What to Know Before Buying a New HVAC System for Your Home

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated January 17, 2022
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  • HVAC system replacement typically runs $5,000–$10,000.

  • Depending on brand and size, cost is $25–$60 per sq. ft. of coverage.

  • Wide variety of options, all at different price points.

  • Price is impacted by the furnace, AC unit, ductwork, and heat pump.

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While adding heated floors to a bathroom or creating a basement game room are fun additions, it’s the less visible improvements that can really add value to your home. A new HVAC system can increase the worth of your home from 5% to 7%, and provide a return on investment of around 60%.

What Is an HVAC System?

A term frequently heard by homeowners is “HVAC,” which stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This refers to all the equipment and technology used to heat and cool a home. It not only encompasses the furnace and air conditioner, but also includes ductwork, air handlers, ventilation, filters, and thermostats. 

While an HVAC system is mainly responsible for comfort, it also plays an important role in air quality, energy efficiency, and ventilation. Because of this, HVAC systems are an important part of property value, and having a new system can absolutely increase your home’s value.

When Is It Time to Replace an HVAC System?

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Just like most components of a home, HVAC systems need to be regularly maintained and periodically repaired or replaced in order to actually increase your home’s value. You can hire a local HVAC repair technician for this or handle it yourself. 

There are some telltale signs that part of your HVAC system needs attention.


With annual inspections and regular maintenance, most gas furnaces last around 15 years. If your furnace is approaching that age or displays any of the following signs, it’s likely time to start considering a replacement.

1. Higher energy bills: Energy bills that have been steadily increasing over time, along with an older furnace, are the easiest sign to spot that your system has run its course.

2. Excess noise: Furnaces that rattle, shake, or buzz are performing abnormally and need to be inspected right away.

3. Cracks or rust: Visually inspect your furnace for any signs of rusting or cracking, as these are indicators of a failing system.

4. Uneven heating: If your kitchen is toasty warm, but the office is freezing, an older, faulty furnace may not be heating your home evenly any longer.

Air Conditioner 

There’s nothing worse than an AC unit that stops working on a hot summer day. Most units are designed to last around 10 years, and there are a few indicators that your air conditioner may be on its last legs.

1. Blowing warm air: The most obvious sign of a problem is if warm or hot air is blowing out of your vents instead of cold air. In this case, the unit will need to be inspected for possible issues.

2. Loud noises: Much like a furnace, your air conditioner should not be rattling, buzzing, or making any grinding noises. Sounds like these may be a sign that a repair or replacement is needed.

3. Leaking or cracks: Any noticeable cracks in the air conditioner or signs of leaking around the base of the unit are red flags.

4. Uneven cooling: if some rooms in your home stay warm, even with the air conditioning running consistently, this could be a signal that there is an HVAC issue.

How Much Does a New HVAC System Cost?

A new HVAC system can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, depending on where you live and the brands you choose. Cost will also be affected by the type of HVAC system you choose, from duct-free to hybrid. The average price for a new system is $7,000 for materials and $1,500 for labor.

There may be additional costs for extra items, including adding zones, installing a new thermostat, and including humidity controls. 

Will a New HVAC System Increase Your Home’s Value?

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Installing a new HVAC system provides a significant return on investment, with the average ROI being right around 60%. This is higher than many other home improvements, and if you choose an energy-efficient HVAC system, it can increase your home’s value anywhere from 5% to 7%

Additional Benefits of a New HVAC System

A new HVAC system will not only increase your home’s value, but also provides some additional benefits.

Energy Efficiency

New HVAC systems are more energy-efficient than older models, which can equal big savings on your energy bills. Reduced costs over time equal more money in your pocket for other home improvements.

Tax Benefits

Investing in a new HVAC system frequently means extra rebates, plus potential tax deductions of up to 10% of the installed costs.

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