Here's the Average Cost for a New Heating and Cooling System

Your house is your castle, and there are certain things you want to take care of so that it can serve you for years to come. Your heating and cooling system is one of those elements that require regular maintenance, but even with the best care, there will come a time when you need a new HVAC unit. While most people don’t want to think about replacing an HVAC system until their heating system and central air conditioner until it breaks down, you’ll be in a much better position if you replace your existing system before your air conditioner, heat pump, geothermal heat pump, electric furnace, or other HVAC systems fail for good. 

A new HVAC system can be an expensive purchase, as the average HVAC replacement cost requires a sizeable budget. The actual cost to replace HVAC systems differs depending on several factors. New HVAC system cost is largely dependent on the chosen HVAC unit, the size HVAC system in British thermal units, energy efficiency SEER rating for air handlers and AFUE for furnaces, ductwork installation needs, and other accessories installed, such as a zoning system.

When you consider that a new HVAC installation can help you save money on heating and cooling costs over the years and is an investment in your home’s comfort, the new heating and cooling system's average cost doesn’t seem so bad. Williams Comfort Air’s team of HVAC contractors helps homeowners throughout the Indianapolis area get the new HVAC system that is right for their needs. Our team performs quality HVAC system installation for any heating system or air conditioning unit. Below, we discuss average HVAC installation cost and HVAC replacement cost, and you can call our team anytime to request a quote for new heating system and cooling system HVAC installation costs in your home. 

Types of HVAC Systems

When you need to replace your heating or cooling system, there are several types of HVAC units to consider and different types of HVAC systems. A split system is a popular residential HVAC unit option, which has an outdoor cabinet (the AC unit or heat pump) that is connected by copper refrigerant lines to indoor cabinet air handlers that contain an evaporator coil and air blower fan for heat pump or air conditioning only systems, or a furnace for a forced air heating system. A packaged HVAC system is a new HVAC system option where all the components are contained in one outdoor unit, rather than being divided into two parts with a split system.

Your HVAC equipment options include:

  • A furnace provides heat by creating heat through combustion in the heat exchanger. The heat warms the air, and the HVAC unit blows air through air ducts which carry the hot air throughout your home. Choose an electric furnace or gas furnace, depending on the fuel source available in your home – you can replace the furnace with the same equipment type as your existing system or switch to another fuel source with lower HVAC costs to save money.

  • Air conditioners are split-system cooling systems. An air conditioner cools your home by circulating warm house air over the evaporator coil which contains refrigerant. The refrigerant extracts heat from the hot air and blows cooler air back into your house through ductwork.

  • Heat pump cooling units operate similarly to a central air conditioner when providing air conditioning for a home. While most HVAC systems serve one purpose, either heating or cooling, heat pumps can be reversed to provide heating in the home during the winter months.

  • A geothermal heat pump is a type of heating and cooling system that operates similarly to a conventional heat pump. The main difference is that the geothermal heat pump uses natural energy found below ground as a source of heat for transfer, as well as a place to deposit waste heat when operating in air conditioning mode.

  • Ductless HVAC systems act as cooling systems, but may also be configured to function as the home’s heating system, too. Indoor air handlers connect to the outdoor heat pump or air conditioner. Each air handler delivers hot air or cold air directly into the space based on the individual area’s needs, without ducts. These HVAC systems are effectively creating a zoning system for heating and cooling.

  • A boiler is a type of heating system that typically is not a forced air system. The boiler heats water in either a hot water or steam system. This heat travels through pipes and radiators installed in the home to provide radiant heating in each area.

Factors Affecting HVAC System Cost

Average HVAC replacement cost totals in the thousands of dollars. HVAC replacement costs vary widely due to a number of different factors. To learn accurate HVAC system costs for the cost to install HVAC system heating or AC unit equipment in your home, ask an HVAC professional to give you a quote for new HVAC system costs.

Type of HVAC Unit

The type of HVAC unit you choose will affect the HVAC system cost.

  • Electric furnaces are usually more affordable than gas HVAC units, but using gas for heating can help you save money ongoing.

  • A heat pump is usually more expensive than an air conditioner but can be used in place of a heating or cooling system, so the cost to install a heat pump may be less than HVAC installation for a furnace and air conditioner.

  • A geothermal heat pump system has high HVAC installation costs due to the expense of the ground loop unit.

  • Ductless HVAC systems also have a higher cost to install than a conventional central air conditioner or furnace HVAC units but may be a more affordable option if ductwork installation is needed for a traditional HVAC system.

  • Average HVAC replacement cost for the entire HVAC system will be higher than just replacing one component of a split system.

Size of HVAC Units

The size of your HVAC system is determined by the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) it can produce per hour. One BTU is equal to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

For HVAC units, size isn’t determined per square foot of the home – it actually has very little to do with the square foot area of your house, though square foot area is one part of the equation. A load calculation will determine the home’s heating or cooling load, which is the amount of heat that must be added or removed from the space to keep it at a comfortable temperature.

It is important that your HVAC contractor do a load calculation for your home before any HVAC installations occur. HVAC companies use something called Manual J to determine heating or cooling load and the size of the new system. Always have an HVAC professional do these calculations because incorrect sizing as you replace HVAC system units can lead to reduced efficiency, more breakdowns, and unnecessary expense.

Energy Efficiency

When choosing which type of HVAC equipment to buy, consider how much energy it uses to do the job. The energy efficiency measurement for a heat pump or air conditioner is known as its SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), while the heating efficiency of heat pumps is HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) for furnaces. A higher-efficiency HVAC unit usually has a higher HVAC installation cost than an AC unit or furnace with a lower efficiency rating.

Fuel Type

The type of heating fuel available in your area will help determine which furnace is right for you. Most furnaces run on natural gas or electricity, but some homeowners may have access to propane and heat pumps as well. Many homeowners choose HVAC unit replacement with the same type of furnace as the existing HVAC system, but it may be possible to switch. Talk with several local contractors about the types available in your area and their pros and cons so that you’re able to make a more informed decision. Converting to a different fuel source can add costs when you replace an HVAC system.

Should Indoor and Outdoor HVAC Units be Replaced at the Same Time?

It may be more economical to replace only the furnace or AC unit due to the replacement cost of the equipment. When replacing just one of these systems, however, the new system will only be as good as the older. Newer HVAC systems typically have much better energy-saving technology, which you won’t get the full benefit from when you replace an HVAC system indoors but not outdoors, and vice versa.

When you replace an HVAC system and install new indoor and outdoor at once to replace the entire system, this creates what is known as a matched system. An HVAC system that is carefully matched on both ends tends to offer better energy efficiency and performance than an unmatched HVAC system with an old furnace or AC unit. In addition to creating an ideal indoor climate for the home’s occupants, this can help reduce energy costs by keeping utility expenses low.

For many homeowners looking toward HVAC unit replacement, replacing both units together saves time and money in multiple ways. When you replace HVAC system units at the same time, it negates the need for multiple appointments with an HVAC contractor (and helps avoid potential scheduling conflicts). It can also eliminate additional labor costs associated with installing just part of an HVAC system.

Average Cost for HVAC Unit Replacement in Indiana

If you need a new HVAC unit, you may worry that the HVAC installation cost is out of reach. Williams Comfort Air helps homeowners determine the cost to replace an old HVAC installation by providing estimates covering the total HVAC installation cost for HVAC unit replacement. Learn the HVAC system costs for your HVAC unit replacement project when you call us today!

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