How much will your central air conditioning installation or replacement cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

HVAC Specialists on Thumbtack cost$120 - $1730

Average fixed price

  • Lowest price:$60
  • Most common low price:$120
  • Most common high price:$1730
  • Highest price:$7000

How much does an HVAC system cost?

The cost to install an HVAC system with ductwork ranges approximately from $7,217-$12,569. This HVAC replacement cost includes replacing the AC unit, furnace and ductwork. Replacing an HVAC system with no ductwork costs approximately $5,324-$10,676.

HVAC replacement cost:

With ductwork


No ductwork


Ducts & vents






Ductwork work alone costs an estimated $852-$5,337. The cost to install or replace a furnace ranges from $765-$6,117. And the cost to install or replace just your air conditioning system is between $925-$9,680. 

However, the total cost could be much higher, depending on various factors. Read on to discover what these factors are — and how you can get cost estimates for your HVAC system. 

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HVAC unit cost

A brand new HVAC costs more than replacing just a few components. Here's how much it costs to replace various those components:

HVAC unit component

Estimated cost









Heat pump



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AC unit cost 

An AC unit comprises a thermostat, condenser coil, fan, compressor and other components. Installing a new AC unit costs anywhere from $925-$9,680, depending on its size, SEER rating and other factors. 

AC replacement cost:

AC size

Estimated cost

0.5 ton cooling


1 ton cooling


2.5 ton cooling


3 ton cooling


10 ton cooling


15 ton cooling


20 ton cooling


30 ton cooling


 Note: AC unit prices are for complete system units, cabinet mounted, with filters.

Also read: How much does it cost to install central air?

New boiler cost

A new boiler costs $2,125-$5,843 to install. A boiler works by heating the water in a tank and then sending the heated water or steam throughout the home via pipes and radiators.

Boiler replacement cost:


Estimated cost











 *MBHP = 1,000 boiler horsepower.

Ductwork cost

Many homes have an array of ducts or tunnels that are responsible for circulating air. These ducts help circulate cold air in cooler months and warm air in the summer. 

Duct replacement costs $3-$19 per linear foot. In total, homeowners pay anywhere an average of $852-$5,337 to install or replace their ducts or vents.

New furnace cost

A furnace warms up your home by heating the air and distributing the air through your ductwork. With installation, a furnace costs anywhere from $765-$6,117.

Furnace replacement cost:

Electric furnace


Gas furnace


Oil furnace


Wood, oil, coal combo



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Heat pump cost

A heat pump costs $1,365-$9,840 to install or replace. It’s important to understand that a heat pump doesn’t create heat — it transfers heat from one area of the home to another. It does this by extracting heat from the air outside and sending it indoors. 

Heat pump prices:


*Cost estimate

Water source to air


Air to air (split system)


Air to air (single package)


*Prices vary depending on the size, MBHP & other factors.

HVAC replacement cost factors

There are several considerations to keep in mind when estimating HVAC installation costs and unit prices. In short, all of the following may have an impact on the total cost:

  • The components you choose to replace (e.g., furnace, heat pump, etc.)
  • The HVAC system type (e.g., split vs. packaged systems)
  • If ductwork is needed
  • Whether you require an HVAC zoning system equipment
  • The size of the unit
  • Fuel types (e.g., replacing a gas furnace vs. an oil furnace)
  • SEER ratings
  • BTUs (aka British thermal units)
  • HVAC brand or manufacturer
  • Permit fees

Here’s a deeper look at some of the most notable cost factors:

HVAC system and components

One of the primary factors is the type of heat pump, furnace or AC unit you’re replacing. For instance, if you’re opting for a new AC or heat pump, you may consider installing one of the following: 

  • Ductless mini-split heat pump
  • Ducted mini-split system
  • Packaged systems

Each of these systems comes with different costs.

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HVAC unit size

The size of your system also affects your costs. A unit that’s too tiny or large may diminish your unit’s energy efficiency — which could affect your utility bill. 

Energy efficiency

Systems with a higher energy efficiency rating may increase your initial HVAC unit installation cost, but you’ll have reduced energy bills in the long run.


You’ll also need to consider permit costs. Your local government will determine this fee, so check with them.

HVAC zoning system

If you need varying air conditioning for different parts of your home, your system will need zoning capacity. It costs approximately $2,000-$3,000 to zone to an HVAC. 

HVAC repair cost

On average, expect to pay $390 for a professional to evaluate and repair your HVAC system.

What is an HVAC system?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. An HVAC system's most vital components are the thermostat, furnace, evaporator coil, blower motor, combustion chamber, condenser coil/compressor, ductwork, vents and heat exchanger. Together, these components help regulate the temperature in your home.

