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How Much Does Installing an HVAC System in a New Home Construction Cost?

When building a new home, one important consideration is the cost of installing a complete HVAC system. From the type of system to the size and efficiency, there are several factors that can impact the...

When building a new home, one important consideration is the cost of installing a complete HVAC system. From the type of system to the size and efficiency, there are several factors that can impact the overall cost. In this article, we will explore the average cost of installing an HVAC system in new construction and discuss the different options available.

HVAC System Cost for New Construction

The cost of installing a complete central HVAC system in new construction, including ductwork, usually ranges from $16,500 to $37,000. However, when high-end equipment and air quality accessories are included, the cost can exceed $40,000. The final price depends on various factors such as the system type and size, efficiency, performance, and the extent of the ductwork installed. Additionally, the cost of living in your area can also impact HVAC system prices.

Average Cost

The average cost for an HVAC system in new construction is around $26,500. This price includes the complete new home HVAC system, which commonly consists of central air conditioning and furnace, heat pump and air handler, or a mini-split system. For central systems, it also includes duct runs, a thermostat, and necessary electrical and gas line infrastructure.

hvac ducting in new construction home Image: HVAC ducting in new construction home

New Home Central Heating & Air Conditioning System

When planning your HVAC system for a new home construction, you have a range of choices. It's essential to discuss these options with your home contractor before breaking ground and completing the foundation. Let's explore some of the most common types of systems and their costs.

Central AC & Furnace | $16,500 - $35,000

This is still the most common HVAC system type in the US, according to the National Association of Home Builders. It typically includes a gas furnace as the most common heating source, although oil furnaces are used mostly in the Northeast, and electric furnaces are more common in warm climates.

  • Cooling SEER2 range: 12 - 26
  • Furnace AFUE range: 80% and 90% to 99%

The components included in central AC and furnace systems are:

  • Outdoor condensing unit
  • Indoor gas, oil, or electric furnace that also acts as the air handler for air conditioning
  • Evaporator coil in or adjacent to the furnace
  • Supply ductwork to carry treated air to each room and return ductwork to carry it back to the furnace
  • Sheet metal connections
  • Thermostat
  • Gas line from the main to the furnace, electrical wiring, outdoor shutoff, and circuit breaker in the electrical panel
  • Zoning dampers - manual or electric - are extra

Heat Pump System | $17,600 - $32,600

Heat pumps are becoming popular in moderate and warm climates because they efficiently provide both heating and cooling.

  • Cooling SEER2 range: 13 - 24
  • Heating HSPF2 range: 7.8 - 10.5

Heat pump heating and AC systems include:

  • Outdoor condensing unit/indoor coil
  • Air handler
  • Ductwork and connections
  • Electrical connections
  • Thermostat, etc.

Dual Fuel System | $17,850 - $37,000

Dual fuel systems combine a gas furnace with a heat pump, making them the most efficient standard split system option. These systems automatically switch between the heat pump and the furnace based on the outdoor temperature.

  • The heat pump heats whenever the outdoor temperature is above about 35F. The furnace takes over when the outdoor temperature drops. The exact temperature at which the system switches can be set by the installer.

Package HVAC System | $14,750 - $26,500

Package systems combine the heating and air conditioning equipment in one single outdoor unit. Although not as efficient as standard split systems, they are an option for certain situations.

  • AC SEER2 range: 12 - 16
  • Heat pump HSPF2 range: Up to 7.5
  • Furnace AFUE range: 80%

Your options for package systems include:

  • AC & gas furnace package system, called a gas package system
  • Heat pump system, aka electric packaged system or a packaged heat pump

Package systems require ductwork and other components listed above.

Mini Split HVAC System | $6,900 - $11,680

Mini split heat pumps are gaining popularity due to their high efficiency. These systems are ideal for new construction additions, and some DIY options are available.

The cost of a mini split HVAC system depends on the number and type of indoor units installed.

Components of a mini split system include:

  • An outdoor condensing unit
  • 1-8 indoor units, each connected to the condensing unit with refrigerant, electrical, and drain lines
  • A hand-held remote for each indoor unit

Ductwork is not required for mini split systems.

outdoor ac units being connected to new HVAC system Image: Outdoor AC units being connected to a new HVAC system

Complete HVAC System Cost Factors

When estimating the cost of your HVAC system, there are several factors to consider:

  • System Size: The size of your HVAC system depends on the square footage of your home. Whole-house HVAC systems range from 1.5 to 5.0 tons for ACs and heat pumps, with multizone mini split systems going up to 84,000 BTU. Furnaces range from 40,000 to 150,000 BTUs.
  • Efficiency: Furnace efficiency ranges from 80% to 99%, while AC efficiency ranges from 12 SEER2 to 25 SEER2. Heat pumps can be even more efficient.
  • Performance: Furnaces, ACs, and standard split heat pumps come in single-stage, two-stage, and variable capacity options. Mini split heat pumps are all variable capacity.
  • Ductwork: The layout of your home and the location of the indoor unit affect the length and complexity of the ductwork. More ductwork means a higher cost.
  • Features and Extras: Advanced air filtration equipment, germicidal UV lights, and zoning equipment can increase the cost significantly.
  • Quality: HVAC systems come in different quality levels from premium to entry-level. Leading brands include Carrier, American Standard, Rheem, and Lennox.
  • Brand Rating: Top-rated brands tend to cost more than others. Brands like Carrier/Bryant/Payne, American Standard/Trane, and Rheem/Ruud are among the highest rated.
  • Location: The cost of living varies across the country, and it can impact the overall cost of your HVAC system.
  • Installation: Hiring an HVAC company that specializes in new construction can ensure a smoother installation process and potentially better pricing.

new home construction HVAC system being installed Image: New home construction HVAC system being installed

Cost of HVAC System and Installation Supplies

Let's take a closer look at the costs of different HVAC system types and brands.

