Here's the Total Cost of a Furnace

Technician working on a furnace - Thomas & Galbraith Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing

Furnace cost varies, but homeowners want a reliable source to help with prices. What’s a reasonable price for a furnace? For every homeowner, the price of a furnace depends on a few different factors. However, there are a couple of trends to know about before you take the leap.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, Thomas & Galbraith helps sort through all the information out there. We tell you about the different kinds of furnaces, how much each of them cost, and how to spend less on heat in the long run. Plus, we let you know what pitfalls to look out for and how to avoid them.

Furnace Types

Furnaces come in three main types. The furnaces use different forms of energy to work. This impacts the furnace cost, but the systems themselves have their own price points. Maintenance and initial cost are both important to consider when you pick a furnace. Think about where you want your money to go when you decide on a furnace type.

Oil

Oil furnaces are the rarest of the three types. Because of the negative impact oil has on the environment, these units are the most expensive to purchase and maintain. As oil supplies deplete, the cost becomes higher and higher. This means upkeep becomes more expensive the longer you have the system.

These systems usually cost between the low thousands and the high thousands. In some cases, the unit itself—without installation—costs well over a few thousand dollars. With the installation, prices reach the high thousands. The furnace cost also doesn’t reflect well on their lifespan. Oil systems only last between 16 and 20 years.

One major benefit lies with the oil itself. Compared to natural gas, oil is less flammable. This makes the system a little bit safer than a gas furnace on this front.

Electric

Electric furnaces are the second most common type. Most homeowners in warmer areas have an electric furnace. Places where winters are harsh don’t benefit much from electric furnaces because they take a long time to heat an entire home. However, for those places with mild winters, an electric furnace works extremely well.

The furnace cost falls right in the middle of oil and gas systems. Most electric furnaces—without installation—cost a few hundred dollars to the low thousands. With installation, the price doesn’t go much higher than the low thousands. Upkeep does cost more than a gas furnace, but this depends on how much electricity costs in your area. In general, homeowners fix issues with electric furnaces on their own, which also lowers maintenance costs. 

Of course, there is always a chance you use the furnace more than you expect. In these cases, you end up with a higher utility bill. Still, these systems last up to 30 years, which is the longest out of all three systems.

Gas

Finally, natural gas furnaces are the most common kind of furnace. For those in places with harsh or long-lasting winters, a gas furnace provides constant warmth with relative speed. The furnace cost itself ranges in the low thousands and doesn’t reach much higher even after installation. Problems with a well maintained gas furnace are rare, but are easy for homeowners troubleshoot before calling for help.

Additionally, gas furnaces have a lifespan of approximately 10 to 20 years. Over the course of its life, the homeowners must purchase gas to power the system. The cost of natural gas varies per location, but in general it costs less than electric furnaces. The downside here stems from the environmental impact of the gas. 

Similarly, homeowners must monitor their gas systems more closely because of the risk of gas leaks. Gas is combustible and flammable, so it’s important to check for leaks often. Lastly, homes without gas lines receive an additional charge to install a line.

Remember to think about all aspects of the furnace before you make a decision. Do you want to spend a higher upfront cost? Or do you want to spend more on upkeep? These are important questions to ask yourself before you pick out a new furnace. Also, consider the availability of gas and oil in the future. Because these are nonrenewable resources, the costs of operation are likely to increase over the years. 

Efficiency & Furnace Cost

Efficient furnaces cost less over long periods of time. When the furnace is efficient, it uses less power, which lowers costs no matter which power source you use. Pick a furnace with the newest technology to ensure its efficiency. Luckily, if you are in the market for a new furnace, whichever one you pick has more efficiency than the one you replace. New technology for furnace efficiency is made every year, so you automatically receive a more efficient model. 

These are the best ways to keep your furnace efficient and lower the furnace cost overall. 

 

  • Check the size. Your furnace needs to be the correct size for your home to do its job. If your furnace is too big or small, the efficiency suffers. When the furnace isn’t the right size, it uses an incorrect amount of energy. This impacts its efficiency and raises your utility bill. 
  • Initial cost. Unfortunately, most expensive furnaces are more energy efficient than cheaper alternatives. Though the upfront furnace cost is steep, a more efficient furnace saves you money in the long run. These furnaces use less energy and usually require fewer repairs over the course of their life. If you are able, consider a pricier model with high efficiency to lower your utility costs. 
  • Stay current. Next, stay up to date with your furnace replacements. When your furnace reaches the end of its life, invest in a new model as soon as you are able. New models use more efficient technology than older furnaces, so you receive a more efficient system right off the bat. Be sure to maintain your current system as well because it improves the longevity. 
  • Use electric where possible. Though not all furnaces use electricity as its main power source, some are able to use electric parts. Traditional pilot lights in a gas furnace are always lit, which wastes gasoline and raises your bill. With an electric ignition, the gas doesn’t constantly run and you save money. 

 

Labor & Furnace Cost

The cost of labor depends on the particular contractor you hire. Some have lower prices than others, but may not provide the quality of products and services you need. Always check the credibility of the contractor before you hire them. Remember, labor costs cover more than just installation. Here are some things to keep in mind when you think about labor costs. 

  • Disposal. Before the technicians install your new furnace, they have to remove the old one. Furnace disposal adds on to your overall price. Disposal sites charge for furnaces and the contractor asks for extra if you want the technicians to throw it away for you. 
  • Number of technicians. Contractors charge by the hour most of the time, but they also charge for the number of technicians. If a contractor sends one technician, the tech usually has an hourly rate. However, if a second technician comes, that tech also has an hourly rate slightly lower than the original technician. Every contractor runs their charges differently, but this is a general model most contractors use. 
  • Time spent. The furnace cost and installation generally refer to how long it takes to install the new system. Removal of the old unit also counts toward this time. Because most places charge by the hour, the faster the technician works the better. However, you still want them to do a good job, so be sure the time spent doesn’t negatively impact the quality of the installation.  
  • Warranties. Next, consider warranties when you purchase your new furnace. Homeowners want to know their furnace cost doesn’t increase with unforeseen problems on the job site. Warranties cover the homeowners so no one pays extra if things go wrong during the warranty term.  
  • Duct repairs. Repairs to the ducts also account for part of the furnace cost. Not only does this add to the overall time the technician spends on the job, it also means you pay for the new duct parts. If the ducts need repairs or replacements, there isn’t much to be done other than fix them. The new furnace needs them to work, so it’s an unavoidable cost if the technician says the ducts need repairs. 
  • Size of unit. Along the same lines, if the furnace you purchase is significantly bigger or smaller than your old unit, the technician needs to replace the ducts. If the unit size changes, the parts need to change too. This adds to the overall furnace cost and the installation.

Extra Furnace Costs

Lastly, furnace installations may have some miscellaneous costs. These are optional costs, but are helpful to the overall system. Because of this, they require careful consideration. 

 

  • Maintenance. This is an essential service after your new furnace is installed. Maintenance checks are often mandatory if you want to keep the manufacturer’s warranty. Luckily, maintenance checks eliminate surprise repairs and lower utility bills over time. They also ensure the system runs for as long as possible. 
  • New thermostat. Lastly, a new thermostat adds to the furnace cost. Some thermostats are able to use environmental temperatures to start and stop the furnace. This ensures the temperature is always comfortable. However, they are pricier than other models. 

 

Thomas & Galbraith Put Furnace Cost to Rest

The furnace cost debate worries homeowners, but with the information above, they have nothing to fear. In Cincinnati, Ohio, Thomas & Galbraith helps homeowners figure out how to pick the right furnace for them.

Give us a call today to learn more!

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