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What will it take to replace my furnace?

With the extreme cold, we have been slammed with calls asking how much a new furnace installation costs. While it’s impossible to determine one specific cost, below we offer several factors to consider in order to make a more educated choice when faced with replacing your furnace.

What’s Your Energy Source?

The first thing to consider is where the energy for your furnace comes. The most common types of furnaces are powered by gas, which range from $2,000 to $5,000 (depending on efficiency and size). If your home is all electric, you will most likely have a heat pump-air handler combination system. The heat pump is the outdoor system that functions like an A/C during summer, but reverses and is the primary heat source during the winter. The air handler is the indoor part of the system, and will have a backup “emergency” heat source that can be expensive to operate. Heat pump systems can range from $5,000 – $15,000 depending on efficiency and size.

How Efficient are Your Furnace Options?

Furnaces with higher AFUE (annual fuel unit efficiency) are more efficient, but will also cost more at first. The more usage the furnace requires the quicker you will see a return on investment, and eventually will have spent less money because of the reduced operating costs.

Furnace efficiency is rated by percentages, with standard efficiency systems rated at 80 percent  —meaning 20 percent of the heat being generated gets lost through the flue. Newer models receive a rating of 90 percent or better, with some reaching 98 percent efficiency — resulting in lower utility costs.

What is the size of your furnace?

Gas furnaces have a heat output that is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Units with a higher BTU rating aren’t necessarily better for smaller homes, because they can hit your desired temperature too quickly and then shut off. This inconsistency can increase your energy bill significantly. Single gas furnaces typically start around 40,000 BTUs and get as high as 135,000 BTUs. Once a home exceeds around 5,000 square feet (and oftentimes even smaller), the home would move to having two systems rather than having the largest system.

How Much Will Installation Cost?

This is completely dependent on the brand of furnace you choose to install, and the HVAC contractor you hire. Additionally, if the HVAC contractor finds that you need any repairs on ductwork or other components of your unit, installation costs may run higher.

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