,500
  • Mini-split heat pump: $4,800
  • Geothermal heat pump: $24,000


Both the cost of ductwork materials and labor will add to your HVAC installation price tag. As a rule of thumb, assume that ductwork will cost between $10 and $20 per linear foot, and you’ll likely need an average of 50 and 200 feet.


The thermostat has a lot of say in how efficiently your HVAC system runs. Today, you have your pick of some of the top smart thermostats that adjust your home’s temperature by the time of day, temperature or humidity. While some HVAC pros will include the cost of a thermostat in the overall price, it will individually cost between $125 and $250.


You may be familiar with the mini humidifiers we run in the winter when we have a cold, but you can also add a whole-house humidifier to your HVAC. On average, expect to pay about $600 for parts and the installation of a whole-house humidifier. Some designs, such as a steam humidifier, can push the cost over $2,000, so speak with your installation team for details.


THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

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Factors That Affect the Cost of HVAC System Installation

Curious about the wide cost ranges in many of our HVAC system examples? Here are the factors that can sway the costs.


Between $500 and $2,500 of the total cost of a new HVAC system goes to the cost of labor. The price will vary depending on your local cost of living, demand for HVAC installers and the price of specialists for digging trenches or working on a historic home.

Type of System

While we covered just several of the most common HVAC systems, it goes without saying that each installation is unique. The type of system you choose will shift the price in either direction. Ductwork, for example, adds to the final cost both due to material and additional labor.

HVAC Efficiency Ratings

Air conditioners and heat pumps measure efficiency in SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratings. Heating units, such as heaters and boilers, use the AFUE rating system, which stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. In both cases, the number measures how much of the fuel converts directly to energy.

You will pay higher rates for heating and cooling units with higher SEER and AFUE numbers, but you may find federal tax incentives for purchasing energy-efficient models.

Extent of Replacement

Most HVACs last between 15 and 25 years. Heating or cooling repairs could do the trick, and save you a lot of money. The standard furnace repair costs an average of $300, for example. The cost of an AC tune-up runs just $120 per unit or between $350 and $750 for large central air systems.

Even if you are starting from scratch, your home’s existing ductwork may be salvageable. The existing ducts, eclectic hookups and structural details of your home will lower the final price.


Your local climate dictates the size, type, and placement of your heating and cooling design. Where you live can alter the price of your HVAC installation due to:

  • Humidity levels
  • Seasonal temperatures
  • Home size in your area
  • Home age in your area
  • State and local rebates for energy efficiency

When to Install a New HVAC System

It is best to start the HVAC installation process in the spring when the weather is generally temperate. At this time, a few days without heat or AC shouldn’t interrupt your daily life. You may also consider replacing your HVAC in the early fall for similar reasons.

Since these are popular times to have an HVAC system installed, try to book with a local team as early as possible to avoid last-minute rates or delays.


THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

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DIY vs.

Hiring a Professional

If you want to save money on labor costs and gain valuable hands-on experience, you may be considering installing an HVAC system yourself. However, the process is complex and requires expertise in electrical work, plumbing, ductwork and adherence to local building codes. Without the necessary skill and knowledge, DIY installation can result in errors that could damage the system or cause safety hazards.

While the initial cost of hiring a professional may be higher than DIY installation, the advantages are worth considering. Professionals bring expertise and specialized tools to the job, ensuring the system is installed correctly and complies with safety standards and local codes. Furthermore, relying on a professional installer ensures that your warranty remains intact, providing peace of mind and potential cost savings in the long run. We strongly recommend hiring a pro here.

How to Save Money on a New HVAC System Installation

A new HVAC installation is a significant investment but one that can save you from the cost of frozen pipes, mold issues from high humidity and, not to mention, a whole lot of discomfort. Still, you can cut costs either during installation or in the long run with a few tricks.

  • Research rebates and tax credits for high-efficiency HVAC systems
  • Consult your homeowner’s insurance plan if the previous system broke down due to a covered incident.
  • Speak with at least three HVAC installation teams to compare design and cost options.
  • Consider a heat pump if you live in a temperate climate.
  • Opt for a ductless mini-split system to lower ductwork installation costs.
  • Invest in a smart thermometer to lower long-term utility costs.

To arrive at the average costs in this article, editorial team members surveyed a range of providers and cost databases on national and local levels. All averaged figures were correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should an HVAC system be replaced?

The average HVAC system will last between 15 and 35 years. You can prolong the life of your system by keeping up with standard HVAC maintenance, such as by regularly changing the filters, monitoring your energy bills and calling an HVAC pro at the first signs of problems.

What is the longest-lasting HVAC system?

Boilers and furnaces tend to last the longest out of the heating options in an HVAC system, up to 35 years when well cared for. Central AC systems come in second by lasting just under 20 years, while heat pumps need replacing every 10 to 15.

How do I know if my HVAC system needs replacing?

