Many factors affect the price of a furnace, including energy efficiency. Highly energy-efficient furnaces tend to cost more upfront than furnaces with lower efficiency ratings, but they offer long-term savings on energy bills. Additional factors that affect the price of a furnace include the type of gas it uses, the size of the unit, and installation difficulty. This guide covers everything you need to know about furnace pricing so you can make the best choice for your needs.
How much does a furnace cost?
The following list breaks down furnace pricing by fuel type.
- Efficiency rating: 80-90%
- Furnace price range: $1,000 to $3,000
- Efficiency rating: 89-94%
- Furnace price range: $900 to $5,400
- Efficiency rating: 95-100%
- Furnace price range: $700 to $1,100
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How much does installation cost?
Generally, the more complex and custom the installation, the more the installation will cost. For instance, if your existing furnace is smaller than your new furnace or installation requires extensive ductwork, then you can expect to pay more. HVAC contractors typically charge around $75 per hour, and a furnace may take a full day to install. In general, labor costs run about half of the total price of installation.
New vs. replacement furnace
On average, furnaces last 16 to 20 years. When it comes to buying replacement parts to fix your old furnace versus buying a new furnace, replacing damaged parts is generally the more affordable route when only one or two components fail.
Purchasing a new furnace may be a good option if your existing furnace is failing frequently and the cost of repairs is climbing. While the upfront cost may seem prohibitive, the pay off is that you will not have to pay for repairs for years to come. Upgrading your furnace to a new one also typically offers energy savings in addition to better technology that improves performance.
Factors that affect furnace prices
Size of the Unit
Typically, the bigger the furnace, the more it costs. Large houses, particularly those in cold climates, require large furnaces with flexible controls to heat them. But a small house in a mild climate usually only needs a small, basic furnace, which will be more affordable than a larger furnace with more features.
Hiring a professional to install a furnace usually costs anywhere between $50-$100 per hour and may take a full day to complete. While upfront installation costs can be high, professional installation ensures that your furnace will run properly and effectively for years to come.
Type of Fuel
There are three main types of furnaces: gas, oil, and electric. Each type features a different price point and level of energy efficiency. Electric furnaces offer the most efficiency and typically cost the least. Gas and oil furnaces feature similar price points, but gas furnaces typically offer more savings on your energy bills than their oil counterparts.
Basic furnace models usually perform reliably and have a budget-friendly price tag. The tradeoff is that these units typically feature single-stage operation, meaning the furnace is either off or on full blast, which can reduce its energy efficiency and make it difficult to adapt to changing temperatures.
Top-tier furnaces usually offer two-stage operation for a few hundred dollars more than single-stage furnaces. They also typically feature variable-speed blowers that help regulate temperatures. A variable-speed unit may cost $500 to $800 more than a non-variable-speed furnace.
Cost to Run a Furnace
Highly energy-efficient furnaces generally cost more than less efficient furnaces upfront, but they offer long-term savings on your energy bills.
A maintenance session with an HVAC professional may cost around $79 for general furnace maintenance to $178 for advanced maintenance. You can often purchase maintenance plans that provide your furnace with annual maintenance, ranging from around $105 for a basic plan to $495 for a high-end plan.
Additional costs to consider
While the ductwork throughout your home may be sufficient for a new furnace, you may have to replace the ductwork that extends out of the new furnace, which comes at a cost. In addition, if your ductwork is underinsulated, you may want to upgrade it to meet the energy efficiency of your new furnace to avoid long-term costs on your energy bills.
Home insulation efficiency
Your home’s insulation affects your furnace’s performance and your energy savings over time. A home with drafty windows or doors will fail to keep adequate heat inside, making your furnace work harder and your energy bills cost more. A properly insulated basement is particularly important because basements account for about 20% of a home’s total heat loss.
New gas lines
If you are switching your fuel source from a non-gas solution to gas or from one type of gas to another, you may have to change your gas lines, which can be expensive. To figure out the best gas line solution, consult a local gas plumber.
Local building codes
Local building codes can dictate the type of furnace installation that must be done as well as the type of pipe and fittings that must be used. Before installing your furnace, you should consult with a plumber to ensure the installation will adhere to local building codes.
Furnace manufacturers offer a variety of furnaces to meet different needs. After assessing your budget, your home’s size and existing ductwork, and your energy-efficiency needs, you can find the perfect furnace for your household.
*Pricing information sourced:
Thomas, James. National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator. Craftsman Book Comapany, 2018.