Category Archives: HVAC

Central Heating and Cooling Prices 2018 – HVAC Installation Costs

The cost of a new heating and air conditioning system varies widely. This guide covers all the details including Low, High and Average costs, plus important details about installation and accessories.

For an installed central heating and cooling system, you can expect to pay about $3,400 on the low end and more than $14,000 for premium equipment and installation.

That said, most homeowners spend between $6,500 and $8,700 for a standard system that includes either a central air conditioner and furnace combination or a heat pump and air handler.

Let’s dig into the numbers. The first table covers complete systems. Tables below provide more cost detail and comparison to other heating and air conditioning options.

Standard Split Heating and Air Conditioning System Installation Costs:
Low end Average
High end
$3,400 to $5,300 $6,500 to $8,700 $10,300 to $14,600
The above costs include system components, refrigerant line set and refrigerant, plenum, if needed, new thermostat and miscellaneous installation supplies.

The cost of equipment, liability insurance, workman’s compensation insurance and travel, contractor’s overhead expenses, plus fair profit are included.

Central heating and cooling cost table

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2018 Ductless Heating & Cooling Cost: Mini-Split Prices, Pros & Cons

The limits are off for ductless heating and cooling systems, as double-digit growth in installations for six years running demonstrates.

ductless mini-split heating and cooling system

Mini split HVAC systems are no longer just for additions, rooms far from central heating that are too hot or too cold or locations where installing or extending ductwork is impossible.

New technology and competitive costs are behind the growing number of applications including new construction.

This comprehensive ductless heating and cooling guide covers costs, system types, options, features, efficiency, pros and cons and more.

Did you Know?

Ductless mini split outdoor units are now being produced for cold climates. For example, the Fujitsu Halcyon XLTH Extra Low Temp system is an impressive 33 SEER ductless system that provides heating in temperatures as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trane’s low-temperature 4MXW38 system offers 38 SEER/15 HSPF efficiency and 100% heating performance to -20F.

Haier America, Samsung, Friedrich and several other brands have introduced cold climate ductless heat pumps. A base pan heater in these outdoor units allows condensate to drain without freezing.

How Much Does It Cost?

Mini split heat pump cost is higher than costs for standard split systems but significantly less than geothermal system costs.

Small, single-zone systems with installation start as low as $1,800. Large, complex systems installed cost as much as $12,500. Here’s average installed costs for three system sizes. There’s more detail in various sections below.

  • Single zone systems: 1 indoor unit (6,000-36,000 BTU): $1,800 to $6,500
  • Average multi-zone systems: 2-4 indoor units (18,000-36,000 BTU total): $5,600-$9,500
  • Large multi-zone systems: 4+ indoor units (up to 60,000 BTU total): $8,250-$14,500

Here’s a quick breakdown of mini split HVAC costs for equipment and installation:

  • Outdoor unit cost: $900 to $5,500 (9K to 60K BTU)
  • Indoor unit cost: $195 to $2,000 (6K to 36K BTU)
  • Accessory package: $225-$1,750
  • Ductless HVAC system installation labor cost: $700 to $4,000

The accessory package may include a line set, drain tubing, wiring, thermostat, remote control, additional refrigerant when indoor units are distant from the outdoor unit, condensate pan heater for cold climates and other equipment required for installation.

Did you Know?

Knowing the technical terms will assist you when researching your options, shopping and discussing the project with an installer. In technical terms, outdoor units are also called condensers.

A condenser contains the compressor that circulates refrigerant and the condensing coil that disperses heat during an AC mode and collects heat in heating mode.

Indoor units are also called air handlers and evaporators, and there are several types (explained in the section of Indoor Unit Types below).

Pro Tip:

You’ll spend less on equipment and installation when you choose one large outdoor unit that supports multiple indoor zones rather than several separate single-zone ductless systems. In a multi-zone system, the climate of each room or zone can be independently controlled for customized comfort.