New Construction HVAC System Costs by Type

Here are the costs of different system types for new construction:

System Type Basic System Average System Premium System
Furnace & AC $16,500 - $24,500 $21,000 - $28,000 $26,500 - $35,000
Heat Pump $17,250 - $25,500 $22,500 - $29,500 $28,000 - $36,000
Dual Fuel $17,850 - $27,000 $23,500 - $31,000 $29,500 - $37,000
Packaged $14,750 - $21,000 $17,000 - $26,500 N/A

New Construction HVAC System Costs by Brand

Brands are grouped together based on the parent company:

Brand Installed Cost
Armstrong Air & AirEase $16,750 - $32,900
Carrier, Bryant & Payne $18,300 - $36,500
Daikin, Amana & Goodman $16,800 - $34,900
Heil, Day & Night, Tempstar, etc. (1) $17,000 - $33,500
Lennox & Ducane $16,800 - $37,000
Rheem & Ruud $17,500 - $33,750
Trane & American Standard $18,800 - $35,500
York, Luxaire & Coleman $16,500 - $30,000
Budget Brands like OxBox & RunTru $14,300 - $26,500

(1) Heil, Day & Night, Tempstar, Arcoaire, Comfortmaker, and Keeprite are International Comfort Products (ICP) brands, which are part of Carrier. The HVAC systems may have some differences.

3 - 6 Zone Mini Split System Cost by Brand

Here are the costs of 3 - 6 zone mini split systems by brand:

Brand 3 - 6 Zones
Bosch $16,000 - $34,000
Carrier $19,500 - $36,900
Daikin $17,500 - $35,500
Fujitsu $18,000 - $39,000
Gree $15,900 - $33,250
LG $16,800 - $36,750
Midea Toshiba Carrier $17,800 - $34,750
Mitsubishi $17,600 - $35,000
MrCool Pro $17,950 - $29,000
Samsung $16,750 - $33,800
Panasonic $19,300 - $33,850
Senville $15,500 - $27,900
MrCool DIY $8,900 - $19,500
Klimaire DIY $8,650 - $16,800

ceiling HVAC ducts in new home Image: Ceiling HVAC ducts in a new home

Permits, Inspection, Installation Labor Costs, and Time

When installing an HVAC system in a new home, you'll need to obtain electrical and mechanical permits. The cost of inspections is usually included in the overall cost.

  • Mechanical and Electrical Inspections (Entire Home Build): $400 - $1,200

Central HVAC Installation Labor Cost and Time

The average labor cost for an HVAC company to install a complete heating and air conditioning system ranges from $3,600 to $8,600. This cost includes a certified and licensed service technician and a service helper. The technician's labor fee typically ranges from $60 to $120 per hour, while the helper's fee is around $50 to $85 per hour.

Labor Cost by HVAC System Type

Here are the labor costs for different types of HVAC systems:

System Type Labor Cost
Packaged System $2,400 - $5,900
Furnace & AC $3,800 - $8,500
Heat Pump & Air Handler $3,600 - $8,350
Heat Pump & Furnace $3,900 - $9,000
Mini Split 3-6 Zones $4,500 - $11,000
Ductwork Only $1,800 - $4,000

Completed Installation Time

The installation of a complete heating and cooling system happens in several steps. Rough wiring and electrical and mechanical/gas lines are done first. Subsequently, inspections are required. Once the rough work passes inspection, the HVAC equipment is installed and inspected. However, the ductwork installation can occur simultaneously to either of these tasks, depending on the crew's size. Here's an estimate of the time crews will spend working in your home:

  • 1-2 Days: Rough wiring, electrical circuits, gas lines (if necessary)
  • 2-4 Days: Ductwork installation
  • 2-5 Days: Heating and air conditioning equipment installation

DIY or Hire a Pro

While most homeowners hire a licensed contractor to install their HVAC system, there are options for DIY. Currently, the only full DIY option available is a DIY mini-split system from MrCool or Klimaire. These systems come with full refrigerant charges, and homeowners can install them by following the provided instructions. However, other systems that require a refrigerant charge should be installed by a licensed technician. Some homeowners with electrical and gas line experience may choose to do some of the work themselves, but it's crucial to have a certified HVAC technician inspect the system to ensure it is done correctly.

Ductwork can also be a DIY project, but it's important to optimize the ductwork layout and ensure proper airflow and balanced temperatures throughout the home.

By considering these factors and consulting with a reputable HVAC company, you can determine the best HVAC system for your new home construction that fits your budget and meets your comfort needs. Remember to prioritize quality, efficiency, and the expertise of the professionals you hire for the installation process.

Note: All images used in this article are from sanaulac.vn