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Heating and air conditioning equipment is a big expense. You want your HVAC to last as long as possible, but eventually you discover you probably need new heating and cooling equipment. If your system is getting older and more expensive to repair, you might be thinking it’s time for some brand-new units.

Some triggers that show it may be time to replace are:

  1. If your energy bills are consistently higher than normal (and it’s not just due to your supplier’s price hikes)
  2. If your unit is R22 and consistently needed refrigerant refills
  3. If your unit needs a very expensive repair
  4. If your unit is 10+ years old and not working well

When you do decide upon HVAC replacement, one of the main questions you want answered is “How much does HVAC replacement cost?”

We will go through lots of types of HVAC systems and factors that affect the cost to get replacement HVAC installed in your home.

Different Types of HVAC Systems

First, what type of HVAC system you want has a large effect on how much it may cost.

  • Mini Split Heat Pump – this type of heating and AC is ductless. It can be installed anywhere in the home or even in a detached building. It is ultra-efficient and requires a smaller indoor and outdoor unit. You can also have numerous indoor zones per outdoor unit.
  • Air Conditioner – an air conditioner, or condenser, is installed outside of the home and works by removing heat and humidity from indoor air and pushing it outside. An AC uses gas as its power source.
  • Heat Pump – a heat pump is similar to an air conditioner in that it is installed outside of your home and has a matching indoor unit. It also looks almost identical. Unlike an air conditioner, though, a heat pump can both heat and cool and is powered by electricity instead of gas.
  • Gas Furnace – as the name suggests, a gas furnace runs on natural gas which ignites in the furnace to warm up the air inside your home and delivers this warm air through the ductwork.
  • Electric Furnace – an electric furnace is very similar to its gas counterpart in design but uses electric as its power source.
  • Boiler – this type of HVAC works by heating up water and providing hot water or steam for heating. They do not cool.
  • Geothermal – this type of heating and cooling system is installed underground and uses the earth’s temperature plus various sets of pipes to heat and cool your home. The upfront installation is very labor intensive.

Typical HVAC Replacement Costs By Type

Considerations for HVAC Replacement Cost

Depending upon the type of unit you decide on, additional factors will also influence the price for replacement.

  • Ductwork – if you are replacing your system with traditional HVAC equipment then the proper ductwork will need to either already exist in the home or will need to be installed. If ductwork needs to be installed, then this will increase the cost greatly.
  • Efficiency – Most HVAC systems have efficiency ratings. For a furnace this is measured by something called and AFUE and for an AC or heat pump it is measured by SEER rating. In both instances a higher number means a more efficient unit. The higher in efficiency you go, the greater the cost of the unit initially. On the flip side, though, you will save on monthly operating costs.
  • Size –The size heating and cooling system you need will depend on the square footage of your home and also the layout of your home. The larger the size you need, the more expensive the HVAC replacement cost will be. However, it is important to properly size the system. Otherwise, you will be wasting loads of dollars on operating costs in order to be comfortable.

Should I replace furnace and AC at the same time?

If both your furnace and air conditioner are on the older side and either of the units needs replaced, it makes sense to go ahead and replace both together. It is likely if one has failed due to older age that the other is not far behind. Other than being more convenient, this will also save you in labor costs since your HVAC team will only have to come out to your home once to install instead of twice.

How often should HVAC systems be replaced?

Furnaces, air conditioning units and heat pumps typically need replaced every 10-12 years. A mini split heat pump can last 10-30 years. You can expect a boiler to have a lifespan of about 15 years. A geothermal system has the most longevity and lasts up to 25-30 years for the heat pump itself and up to 50 years for the underground infrastructure.


Most reputable HVAC companies offer financing options for your HVAC replacement. Quality Comfort has many options available to Cincinnati homeowners so they can keep their comfort within their budget. Estimates are always free.