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Forced Air Gas Furnace Cost Guide

Forced-air gas furnaces are among the most common heating options among homeowners. Since they operate using natural gas, these systems are known for their energy efficiency and can help to cut down on homeowners' heating costs throughout the year. Forced-air gas furnaces typically operate by circulating the heated air through the home's ductwork and ventilation system. These furnaces are often powered by either a spark ignition system or a pilot light that is kept burning at all times. Some homeowners also install furnace humidifiers onto their forced-air gas furnaces as a way of producing a better air quality.

The Costs

  • The maximum average cost to buy and install a forced-air gas furnace is $1,600.
  • The minimum average cost to buy and install a forced-air gas furnace is $1,300.

Advantages of A Forced Air Gas Furnace

It is never a bad idea to consult an HVAC specialist, such as a local technician, before making a decision on which type of system is right for a home. An expert will be able to assess the current state of the home and determine the most efficient heating options available.

Perhaps the biggest advantage with a forced-air gas furnace is the unit's efficiency, especially when compared to other options available. Forced-air systems make it possible to effectively heat an entire home consistently, unlike other forms of heating such a space heaters or floor furnaces, which only heat from a central location. This is great for homeowners who value comfort during even the coldest months of the year. 

Finally, for homeowners who already have an extensive duct and ventilation system within the home, forced-air gas furnaces can be relatively inexpensive when compared to other heating systems. With duct work already done, installation is simple and only requires the installation of the central furnace unit, saving homeowners on labor and materials costs associated with the installation. 

Disadvantages of A Forced Air Gas Furnace

One possible complication associated with these types of systems is that placing furniture in homes with forced-air systems can be a challenge. It is important to keep vents unobstructed so that air can circulate properly throughout the home, which can limit some options when it comes to furniture arrangement. 

Forced-air gas furnaces are notorious for drying out the air. Circulated air in the home should contain between 25 and 35 percent humidity, but this is often not the case with such a system. Dry air in the home has been proven to make inhabitants more prone to catching infections, such as the cold and flu. Furthermore, dry air can irritate the skin, eyes, and throat. Therefore, homeowners often need to install an additional component known as a furnace humidifier to circulate the right amount of moisture through the air, which can add approximately $800 to the total cost.

Other Costs and Considerations

When deciding to have a forced-air gas furnace installed in one's home, there are some factors that should be kept in mind, especially concerning cost. Homeowners should be aware that forced-air gas furnace installation is not a do-it-yourself job. Instead, this should be left up to highly trained and qualified HVAC technicians. Improper installation of the system could have dangerous consequences, such as the expulsion of high levels of carbon monoxide in the home. Hiring an HVAC technician to install the unit can save homeowners money in the long run as a professional will take the time to ensure that the unit is as efficient and properly insulated as possible. 

Homeowners hiring an HVAC company for forced-air gas furnace installation should be aware that the average cost for the furnace unit itself is generally around $800. Because labor can take up to 8 hours or more, installation costs tend to make up a decent chunk of the total expense. Specifically, homeowners should expect to pay around $500 for labor, on top of an additional $150 or so for the necessary installation materials like piping and tubing.

When deciding on a forced-air gas furnace to buy, there are some other considerations that should be kept in mind to ensure the proper unit is chosen. Some of these factors to consider include:

  • Square Footage of the Home
  • Efficiency
  • Price & Rebates

It is important to choose the right-size unit to heat the entire home. An experienced HVAC technician can help with this. He or she will be able to determine what capacity furnace is appropriate for the given size of the home based on square footage. Those concerned about operating costs should be sure to shop for a unit that is as efficient as possible. Most units are assigned an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating. An AFUE number of 78 percent or more is considered to be efficient.

Finally, some units may come with special rebates or discounts. Homeowners looking to maximize their savings will want to shop around to find the best deals possible. It may also be worth looking into potential federal tax credits and rebates that are available to homeowners who install energy efficient HVAC systems in their homes. It may also be possible to increase savings by finding the right HVAC contractor or company for installation. Most companies will issue a free quote at no obligation, so requesting a few of these can be an excellent way to compare prices and find out which company offers the best deals.

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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