Replacing a furnace can be a very expensive but very important ordeal in the life of a home owner, and even more important if said homeowner lives in a cold climate during the winter! This article provides a guide on purchasing and use of the different types of furnaces as well as the associated furnace replacement costs.
There are five basics types of furnaces that can be found in an average home or building as follows:
- Gas furnace
- Gas boiler
- Oil furnace
- Electric furnace
- Heat pump.
Based on the costs of gas it has been found that the gas furnace is typically the cheapest and most efficient. It is always recommended to get three estimates before deciding which furnace and installation a homeowner chooses to go with.
All figures in the next pricing section are based on the year 2014.
These furnaces vary in price and size depending on their suited purpose of a small home or larger home. Not only do they vary by size but they also vary by level of efficiency as well as if they are a multi-stage furnace. Single stage, 80% efficient gas furnaces typically cost $2,000 or higher, moving up to a 90% efficiency range of this same type can cost $3,000. To move into the 95% efficiency range with a multi-stage or modulating furnace that feature variable speed blowers can cost $5,000 to $7,500. Typical installation will only take one day, additional costs can be incurred if ducting changes are necessary.
Gas boilers are typically very large and used to heat large buildings rather than a home. Replacement costs of a gas boiler can range from $2,500 to $4,000 for a mid-efficiency boiler and $5,000 to $9,000 for a high-efficiency boiler making them significantly more expensive than a gas furnace. Installation of a gas boiler can take several days and may require additional costs for repairs or modifications especially if the existing gas boiler is very old. Fire inspection, chimney liners and removing the old fuel-oil tank can also incur additional costs.
Oil Furnaces are similar to gas furnaces as they are very large and used to heat larger buildings. These furnaces are older designs which are not as efficient as gas furnaces; they have a working life of 15-20 years and require regular maintenance. An oil furnace is used over a gas furnace when installation of a gas furnace is not possible in the given location. Typical replacement costs can run between $2,000 and $5,000, though some installations may require additional modifications and requirements that can bring the install cost up to between $6,000 and $10,000.
The electric furnace is one of the cheapest to buy and install, typically best suited in a small house or apartment where a gas or oil furnace cannot be installed. With the ever increasing costs of electricity it is the most expensive furnace to operate on this list. The typical price to replace an electric furnace ranges from $1,000 to $1,500.
These furnaces can last about 25 to 30 years and the efficiency ranges between 80 to 90 percent.
The heat pump is one of the newest and most efficient designs of furnace, as they operate as both a furnace and air conditioner. It is very common to find heat pumps in new construction homes and buildings that are focused on energy efficiency
The drawback to the heat pump is that the typical furnace cost can range from $1,500 to $7,500 depending on the size of the system. Another drawback to the heat pump is that they are not recommended for climates that experience significant periods of below freezing temperatures. These climates would require an additional heating system for below 35 degree weather, making the heat pump system lose its inherent efficiencies.