Friday, August 16, 2013

HVAC Cost Reality Check

       Probably the most common question I get in the heating and cooling business, is, how much does a air conditioner or furnace cost? Most folks are surprised at how expensive a new heating or cooling system can be. The reason for their surprise is most likely due to the fact that they have never had to purchase a new unit, or system in their life. People today are so mobile that every few years we move to a different city or home, and there is already a working HVAC system installed.
     I know that here in the Boise, Idaho area in the past 10 years we have had a phenomenal growth spurt in new housing, so there are many fairly new systems installed already. So, you have been in your home 15-20 years old, it is time to replace your HVAC system. You call around and arrange to have someone call on you, and evaluate your needs and give you a proposal for new equipment. That is when the shock comes! The cost! Most folks have no idea. Well, allow me to give you a reality check and bring you up to date.

     The most popular size of Air Conditioner here in the Treasure Valley, is a 2.5 ton unit. That is what most homes that are 1500-1700 square feet will need. That air conditioner will cost, installed, on average $2800.00 to $7000.00. The huge spread is determined by what EFFICIENCY you want to purchase. Efficiency ranges from a rating of 13-20 SEER, for most central air systems. (kind of like miles per gallon on a car). Back in the day you could only choose from one or two efficiency models from any dealer because that is all they had.
      On the furnace side, most people who have a 20 year old home most likely have a 80% efficiency furnace installed and today you can get a much more efficient 95% furnace installed in that same house size mentioned earlier, for $3000.00 to 6500.00. Now, I will mention that right now you can still replace your old furnace with a 80% efficient model just like you have, and they are less money, but it really is not a good idea. If your going to spend the money, why not upgrade to a more efficient model.
     Now, do the math. a complete system will cost between $6300.00 and $13,500.00. Now, here's what I want you to think about: Most people will spend $20,000-30,000. for a brand new car. They spend maybe an hour or two a day in their car traveling to work, shopping, etc. Most folks keep their automobile on average about 7-8 years.  When you purchase a new HVAC system, it is half the cost of a new car and you spend about 15 hours a day in you home, plus you won't be replacing it for 15 to 20 years. When you just look at the money side of the issue, which is the better investment, and which is going to give you the greatest return on your investment? For more good information read my blogs at or go to our website at