If your HVAC system is long past its average longevity and sending up some common red flags, replacement may be more cost-effective than repairs. Signs it’s time to replace your HVAC include unexplained rising utility bills, frequent failures and costly repairs and inconsistent home temperature.

How long does it take to replace an existing HVAC system?

Basic HVAC installation will last between six and 10 hours. Your installation team may extend the project up to several days if you need to install new ductwork or make structural changes to your home.

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What’s the Cost of a New Central Air Conditioner in Arizona?

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If you’re in the market for a new central air conditioner in AZ, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost you when all is said and done.

On average, the price to install a new central AC unit can range from $6,500 to $22,500.

The range varies greatly because there are lots of factors that affect the price. Those factors can be grouped under 3 main components:

  • The contractor you choose
  • Additional materials
  • The AC unit you choose

Let’s take a closer look at each of these 3 components.

AC Contractor / AC Installation

Choosing the right contractor is important because they are responsible for 2 crucial steps:

  1. Performing the initial inspection—During this inspection, your contractor will perform what’s called a “load calculation”. This takes into account various aspects of your home (size, shape, insulation, local climate, etc.) and uses them to determine the size of the AC unit(s) needed.
  2. Installing the AC Unit—The labor required to install your AC accounts for the bulk of the overall price. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much you’ll end up paying for contracted labor because some companies charge per hour and some charge flat rates.


  • Beware of contractors who use the rule of thumb estimates to determine your AC size instead of performing a load calculation.
  • Shop around (but don’t skimp)! Get several quotes for installation prices and inspections and don’t assume the lowest priced contractor is the best option.
  • Choose a contractor that is qualified so that if things go south, you don’t end up having to pay. To play it safe, the company should be licensed, bonded and insured.
  • Beware of contractors that charge hourly. The price they give you is likely just an estimate that may end up costing you much more if they take longer than expected.

Additional materials

These “add-on” prices can include:

  1. Duct installation—Your home’s ducts may need to be replaced or you may need new ones added.
  2. Duct cleaning and sealing—Your home’s ducts may be leaking and dirty. You may choose to have your AC contractor take care of these problems at the same time that they replace your system.
  3. Insulation—Insulation may need to be added to your attic to save you money and keep you cooler.
  4. Adding/moving electrical lines—Your contractor may need to move or upgrade your AC’s electrical lines.
  5. Hi-tech thermostat—A high-tech thermostat can let you do cool things like automatically adjust to save you money or even letting you set it from your smartphone!
  6. Add-on warranty—Your contractor may offer add-on warranties on your new AC system that will cover any unforeseen problems in the future.


  • Look for an AC contractor who does additional work like this (electrical, ductwork) themselves. You’ll likely save money by not having to hire several different contractors.
  • Make sure, no matter what, that you at least have a 10-year warranty on the equipment and labor. Then, if the job wasn’t done right, you aren’t stuck paying for it!

AC Unit


  • Don’t go up a size more than what is calculated for your home. AC sizes are like clothing: the size that works best is the size that truly fits your home’s cooling needs. Getting an AC that’s too big results in high electric costs, poor cooling, and a shortened air conditioner lifespan.
  • Remember that units with a higher SEER will be more expensive but offer more savings in the long run. Related: SEER Savings Calculator Tools: From Beginner to Advanced
  • If your neighbor just had a new AC put in and you decide to compare pricing, don’t get upset if the prices don’t match until you do a little more investigating. Did your quote have all the same bells and whistles as theirs? Same brand? Same size house? Same add-on’s? Etc.

Need help getting started?

If you’re looking for specific pricing on a central air conditioner in Arizona, contact a licensed, bonded and insured contractor like George Brazil Air Conditioning & Heating. Our professional AC techs can guide you through the entire buying process.

Schedule your appointment today for a free quote on your new central air conditioner.

Related Articles

  • How Much Does a Central Air Conditioning Repair Cost in AZ?

TsA2101 digital panel AC ammeter

TsA2101 digital panel AC ammeter is designed to measure effective current values, to enter measurement results into information processing and recording systems, as well as to transmit measurement results via telemechanics channels.
TsA2101 ammeters can be used at industrial enterprises and electric power enterprises (CHP, HPP, SDPP, NPP), in intersystem electrical networks, as well as at enterprises of the electrical industry for completing power equipment (shields, consoles, control panels, etc.)

Devices differ from previously produced analogues by a number of advantages:

  • the ability to measure rms (rms) values ​​of AC signals, regardless of the shape of the waveform;
  • one of the outputs: RS232, RS485 or current output;
  • increased reading range due to the use of bright LED indicators with digits up to 25 mm in size;
  • the presence of a setting block that compares the measured value with the set values, indication of the comparison result, the presence of an output signal of the comparison result;
  • the possibility of switching load circuits based on the results of comparing the measured value with two settings specified within the measurement range.
  • the ability to work with standard measuring current transformers (CT) with an output current of 5 A;
  • the possibility of introducing a scale factor that provides indication of the measurement result in natural units, taking into account the transformation ratio of the external CT;
  • galvanic isolation of input, output circuits and power circuits;
  • increased reliability through the use of more reliable components, as well as by reducing their number, using automated installation and soldering elements.

