For the whole house, you’ll want a central system that can maintain steady temperatures in multiple rooms. Central AC delivers on power, yet there are many units to select from in the current market. Our buyer’s guide will walk you through the primary considerations such as the appropriate models, installation costs, and other relevant factors to help you make the most informed decision.
In the current market, you can expect to spend between $4,500 and $8,500 for a full installation (replacement) of a central system. The national average cost for a basic installation is just under $6,000. This includes a new central AC outdoor unit and evaporator coil (split system), professional installation, any required building permits, and the workmanship warranty from the installer. It is assumed that most of the required ductwork is already in place.
The numbers provided above translate to a licensed HVAC contractor installing the most feasible central unit for your home. The installer’s expertise draws upon many factors, not the least of which is evaluating your current ductwork strengths and weaknesses, along with how well your home is insulated, and will therefore retain the cool energy in your home.
via US Veterans Home Services Inc.
Did you know? When added to an existing forced-air heating system with the existing ductwork already in place, a new central air unit for a typical 2,000 sq. ft. home will cost between $4,500 and $6,500 to install.
There are plenty of cheap central air conditioners, but there is more to value than low price.
On the other end of the spectrum are high-priced, high-performance ACs with variable capacity cooling and communication technology. They’re not what anyone would call a value choice either.
The sweet spot in the middle is where quality and reasonable cost meet to provide good value for the money. You’ve got a good selection of central air conditioners that are considered an excellent value.
Climate must be considered too, because a value air conditioner in Jackson, Mississippi is not the same as a value AC in Jackson, Minnesota. We’ll explain why.
Furnaces remain the most common way for homeowners in North America to heat their homes. This furnace buying guide has all the research needed to understand your furnace purchase and make a buying decision you’ll be happy with in the next 15-20 years.
The focus is on gas furnaces, since most furnaces are fueled by natural gas (NG) or, with a simple gas valve change, liquid propane (LP). However, for comparison, we also briefly discuss oil furnaces.
New Furnace Cost
On average, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,500 to install a mid-range gas furnace in a typical house.
When efficiency, size and performance are factored into the equation, expect the following unit pricing tears:
Basic: $750 to $1,550
Better: $1,100 to $2,350
Best: $1,850 to $2,900
Furnace installation costs are based on the complexity of the furnace, sheet metal work required to connect it to the ductwork and how difficult it is to access the installation location such as a crawlspace or attic. Expect estimates for the installation work in these ranges:
If you are in an exploratory mode and wondering if a new furnace is the right move, here are the top seven reasons to buy a new furnace:
Repair costs on an existing furnace are 50% or more of the cost of a new furnace (33% for a furnace 12-15 years old; 25% of a furnace that is 15+)
You’re staying put – the longer you plan to live in your current home, the more it makes sense to put the money into new equipment (and conversely, if moving soon, repairing the furnace might make more sense)
It’s a preemptive move – your furnace is running, but you don’t know for how long due to age and/or past repair issues (worth considering where winters are harsh!)
Your gas bills are rising because the furnace is losing efficiency due to age (though you might want to have it cleaned and maintained to see if it significantly improves efficiency before deciding whether to replace it)
You want to improve efficiency
You want to upgrade climate control
You’ve built a home or addition that needs heating
Furnace repair vs. replacement:
Some of you may have heard from an HVAC contractor that it is time for a new furnace, and perhaps you think the contractor is trying to sell you something you might not need.
Skepticism is healthy in the repair vs. replace discussion when it is informed skepticism. Here’s a secret: HVAC contractors often make more money with a both/and approach. Repair it now; replace it later.
Charlie Greer is a seasoned HVAC contractor who owns a website called HVAC Profit Boosters with the motto, “Helping plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractors become millionaires every day.” That tells you whose side he’s on. Speaking to HVAC contractors, Greer says:
Repair vs. Replace scenarios are tricky, because, once you bring up the topic of replacing the customer’s equipment, you stand the risk of the customer deciding to get bids, meaning that you could wind up getting neither the repair nor the replacement sale. In the long run, you make more money when they (homeowners) opt for the repair anyway. You get one repair now, possibly a few more down the road, then a higher price (due to inflation) when they ultimately replace it in the future.
Greer’s advice might be great for HVAC contractors, but not for homeowners. The bottom line is that if an HVAC contractor recommends replacing your furnace rather than repairing it, the person might be giving you sound advice, especially if the rationale involves some of the reasons from the above list.
Pro Tip: Make sure your HVAC contractor pulls a permit to install the new furnace, and that the job is properly inspected following the installation.