Getting your home’s heating and cooling system installed or replaced can be a major investment. Understanding what goes into HVAC pricing is important when evaluating quotes and choosing the right system for your needs and budget. Here’s what to expect from the HVAC quote process and a sample quote broken down in detail.
Overview of HVAC Quote When requesting bids from HVAC contractors, they will assess your home’s needs and provide a quote outlining the recommended equipment, scope of work, and total pricing. Quotes account for factors like:
- Square footage of home
- Number of levels
- Current ductwork and ventilation
- Type of system needed (furnace, heat pump, central AC, etc.)
- Chosen brand and efficiency rating for equipment
- Additional services needed (ductwork, repairs, permits, etc.)
- Duration of labor
- Hours of operation and complexity of install
Description of Services:
- Removal and disposal of existing 3-ton central AC condenser and evaporator coil (R-22 refrigerant)
- Installation of new 3.5-ton, 16 SEER Lennox central AC condenser and coil
- All necessary ductwork modifications and sealing
- New refrigerant lines, wiring and connections
- Programming of Nest WiFi thermostat
- All permits and inspections
- Removal and disposal of old materials
- 5 year labor warranty
Equipment and Materials:
- Lennox 14ACX 3.5-ton Air ConditionerCondensor ($2800)
- Lennox CBA38MV Variable Speed Evap. Coil ($1200)
- 3.5 tons of R-410A refrigerant ($150)
- Sheet metal for ductwork, hardware, connections ($300)
- Nest WiFi Thermostat ($250)
- 2 Technicians x 16 hours at $85/hr each ($2720)
- 1 Assistant x 16 hours at $45/hr ($720)
Total Quote: Equipment and Materials: $4700 Labor: $3440 Total: $8140
Terms and Conditions:
- 50% deposit required to begin work
- Balance due upon completion of work
- 3% processing fee for credit/debit payments
- Permit fees paid separately after approval
- Quote valid for 60 days
Reviewing the Details When comparing multiple HVAC quotes, be sure to review all the specifics of what is included in each bid. Key details to look for:
- Brand, model, BTUs/tonnage, efficiency ratings (SEER, EER, HSPF)
- Warranty terms on equipment
- Itemized equipment costs
Scope of Work
- Specific services provided (installation, repair, ductwork, etc)
- Removal and disposal of old equipment
- Duct sealing method (mastic, metal tape, etc.)
- Installation of new thermostat
- Modifications to existing ventilation and ductwork
- Obtaining permits
Labor Rates and Timeline
- Number of technicians needed and hourly rates -Estimated hours for completion
- Experience level of technicians
- Length of labor warranty
- Inclusion of maintenance and service plans
Exclusions & Exceptions
- Unforeseen repairs needed
- Permit or inspection fees
- Installation limitations
Brand, Efficiency Ratings, and Warranties When reviewing and comparing HVAC equipment quotes, pay special attention to the brand reputation, efficiency ratings like SEER and EER, HSPF for heat pumps, and length of warranties. Top brands like Carrier, Trane, Lennox, or Rheem combined with higher efficiency ratings typically provide longer equipment life, lower energy bills, and fewer repairs. Extended labor and compressor warranties (10 years+) also offer greater long term value from HVAC investments.
Energy Efficiency Impact New HVAC systems are a major investment, but upgrading to higher efficiency systems pays dividends through lower energy bills. Compare the SEER and EER ratings on AC quotes to understand the long-term energy savings. For example, replacing an old 10 SEER AC unit with a new 16 SEER model can decrease cooling costs by up to 60% annually.
Financing Options Many homeowners utilize HVAC financing plans from credit unions, banks, or HVAC companies to pay for new systems over time. Financing often comes with lower interest rates and more flexible terms compared to credit cards. Just be sure to ask about any origination fees charged.
Rebates and Tax Credits Check for available rebates on high-efficiency HVAC systems offered by local utilities, energy companies, states or the federal government. The ENERGY STAR website provides details on current rebates. A tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements may also offset 30% of the new equipment costs.
DIY vs Professional Install HVAC equipment requires proper sizing calculations, ductwork modifications, vacuum pumping, recharging, permits, and inspections – making DIY installation extremely difficult. Invest in a professional installation to ensure your new heating and cooling system operates safely at peak efficiency.
Getting Multiple Quotes To find the best value on your next HVAC system, get 3-4 quotes from highly reviewed local air conditioning contractors. Compare all the specifics before choosing a company. Many provide free quotes as part of a consultation visit.
Understanding HVAC pricing equips you to make informed decisions and select the ideal balance of affordability and value in your home’s comfort system. Carefully evaluate all the specifics when comparing bids to find the right HVAC equipment at the right price.