Your Guide to HVAC Unit Replacement Costs

furnace installation and repair Charleston

Your HVAC unit is essential to your home. This is because your HVAC is designed to keep your home cool or warm and prevent issues with air quality. With that said, your unit doesn’t just maintain the comfort of your home, it increases your home’s safety.

Unfortunately, HVAC units can’t last forever. As your unit ages, it won’t function the way it initially did and will require a replacement. But the cost of HVAC units can get relatively expensive and will likely require a little budgeting and planning before investing in your next unit.

If you’re in Charleston, SC, and are in the process of replacing your HVAC unit or you want to educate yourself on what factors into the cost, read on to learn more.

What is the average cost of an HVAC unit?

There is no one set price for an HVAC unit. The price of replacing your HVAC in Charleston, SC will vary depending on a variety of factors. As a rule of thumb, here is a simple guideline for the average cost of a unit replacement based on a home’s square footage.

  • The average cost for a 1,000 sq ft home is $6,000-$8,000.
  • The average cost for a 2,000 sq ft home is $8,000-$12,000.
  • The average cost for a 2,500 sq ft home or larger is over $12,000.00.

With that said, $12,000 is considered on the high-end for an HVAC unit replacement with $7,500 being the average low. $8,000 is considered the overall average cost for an HVAC unit replacement.

An Overview of an HVAC Unit Replacement in Charleston, SC

The best way to plan for an HVAC unit replacement is to understand all of the potential costs you may encounter. It’s important to note that the cost of HVAC units typically fluctuates as prices depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of a new unit, current labor prices, installation, accessibility to units, and removable and disposable fees.

Here’s a breakdown of fees associated with a unit replacement.

New Unit Cost

One of the first costs to consider is the cost of a new unit. New HVAC units will range in price and can cost anywhere from $4,000 and $10,000. This ultimately depends on the brand you choose and your unit size. To break it down further, a new furnace can cost between $2,500 and $4,000, while an air conditioning unit can cost anywhere from $3,500 and $8,000.

Labor Cost

The next cost for homeowners to consider is the cost of labor. Labor costs also vary and typically run between $1,500 to $5,000.00. These costs will depend on each individual company, the size of the unit, and how complex the installation is. Keep in mind that labor costs are generally included in the installation costs.

Installation and Accessibility Cost

This is a factor that many homeowners don’t think about, but installation and accessibility play a key role in unit replacement costs. There are three types of HVAC installations:

  • Change-out installation: including a new heating and cooling system.
  • Full-Install: including all HVAC equipment and ductwork.
  • Full-Install: including all HVAC equipment, ductwork, zoning system, and other features.

If it is difficult for the technician to reach the existing HVAC system, the cost to replace it will increase.

Removal and Disposal of Previous Unit Cost

This is a standard fee that includes the cost of removing and disposing of the previous unit.

Climate Cost

Geographical location also plays a role in the cost of your unit replacement. You can expect a residential furnace to run between 35,000 and 100,000 BTUs. If you live in a relatively hotter climate, the BTU output for cooling will increase by 10 percent. This means that South Carolina residents should budget accordingly.

Additional Costs to Consider

The work of the technician sometimes extends beyond the standard fees. As such, it’s important for homeowners in Charleston, SC to be aware of other additional costs that could potentially be added to the total cost of their HVAC unit replacement. Here are 3 common additional costs to know about.


Your HVAC system needs ductwork because it distributes airflow from your heating and cooling system throughout your home. HVAC ductwork replacement costs between $4,000and $10,000. This price will depend on how much ductwork needs to be replaced. It’s important to note that ductwork installation can add more labor time, typically 2 to 4 days more.

With that said, it’s best to replace your ductwork if you’re replacing your HVAC system. By doing this, you can ensure that your ductwork is free of allergens and dust, improving your home’s air quality and your health.


Getting an HVAC unit replacement does not come with insulation. But some homeowners should consider this cost if they’re in the process of replacing their unit. More specifically, homeowners that live in older homes may want to consider replacing their insulation. Older homes tend to have cold and drafty rooms in the winter and uncomfortably hot upper floors and attics in the summer.


While this may be the smallest cost on the list, it’s still important to consider. If you need a new thermostat, this can run you anywhere from $200 to $575, depending on the type of thermostat you get. For instance, you might get a basic thermostat installed, but smart thermostats will cost you more.

Complete Heat and Air in Charleston, SC

Your HVAC unit is one of the most important aspects of your home. These complex units provide optimal comfort and help keep your air quality safe. If you’re in Charleston, SC, or the surrounding area, consider Morelli Heating and Air for your needs. We are a family-owned company providing quality service at affordable prices. If you need an HVAC unit replacement, contact us today to get a quote.