If you’ve noticed your heating and cooling system is acting up, and repair isn’t an option, your first thought is probably concern about how much this will cost. Unfortunately, the average cost of furnace and air conditioner replacement varies widely. There are a lot of variables that go into the overall cost of a new furnace or air conditioner. The best thing to do is a little research first before worrying too much about the bottom line. In this guide we’ll give you some general figures so you know where to start, and then take you through the important variables and decisions that go into a new furnace and AC cost estimate.
What you really want here is a general number. Is this kind of replacement an expensive everyday purchase or is this a loan type of situation? Again, that really depends on a lot of factors. A general range that you can expect to buy a new furnace for is anywhere between $1,000 and $8,500. Now keep in mind, that’s just to buy the unit. That number doesn’t take into account delivery, installation, or new ductwork that may be required for a new HVAC system. You can see where the exact number may be hard to come by. Once you start thinking about replacing your furnace and air conditioner, you’ll want to take a look at the variables that affect the cost, decide which are the most important, and make sure that you can fit it all in your budget.
Electric Furnace Replacement
The cost of new furnace equipment is affected most dramatically by the type of furnace you buy. In today’s market there are three significant options, each with their own pros and cons.
Cost of an Electric Furnace Replacement
The first is an electric furnace. Because these are often the cheapest, it may seem like a no-brainer. A new electric furnace will only set you back a few hundred dollars. But there are some important asterisks to consider first, such as efficiency. If you live in a relatively warm place and your home isn’t enormous, then an electric furnace may be for you. But they are not the most efficient way to heat a home. If you find yourself running it a lot, or combating particularly cold weather, your energy bill may shock you and it will definitely offset the savings of buying the less expensive model.
Cost of a Gas Furnace Replacement
The second is a gas furnace. A gas set up is most common in the Midwest and on the east coast where winters can be harsh and unforgiving. Heating your home with gas is the most efficient way to do it, but the new unit itself will run you well over a thousand dollars. That initial cost is offset by the much lower utility bills you’ll get during the winter, however. If your house isn’t already gas ready, the installation of gas lines can be quite expensive. So make sure to weigh the costs and benefits before making such a big commitment.
Cost of Oil Furnace Replacement
The third and much less common type of heating is oil heating. A brand new oil furnace will probably cost you just south of $2000. But unlike gas or electric, you don’t have a monthly utility bill. These are rare because they only make financial sense if you have easy access to a lot of oil.
Air Conditioning Replacement
Deciding on a new air conditioner may not seem pressing in January or February, but once that first heat wave rolls in at the end of June, you’ll be wishing you would have taken care of it much sooner when your fans aren’t sufficing. Most homes use one of two options when cooling their home.
Cost of Window Air Conditioning Replacement
The first is window units. The benefit of using a window unit is the cost. The purchase of a brand new window unit and installation is usually no more than about $300 total. Of course, your electric bill is something to consider when deciding how much you run it, but to get it up and working isn’t too bad. Window units work best for small homes in locations that don’t get too hot. If you’re trying to cool a 6,000 square foot house or you live in Death Valley, a window unit may need to be placed in every room, cranked all the way up, and end up costing so much in your monthly utility bill that the savings aren’t worth it.
Cost of Central Air Conditioning Replacement
The second is a central system. More often than not, this is a furnace/air conditioner combo that uses your duct system to circulate warm or cold air throughout your house depending on what season you’re in. If you already have all the ductwork in place and just need to replace the actual AC unit, you could pay anywhere from $400 to $4,000. If you need to install all of the duct work for central air, your price goes up, way up. Most homeowners end up paying about $6,500 for the entire thing.
Combining Air Conditioning and Heating to Save Money
One great way to save money when you need to replace your furnace and air conditioning units is to replace them together. If your home isn’t already set up for central air but you would like it, replace both your furnace and AC to combine the purchase and installation. This will save you money on contractors’ labor and construction costs. It will also save you money on your unit purchases. Additionally, combination heating and air conditioning units are usually a much better deal than buying them each separately. Furnace/air conditioner combo costs are significantly less when compared to new furnace and AC costs, and customers who buy both at the same time will save, on average, $1000. Don’t, however, replace both if you don’t need to. A little furnace troubleshooting may save you thousands of dollars. While it may be tempting to buy them together, if your furnace can still work effectively and efficiently for a few more years, it would actually make more sense to get more miles out of it than to save a little furnace and air conditioner combo.
Variables in Air Conditioning and Furnace Replacement
As discussed above, the average cost of furnace and air conditioner replacement is highly variable. There are a lot of moving pieces that go into a purchase and each comes with their own pros and cons, especially when is comes to cost.
It’s important to consider the brand you’re buying. Some brands come with certain reputations and therefore cost more of less. Do your homework and figure out if a certain brand’s reviews are worth the price. Just because you’ve heard of something doesn’t necessarily make it better, but if you haven’t heard of a particular brand, there may be a reason. Brand can affect a furnace air conditioner combo cost considerably.
You’ll also need to consider things like the size of your home, the weather in your geographic location, and what kind of labor will be needed for the successful installation of the units. All of these factors should play an important role in your initial research. Figure out how much you can put into the installation now and how much you can handle to pay for your monthly utility bills. A more expensive unit may be worth it now if you’re paying significantly less in the long run.
Do Your Research and Save on New Air Conditioning and Furnace
In conclusion, figuring out the the average cost of furnace and air conditioning replacement may not be as straightforward as you would have liked. There are a lot of things to consider before making such a big purchase, including type of furnace and air conditioner you want, the HVAC system you already have installed in your home, the brands you know and trust, the AC and furnace cost independently, and the combo cost. Plus, there are labor, construction, and installation fees. It’s important to make sure your home is well heated and cooled throughout the year so don’t make the decision lightly. Do your research, shop around, and look for good deals on quality appliances. You’ll be able to save big with a little bit of work. Better yet, if you invest in a home warranty, you may be able to get your major appliances replaced for free.