As the leaves turn and temperatures drop, it’s natural to start thinking about winter heating. And perhaps this is the year to replace that old furnace with a new, energy-efficient one. But what would a new furnace cost?
The answer depends on a number of factors because a furnace is just one part of a larger system that can include ductwork, vent or chimney, thermostat, and other options. Here are some of the major things to consider when estimating your new furnace cost.
The Furnace and Thermostat
There are many options for the furnace itself. These include staged heating (electrical coils heat up progressively), modulating heat (variable gas valve and fan speed work together to provide consistent heat), and electronic high-efficiency motors. As you might guess, prices vary with the options, ranging from lower to upper hundreds.
Replacing your furnace will often mean replacing your thermostat, as well. And again, there are many choices available. The options range from basic models to digital color screens or Wi-Fi control through an app. Basic thermostats are minimal in cost, but depending on how sophisticated a thermostat you choose, you can end up adding several hundred dollars to the project.
A new furnace can also mean new ductwork, due to size differences between the old and new. Some new ductwork may also be needed if you want to upgrade the filter. Costs of adjusting the ductwork are generally not very expensive, but they can still add up.
If you’re considering adding or upgrading AC, it’s best to do that and the furnace installation at the same time. Not only is it more convenient for the installation itself, but it will save you money in the long run. Of course, AC will add considerably to the overall cost. Depending on the unit(s) you select, it could even double the cost of the entire project. So this is a consideration that may take some extra thought and planning.
Vent or Chimney
Depending on whether you are replacing “like for like” or upgrading, the vent or chimney can add a significant cost. And there are some restrictions. For example, older metal chimneys on 80% efficient furnaces are not compatible with the new high efficiency 90+% units. While the costs here can be in the hundreds, the longer term gain of 10 – 17% energy efficiency can be well worth the up-front investment.
Indoor Air Quality Options
Again, there are many options to consider here, such as a whole house humidifier or dehumidifier, high-efficiency filters, or a high-end air purifier. These will all require some minor ductwork. Another great option for keeping the air fresh in your home is a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). The installation cost of an HRV is significant and will include some ductwork, as well. However, these units last 20-30 years, and — as the name implies — recover heat that would normally be lost with conventional ventilation. As with a new furnace, an HRV is a long-term investment in your home — as well as an investment in your family’s health and comfort.
Installation and Other Costs
In addition to the actual installation costs, there will be related costs including permit fees and the cost of recycling the old furnace and equipment. It’s best to have a thorough conversation with your heating professional to make a final determination of the costs and avoid any last minute surprises.