How Much Does A New HVAC System Install Cost In Houston

HVAC systems in homes have become something people can’t do without, especially during the extreme summer and winter seasons. Your HVAC system is probably the largest investment you will ever make in your home. We understand that all services attached to acquiring and maintaining an HVAC unit don’t come all easily. When the time comes to either replace or install your HVAC system, costs are usually any homeowner’s first concern. The problem with giving an outright answer to this question is that there’s always some complexity attached to it. There is no one definite answer to how much it costs to install a new HVAC system in your home. This piece will break it down for you and make it easier for you to understand what you should expect. Get a free consultation at Houston HVAC

A quick summary

It costs anywhere between $4000 to $13000 to install a complete HVAC unit in Houston. These costs range depending on a few factors such as labor, additional materials required for the installation project, size of the system, its brand, and other additional components such as smart thermostats, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers. Typically, your HVAC system costs should fall under the range mentioned above.

Let’s dig into the finer details.

Equipment costs

If you are looking to buy the HVAC box alone and have the installation covered on a DIY basis, you’d be looking at slightly lower prices than those mentioned earlier. The equipment alone usually will not contain the installation costs, duct-work, filter systems, and other extra components. Therefore, you can expect to pay the following:

  • An HVAC box of basic efficiency- $2000 to $3000
  • An HVAC box of mid-level efficiency- $2000 to $4000
  • An HVAC box of high efficiency- $3500 to $8000


If you are replacing your old HVAC system, you might want to replace the duct-work, too, as they have suffered similar wear and tear. You may need to replace the entire system together with the unit. This means that you have to account for some budget for the duct-work. When installing a new HVAC system, there is no short cut to estimating a budget for new duct-work systems. Installing new ducts and vents typically costs an average of $3000.

Size of the HVAC matters

It’s basic math and logic: The bigger your air conditioner, the higher it costs. The size of the air conditioner required in your home depends entirely on the size of your home. The capacity of an air conditioning unit is measured in BTU’s, which in layman’s language translates to the amount of heat the AC can eliminate from a room in sixty minutes. Standard sized air conditioners are about 2.5 tons that equal about 3000 BTU’s. According to the experts, the standard air conditioner can manage a 1700 to 2000 square feet room, and normally, it would cost you about $3000 to $5000 to purchase the unit and have it installed.

On average, you are likely to spend an extra $1000 for every extra 1000 square feet of space. The math here gets a little complex, but with the help of an HVAC contractor, you will arrive at the right figures.

Brand and model

While looking into HVAC costs, it’s important to note that different air conditioning brands will cost differently in the market. HVAC manufacturers price their products depending on quality, energy efficiency, and reliability. You expect to dig deeper into your pockets for superior brands. Top brands in the Houston market have an average price of $2200 for high-efficiency air conditioners. You would expect lower brands to cost less, bearing in mind each offers a list of pros and cons. It’s important to research carefully and determine your budget before settling for a certain air conditioner brand.

Type of air conditioner

Again, various types of air conditioning systems cost differently. You’ve probably come across portable air conditioners, ductless split systems, and central systems. 

  • Central system- this type of AC utilizes duct systems that link to the furnace system to deliver purified air into your home. They cost anywhere between $4000 to $7500.
  • Portable systems- these are mobile units that can be moved from room to room in your house, depending on your desires. Prices vary depending on the system’s complexity, but they usually cost an average of $3000.
  • Ductless split systems- ductless HVAC systems don’t need ducts. You get the added advantage of not having to think about duct-work expenses. These types of units cost $2000 to $14000 for full installations.

Certain simple window air conditioners installed in windows as individual units fetch as little as $150 to $500. Probably the most affordable of all categories.

Labor costs

As expected, labor costs vary depending on your relationship with your HVAC technician, offers attached to your contract, and your technician’s level of experience. Most homeowners report being charged $50 to $80 per hour for HVAC services. Some HVAC contractors charge 35% to 50% of the cost of the air conditioning unit. Most HVAC installation projects take a day to five to complete. You could do the math to determine your expected labor costs.


You might want to dig a little deeper into your pockets if you are looking for luxury and additional features to add to your HVAC system. The following is a list of add-ons with their estimated pricing.

  • Air purifier- $1500 to $3000.
  • Heat pump- $1000 to $2000.
  • Humidifier and dehumidifier- $3000 to $7000.
  • Smart thermostat- $100-$600.

Depending on your needs and wants, you could forego some of these add-ons to cut on the total costs of installing your HVAC unit.

As seen above, there are no exact costs of installing every HVAC unit. No one solution fits all. Consider bringing an HVAC contractor on board to help you discuss your options and find the best solutions for you. Using the information presented, you will increase your chances of arriving at an accurate AC unit installation cost.

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