Each of the devices combines two measuring devices – a converter of the measured parameter into a current or digital signal and a measuring device with digital indication.


Abbreviated device designation

Rated value
measured input

LSB unit price
CA2101 – 001 100 mA 0. 1 mA
CA2101 – 002 50 mA 0.01 mA
CA2101 – 003 10 mA 0.01 mA
CA2101 – 004 1 A 0.001 A
CA2101 – 005 5 A 0.001 A
Measuring ranges

10 mA to 5 A (direct),
505 to 50005 A (via 5A CT)

Accuracy class 0.2

Permissible waveform distortion
measured signal curve

sine wave distortion factor
measured voltage and current up to 30% under
the influence of harmonics from the second to the 13th.

Permissible overloads
on the input channel

– two overloads with a current exceeding 7 times the rated value
, lasting 15 s,
with an interval of 60 s;
– two overloads with a current exceeding 10 times the rated value
, lasting 5 s,
with an interval of 10 s;
– five overloads with a current exceeding 20 times the rated value
, with a duration of 1 s,
with an interval of 300 s.

Display information

– value of the measured value in the form of
4-digit decimal number and a comma;
– sign “~”;
– setting signs “>”, “=” and “<";
– dimension “mA”, “A”, “kA”;

Number of settings 2
Number of switched circuits 2

Parameters of switched circuits:
– maximum voltage of direct or alternating current
– maximum switching current


max. 100 mA

Supply voltage

~ 100 to 220 V 50 Hz or
=” “100 to 300 V

Power input max. 10 VA
Dimensions no more than 160 × 80 × 140 mm

Digit height
indicator device

25 mm
Weight max. 1 kg

Operating conditions of use:
– ambient temperature
– relative humidity

from plus 5 to plus 50 °С;
90% at 25°C.

Order entry example:

TsA2101-ХХХ-Y-ZW, where

XXX – upper measurement limit:
001 – 100 mA; 002 – 50 mA; 003 – 10 mA; 004 – 1 A; 005 – 5A
004 or 005 taking into account the transformation ratio – for measurement with an external current transformer, when ordering, the specific value of the primary current of the external transformer is indicated in brackets after the symbol

Y – the color of the indicators glow: K – red and B – green;
Z – interface: 1 for RS-232, 2 for RS-485;

W – the presence of a converter of the measured voltage value into a unified DC output signal for the conversion range:
– 1 – with output current from 0 to 5 mA;
– 2 – with output current from 4 to 20 mA;
– 3 – with output current from 0 to 20 mA;
– 0 – no current output.

An example of an ammeter recording for measurements using an external current transformer with a primary current value of 2 kA, a secondary current of 5 A, the indicator color is green, RS-485 interface, without current output:
“Ammeter TsA2101 – 005-V-20 2kA) TU 4221-034-71064713-2007

Efficiency of DC systems

In this article we will try to understand what is the efficiency of DC systems. Simply put, efficiency is a measure of how much energy a system does not waste. The more waste, the more efficient. In electrical systems, we measure the power going into the system in watts; unit of measure for completed work. Efficiency is the ratio (Power-In) to power. – (Power-Out) as a percentage. Sometimes the work leaving the system must be converted from some other unit of work back to watts, so when studying efficiency, the equation can be evaluated in similar terms. Efficiency is usually abbreviated as (Eff) or (EF%) or simply (η). Efficiency is paramount.

One watt of energy is delivered to a load when a current of 1 amp (rms or dc) flows through a 1 ohm load for 1 second. DC systems do not have a power factor, which complicates matters. [1]

In direct current (DC) systems: W (W) = Adc × Vdc [1]

If the converter were installed at 40% efficiency, the input current needed to drive the same load would be twice as much, and heat dissipation due to inefficiency would also be worse!

Only DC systems like this one can use this simple math to describe the input power in watts simply as (amps x volts) in every application. In DC systems, power factor (PF) = 1.0. Properly sized inductors and capacitors have little to no effect on efficiency because they “do not respond” to DC input. Later there will be more information about inductors, capacitors and power factor.

One important difference with this DC system is that the focus is not on startup transients, but on steady state where your equipment is running 99.999% of the time.

You may be wondering what happened to the remaining “inefficiency” of 4 watts. The remaining watts, due to inefficiency, were burned in the DC/DC converter as heat. While this modest 4-watt “inefficiency” may not sound like much, it adds up in the equipment room. Perhaps you have hundreds of devices operating in your room with an average efficiency of 62%; it would be a lot of heat to deal with. Perhaps you have a system with a power of several kilowatts with an efficiency of 75%. All those wasted watts increase indoor temperatures and utility bills, adding to the total cost of ownership.