It doesn’t matter if your furnace fails in the middle of winter or the end of the cold season. When your furnace breaks down, it can be an expensive — and often unexpected — project.
To give you the most accurate estimate possible for your new furnace, the HVAC experts at Today’s Homeowner gathered cost data from direct-to-contractor resources. We’ll explain what goes into the cost of a new furnace, what you can expect for installation costs, and review the top HVAC companies.
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Furnace Replacement Cost
On average, furnace replacement costs between $4,000 and $7,000 for the new furnace, installation, old furnace removal, and labor. The national average cost for a new gas, oil, or electric furnace is around $5,780, but electric and gas furnaces are typically more affordable than oil furnaces.
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Furnace Replacement Cost by Type
Furnace installation cost depends on the type of furnace and the fuel source. Electric furnaces are among the least expensive home heating systems, while oil and gas furnaces are more expensive.
Electric Furnace Cost
On average, electric furnaces cost between $1,200 and $7,000. Electric furnaces use heating coils to heat air, which is then distributed throughout your home through ducts and vents.
Electric furnaces are known for their high energy costs, so it’s worth the higher up-front cost for a more energy-efficient unit. Since this system runs on electricity, electric furnaces are most common in warmer climates with mild winters.
Natural Gas Furnace Cost
The average price range for a natural gas furnace is typically between $3,280 and $7,550 or more. Natural gas furnaces are common in northern states with harsh winters because natural gas is cheaper than electricity. If you want to save even more money on your utility bills, you can opt for a new unit that is more energy efficient.
Oil Furnace Cost
You can expect to pay between $6,425 and $9,175 or more for a new oil furnace installation. These furnaces are often the most expensive to install and maintain and are less efficient than others. However, this fuel type is safer than gas furnaces because you do not have to worry about carbon monoxide. Oil furnaces are common in northern regions where you do not want to pay high electric bills to heat your home.
Furnace Replacement Cost by BTU
British Thermal Units (BTUs) measure your furnace’s heating efficiency. The more BTUs a furnace has, the more warm air it can pump through the pipes and heat your home. That said, larger homes require larger furnaces with more BTU capacity.
BTUs also depend on which region you live in. If you live in a northern region (region 4 or 5), you will need a system with more BTUs because your furnace will need to heat your home during colder winters. However, if you live in southern regions (regions 1 and 2), your furnace will not need to heat your home in such extreme temperatures. So you can get by with a less expensive furnace with a lower BTU rating.
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Factors That Impact Furnace Replacement Cost
Furnace replacement cost depends on several factors, including the type of furnace you install, energy efficiency, size of your home, and climate. Most of your furnace replacement cost can be attributed to the cost of materials and labor, but the factors that can raise or lower the cost of a new furnace include the following:
- Furnace size
- New versus replacement heating system
Where you live heavily impacts the type of furnace you need to heat your home effectively. For example, if you live in northern regions that experience cold winters, you will need a furnace with more BTUs than someone who lives in southern states.
Systems with more BTUs are larger and thus often more expensive than furnaces rated for fewer BTUs. For example, a 45,000 BTU furnace may cost between $3,200 and $4,500, but a 150,000 BTU furnace can be $6,000 or more.
There are five climate zones that determine the type of furnace you need. Since BTUs are based on square footage, you can multiply the square footage of your home by a certain number of BTUs per square foot. Depending on where you live, you can estimate the size of your system using the following guidelines:
- Region 1: 35 BTU per square foot
- Region 2: 40 BTU per square foot
- Region 3: 45 BTU per square foot
- Region 4: 50 BTU per square foot
- Region 5: 60 BTU per square foot
Check out the figure below to determine your general climate zone or region and corresponding BTU requirements.
For example, if you have a 2,000-square-foot home and live in Minnesota, the appropriate furnace size is about 120,000 BTUs; if you live in Florida with a home of the same size, you can get by with 70,0000 BTUs. Local furnace installers know the best system size for your home, so contact a local HVAC contractor.
Not only are efficient furnaces better for the environment, but these appliances can save you hundreds of dollars yearly. However, these high-efficiency furnaces come at a price. Generally, high-efficiency models are more expensive than lower-efficiency furnaces. For a moderate-efficiency furnace, expect to pay between $4,500 and $7,000, while the most efficient furnaces often cost between $6,000 and $10,000 or more.
When looking to replace your furnace, the most important efficiency factor is the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) value. The AFUE rating indicates how much fuel your furnace converts to energy and how much is lost during conversion. That means that if your furnace has an AFUE rating of 85%, 85% of the fuel is converted, and 15% is lost.
AFUE is represented by a percentage and will likely range between 56% and 100%. The higher your AFUE, the more efficient your system is. Standard furnaces fall around or above 80%, but furnaces with 90% or more AFU ratings can earn an Energy Star rating.
