HVAC Cost Calculator

Average Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,670 - $5,930
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New HVAC System Cost Calculator estimates the cost of installing Central AC, Hot Air Furnace or Central HEAT PUMP near you!

Price estimates are based on your square footage, climate region, SEER (energy efficiency) rating, and house insulation.

Enter your home size, select climate zone, HVAC system type, SEER (AFUE for furnace) rating, Insulation & Air Ducts, and get instant price quote, HVAC Load (BTUs) & equipment recommendation:

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Estimated BTU Load Cooling: 0 BTUs
Recommended Equipment Cooling:

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HVAC installation cost estimate includes the following:

– Labor & Materials
– Removal of old equipment
– Refrigerant recharge
– All electric / HVAC and Gas connection

Quotes are based on average prices that HVAC contractors charge across US.

HVAC Load is based on realistic BTUs needed to heat and cool your house in your climate zone, and is not “inflated” (oversized) to sell you more expensive equipment which would use more energy.

* To select proper climate zone, please refer to the Climate Zone Map below:

Your climate region will affect how much heating or cooling your home requires based on annual heat gain/loss.

Central AC vs Ductless Heat Pump

Typical Cost To Install a 3-zone Ductless Heat Pump Average: $8,930 - $11,560
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If you are looking for improved efficiency, zoning, quiet operation, as well as ability to heat your home – than you should definitely look at Ductless Heat Pump.

These systems offer great flexibility, massive operating cost savings, state and federal rebates, can heat your home is as low temps as -15°F, and best of all – Ductless Heat Pump costs on par with modern Central AC when you include cost of duct work upgrades which are often required for high(er) efficiency (16 SEER and up) heat pumps with variable speed ECM blower motors.

Considering that Low Temp Heating ductless models can be your primary source of heating, you would also save at least $4,500 – $6,300 on installation of high efficiency gas furnace.

Finally, since heat pumps are all electric, you can produce most of your electric needs on site, with large enough solar PV array, and when you finance both Heat Pump and Solar with a 10 year fixed rate loan – your loan payment will be lower than the cost of energy you would have to pay to heat with gas, and cool with electricity you need to buy from your power company.

Central AC vs Central Heat Pump

Typical Cost To Install an 18-SEER Heat Pump Average: $7,920 - $12,300
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Central AC can only provide cooling for your home, while Central HEAT PUMP (air source heating) can also provide heating, and is a great choice if you live in climate regions 3, 4 or 5, where winters are mild. Central HEAT PUMP is also a great option for homeowners without natural gas, where having a gas furnace is not an option.

However if you live in colder climates, Central HEAT PUMP will not be sufficient for heating fo your house. Therefore we recommend either installing a gas furnace or a “radiant heat system” (Boiler + Baseboard Radiators).

Cooling energy efficiency of Central AC vs Central Heat Pump

Central AC and Heat Pump with same SEER rating will use same amount of energy for cooling. However most central AC systems have a maximum SEER rating of 17 and typical is 14 SEER, where as Central Heat Pumps can go as high as 19+ SEER.

If your electricity cost exceeds $0.20 (20 cents) per kWh (states like California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Hawaii, etc), we strongly recommend upgrading to Central Heat Pump or a Ductless (mini split) AC/Heat Pump.

Energy Savings with High SEER Air Conditioner

Typical Cost To Install Central AC Average: $4,270 - $5,930
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Let’s compare a typical three AC systems with 3 Ton capacity: “cheap” 14 SEER ton Central AC vs 18 SEER Central Heat Pump vs 22 SEER Ductless AC (4 zones):

There is a simple formula to estimate the energy usage (power consumption) of a Central AC.


BTU load of an AC is 12000 x TONS of capacity. For example, a 3 Ton AC provides 36000 BTUs.

Thus we get the following power consumption (rounded):

14 SEER AC: 2.57 kW (36000/14).
18 SEER AC: 2 kW (36000/18).
22 SEER Ductless: 1.64 kW (36000/22).

If we take average Massachusetts electric rate of $0.24 / kWh and typical annual AC hours in Boston of 1200 hour/year (12/day for 100 during the summer), here are our annual costs:

14 SEER = $741
18 SEER = $576 ($165/yr saving)
22 SEER = $471 ($270/yr saving)

Now let's take same numbers and compare them in California, where average cost of electricity (with Peak Pricing) is about $0.44 / kWh and annual AC usage can exceed 2000 (according to Energy.gov)! We will use 2100 hours annually.

14 SEER = $2268
18 SEER = $1764 ($504/yr saving)
22 SEER = $1443 ($825/yr saving)

Keep in mind that DUCTLESS system does not need to run all zones at once. For example, if you are in a living room, during the day, your bedroom zones can be turned off until the evening. This can further reduce your power usage by 50% or more, saving an extra $230/year in MA and a whooping $720/year in CA!

Installation Cost of Central AC vs Central Heat Pump vs Ductless (Air Source) Heat Pump

Average cost to install a 3 TON (14 SEER) Central AC in California is $5,214.
Average cost to install a 3 TON (18 SEER) Central HEAT PUMP in California is $7,067.
Average cost to install a 3 TON (22 SEER) 4-Zone Ductless system in California is $12,416.

If we assume that your actual cost to run a ductless system in CA is about $800 (with certain zones turned off when not in use), and annual saving is $1468 vs a 14 SEER central AC, the extra cost installing a Ductless AC of $7,202 will be recouped in just 5 years!

Now consider that electric rates in California have been rising by 8% per year in the past 10 year, it is safe to assume that even with modest 3% annual increase in electricity cost, after 10 years, you would be saving $1,972.87 / year with a ductless system!

If we account for a 3% annual increase in electric costs, you would save $11,600 after 10 years, by upgrading from a 14 SEER central AC to 22 SEER Ductless Mini Split AC!

Typical Cost To Install Central AC Average: $4,270 - $5,930
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