Installation Cost of an HVAC System

Installation Cost of an HVAC System

An HVAC system is very essential to every home, office, hospital, clinic, and even store. So, it’s not a question of why do we need to install these systems. This is vital to humanity especially during the winter season and would give us thermal comfort during the summer season. It is true that these systems are not cheap and would need thousands of monies before you can set up one. 

A lot of homeowners moving to a new home would need information about the probable cost of installing a complete HVAC system. These would give them an idea of how much should they prepare for this installation to happen. But there is no specific answer to that since you need to consider tons of factors before a contractor can give you the estimated cost. 

These are the things that we need to consider:

  • Type of HVAC system one does need
  • The right HVAC system size
  • The brand of the HVAC system

So, the first thing one should do is to decide what type of HVAC system that that person needs. They should also consider factors like the type of the property, the orientation of the property, and the size of the room where this HVAC system is going to be installed.

Type of HVAC systems

1. Split type system – Key components are deployed separately in different areas. It has two types, a mini ductless system, and a central system or ducted system.

  • A Mini ductless system is designed for small deployments such as a single large room or small multiple rooms. They require minimal wall space and the compressor and heat exchanger unit can be located farther away from the building allowing flexibility in use. And is a good option for retrofitting homes with non-ducted systems.  
  • Central Ducted HVAC Systems is good for spaces that are used sporadically.

2. Packaged air conditioner – This has two types, the one with water-cooled condensers and with air-cooled condensers. 

  • Water Cooled Condensers needs the water to be constantly supplied for this type of air conditioner to work properly. 
  • Air Cooled Condenser units have a fan that sucks the air blowing into the condenser coil.

3. Zoned System – A very efficient and lifesaver for those who live in bigger houses since you can heat and cool different areas of your homes by controlling the valves within the ductwork to block airflow in areas where airflow is not needed.

If the person has already decided what type of HVAC system he should get, then it’s time for him to calculate how many BTUs or tons he needs to properly support the space he wants to cool or heat. 

Calculating the BTU yourself is possible. You can also read our articles about “How Big of HVAC Do I Need?” for you to learn how to calculate the BTU before talking to the experts for at least you already have the idea of what is going on.

In terms of branding, there are so many brands in the market that can provide you the right comfort but can help you save money as well. Always go for those who have good ratings and excellent reviews from customers themselves.

For the installation prices, there are 3 cost categories you need to understand so you cannot say that you are overpaying your contractor or making sure that you are paying them the right amount.


  • The cost of the equipment

 This is your chosen HVAC system to be installed. Price ranges from $1,000 to $15,000.

  •  A ducted HVAC system, you need at least $5,000 to $12,500
  •  A ductless mini-split HVAC, are cheaper compared to the ducted central AC and would range from $3,000 – $5,000.
  • Multi Zone AC – $7,500 – $10,00


  • Installation supplies and labor 

Other materials such as sheet metal or pre-built plenum, refrigerant and line set, AC pad, a thermostat are not included when you buy your primary equipment. You can either buy them yourself or let your contractor handle that for you. But prepare at least $2,000 – 2,500.


For the labor, depending on your contractor, prices may vary from $500 to $2,500. If you hire a certified contractor you might be paying a little bit higher but you can also expect that the job will be done properly. Usually, they are paid per hour but you can talk to them before getting an appointment for there are times that they do have packages that can help you save a couple of dollars.


  • Travel and time: Distance can contribute to your bill. If your house is located far from the contractor’s office, you will most likely be charged higher considering the gas, effort, and even the time they lost just to bring you service.

Remember that installing a new system may take several days, unlike replacing your old HVAC system. If you decide to go with a ducted HVAC, putting new ducts and vents takes most of the time since it requires cutting walls.


Cost to Add Zones to HVAC System 

If recently you installed a single mini-split HVAC system but now you decided to add zones to it since your family is growing, then, prepare at least $2,000 – $3,000 for smaller areas but for larger areas like building and apartments, you can expect to pay at least $7,500 – $12,500.


To save energy, you can also have your contractor insulate your house for you. Proper insulation can decrease your heating and cooling cost by a couple of percent, an average of 15 percent.


Installing an HVAC system in your house is no joke. You can also expect hidden charges like permits required by your local city or county and would cost you more than what you expect. So better know things out and talk to your contractor for proper guidance and transparency.

Also, be sure that after installation, you must do your best to maintain this system or else, all your money will all go in vain in just a couple of years.

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