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What Goes Into the Price Tag of your New HVAC System

Austin HVAC install costs

If you are in the market to replace your home’s heating and cooling system, there’s one simple question that it seems no HVAC contractor will answer: what’s the estimated price of an HVAC replacement? Some cursory web searches will lead you to a wide range of answers, leaving you totally uncertain of what you should budget for. Why won’t anyone give you a straight answer? And even if you get quotes from local contractors, those prices vary widely, too.

The reason is this: replacing your HVAC is not like replacing your refrigerator. We’re not pulling out one piece of equipment and substituting a new one. Home comfort systems are much more complex with many components. Depending on the size and type of equipment, complexity of installation, and other factors, you can expect an HVAC replacement to cost between $8,000 to $16,000. Why such a wide range? We’ll tell you! In this blog, we’ll cover all the costs that go into your HVAC replacement project. With this information, you’ll be better prepared to review quotes for a new HVAC system and compare between companies.

Costs of HVAC Equipment Replacement

Equipment – The biggest cost of an HVAC replacement project is the equipment. We negotiate special dealer pricing with manufacturers. Contractors earn their way to partnering with more reputable, high-quality brands like Carrier that offer a range of equipment options. The main reason a price range can’t be quoted simply is because the price for an HVAC replacement depends on the equipment cost. A different size or type of equipment can have a significant impact on the ultimate price. For example, a small 1-bedroom condo will require a unit that is many thousands of dollars less than the HVAC system needed for a 4-bedroom, 2-story home. 

Additional Services – Installing the equipment is one thing, but sometimes a little extra work is required to get the job done right. For example, installing a new air vent, cutting in a new attic access point, and moving a thermostat are all non-standard services that may be added on to your replacement project.

Materials – Besides the condenser or furnace, there are added costs in the materials and tools used to install the equipment. Some of the more common materials or add-ons include ductwork, refrigerant piping, drain piping, and flue pipe with cap and collar. Each of these items has an inherent cost to us to purchase, transport, and install. We also stock our trucks with all the little things required for a replacement project, like sealant and lubricant. The materials, whether they are project-specific or everyday items, add to the cost of your project.

Labor We hire well-qualified technicians and pay them a competitive salary for their work on any project. Depending on the complexity of the job, an HVAC replacement project could take a half day or several days to complete. Here at McCullough, we arrange our technicians into installation crews, usually with one lead technician and one or two helper technicians. So remember, your quote for an HVAC replacement includes the salary of several technicians over many hours of work. 

Truck Costs – These are the expenses associated with the trucks that carry your equipment, materials, and installation team to your home. Fuel cost is a major expense for us as we drive around the Greater Austin area. We also account for repair and maintenance costs for our trucks. 

Other Overhead Costs – There are many other overhead costs associated with doing business. For example, the salary of our super-friendly office staff and paying out benefits to our employees, like insurance, are included in this category. Speaking of insurance – we are bonded and insured, which is another overhead cost. Other business tools, like our phone system, website, and email, are also costs. Finally, to make sure our team is the very best in Austin, we offer regular training to our install technicians – that time is paid by the company. These are all indirect costs – things not related to your project specifically, but they are costs to keep our business running. 

Discounts, Coupons, and Rebates for HVAC Installs

After all the costs are added for a heating and AC replacement project, it’s time to add in the savings. Occasionally, discounts are available which may reduce the price of your installation. For example, if you’re a member of our Comfort Club, you’ll be eligible for a discount on many services. 

The more common savings for an HVAC replacement is a rebate. With rebates, you pay the full price of the qualifying equipment upfront and then receive a check or deposit for the rebate amount. Sometimes, rebates can be in the many thousands of dollars. That translates to giant savings.  

Reading Your HVAC Quote and Comparing with Others

Frequently, homeowners will take a quote for an HVAC system and look up the equipment cost on the internet only to find out that the equipment cost on a wholesale website is much lower than the number at the bottom of the quote. Although the equipment cost is a major piece of your quote for a new heating and cooling system, it’s not all of it. There are many other costs that come into play, from paying our team to investing in their continued development. 

This is why we encourage all homeowners to start the HVAC buying process early. If you’re thinking about replacing your heating and cooling system this year, start getting quotes now – before your current system calls it quits and you’re under pressure to install a new system right away. We offer free second opinions for HVAC installs, so there is truly no cost to you to get a quote. 

Once you have multiple quotes in hand, use the information in this blog to make comparisons. We always share the most up-to-date rebate information with our customers, while our competitors don’t. Also, we employ the very best technicians in the area and never subcontract out work. Since we are committed to providing the highest quality HVAC installations in Austin, we continuously train our team on best practices and new techniques. Plus, we quality check every single job. Make sure when you compare quotes, you’re really comparing apples to apples!

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