How Much is an HVAC System in South Carolina?

July 10, 2024
An hvac system with a dollar symbol on the side

South Carolina’s hot summers and relatively mild winters make a reliable HVAC system essential for maintaining comfort throughout the year. The cost of an HVAC system can vary widely based on several key factors, including the size and type of the system, its efficiency, the brand, and the specifics of the installation process.

As one of the top-rated HVAC contractors in South Carolina, we’ve decided to put this page together to help you understand the typical costs associated with installing an HVAC system in South Carolina and provide insights into how you can manage and potentially reduce these expenses. 

The Quick Answer: HVAC System Cost in South Carolina

Installing a new HVAC system in South Carolina typically costs $8,000 to $15,000. This range depends on the size, brand, & efficiency of the system, the type of fuel used, and the complexity of the installation process.

Factors Affecting HVAC System Cost

System Size and Type

The size of an HVAC system is one of the most significant factors affecting its cost. Larger homes require bigger units, which are naturally more expensive. The type of system—a central air system, a heat pump, or a furnace—also plays a critical role in determining the price. Central air systems and heat pumps generally range from $8,000 to $12,000, depending on their size and features.

Efficiency Ratings

Efficiency is another key factor. HVAC systems come with various efficiency ratings, such as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for air conditioners and the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) for furnaces. Higher efficiency units, while more expensive upfront, can significantly save energy bills over time. For example, a high-efficiency HVAC system with a SEER rating of 16-20 can cost between $13,000 and $25,000.

As another example, a high-efficiency HVAC unit with a SEER rating of 16-20 can cost $2000-$7500 or more.

Fuel Type

The type of fuel the HVAC system uses also impacts the overall cost. Electric systems tend to have lower installation costs but higher operational expenses due to electricity prices. On the other hand, natural gas and propane systems are generally more cost-effective to operate, but more expensive to install. 

Brand and Features

The brand of the HVAC system can significantly influence the price. Premium brands like Daikan, Carrier, and Trane are often more expensive but are known for their reliability and advanced features. Additionally, systems with modern features such as smart thermostats, variable-speed motors, and enhanced air filtration systems can add to the initial cost but improve overall efficiency and comfort​​.

Typical Costs in South Carolina

Cost Breakdown by System Type

Understanding the cost of different HVAC systems can help you budget effectively. In South Carolina, central air systems typically cost between $8,000 and $15,000, depending on their size and efficiency. Heat pumps, ideal for the state’s climate, range from $8,000 to $12,000. Furnaces vary significantly based on the fuel type: gas furnaces cost between $4,500 and $7,500, electric furnaces range from $3,500 to $7,000, and propane furnaces range from $4,500 to $8,035.

Installation and Labor Costs

Labor costs are a substantial part of the total HVAC installation expense. In South Carolina, the cost of labor typically ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the installation’s complexity and the unit’s location. Installations in difficult-to-access areas like rooftops or crawl spaces can increase labor costs.

Additional Costs

Several additional costs can affect the overall price of an HVAC system installation. Permits required for new installations and replacements can range from $100 to $250. Removing an old HVAC system usually costs between $100 and $200. If ductwork needs to be installed or replaced, this can add $6,500 to $12,000 to the total cost, depending on the size and complexity of the system.

Maintenance and Long-Term Costs

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of an HVAC system. Routine check-ups, typically conducted twice a year, can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. These check-ups usually include inspecting and cleaning the system, checking for leaks, and ensuring all components function correctly.​

Maintenance Costs

The cost of maintaining an HVAC system in South Carolina can vary but typically ranges from $139 to $328 annually. This cost covers essential services such as filter replacements, cleaning condenser coils, and checking refrigerant levels. Investing in a maintenance plan with a trusted HVAC service provider can ensure regular care, which often comes with discounts on repairs and priority service.

Long-Term Savings

Investing in regular maintenance not only keeps the HVAC system running efficiently but also prevents costly repairs. A well-maintained system operates more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills. Additionally, regular maintenance can identify and address issues early, preventing expensive emergency repairs and prolonging the system’s lifespan.

Final Thoughts on HVAC System Cost in South Carolina

Understanding the cost of installing an HVAC system in South Carolina involves considering various factors, from system size and efficiency to installation specifics and additional features. You can manage these costs by leveraging available rebates and incentives, investing in energy-efficient models, and following maintenance best practices. Regular maintenance is essential for long-term savings and system reliability. With the right approach, South Carolina residents can ensure their homes remain comfortable and energy-efficient, even in the state’s challenging climate conditions.

Carney & Son Air Conditioning and Heating

Carney & Son, 72 Degrees

We are a family Owned & Operated HVAC Services in Charleston, SC, proudly serving the Charleston community for 39 years.

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