Mini Split System Cost Factors

Ductless mini split system costs vary widely based on:

  • Whether it is AC-only ($-$$$) or a heat pump ($$-$$$)
  • Cost rises as energy efficiency goes up.
  • Cost rises with the size of the outdoor unit, though again, one outdoor unit costs less than two outdoor units with the same cumulative capacity (1-48,000 BTU unit vs. 2-24,000 BTU units, for example).
  • The number, capacity and type of indoor units (single zone vs. multi-zone)
  • Indoor units with variable-speed fans for better climate control cost 15% to 25% more.
  • The complexity of the installation

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Heat Pump Prices 2018: Air Source Heat Pump Installation Costs

The Ultimate Guide to Air Source Heat Pumps for Homes

Air Sources Heat pumps (ASHPs) are rapidly gaining market share because of their proven efficiency advantage over gas and oil furnaces. Modern high-efficiency air-source heat pump can deliver up to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes. — This is possible because a heat pump absorbs and moves heat (both heating and cooling are delivered via forced air distribution) rather than converting it from a fuel like combustion heating systems do.

Trane 14 SEER Package Heat Pump Installed by American Cooling And Heating

This air exchange heat pump buying guide will help you decide whether a heat pump is the right heating and cooling option for your home. Let’s start with the bottom line: Heat pump prices and the cost of installation.

How Much Does a New Heat Pump Cost?

Heat pump split systems include a heat pump and an air handler or gas furnace and evaporator coil. Here are your potential equipment and installation costs:

Heat pump only: Here are the three cost tiers based on efficiency and performance, factors explored in detail below:

  • Basic heat pumps: $1,200-$2,100
  • Better heat pumps: $1,850-$2,900
  • Best heat pumps: $2,750-$4,200

Air handler costs: Split system heat pumps are usually paired with an air handler, but many work with a gas furnace, too. Here are air handler costs in two basic grades:

  • Basic air handlers and coil: $550-$975
  • Better air handlers and coil: $800-$1,750

Heat pump installation costs:

Your total cost installed will depend on the size of the unit, since the larger it is, the more refrigerant is needed, the complexity of the installation and whether an air handler is being installed too.

  • Heat pump installation, no air handler: $1,200-$1,700
  • Heat pump and air handler installation: $1,900-$3,200

Pro Tip: Make sure your contractor gets a permit to install your new heat pump. The permit includes a mechanical inspection to ensure the unit is properly installed.

Did you Know?

Heat pumps cost far less to operate than gas furnaces because they are two to three times more efficient.

In fact, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships found that ASHPs offer a legitimate space heating alternative in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions; when the old heating units are completely replaced, the annual ASHPs savings are around 3,000kWh (or $459) as compared to electric resistant heaters and 6,200kWh (or $948) as compared to oil systems.

When displacing oil (i.e. the oil system remains, but operates less frequently), the average annual savings is near 3,000 kWh (or about $300).

While furnaces burn fossil fuel to create heat, heat pumps heat and cool using electricity to circulate refrigerant.

When heating, the refrigerant captures heat outside and dumps it inside, and it does the opposite when cooling (heat pumps are air conditioners too).

Yes, the electricity used to power a heat pump is often created by burning fossil fuel, but far less energy is required to produce the same amount of heat pump BTUs as furnace BTUs.

While you’ll pay more for a heat pump than you would for a gas furnace, the extra cost can be recouped through lower utility costs in 5-7 years.

Top 6 Reasons to Get a New Heat Pump

It’s possible you’re still considering your options, so here are the top 6 reasons to buy a new heat pump:

  • Repair costs to an existing heat pump are mounting (see Pro Tip below).
  • You’re not moving. The longer you plan to stay in your existing home, the more it makes sense to replace the heat pump rather than pay for even minor repairs. This is especially true if the new unit is significantly more efficient. You’ll start saving on energy costs from the first day of use.
  • Your current heat pump is running, but it’s getting older and has had repair issues. A preemptive decision to replace it before the next summer or winter can prevent you being without AC or heat when you need it most.
  • The old heat pump is losing efficiency with age – it costs more to run, even after having it cleaned and maintained.
  • You want improved energy efficiency and/or indoor comfort.
  • You’re building a home and deciding between a heat pump and a gas furnace.

Pro Tips: When repair costs of an old unit reach 50% of the cost of a new unit, it makes sense to put your money into a new heat pump. This is especially true if your heat pump is 10+ years old or you don’t plan to move soon. Even if you move, a newer heat pump will be more attractive to potential buyers than an old one with a history of repairs.

Also, beware of heat pump technicians that push repair of an older unit. This is a technique sometimes used by unscrupulous contractors. Their goal is to gain your trust, encourage you to pay for one or more repairs over the course of a few years and then sell you a new heat pump when it becomes clear that the old unit is too far gone to repair.

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