A home’s heating system can be one of the most expensive mechanical systems and/or appliances within the home. Nonetheless, there’s nothing worse than waking up in a frozen tundra, so you better make sure your heating systems are up to date.
Furnaces are perhaps the most popular form of heating within homes across America. They are efficient, easy to maintain and simple to use. However, all these benefits do come with a price.
Before you buy a furnace for your new home or replace an existing furnace in your current home, make sure you know how much a new furnace cost.
What Furnaces Do?
Before we jump into the numbers, I feel it is important to go over the basics of all furnaces. Furnaces produce heat via coils (instead of water). They use fuel to heat the coils. Furnaces then use a motorized blower to blow air across the coils. The air becomes warmed and then travels through your ducts.
Furnaces can operate using propane, natural gas or electricity as the power source. Oil furnaces, geothermal furnaces and solar-powered furnaces are alternative options that a homeowner might consider.
To determine a furnace's efficiency, look up its AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating. The higher the AFUE value, the more efficient the furnace is. For example, a furnace with an AFUE of 60 converts 60% of the fuel to heat and loses 40% in the combustion process.
For more information on how furnaces compare to other popular heat sources, please see The Differences Between Boilers, Furnaces and Heat Pumps.
How Much Does A Furnace Cost?
The average cost to install a new furnace is $3,602. As always, the price largely depends on the efficiency and size of your furnace, as well as its heat source. We have seen homeowners spend as little as $1,500 on a new furnace or as much as $7,000. However, know that most homeowners pay between $3,200 and $4,420.
While the large installation price may scare many, as we pointed out in our furnace repair cost estimator, the average price to maintain or repair a furnace is just $258.
What Affects the Furnace Price?
As I touched on earlier, a furnace’s efficiency is determined by the AFUE. As you can imagine, the more efficient the furnace is, the more expensive it becomes. That is because overall efficiency will play a key role in your future heating costs.
Propane and natural gas are more efficient than electric furnaces. As such, they tend to be more expensive. Note that gas furnaces require the availability of natural gas and need regular maintenance to ensure that no gas or carbon monoxide is leaking. Before you purchase a gas furnace, you may want to talk to an HVAC pro to make sure your home can support it.
The bigger the furnace, home, condo or apartment, the more expensive your furnace will be. The furnace must be properly sized to the home, as a furnace with excess capacity will use extra power while an undersized furnace will not effectively heat the home.
Along with its efficiency, electric furnaces run smaller than others on the market. This affects the overall furnace installation price.
Furnace Repair Costs
If you just purchased a new furnace, than you hopefully won’t need to worry about repair costs anytime soon, but as is the case with any big purchase, you have to consider all future costs.
The Average Cost to Repair A Furnace
Fortunately, the average price to repair a furnace is $258. Once again, this depends on the size and type of furnace you purchased. Despite its low maintenance cost, there are ways to lower this price.
- During the winter months, change the furnace filter every 30 days.
- Once each heating season, take off the air vent covers and clean them with a damp cloth.
- Use the vacuum extension hose to suck out the dust from around the vent opening.
Performing this regular maintenance can help boost the furnace's efficiency, reduce costs down the road and improve the home's air quality.
Other Considerations for Furnace Repair Costs
Your furnace’s warranty could decrease your furnace repair costs. A furnace that is still under warranty may have parts covered, but the homeowner may have to pay the cost of a service visit and for labor. When a furnace is no longer under warranty, the cost will depend on what the problem is. A cracked heat exchanger or a problem with the motor, fan or wiring may cost more to fix due to the price of the replacement parts.
Furnaces are expensive to install, but they have proven to be one the most efficient heating sources on the market. As long as you maintain it, change the filters and purchase the correct size for your home, you can be sure your home will be heated for winters to come.
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