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Overview: A typical full system HVAC replacement can range between $6,500-$15,000. Costs vary widely depending on various factors including the efficiency, type and size of the system you choose.

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:

  • If your energy bills are consistently higher than normal (and it’s not just due to your supplier’s price hikes) 

As HVAC systems age, they tend to become less energy-efficient. If you notice a significant increase in your energy bills without any other explanation, it may be due to an inefficient HVAC system that requires replacement.

  • If your unit is consistently needing refrigerant refills

Frequent leaks can be a sign of underlying problems. Since the use of certain refrigerants, such as R-22 (Freon), is being phased out due to environmental concerns, it may be necessary to replace the unit if repairs or recharging is needed.

  • If your unit needs expensive or frequent repair

If you find yourself frequently calling for repairs and experiencing recurring issues with your HVAC system, it may be more cost-effective to replace it rather than continuing to invest in repairs.

  • If your unit is 10+ years old and not working well

HVAC systems have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. If your unit is nearing or surpassing this age range, it may be more prone to breakdowns and less energy-efficient, making replacement a viable option.

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.
  • System Type – he type of HVAC system you choose will impact the cost. Common types include central air conditioning and heating systems, heat pumps, ductless mini-split systems, and geothermal systems. Each type has its own installation requirements and associated costs.
  • Local Labor and Material Costs – The cost of HVAC replacement can vary based on your location. Labor rates and material costs can differ from one area to another, affecting the overall price.
  • Additional Modifications – If your new HVAC system requires additional modifications, such as electrical work, zoning, structural changes, or upgrading the thermostat, these factors can increase the cost.
  • Warranty – Some HVAC systems come with longer warranties or service contracts, which can impact the price. These factors may provide added peace of mind but can also contribute to the overall cost.

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.

Financing for HVAC Replacement

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.

Tax Credits to Reduce HVAC Replacement Cost

Many times there are federal tax credits available for certain types of heating and cooling replacements. You can submit these tax credits when you file your regular tax forms each year.