Not much can be more exciting than a new home or the expansion of a subdivision, which is why contractors, architects, and homeowners aspire to continually build new homes across the United States. Before a build is ever finalized, contractors and homeowners must consider the pricing of the various aspects of the construction project. Included in new construction costs are building materials, electrical, plumbing, and, the focus of our article here, the HVAC system costs. When considering HVAC costs, what exactly goes into the pricing of an HVAC installation cost?

Area Cost of Living

When it comes to a new build, the area where the home or subdivision will be built affects the ultimate cost of the HVAC system. Across the United States we have seen an increase in home prices, which have risen 21 percent from 2015 to 2018. For example, the palm tree-filled state of Hawaii has a median home value of $592,000, and one could guess why this might be so! In the mild climate of Tennessee, the median home price for 2019 is around $169,000, say sources inside Zillow, the leading rental and real estate marketplace in the United States. This is an almost 6% increase since last year! While Tennessee still claims one of the lowest costs of living indexes in the United States, home prices are on the rise. Within the state, the average median home value in Nashville is $110,950, in Chattanooga it is $180,726, and in Knoxville, the average is $149,046, says the US Census Bureau. With the price per square foot in home construction rising locally as well as nationally, the cost of HVAC installation is naturally going to be affected. In 2018, it was reported that a 1,200-2,200 square feet home would cost between $1,000 and $4,000 for the install of ductwork alone. When choosing the location for your build, taking into consideration these costs will give you an idea if you need to increase or decrease expected amounts.

Costs for Ductwork in New Construction

Pricing for new ductwork is dependent upon a few factors: materials and delivery costs, labor and installation. One estimate suggests that the national average to install ductwork is $35-$55 per square foot, including materials and labor. This cost adds up to an average of $15,000  in an average single-family home. When installing a new HVAC, central gas, geothermal, furnace, and central air conditioning, all require ductwork installation. Ductwork can be made of various types of materials. One of the most inexpensive options is flexible, non-metallic ductwork, which is good for complex spaces and is lightweight, but it can be prone to tears. Next in a more cost-effective material is a flexible aluminum, which is lightweight and also good for winding through more complex ductwork systems. Sheet metal varies in price and can also be used for duct construction, but it is not easily insulated, is rigid, and best kept for straight lines. Lastly, most one of the more expensive options is fiberglass duct board which is easy to cut, pre-insulated, and best for straight lines.

Complexity and Choice of HVAC Installation

Choosing a type of HVAC system takes consideration. With continual choices for environmentally friendly heating options, geothermal and solar can reduce bills overtime but cost more to set up initially. Oil heat is found most often as forced air, which tends to work with central air conditioning. The oil is also used for a boiler system, which heats water and pumps it through radiators in the house. This tends to be a more expensive alternative. Natural gas can be used in a similar way to oil heat, but it tends to be cheaper than oil. Oil is delivered in trucks, causing part of the more expensive cost, but natural gas can be piped in and works similarly to the way a furnace or boiler system works. If you are installing baseboards in your home and choose electric heat, note that you will most likely need a humidifier during the winter months in order to add moisture into your home. Electric heat often dries out the environment, which can be beneficial at times, especially in our damp East Tennessee environment, but this tends to raise the overall price for this type of heating choice. Where the HVAC is going to be installed – crawlspace, attic, basement, etc.— as well as the type mentioned above (geothermal, gas, electric, or oil) affect pricing on new construction costs. When an HVAC installer has to crawl into a small space to install an HVAC, the price is going to be higher, as is future maintenance on the systems. HVACs installed in crawlspaces often have shorter lifespans, as they are frequently exposed to the elements, and it is difficult to keep air flow continuous from this location. Instead, consider putting systems where airflow will work best, and costs will be kept low – such as in a basement or a vented attic.

New HVAC Construction Installation in East Tennessee

There is a lot of information out there regarding the most cost-effective choice in HVAC system installation. The HVAC system you ultimately decide on will most likely depend upon your desired outcome for the design and feel of your overall home. Whichever way you choose to heat your home and however you decide to price ductwork and more, note that each type of heating, cooling, and ductwork has pros and cons. City Heat and Air has been a leading provider of new construction installations in East Tennessee for over fifty years. Our technicians can provide entire HVAC system design and installation and recommend the best type of unit for your home. Reaching out today ensures that your build goes well, your HVAC is properly installed, guaranteed, and the climate of your home is consistent. Technicians are standing by to help at 865-938-1005 or on our website.