Best HVAC Replacement & Central AC Installation Contractors in Houston

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HVAC Contractors in Houston, TX

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How Much Does an HVAC Replacement Cost?

Average cost: $5,400 - $19,800. Use Modernize's calculator to estimate your HVAC project.

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Average HVAC Replacement Cost in Houston

The average cost for HVAC replacement in Houston for a 2,000 square foot single story home can range from $5,675 to $10,000 for a full HVAC unit replacement including ductwork. If you chose to install both a new central air conditioner and a new gas furnace you could expect a quote in that general price range. If your current ductwork in place is still functional, your price quote could be less. It is always recommended to get price quotes from a minimum of 4 HVAC contractors in order to make sure you are getting a fair cost estimate custom to your home and current cooling and heating needs.

Let Modernize help, we can put you in touch with multiple reliable central air conditioning installers within your Houston metro. See contractor reviews, ratings, and special promotions in your area above.

HVAC & Central Air Conditioner Replacement in Houston

Installing a new HVAC “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning” system or replacing an existing system in your Houston home requires important steps to ensure it’s installed legally, sized correctly and that you are getting the best deal possible. Although the type of system you choose and its efficiency are important, the process should start by laying the groundwork for the project by hiring a HVAC contractor or company. Next you can move on to purchasing the HVAC system while making sure you are following the HVAC guidelines set forth by the State of Texas and the City of Houston.

The technology of HVAC systems are evolving yearly due to the advancements in the residential and commercial HVAC industry sectors. As mobile phones and in-home technology grows, so do the HVAC units that are able to coordinate seamlessly with modern technology providing absolute control and saving you money on otherwise rising Houston electricity bills. 

Smart HVAC systems are emerging and are now in the market for Houston homeowners to install and fully automate their home. Energy efficiency and customization is the direction of most HVAC technology and trends. These smart central air conditioning systems improve your home’s overall heating and cooling efficiency and can be controlled from anywhere that you have access to your phone or the internet.

HVAC replacement in Houston TX


We’ve listed the most popular HVAC unit replacement options for Houston homeowners below:

Central Air Conditioner Installation

If you are needing an HVAC replacement in Houston, most cooling and heating contractors will suggest pairing a central air conditioner replacement with a furnace if your home already has ductwork installed. This type of HVAC system pushes conditioned air through your home’s current ducts and vents. This type of HVAC system is very popular in Texas due to its capabilities for handling the Summer heat that Houston homeowners are very familiar with.

best air conditioner unit brands

Heat Pump Installation

A new heat pump installation utilizes the outside air or constant temperature of the earth to both heat a home in the winter months or cool it during the summer. These systems are some of the most efficient in the HVAC industry.

Split System AC Installation

A split AC unit system uses a combination of an indoor air handler and an outdoor condensing unit to condition your home’s inside air. The indoor unit consists of a supply fan and cooling coil while the outdoor condensing unit consists of the condenser coil and compressor.

Packaged HVAC System Installation

Packaged HVAC systems are all-in-one heating and cooling systems, meaning that all components are housed in one cabinet usually located on the home’s exterior. These systems are popular in homes with limited space availability for indoor equipment.

Ductless Air Mini Split Installation

Ductless air mini splits utilize both inside and outside components to provide conditioned air. Benefits of these systems are high efficiency and precise comfort without the cumbersome ductwork associated with traditional systems, which makes them ideal for areas with limited or restricted space.

Smart Thermostats and Sensors


Nowadays, there is no need for you to look for the missing AC unit remote control or hobble to your wall thermometer in the middle of the night. Smart HVAC systems give you the luxury of controlling your home’s temperature from anywhere in your home. These smartphone applications do not only allow you to turn on or off the air conditioning but also to adjust the heat or coolness it produces. The price of a smart thermostat ranges from $150 to $300 in Houston. You should ask your local HVAC technician  about installing  a smart thermostat when you replace your central AC unit. You may even be able to install a smart thermostat like a Nest brand thermostat with your current AC unit. A reliable Houston HVAC technician should be able to help you determine if your AC unit has these capabilities if you have your AC unit brand and model number handy. 

In addition to smartphone-controlled HVAC units, there are also sensor-activated ventilators and motion-detection air conditioning systems that are available in the Texas market today. These sensors allow you to heat or cool a specific area of your home based on activity. This way, intermittent heavy use of the air conditioner in areas not being used will be lessened, resulting in lower operation cost and energy use. If you rarely use a guest room at your Houston home, this may be a great feature for you to consider when installing a new HVAC system.


