If your furnace happens to fail, it is something you will definitely notice. At times it may be possible for your furnace to be repaired to get it into good working order once again. However, you will need to buy a new unit eventually. When your best option is to install a furnace, there are several important things to consider when it comes to cost before you sign any service contract.
How To Find The Right Furnace
The very first thing that you should consider is the kind of furnace you want to have installed. A majority of furnaces last for 15 to 20 years, so it is very likely that all of the choices that are available currently didn’t exist when you purchased the original unit. The most common type of residential furnace uses natural gas to power it and costs from $2,500 to $14,000. Before gas furnaces there were oil furnaces. In some states they are still available. However, these furnaces have a tendency to not be as efficient. They cost from $2,000 to $8,000 to have them installed, or potentially even more if there needs to be adaptions done to the existing duct work.
Installing electric heat is another option that is available to you. They come in the form of small registers that are placed around each room’s border. The average cost of installing these registers is from $1,000 to $2,000. However, this kind of “furnace” isn’t a very good idea if you are trying to heat large areas, and they also have high energy costs. A heat pump is one new option that is growing in popularity. It pulls heat in out of the ground or air using refrigerant coils. The cost of an air source heat pump ranges from $1,500 to $7,000, and ground sources ones are $7,000 to $25,000. In the summer you can use these types of furnaces as air conditioning units. However, in very cold climates many of them can’t operate, which limits their efficiency.
When it comes to gas furnaces, there are many different choices available which can affect how much they cost.
Heat output is the first one. It is measured using British Thermal Units (BTUs). A 60,000 BTU furnace will serve the average house well. It isn’t necessarily better to have higher BTU rating units for smaller houses, since they are more expensive and the ideal temperature is reached too quickly and then shuts off. This results in a comfort level that is inconsistent.
The next consideration is efficiency. Older model furnaces frequently were rated at 80 percent or less efficient, meaning that 20 percent of generated heat was lost due to waste. Many of the newer models have 90 percent or higher ratings, with some ranging from 94 to 95 percent. This small increase in efficiency can translate into lower utility expenses.
Determining how effectively your home can be heated by a gas furnace is very important, mostly due to its “staging.” The older types of furnaces were one stage, which mean they operated at full power at all times. Many of the newer furnaces have two stages. When they are first started up they run at 65 percent in order to conserve fuel. From there, they can go to 95 percent when necessary. There are also three stage models, which are more expensive. They can run from 33 up to 90 percent power, with 1 percent increments.
Consider Labor Costs
There are labor costs involved whenever you install a furnace. There isn’t a fixed price for labor. However, many companies charge around $75 per hour for licensed installers, while helpers cost $50. An eight hour installation job will cost $1,000 just for the labor. Installation costs can be even higher if a modification is needed or extensive duct work repair needs to be done.
There are two types of warranties governing furnace function and installs. The manufacturer’s warranty is the first one. It provides protection against defects to the actual furnace, like pilot lights that don’t stay lit and inoperable fans. There is also a contractor’s warranty that covers labor costs for making repairs when the furnace isn’t working correctly. It usually lasts for 5 to 10 years. Extended warranties are offered by some contractors, but they do cost more.
Be sure any warranties you get are in writing. In addition, make sure the warranties specify exactly what is covered, for what time period and which contractor will be fixing the problem. Furnace installation costs can vary widely. However, if you do some research ahead of time, you can avoid paying too much.