Replacing an HVAC system, including the furnace and air conditioner, can take 8 to 14 hours. The job of replacing an air conditioner alone can take 4 to 8 hours. But, how long HVAC system replacement takes is important to consider as you’ll need to take some time out of your schedule.  Homeowners in Clifton Park and surrounding areas rely on Grasshopper Heating & Cooling for fast and effective HVAC replacement (including AC and furnace installation) with high-quality results.

What Affects the Length of an HVAC Replacement Job?

If you’ve never faced a project of this scale or it’s been a decade or two since your HVAC system was replaced, you may not know what to expect. Here are some factors that impact how long your HVAC replacement project may take:


Preparation occurs before the equipment is installed. However, it’s an important stage of the process as it ensures the proper components are selected and your home is ready for the project. The length of the preparation phase varies and depends on when appointments can be scheduled. Nonetheless, this step includes:

  • Estimating Project Costs: To provide a cost estimate, an HVAC contractor will measure your home’s square footage and also factor its condition, insulation, climate, and other variables into a load calculation. We recommend getting estimates from at least three or four contractors.
  • Deciding on the System to Install: Once a calculation is done, the contractor can recommend the right size and type of system to install. Many homeowners still prefer a traditional forced-air heating and cooling system, but other options include heat pumps and ductless mini-split systems.
  • Home Repairs and Upgrades: The HVAC company may recommend repairing or replacing ductwork. Other steps to ensuring your new system works efficiently include sealing windows and doors, insulating the attic and crawlspace, and filling holes and cracks in exterior walls.

Finding the right contractor can also take time. Before you hire any professional, make sure they’re licensed, bonded, and insured. Look up their license number to follow up on their credentials. When you receive an estimate, make sure it’s dated and signed, plus covers the project timeline, equipment to replace, removal of old equipment, clean up, and a price list of every item and task.

Preparing Your Home for HVAC Replacement

It shouldn’t take long to ready your home for the crew’s arrival, but it’s important to take the time to do so. Give yourself a couple of hours to move furniture and valuables to a safe location. Otherwise, contractors will have to move them for you, which takes up their time and can lead to liabilities if they have an accident while moving expensive items. For additional safety purposes, move pets to a quiet location away from the work area.

The crew must also set up their workspace. This includes laying drop cloths and/or other protective items to prevent damage to flooring. Furniture that can’t be moved will be covered with plastic to protect it from dust and debris. The workers then bring in and set up their tools and equipment.

Removing the Old System

The crew must gain access to the attic, crawl space, basement, or other area where your HVAC system is located. After powering the system down, they’ll remove the refrigerant. Next, old components are dissembled and removed.

Setting Up the New System

Installing the new equipment can take several hours and entails leveling and connecting the outdoor condensing unit, placing the indoor air handlers, and attaching refrigerant supply lines. The condensate drain lines and pump are set up, and the thermostat is placed and wired. 

You may also need updated wiring and circuit breakers. Some HVAC replacement jobs require the help of a licensed electrician, while unforeseen circumstances such as outdated electrical systems, rotten wall studs, damaged ducts and vent systems, and other issues can increase the project timeline and cost.

Testing Your HVAC System

An experienced and reputable HVAC contractor will perform various tests to ensure your system is set up properly. Pressure and vacuum tests are completed before the system is charged with refrigerant. The system is then retested, and the technicians evaluate each component to ensure it’s working. Once they verify the system is running properly, they’ll discuss how to operate it, explain the warranty, and answer your questions.

Additional HVAC Replacement Time Factors

Size of the Air Conditioning System

Smaller units take less time to install than larger ones. However, the physical size of the unit isn’t the only factor. If you have a smaller home, you’ll need a smaller air conditioner, but the structure’s volume plays a role too. It can take longer to fit equipment through tight spaces. And, if your home has higher ceilings, it will need a larger air conditioner, regardless of square footage. But if you have a larger home that requires more than one HVAC unit, that’ll also increase installation time.

Type of HVAC Equipment

A contractor selects an AC and furnace based on the layout of your home. A split air conditioner consists of an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor evaporator coil. Indoor components can often be installed in attics, garages, or closets. A packaged AC system contains the condenser and coil in one unit installed on the roof. Each has its pros and cons, and installation time depends on the specifics of the individual project.

Type of Installation

A changeout, meaning you’re replacing your current HVAC system with the same type, takes less time than a full system replacement. Changeouts typically take less than a day. However, a full replacement that entails replacing ductwork, rewiring thermostats, and other steps can take as long as three to five days. Replacing the air ducts takes up much of the project time.

Contact Grasshopper Heating & Cooling

Our NATE-certified technicians specialize in high-quality HVAC replacement. From your free initial estimate to final system testing, we ensure your HVAC system meets your home comfort needs for many years. We also properly size and configure it, which lowers energy bills and ensures quiet and reliable operation. At Grasshopper, we install all types of HVAC equipment and offer specials and financing options to work with your budget. To schedule an AC or furnace replacement in Clifton Park, NY, contact us on the web or call (518) 241-5734

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