How Much Does A New Furnace Cost If You Are Considering Replacing Yours?
One of the first questions homeowners have when they call our company in the heating season is : How much does a new furnace cost? Unfortunately the answer is not a simple one. I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines and the breakdown of the decision you need to make.
Most people understand the importance of getting what they want the first time so as to not have any regrets down the road. Making the best buying decision is important considering the amount of time we spend indoors, especially in the Winter.
Unfortunately, some people only focus on the purchase price alone of a furnace with the only goal of finding the "lowest bidding" contractor; there are other factors which are just as important. We've found most people we do business want the BEST VALUE!The questions is, how do you determine that? At H&H Plumbing & Heating, we've found the following information to be very helpful.
The Decision In A Nutshell:
Like most homeowners, if you've done any research online you may be feeling a little overwhelmed; even frustrated. There's loads of technical details; enough to make your eyes glaze over. Let's see if we can simplify, in general terms, what is involved in making the right decision for you. We hope this helps.
Let's frame the decision in simplest terms. Keep in mind you're making this decision one time and living with it for 20 years. It makes no difference to us which one you select.
Let's first address energy efficiency ratings and the term AFUE.
AFUE is the abbreviation for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio. AFUE is used to rate furnace efficiencies by dividing the ratio of heat output by heat input. This measurement describes how well fuel, gas or oil is consumed to produce heat by a furnace. As the AFUE rate increases, the efficiency of your furnace also increases, lowering your fuel costs. Furnaces manufactured in the United States are required to have at least an 80% AFUE.
The higher that percentage, the more heat the furnace can produce from each therm(unit) of gas (think miles-per-gallon). Keep in mind, there are simply a lot more to efficient operation than the manufacturers’ ratings. Efficiency numbers are measured in a controlled, ideal laboratory setting. A lot can and does go wrong when a contractor takes the equipment out into the real world and installs it in your home.
The most important steps in selecting a furnace are to ensure that the unit's specifications fit your needs and it is installed correctly.
Here's a little more about the specifics to help you understand and the variables that determine a move up or down and the corresponding investment ranges. We'll begin by keeping the AFUE at 95/96%. In general, this is what we recommend, (you'd be hard-pressed to find a contractor in this area who doesn't offer furnaces with these AFUE ratings.)
In general, the investment ranges from $2500 on the low end to $8500+ on the high end.
In this graph you see, the more you invest the greater TRUE comfort, efficiency, the quieter it operates and the better air quality.
Two variables to determine:
#1: Determine the BTU's (size) - By the Manual J Software and the heat loss calculated of your home.
#2: Which airflow system to chose:
- Single Stage
To illustrate, let's compare an on/off light switch to a dimmer switch commonly found in many kitchen or dining rooms, where you can adjust it to almost unlimited brightness vs. on/off.
Here's A Building Scientist's Opinion:
"What many home owners don't realize is that a unit uses more energy in the first three to five minutes ramping up compressors and coils than in the next 25 minutes of continuous running," Most homeowners think just the opposite". A single-speed furnace or air conditioner comes on full-blast no matter what. That may be okay in the dead of winter or heat of summer, but in the spring or fall, when outdoor air temperatures are less extreme, a single-speed unit may heat or cool rooms too quickly.
There are 4 factors that determine the size of your investment -- Two you can't control and two you can, which we cover in our in-home appointments.