Improved indoor air quality, optimal temperature, and overall better comfortability—these are some of the benefits of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
It's no wonder why many homeowners want to save up for their own HVAC system. Unfortunately, HVAC units are costly. The pandemic didn't help either, as it only increased the price due to the scarcity of raw materials, but an HVAC unit is a worthwhile investment nonetheless. With that said, here's how much you should expect to spend on an HVAC system.
Average Cost Of HVAC System In 2022
The cost of an HVAC system ranges from USD$5,000 to USD$10,000. Therefore, you should expect to spend around USD$7,000 for a new HVAC unit. As always, there are outliers to these figures, as some HVAC units cost as low as USD$1,000 or as high as USD$20,000.
The numbers vary vastly because several factors affect the costs. These include the unit's type, size, energy efficiency, and add-ons. If you want to get your money’s worth, you must know how each factor contributes to the system's cost.
Take a look at how an HVAC system's type affects its overall cost.
HVAC System Costs: By Type
There are generally four types of HVAC systems on the market:
1. Split System: A split system consists of a heating and cooling unit. Each unit has separate locations, hence the name. The AC is often found outside the home while the heat pump is in the basement. It's reasonably easy to set up, but not recommend doing it by yourself. You should hire someone who takes a split system installation course with a license to do so.. You just have to buy a heating and cooling unit separately and place them in the appropriate locations. For instance, you can get an air conditioner from a reputable brand like Airforce Aircon and a heater from a different brand.
The cost is just the sum of the price of the two different units. An air conditioner costs USD$4,500 on average, and heat pumps cost USD$6,000, with a total of USD$10,500.
2. Hybrid Split System: This type is similar to split systems in that it has a heating and cooling unit separate from each other. The main difference is that it can use gas and electricity as fuel. It typically involves a combination of a gas furnace and an electric heat pump.
This type of HVAC system has roughly the same cost split systems. A gas furnace costs USD$3,000, and an electric heat pump costs USD$6,000, with a total of USD$9,000.
3. Duct-Free System: This system provides cooling and heating throughout the house by connecting each room to the central unit using ducts. A duct-free system requires no ducts, thus the name, but you need to place one unit in each room.
You can control each unit independently since they're not connected through ducts. The duct-free system is the most expensive type of HVAC system, as you have to purchase several units rather than only one, the central unit. A single mini-HVAC unit costs USD$2,000. Assuming there are six rooms that require one unit, you'll have to spend around USD$12,000 or more.
4. Packaged System: A package system combines cooling and heating into one unit. It's designed for homes with not much space. It's not as efficient as the split system and requires frequent maintenance, but it's the cheapest, with an average cost of USD$4,000.
To summarize, packaged systems are the cheapest. Hybrid split systems are in second place, split systems in third, and duct-free systems are the most expensive type of HVAC systems.
Choose depending on what you think is the most suitable for your home
HVAC System Costs: Size
Size affects the cost and efficiency of an HVAC system. As with any other product, the size is often proportional to the price. If it's too small, it may overwork itself constantly, leading to a shorter lifespan and higher energy bills. If it's too big, you've wasted your money on something you don't need. Either way, you'll be wasting your money. That's why you must ensure the size is just right. It's best to consult an HVAC expert for this particular area.
HVAC System Costs: Energy Efficiency
Every HVAC system has a rating called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER in short.
Most systems have a rating of 14 to 21 SEER, though there are outliers. A high SEER means the HVAC system requires less energy to operate, but those units are usually more expensive.
In that case, you must decide on a SEER rating that you think is sufficient but not excessive for your heating and cooling needs. For your reference, an 18 SEER unit may cost USD$2,000 more than a 14 SEER unit. 14 is the bare minimum, but it's best to stick with 16 SEER units.
HVAC System Costs: Accessories/Add-Ons
Naturally, you'd have to spend more money if you wish to get a few extra accessories as an add-on to the central unit. Add-ons are usually situational, meaning they're only ever practical under certain circumstances. For example, you'll only need to add more ductwork if you want to cover the heating and cooling needs of an additional room. Ductwork costs USD$10 per linear foot.
You can also install a thermostat, which costs USD$200 depending on the type. Make sure you only install accessories that you think will be absolutely necessary for your house.
Just because you're on a tight budget doesn't mean you have to settle for a low-quality HVAC system. If you have sufficient knowledge about HVAC systems and their costs, you can make the most value out of your money. That applies even if you have money to splurge on an HVAC system.
However, getting the highest quality unit doesn't necessarily mean you'll get what you pay for. Sometimes, it can be excessive, but with this guide, you’ve got nothing to worry about.