How Do HVAC Add-Ons Impact Pricing?
When you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, your HVAC contractor may present you with several options for HVAC add-ons including smart thermostats, whole-house humidifiers, UV air cleaners, and more.
All of this may seem confusing at first, so it’s crucial to carefully weigh the pros and cons of adding additional features and equipment. While HVAC add-ons increase the overall cost of your project, they can improve the comfort and health of your home, while reducing energy costs.
To help you determine whether to add HVAC or indoor air quality equipment to your next HVAC installation project, HVAC.com compiled this blog detailing the most common HVAC add-ons and how they affect the pricing.
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Common HVAC Add-Ons to Consider
So what exactly is an HVAC add-on? HVAC add-ons are additional HVAC components or features that are integrated into your HVAC system, typically to increase comfort, convenience, energy efficiency, and the system’s overall performance. Some of the most common HVAC add-ons to consider include:
Programmable or Smart Thermostats
If you’re replacing a 20-year-old HVAC system, chances are your thermostat is the same age. In most cases, it makes sense to upgrade your thermostat to a new, more energy-efficient smart or programmable unit.
Programmable and smart thermostats are extremely convenient, allowing you to pre-set the temperature based on the time of day, and day of week. For example, you can set the thermostat to 62 degrees in winter while you’re at work and have it automatically adjust to 70 degrees when you return home for ultimate comfort and energy savings.
Smart thermostats take the convenience to another level. They allow you to adjust the thermostat using your smartphone from anywhere in the world with a Wi-Fi connection. Smart thermostats also provide monthly energy reports and can learn your temperature preferences over time and make automatic adjustments.
Add-on costs: Costs for programmable and smart thermostats can vary based on the brand, features, and functionality. However, expect to pay about $100 to $300 for a new thermostat, based on cost information from ThePricer.org. Additional features such as advanced sensors, energy monitoring, and voice control also affect the price.
Air Purification Systems
Air purification systems including whole-house air cleaners and air purifiers are worth considering to improve the air quality in your home, especially if family members suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses.
Unlike portable air purification devices that service just one room or area of a home, whole-house models are installed directly into your HVAC system to provide coverage to the entire home. They remove harmful pollutants and contaminants from the indoor air supply, including allergens, dust, pet dander, and mold spores.
Add-on costs: Expect to pay $500 to $2,500 for a whole-house air purification device. Again, the system type and brand affect the price, as well as its size, features, and whether it includes advanced filtration technologies such as activated carbon filters and HEPA filters.
Like air filtration devices, UV lights are tasked with eliminating harmful contaminants, but they do so in a completely different manner. Instead of filtering contaminants and pollutants, UV lights emit ultraviolet radiation to sterilize and disinfect the air, effectively eliminating the reproductive capabilities of mold, bacteria, and viruses to improve indoor air quality.
Add-on costs: The average cost of adding UV lights ranges from $500 to $1,500. The brand of UV lights, the number of lights, the size of your HVAC system, and the complexity of the installation determine the overall cost.
Whole House Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers
If humidity levels within your home are frequently out of whack, including too low during the winter or too high during the summer, you may benefit from the installation of a whole humidifier or dehumidifier.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal indoor humidity level is between 30-50%. High indoor humidity can promote the growth of mold and dust mites, exacerbating respiratory issues and allergies. On the other hand, low indoor humidity can lead to dry skin, irritated respiratory passages, and colds and infections.
Add-on costs: Expect to pay about $200 to $600 for a whole-house humidifier and $500 to $1,500 for a whole-home dehumidifier. Prices vary based on the unit’s energy efficiency, capacity, and advanced control options.
If you’re looking to control the amount of heating and cooling in individual rooms in your home for increased comfort and energy savings, consider installing HVAC zoning as an HVAC add-on.
HVAC zoning works by dividing a home into temperature zones. Each “zone” comes with its own thermostat, dampers, and sensors, allowing precise control over heating and cooling in specific areas. This system adjusts the airflow and temperature to meet the unique comfort requirements of each zone, increasing energy efficiency and improving overall comfort.
Add-on costs: The average cost of adding HVAC zoning to a new HVAC system is $2,000 to $4,000. Factors such as the number of zones, thermostat options, and ductwork modifications can greatly affect the price.
How Do HVAC Add-Ons Affect Pricing?
As you can see, the decision to install HVAC add-ons can increase the overall cost of your HVAC installation project by hundreds or thousands of dollars. These additional features come with their own price tags, installation costs, and possible modifications to your existing HVAC system.
Before adding additional HVAC equipment to your project, consider your budget. While some HVAC add-ons may seem attractive, they may not be necessary for your specific needs or budget. If you do have some wiggle room, choose one or two add-ons that best serve your current needs. For example, the addition of a whole-house air cleaner is important if you have a family member who suffers from allergies.
Another crucial aspect to consider is the potential return on investment (ROI) of HVAC add-ons. Some add-ons, like programmable thermostats or zoning systems, can lead to long-term energy savings, which may offset their initial cost. Improved energy efficiency can result in lower utility bills, ultimately paying back the investment over time.
Finally, ask your HVAC contractor if they offer rebates or special deals for HVAC add-ons with the purchase and installation of a new HVAC system. Some HVAC companies offer steep discounts on HVAC add-ons when you buy a new HVAC system.