Thermal-Driven Air Conditioners


Another impressive HVAC technology available is a thermally-driven cooling system. These HVAC units use natural resources, such as gas and solar energy, to operate. Not only are energy costs lower, but chiller designs for thermally driven air conditioners utilize fewer moving parts than traditional HVAC systems. More so, it also needs very minimum to almost no maintenance to run for a long lifespan.  

Another innovation that’s come to fruition is an ice-powered air conditioning system, which uses the coldness of ice to produce the cold air you circulate through your home. This system creates large amounts of ice while you sleep and the outside temperatures are usually cooler The following day, the ice produced will be used to cool the HVAC refrigerant system instead of the compressor which traditional AC units use. This type of thermal driven HVAC system reduces energy consumption by up to 20-30% over conventional central air conditioning  systems.  These types of system can be great for the hot Summers that Houston is known for. 


VRF  HVAC Systems


VRF systems, also called Variable Refrigerant Flow systems, consist of an external unit and refrigerant piping that has individual controls. These individually controlled pipes have designs that focus on each space in your home, ensuring that each room has an excellent capacity for heating and cooling, and both can be controlled independently. Also, one of the main hallmarks of this HVAC system type is that it automatically adjusts to meet current cooling or heating demands for the homeowner. Further to its use, the system calibrates to improve its efficiency and to lower its lifetime costs of ownership. The average cost ranges from $12 to $18 per square foot of area needing to be heated or cooled.

Preparing Your Home for HVAC Replacement

Before investing thousands of dollars on a new HVAC system, it would be beneficial to start first with a home energy assessment. The energy efficiency of your home plays a major role for your new HVAC system to reach its maximum energy efficiency and performance standards. A poorly insulated or improperly sealed home will allow conditioned air to escape. This will cause your new HVAC system to run longer and use more energy putting an additional strain on the system, which can lead to premature breakdowns and costly repairs.

An energy efficiency professional can analyze your home to determine areas that may require attention. It could be as simple as upgrading insulation to more advanced measures such as pressurizing your home to identify energy leaks around windows and doors. Many electric utility companies offer free home energy audits or subsidizing rebates that can help defray the costs of home energy audits.

Choosing the Best HVAC System for Your home

Purchasing the right HVAC system for your home will require hiring the right contractor or HVAC company to install the system. Your contractor or HVAC sales representative is responsible for sizing the system, determining the best installation method and helping you choose a system that meets your efficiency requirements, cooling and heating needs and budget. Most homeowners are familiar with the golden rule of obtaining at least three estimates from reputable contractors before starting a home improvement project and this is no different with HVAC systems. This keeps the process competitive and allows you to settle on a price and contractor or HVAC company with whom you feel comfortable.

It is important to note before entering into an agreement with an HVAC contractor or company, you should first verify that they hold the required license and certifications as well as insurance coverage required by the state of Texas and any local Houston permit requirement. It is also a good idea to ask for and check with local references of prior jobs to get a handle on the type of work you can expect from them.

HVAC Permits in Houston

HVAC installations in Houston require a building permit before starting the project. This is particularly true of new HVAC installations where a prior system did not exist. Although it most often falls under the contractor’s or HVAC companies responsibility to obtain the permit, occasionally homeowners pull the permit. You can visit The City of Houston website online or in person at the permit office, 1002 Washington Avenue, Texas 77002 for more information. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M to 4:45 P.M.

Contact Information
Main line: 832-394-8899
Utility Releases: 832-394-8847
Fax: 832-395-9621

Financing Options for HVAC in Houston

Many HVAC contractors and companies offer attractive financing options to help you pay for your system, some with rates as low as 0 percent. It would be to your benefit to explore the financing options available in your area to obtain the best rate. Many lending institutions offer reduced rates for green or energy efficient home improvements. Traditionally, home equity lines of credit “HELOC’s”, credit cards, personal loans and cash have been used to pay for new HVAC systems.

Final Thoughts on HVAC Replacement in Houston

These are just a few HVAC technologies you can install if you are looking for more than just a traditional air conditioning and furnace combo that most Houston homeowners are used to. HVAC systems are improving like the rest of the world, and offer great options for the modern homeowner looking to install a new HVAC unit. 

By doing your due diligence, you may be able to obtain significant savings in the form of rebates and tax incentives. Depending on the type of HVAC equipment you install, government, state and manufacturer rebates may be available. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency “DSIRE” to view a comprehensive list of incentive programs by state or visit to learn about valuable government rebates and/or tax credits. You can also research HVAC contractors above by reviews, ratings, and special discounts and promotions they are running specific to your Houston metro.