Most homeowners choose professional installation of their HVAC component or complete system.
The list below is for pro installation. Cost factors are discussed later on this page.
2019 HVAC Installation Costs
- Gas furnace cost: $1,600 to $5,400
- Oil furnace cost: $1,700 to $11,500
- Central air conditioner cost: $2,350 to $6,800
- Heat pump cost: $2,700 to $7,300
- Complete split system cost: $3,900 to $11,200
- Packaged system – Gas Packs: $3,050 to $8,675
- Packaged system – All Electric: $3,500 to $8,900
- Mini split system: $2,200 to $14,000
- Boiler system: $1,975 to $11,200
Equipment Costs vs Installation Costs
The cost factors below will help you estimate your costs more exactly. Here’s a basic breakdown of HVAC equipment vs labor costs.
|HVAC Type||Equipment Range||Labor & Supplies Range|
|Gas Furnace||$600 – $3,600||$1,000 – $1,800|
|Oil Furnace||$700 – $10,000||$1,000 – $1,800|
|Central AC||$1,350 – $4,800||$1,000 – $2,000|
|Central Heat Pump||$1,700 – $5,100||$1,000 – $2,200|
|Complete Split System||$1,950 – $8,200||$1,800 – $3,000|
|Gas Packaged System||$2,550 – $6,675||$900 – $2,000|
|Electric Packaged System||$2,700 – $7,100||$850 – $1,800|
|Mini Split System||$1,400 – $11,500||$800 – $2,500|
|Boiler Systems||$1,800 – $8,700||$1,100 – 2,500|
DIY HVAC Installation
Is installing your own HVAC equipment possible?
In many cases, yes, especially gas furnaces.
Is DIY HVAC installation a good idea?
Here are some basic realities to keep in mind:
1). DIY HVAC installation will void most HVAC warranties. In the “Conditions” section of most warranties, you’ll find language that indicates the warranty will only be honored if professionally installed.
UTC makes Carrier, Bryant, Heil, Day & Night and multiple other brands. In its warranty, UTC states that for the warranty to be valid, “The unit must be installed by a licensed dealer or contractor.”
The exceptions are a very limited number of mini split HVAC systems designed for DIY installation. These systems are pre-charged with refrigerant. Brands making DIY systems include MrCool, Perfect Aire, Climate Right, Ideal-Air, Senville and Pioneer.
This video from Ideal-Air shows one system type. Note that the spokesperson distinguishes between the brand’s DIY and Pro systems, stating installing a Pro system DIY will void the warranty.
2). Handling refrigerant requires a license. If you need to charge a system with refrigerant, a license known as a 608 CFC certification is required.
3). Keep dangers in mind. Not to try to scare you into pro installation, but just remember the dangers from leaking gas (explosion), combusted gas (carbon monoxide) and working with electricity (shock/electrocution).
4). Understand sizing. Choosing the wrong size equipment can mean you don’t get adequate heating or air conditioning. Or it can mean you get “too much,” meaning your system will run on short cycles that create imbalanced temperatures. An AC or heat pump that runs short won’t remove as much humidity in summer.
Cost Factors in HVAC Installation Prices
Most of these are no surprise, so there’s need for great detail.
System capacity: All else being equal, the more BTUs of heat the system creates or removes per hour, the more it will cost.
Quality: Most brands make equipment that is good to above average. There are a few lower-quality budget brands with lower prices.
Occasionally brands of similar quality are priced differently. For example, Carrier and Day & Night are both United Technologies brands. Carrier is marketed as a premium brand, so it has a premium price. Day & Night equipment is nearly identical, yet the brand is marketed as a mid-level product and priced accordingly. The tiered pricing gives United Technologies the opportunity to make sales to buyers in each budget range.
Performance: Single-stage costs less than two-stage heating and cooling. Variable-capacity performance costs the most.
Efficiency: The more efficient a unit is, the more it will cost. Since the most efficient units are always variable-capacity models, there can be a double-whammy for cost.
The most efficient gas and oil furnaces are condensing models with efficiency at 90% to 98%+. The jump in cost from a non-condensing gas furnace to a condensing model ranges from 10% to 25%. For oil furnaces, the jump is 65% to 80%. That’s why the oil furnace range above is so wide. This is mainly because only Adams and Granby Contorto make condensing oil furnaces.
Job location & complexity: It is harder and takes longer to install equipment in attics, crawlspaces and on the roof than it does to install it on the ground, first floor or full-height basement. Other complexities include venting through a roof rather than a wall, cutting through stone or brick wall instead of wood and changing the plumbing on a boiler system.
Where you live: Cost of living affects HVAC prices by up to 30%.
Number of indoor units – Mini split systems only: Each indoor unit must be separately installed, and that raises cost.
How heat is distributed – boiler systems only: You’ve got many options when heating with a boiler. These include baseboard radiators, in-floor radiant heat and water-to-air heating with a heat exchanger in an air handler. The system type and configuration all play rolls in boiler system cost.
Extras: Most HVAC sales people will at least mention options such as advanced filtration and air purification add-ons. There are many types. Thick, pleated filters are the most affordable. From there, options include UV germicidal lights, electronic air cleaners and ionizers.
Adding a humidifier to offset winter drying in a forced air system is another option that will raise cost. These extras are not reflected in the price table above.
Looking for More HVAC Information?
If you want to research system options beyond just cost, we’ve completed a number of guides that will help.
We’ve also compiled lists of the most efficient ACs, heat pumps and furnaces currently available. In addition to the lists, each guide has pros, cons, pricing information and equipment recommendations based on climate.