What Are Some Of The Costs Of Heating And Cooling Systems For The Home?

What are some of the costs of heating and cooling systems for the home? Service charges for air conditioning unit inspections, and costs for replacing heating and cooling systems. There are lots of options...

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a heating and cooling system for your home. Heat pumps, which offer both heating and cooling, are one of the more popular options, especially for newer homes. You may also choose to install a gas furnace for heating and a separate air conditioning system for your cooling needs. You'll need to take the options of gas vs. electric and whether your home is equipped with proper duct work and insulation into consideration when choosing to install or replace a heating and cooling system.

The average cost for replacing a heating and cooling system is $3,000 to $6,000 but may be as high as $10,000 depending on the size of your home, the efficiency of the unit, and the brand name you choose. Choosing a more expensive brand name or higher efficiency model may save you money in the long run in energy costs and maintenance. A heating and air service technician will be able to help you evaluate your home's needs and the options available to you. It is a good idea to obtain up to three estimates before making a final decision about installing, replacing, or upgrading your heating and cooling system.

After the cost of installation, your unit will require regular maintenance inspections. Many heating and cooling companies offer contracts that will provide you with yearly or bi-annual maintenance inspections. You can expect to pay $60 to $100 for these visits, which should greatly reduce your need for emergency repairs. Maintenance inspections include an evaluation of the unit, cleaning the coils, and changing the filters. You may also want to consider a thorough duct cleaning every two to three years to remove mold, mildew, and bacteria.

If you do experience an emergency repair problem, you can expect to pay an initial $45 to $60 for the service call plus the cost of any additional labor and parts needed to make the repair.

We asked Frank Montalvo, who owns Azteca Air and Heat in Austin, Texas: What is usually more expensive when it goes out, the air conditioner or the heater? He says, "They're about the same price, but the air conditioner is more likely to go out than the heater. We have more problems with air conditioning than we do with heaters. Heaters tend to last a lot longer, especially in this area of Texas where people don't need a lot of heat. When you run the AC, it tends to be a lot more work; therefore, it tends to break down more often."

The other cost involved in heating and cooling systems is energy, either gas or electric. Having yearly maintenance inspections and regularly changing your filters are the best ways to keep your unit energy efficient. If it's time to replace your unit, the choice of a higher-efficiency model may be more expensive, but will save you money in energy costs. Other ways to lower the energy costs of your heating and cooling system include installing a programmable thermostat, adding weather stripping around your home's windows and doors, using ceiling fans, making sure your air registers or radiators are free from obstructing furniture, installing thermo-pane windows, and ensuring that your attic and ceilings are well insulated.

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