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How to install an HVAC system

Installing a new HVAC system is one of those projects that’s best left to the pros. When you hire a professional HVAC technician or contractor, you can expect them to do the following:

  • Remove existing units. Whether you’re replacing your entire HVAC system or just a few parts, the contractor will remove the old equipment. 
  • Examine your ductwork. Your contractor or technician should repair any broken ductwork and seal it after that. If your ducts are excessively dirty or clogged, they should clean them (or suggest you hire someone to do so).
  • Install the new system. The pro will configure your new HVAC system, connecting the indoor and outdoor units, connecting the thermostat, removing contaminants from the refrigerant lines and more. 
  • Final checks. Your pro will check for strange noises when your new system runs and whether airflow is the same throughout your home.

HVAC maintenance cost

When estimating the cost of a new HVAC system, don’t forget about maintenance. Routine service is crucial if you want to keep your unit in peak condition. Plus, an HVAC in optimal working order could result in a lower utility bill for you.

Here are a few maintenance and cleaning tips to keep in mind:

  • Hire an HVAC contractor to conduct yearly audits to help boost energy efficiency and safety. This will ascertain if any existing problems (such as frosted pipes) exist. 
  • Always ensure that your AC system is level. A tilt or imbalance can cause water damage, as well as damage to your electrical lines and coolant tubes.
  • Inspect your drip lines and thermostat settings, as a faulty thermostat may cause temperature extremes and escalate your utility bill.
  • Clean your air conditioner filters regularly. Dirty filters could affect your system’s airflow.
  • Get your HVAC serviced before the hot and cold seasons. Avoid blistering hot summers and freezing cold winters by making sure your HVAC system is working. Remember to schedule service in the spring and fall. 
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How to hire an HVAC contractor  

HVAC technicians and contractors are the professionals who can install, replace, repair and maintain your system and all of its components. This mini-guide below will help you identify and select the best pro for your HVAC replacement project:

What to ask

“How much is a new HVAC system?” may be your most pertinent question when first speaking with your contractor. However, there are many other questions you should ask. For example, ask:

  • Do you offer a warranty?
  • Do I need to get new ductwork?
  • Does my ductwork need to be cleaned?
  • Do I qualify for any rebates?
  • Does my project require a permit?
  • How long will it take to replace my HVAC?
  • Are there any energy-efficient HVAC systems you recommend?
  • What HVAC brands do you carry?
  • Do you recommend any specific brands?
  • Should I get an HVAC zoning system?
  • Do you offer an HVAC maintenance plan?

Project details to share

You’ll need to provide details about your HVAC installation project to get an accurate price quote. For example, let the pro know whether you want a duct-free, split AC, hybrid or packaged HVAC system.

Mention the HVAC unit size you think you want, as well as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and BTU you need. You should also tell the contractor exactly where you want the AC unit installed. 

Getting free cost estimates

Sifting through estimates can be time-consuming — but it’s the key to ensuring you don’t overpay for any services. Try to get at least three cost estimates from HVAC professionals near you. 

When requesting quotes, ask the pros what’s included and what’s not included in the estimate.

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Credentials to look for in a pro

It’s imperative to hire a qualified HVAC pro for the job. Make sure the pro you hire is licensed in your state and has plenty of positive customer reviews. 

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Finding the right HVAC contractor or technician can be challenging — but only if you don't know where to look. Use Thumbtack to search for the best HVAC contractors near you, and start requesting quotes today.


What does SEER mean in HVAC?

SEER is the acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient your AC or HVAC system is. 

How long does an HVAC last?

Here’s how long the different components of your HVAC system should last:

Central air conditioner

7-15 years


8-20 years

Heat exchanger

10-15 years

Heat pump

10-15 years


15-25 years


35 years


40 years

Source: Inter­national Association of Certified Home Inspectors

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How often does an HVAC need to be replaced?

Energy Star recommends that you replace your HVAC system’s components if:

  • The heat pump is more than 10 years old.
  • The air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
  • Your furnace is more than 15 years old.
  • Your boiler is more than 15 years old.

Also, consider replacing your HVAC system if you notice any of these signs:

  • You see a spike in your energy bills.
  • Your HVAC unit requires frequent repairs.
  • The rooms in your home have different temperatures.
  • Your home is too dry or too humid.

Related content: Your HVAC troubleshooting checklist.

Should I repair or replace my HVAC system?

While repairing individual HVAC components may seem less expensive than replacing the whole system, you should consider investing in a new system.

If you require frequent repairs, your costs could escalate over time. So, it might be worth the upfront cost of getting a new system (with a warranty) — especially if that system is more energy-efficient.

Does homeowners insurance cover HVAC replacement? 

Your homeowners insurance may cover HVAC replacement in certain cases. Check your policy to find out what those conditions are. For instance, insurance policies typically cover HVAC replacement costs if the system was damaged by hail, a fallen tree, lightning or fire.

However, insurance typically doesn’t cover new HVAC system costs if the damages were caused by negligence or wear and tear — another reason why it’s so important to maintain your system.

Additional sources: National Repair & Remodeling Estimator

How do we know these prices?

Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, conduct our own research and then we share those prices with you. The prices reflected in the article above are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time. Contact a professional near you to receive a personalized cost estimate for your project.


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