Helping you plan your home improvement project, from start to finish

How Much Does a Forced Air Furnace Cost?

Keeping a home running efficiently year-round means making sure that the heating system is operating smoothly, even when not in use. A forced air furnace allows the heat to generate and circulate while blowing up through the ductwork and into each room in the home. It uses warm air as its heat transfer medium. Because operating a forced air furnace is an affordable and efficient way to heat and cool a home, it's a common choice for homeowners, even those on a budget. Installation is cost-competitive through most reputable HVAC companies and contractors. When considering the overall cost, there are several things to keep in mind prior to installation.

The Costs

  • Average minimum cost of a 72,000 BTU forced air furnace: $495

  • Average maximum cost of a 72,000 BTU forced air furnace: $1,295

Types and Usage

There are two main types of furnaces available on the market: forced air and radiant heat. While radiant heat is very energy efficient, it doesn't always heat up a home quickly. That is why most homeowners choose forced air. With a forced air furnace, the thermostat regulates the burner, allowing the unit to fire up and generate heat. Because the furnace gets hot quickly and also retains heat, it travels through the duct system and vents to send warm air throughout each room in a short amount of time.

There are five main types of forced air furnaces that each burn or utilize different materials. Gas is the most popular type of forced air furnace. Using either natural gas or propane gas, a forced air furnace that runs on gas burns extremely clean and has a minimal impact on the environment. Natural gas prices are competitive with the market, but prices can fluctuate. Gas remains an economical choice among homeowners who have natural gas access. Propane gas can cost much more than natural gas mainly because of transportation costs. Homeowners living in rural areas may see a slightly higher delivery cost, which can raise their overall heating bills for cold weather seasons.

Forced air powered solely by electricity offers a clean, no-fume heat, but can also raise the overall energy costs of the home. While newer forced air models are very efficient, they are about 35% more costly to run than a natural gas furnace.

Burning wood is typically done with a wood stove, and then a unit is placed at the chimney to force the air into the room. Newer wood stove models offer a hookup to a forced air furnace where the heat is generated in a separate unit and then blown into the home for maximum efficiency. Not to be confused with a wood stove, this type of heat is efficient for homeowners if they cut their own wood.

Corn pellet stoves also have options to connect to a forced air furnace. This means the burner heats up the corn and then distributes clean heat into the ductwork, therefore heating the home efficiently and economically. Fuel oil is a less affordable choice; fuel oil doesn't burn as efficiently as other fuel types and also places homeowners at a greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning unless the unit is cleaned and maintained regularly.


One of the main advantages to selecting a forced air furnace system is the cost. Overall, it is the most widely sold and used furnace type in the U.S. This means retailers and manufacturers are very competitive with pricing and installation. Because of this, parts are widely available. This keeps repairs and maintenance affordable for almost any type of budget.

Forced air furnaces are very easy to use and generally require very little upkeep. It can be as simple as adjusting the thermostat. Keeping the home insulated will help the furnace run at maximum efficiency.


Wood pellet or corn burners will require more care and attention because the feeders can easily become sooty and clogged. In order for the furnace to fire up and operate correctly, daily cleaning is required. Wood and corn burning stoves also require a larger initial investment, especially for outdoor units. This should be considered when determining the budget. Cost plays an important factor in both installation and the overall running of a forced air furnace.

Last updated on Sep 4, 2014

Top Articles on Forced Air Furnace

View All Articles

Looking for accurate quotes on your project?

  • Get multiple quotes for any home improvement project
  • See pro's rating, reviews, projects and more
  • 100% free, no obligations
  • Only takes a few minutes

Find pros in your area.

Close ×