Rattle. Chirp. Bang. Clang. Is your furnace making suspicious noises? Perhaps your furnace is on the older side and you're worried it could give out any second – leaving you in the cold? If your luck is anything like mine, your furnace will break down on the coldest night of the year and you'll be left with the chilling experience of buying a new furnace mid-winter – shelling out much of your cold, hard cash.
Whether you're dealing with the worst-case scenario or preparing in advance, here's what you should know about buying a new furnace:
How much does a new furnace cost?
Furnace prices can be as little as $400 or as much $2,500. Installation costs average at about $2,000 for gas and electric furnaces. They can even run as high as the $6,000 range for oil furnaces.
What are the cost factors to consider?
While you can keep these average furnace costs in mind, your bottom line will depend on several factors, including:
1. Energy source
You can choose a furnace powered by either natural gas, oil or electricity. While gas models are the most common furnace type, electric ones tend to be the most affordable. Like anything, prices can vary due to geographic areas, brands, any included warranties, but HVAC.com estimates the following average furnace costs:
- Electric: $1,925 (Standard Efficiency) $4,410 (High Efficiency)
- Gas: $2,100 (Standard Efficiency) $4,625 (High Efficiency)
- Oil: $2,885 (Standard Efficiency) $6,480 (High Efficiency)
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2. Energy efficiency
Standard furnaces are more affordable than high-efficiency models, but the latter can be a smarter investment to save more money in the long term on monthly bills and upkeep. According to ENERGY STAR, certified gas furnaces can save homeowners in southern U.S. states about $30 in energy costs each year, and $75 for those living in the northern half of the country.
3. Furnace size
As you might assume, larger furnaces come with higher price tags. Choosing the furnace that's suitable for your home is crucial for top performance, so you may want to hire a contractor or HVAC professional to help you determine the right size.
When determining the final price of your new furnace, factor in the labor costs associated with removing your old unit and installing the new one. Keep in mind that installation costs can often be more than the price of the unit. They vary by furnace type, home location and the HVAC professional's level of experience.
5. Warranty plans
Depending on the furnace manufacturer, you may have the option to purchase additional warranties to cover repairs and services for a designated period of time.
Compare different brands to find the most affordable furnace that meets your needs. Some of the most popular and well-trusted brands include Bryant, Rheem, Trane, American Standard and Lennox.
7. Ongoing costs
Along with the initial new furnace cost, you'll need to budget for running the unit and keeping it in good shape. A few ways to help save money in the long run is with proper furnace maintenance, such as changing the filter regularly and scheduling annual performance checkups with an HVAC professional.