Replacing your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a big job.
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Oftentimes, it’s something that homeowners put off until it’s absolutely necessary. Since replacing your HVAC equipment involves significant cost and disruption, it pays to be prepared. This article will provide an overview of what you can expect when replacing your HVAC system.
How to Estimate Your HVAC Replacement Costs
HVAC replacement costs can be a bit of a mystery. The national average cost for HVAC replacements is around $7,000, but this varies depending on several factors, including where you live and the size and age of your home. There are some simple ways to estimate what you’ll need to pay:
The Size and Age of Your Home
First, take a look at the size of your home. A larger home will need a more powerful system, which will cost more. If you have an older home, you can also expect to pay more for your HVAC replacement. Older homes often have ductwork that needs to be replaced, which can add to the project’s cost.
The Type of System
Another factor affecting your costs is the type of system you choose. A basic, single-stage system will be less expensive than a more sophisticated, multi-stage system.
Where You Live
If you live in an area with an exceptionally hot or cold climate, such as the desert or the mountains, you’ll also need a more powerful system that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. This will increase not only the cost of the equipment and repairs, but also the installation cost.
Your area’s cost of living will also impact how much you’ll pay for your HVAC replacement. In general, cities with a higher cost of living have higher prices for all services, including HVAC replacements.
Additional Home Improvement Projects
If you have other home improvement ideas like adding a second floor or changing the layout of your interior, replacing your HVAC system will require a lot of ductwork changes. These additional projects will add to the cost of your HVAC replacement.
How to Choose the Right HVAC System for Your Home
Once you’ve estimated the cost of your HVAC replacement, it’s time to start thinking about which system is right for your home. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few considerations for choosing the best HVAC system:
- The size of your home: As we mentioned before, the size of your home is a major factor in choosing the right HVAC system. A professional contractor can help you determine the appropriate size for your home.
- Your climate: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you’ll need a system that can handle the heat or cold. Again, a professional contractor will be able to help you choose a system that’s right for your climate.
- Your energy needs: If you’re concerned about saving money on your energy bills with HVAC, you may want to consider an Energy Star-certified system. These systems are designed to be more efficient than standard HVAC systems, which can save you money in the long run.
- Your budget: Last but not least, you’ll need to consider your budget when choosing an HVAC system. Work with a professional contractor to find a system that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
Get Multiple Bids From Qualified Contractors
Once you have a general idea of how much your HVAC replacement will cost, it’s time to start shopping around for contractors. The best way to find a qualified contractor is to get multiple bids. Be sure to ask each air conditioner service the same questions so that you can compare their prices and services side-by-side.
You’ll also want to ask each contractor about their experience and qualifications. Be sure to check that they’re licensed and insured in your state, and ask for references from past clients. To get the best idea of which contractor or company to choose, make sure they tell you each of these things:
- Job start and completion dates
- A list of each task required for the job (itemized prices included)
- Additional material costs
- Removal cost for the old HVAC system
- Clean up cost
It is also best to know what is included in your warranty. Most warranties cover the cost of parts and labor for a certain period of time, usually one year. Some contractors may also offer extended warranties for an additional fee.
Preparation Tips for Homeowners
- Choose a convenient time for the installation. You’ll need to be home for part of the process, so pick a convenient time for you and your family.
- Make sure there’s enough clearance around your outdoor unit. The contractors will need access to the unit, so clear away any debris or obstructions beforehand.
- Consider painting your outdoor unit. A fresh coat of paint will not only make it look nicer but also help protect it from the elements.
- Seal any leaks in your ductwork. One of the main benefits of a new HVAC system is increased efficiency, but leaky ductwork can offset those gains. Be sure to have any leaks sealed before the new system is installed.
- Change your furnace filter. A clean furnace filter will help prolong the life of your new system and keep it running at peak performance.
- Keep kids and pets out of the way during installation. The contractors will be working in tight spaces and busy with delicate wiring, so it’s best to keep curious kids and pets away from the work area during installation.
- Take advantage of any available rebates or tax credits. You may be eligible for government rebates or tax credits if you install certain types of high-efficiency HVAC systems.
- Review your warranty paperwork. Be sure to carefully review all warranty paperwork before signing on the dotted line. This way, you’ll know what’s covered in case you need to file a claim down the road.
- Be prepared to answer questions from the contractor. The contractor will need some basic information about your home before beginning the installation, such as the square footage and type of insulation.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your contractor. Once installation is complete, schedule a follow-up visit from your contractor to ensure that everything is working properly and that you’re satisfied with the results.
Installing a new HVAC system is a big job, but one that will pay off in terms of increased comfort and lower energy bills. By following these tips, you can ensure that everything goes smoothly and that you’re prepared for every step of the process.