How Much Does HVAC System Cost?

Ever wonder what kind of life would it be if technology hasn’t taken over to improve our lives just by keeping our homes and vehicles thermally comfortable for us to enjoy staying there?

Yes, your Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) does all the wonders to keep you warm instead of freezing cold during winter and to keep you from melting during summer months.

If HVAC can be that functional, it must be expensive you might think. Well, it really depends on a lot of factors. So let’s start the ball rolling.


HVAC System Average Cost

The system pricing mainly depends on efficiency, capacity, and brand of the unit that you are looking at.

To give you an idea, see how the features of the unit affect the price below (all starting price):

Ductless type – The advantage of the ductless feature is that you do not have to worry about the cost to get HVAC unit installed with ductwork.

  • Senville Ductless Air Conditioner and Heater – $575.75
  • AirQuest by Carrier Gas Furnace and Air Conditioner System – $6,082.80


Efficiency and capacity – the price increases as the values of the SEER, AFUE and Ton increase.

  • Goodman 13 SEER; 1.5-ton with 80% AFUE – $1,469.95
  • Goodman 18 SEER; 5-ton with 97% AFUE – $5,489.80

Brand – the brand you choose will significantly affect the pricing.

  • AirQuest by Carrier 1.5 Ton 13 SEER 80% AFUE 45,000 BTU – $1,791.85
  • Goodman 1.5 Ton 13 SEER 80% AFUE 60,000 BTU – $1469.95
  • Daikin 3 Ton 13 SEER Light Commercial Packaged Air Conditioner – Three Phase – $2,849.95

On the other hand, installation of a commercial HVAC costs depends on the size and structure of the building, materials needed and labor.


A contractor’s job starts at the system load calculation for the total floor area for a residential building. The calculation that will be provided depends on the size of the house, ductworks, brand of equipment, SEER value and the difficulty of installation.

heating and air conditioning inverters near a condo

A sample range of a residential set up fee in Southern California by All Systems Mechanical (ASM) for a full HVAC installation ranges between $9,200 and $12,300. The cost to install an HVAC with ductwork is worth $2,000 to $3,000 which includes materials and labor fee for 2 days.



A typical HVAC system is composed of a furnace, heat exchanger, evaporated coil, condenser, refrigerant lines, thermostat, ducts, and vents.

In some cases, the components are already combined into either a split system (air handler and condenser) or a single-unit container just like Goodman’s 2 Ton 14 SEER Horizontal Heat Pump Package Unit offered at a retail price of $3,690.00.

This unit works as an air conditioner during summer and works as a heater during winter. This unit is also offered with a 10-year parts warranty and 10-year compressor warranty.

Other manufacturers offer 1-5 years parts warranty and compressor warranty for 5-6 years which definitely cuts the expenses.


Other Costs to Consider

  • Filtration

Consider adding air filtration in order to avoid dust from residing in the wet coils and ducts that may further affect the efficiency of the unit.

  • Zoning System

Zoning system helps you control the temperature at certain areas in your house. Implementing a zoning system in your house helps save energy and eventually, cut down on utility bills.


  • Humidity Control

If you are located in the humid parts of the country, adding a humidifier to your HVAC is an option. Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier, which features automatic control and covers 4,200 square foot, is available on Amazon for a warranty of 5 years.

HVAC System

HVAC System Cost Factors

Consider the following factors before deciding on which HVAC unit to buy:



The rating for SEER ranges from 10 to 20 wherein the higher the value, the more efficient the unit functions.

Furnace efficiency is measured in annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). This measures how efficient the furnace is converting the fuel into energy. An 80% AFUE means that 80% is being used up in the house while the remaining 20% is lost. The higher the values are, the higher the price will be.


HVAC price also varies depending on the ability of the unit to cool down or heat up the air in the house. A unit’s capability is measured in tonnage. A ton can cool down 12,000 pounds of water by one degree Fahrenheit per hour, also referred to as BTU (British Thermal Unit).


This means that the bigger the house, more tonnage is required which is an expected increase in the money you’d need to spend.


There are quite a number of HVAC brands across the country like Goodman, Bryant, Carrier, and Honeywell. Yes, the brand matter but how you maintain the unit matters just as much.

Additional factors to consider when installing via a contractor are the following:

Size of your house


How big or small your residence is will affect the overall cost of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system fitting as the contractor would determine the exact specifications of the machine to be used in order for the machine to be effective and regulate the temperature for the entire house.


Two houses with the same size can have different cost when installing HVAC. Some of the reasons are the difficulty accessing parts of the house like the attic, if there need to be custom fabricated parts, or if one has blown-in insulation.


The place where you reside would also play a part as it would normally affect the labor rate, the cost of installation which a contractor would charge that is affected by the cost of living and cost of doing business, the permits and inspection fees prevailing in a particular state or county, etc.


Choice of contractor

You’ll definitely get varying quotations when inquiring from a lot of contractors which normally are due to the scope of work, materials to be used during installation, and the experience and expertise of the contractor.

air conditioning system on the building roof top

Buying Tips

You may purchase the air conditioning unit from dealers nearest your location to save on delivery costs. You may also visit the homepage of these manufacturing companies and they will re-direct you to their authorized dealers depending on your location.


Contractors also provide preferred brands and dealers. They will provide you options on which would best suit the structure of your house as part of the contracting deal.

Note that nothing beats a consumer who does his homework.

Just as you invest in the air conditioning system, do the same with the contractor that you hire. Energy Star, a government organization, provides these helpful guidelines in hiring a reliable contractor.


What Else You Need to Know

If you feel that you are not the type of person who has enough knowledge in the purchase and the installation process, it is highly recommended to consult a contractor you trust. A miscalculated installation may either damage your equipment and your home or cost you more if the installation gets messed up.

It is important to hire licensed contractors by checking the Contractors State License Board of your state.

To maximize the lifespan, ensure that not only the equipment is of the most excellent quality but also the people you hire to make it happen.


A renowned home improvement expert with almost 20 years of experience in building and repairing beautiful homes in the USA. He's a civil engineer by profession.

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