The brand of furnace you buy can also affect the price. The cost difference between the best furnace brands can be several thousand dollars. For example, a 100,000 BTU 96% AFUE furnace can cost $6,300 from Bryant but $5,998 from Amana and $8,986 from Carrier.
This is also why getting multiple quotes from different service providers is important. Each HVAC company specializes in different brands, so it’s always a good idea to review the options different companies offer.
New vs. Replacement Heating System
The total cost of your furnace repair or replacement project depends on whether you are replacing the old furnace or installing a completely new type of furnace. Because all the equipment is already in the right place, replacing a furnace often costs less than installing a completely new furnace type.
The cost of replacing a furnace includes the new furnace, installation, removal of your old appliance, and other furnace components. To replace your old furnace with a newer version, you can expect to pay between:
- $2,000 to $7,000 for an electric furnace
- $3,300 to $7,600 for a gas furnace
- $6,400 to $9,200 for an oil furnace
Besides the furnace and installation costs, you may incur additional costs if you install a completely new system. You may have to pay for an electrician, new ductwork, an updated thermostat, and other furnace components that can easily add $1,000 or more to your total cost.
What Is a Furnace?
A furnace is the most important heating system in your home. It heats the air and distributes it throughout the house via vents and ducts. Furnaces are often located in the basement, attic, or other designated space. Although packaged systems are available, most furnaces are separate from your air conditioner.
For new furnace installation, you will likely replace all components and parts to get a completely new furnace. The major components of a furnace include:
- Blower motor
- Flame sensor
- Gas line or valve (for gas furnaces)
- Heat exchanger
- Hot surface ignitor
- Limit switch
- Pilot light
Professional vs. DIY Furnace Replacement
Some DIY projects are easy for homeowners to take on, but furnace replacement is not one of them. This home system is critical to the comfort of your home, and poor installation can compromise not only your heating and cooling systems but also your safety.
Doing Furnace Replacement Yourself
Unless you are an experienced HVAC technician, you should leave this home improvement project to the professionals. Replacing a furnace requires knowledge of heating and cooling systems, electrical work, precision metalwork, and plumbing. If you decide to replace the furnace yourself to save money, something could easily go wrong.
When a professional HVAC technician replaces your furnace, they do more than just replace the unit. HVAC technicians make sure your system is hooked up properly and working safely. Before they leave, they’ll check to ensure the system is heating properly, is not emitting harmful gasses, and is connected to the duct system. Plus, you often get a workmanship warranty covering the cost of repairing your furnace should it be installed incorrectly.
Hiring a Professional for Furnace Replacement
Most heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractors will come to your home within 24 hours of your call to give you a quote. If you have a furnace emergency, many top HVAC companies offer emergency service and can be at your home as soon as possible.
To find a local HVAC technician, follow these steps:
- Find local experts near you: Use the button below to be connected to an experienced HVAC technician.
- Get a quote from a few options: Gather at least two quotes from local HVAC providers and compare the material and labor costs.
- Consult them about their recommendations: Ask each HVAC company what they recommend for your home so that you know the unit size and efficiency that is best.
- Choose a furnace from an HVAC provider: Choose the furnace that makes the most sense for your home’s needs and your budget.
- Have your furnace installed: Your HVAC technician will set up the soonest available time to come to your home and replace your furnace.
- Register your warranty: Register your HVAC system with the manufacturer so that you can benefit from warranty coverage. You may also want to buy a home warranty for your HVAC system to save money should it break down.
Final Thoughts on Furnace Replacement Cost
Your furnace is one of the most important systems in your home, so when it breaks down, it’s important to get it up and running as soon as possible. Furnace replacement typically costs between $4,000 and $7,000, including the furnace, labor, components, and removal of the old unit. Your total furnace replacement cost depends on the system size, efficiency, brand, and overall project scope.
FAQs About Furnace Replacement Cost
Is it worth replacing a 20-year-old furnace?
Most furnaces have a 15 to 20 years lifespan, but if well maintained, some furnaces can work well enough until they are 30 years old. However, if your furnace is 20 or older, you should replace it, as older furnaces can fail without much notice.
What factors affect the cost of replacing a furnace?
Efficiency, system size, climate, and brand may affect the furnace replacement cost. The cost of furnace replacement may also be affected due to the size of the project. If you are replacing the same type of furnace, it will likely be cheaper than installing an entirely new type of furnace.
What is the average cost of replacing a furnace?
The average cost to replace a furnace is typically between $4,000 and $7,000 but can be higher or lower depending on the type installed, brand selected, size, etc.
What is the best type of furnace to buy?
The best type of furnace to buy is the right size for your home and has a good efficiency rating of 80% AFUE or higher. The most efficient furnaces have an efficiency rating of 90% AFUE, as these furnaces are often Energy Star certified. Several good furnace brands include Trane, American Standard, Goodman, Rheem, and Lennox.