What Does a New Furnace Cost? 5 Things You Need to Know | HVAC.com

What Does a New Furnace Cost? 5 Things You Need to Know

Posted on: September 12, 2019 | by: HVAC.com September 16, 2019


One of the most important parts of your home is the easiest to overlook. A properly sized, working furnace can not only save you money in heating, but can possibly spare you costly home repair bills from burst pipes, mildew and mold.


Figuring out a new furnace cost, however, can be tricky. You not only have to consider the size of the home in the price of a furnace, but also the energy source, furnace efficiency, installation and efficiency rating. Taking the time to consider your home’s needs, however, will save you grief in the long run and help you find the best furnace prices. Here are five things to consider when researching the price of a furnace.


1. Energy Source




The type of energy you use to heat your home can be the most important choice you can make. Electric furnaces, for example, are less expensive but are also more expensive in energy usage than other types of furnaces. In areas where the winter is harsh, an electric furnace may have the highest lifetime costs. Gas furnaces are more expensive, but as natural gas is relatively cheap, they may be the most cost-effective option over the furnace’s lifetime. Oil is the most expensive in hardware cost.


Check out the following chart for a better idea of furnace prices based on your energy source. It compares the average prices for a standard efficiency and high efficiency, name brand furnace that would be best suited for use in a 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft. home


Average new furnace cost (price + installation)*


Type of Furnace Standard-Efficiency Furnaces High-Efficiency Furnaces
Electric $1,975 $2,450
Gas $2,385 $3,920
Oil $5,880 $6,290


* These prices are an average estimated cost and are not guaranteed. Prices will vary based on city, cost of living, brand, efficiency, warranties included, and more. Prices for high-efficiency furnaces is based off a Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating (AFUE) of 92% for gas furnaces and 88% for oil furnaces. High-efficiency electric furnace price is based on 3.0-ton, 1200 cfm variable speed blower furnace.


2. Furnace Efficiency



Furnaces today are much more efficient than the hulking behemoths we remember from our childhood. That means that you have a host of different options when you’re looking to purchase your new unit. Furnaces with higher Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating, or AFUE, run more efficiently and therefore cost more to purchase upfront, but end up saving you money in the long run on your utility costs. As you search for your new furnace, keep in mind that a jump from a standard-efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency furnace can cost anywhere between $400 and $1,000 more depending on the size and energy source.


Furnaces are rated by BTU, or British Thermal Units. A BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. It is the imperial cousin of a Calorie, which is the amount of energy needed to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. The stated BTU is the amount of fuel energy the furnace uses in an hour. So, a furnace with 100,000 BTU/90% AFUE will use 100,000 BTUs of fuel per hour and convert it to 90,000 BTUs of heat for your home.

white furnace on white background
Viacheslav Lopatin / Shutterstock

3. Size Makes a Difference


We’ve written before about how the right-sized furnace can save hundreds in energy costs over the years. Well, it can also save money upfront.


Just like most things in this world, bigger means more expensive. Have your contractor perform a Manual J HVAC load test to determine the right-sized furnace for your home so you don’t waste money on a furnace that costs more upfront and increases utility bills over the years.


Depending on the furnace’s energy source, an increase in size can have different effects on a unit’s initial price. For gas furnaces, for example, a 20,000 BTU increase costs around $400 for smaller furnaces and up to $1,200 for larger furnaces, while the same capacity increase for oil furnaces stays in the $300-$600 range no matter what the unit size.


4. Installation


Installation costs include the time it takes to install the furnace, where it’s being installed, how difficult it is to install, and whether or not new ductwork needs to be installed.


The more energy efficient your furnace, the more likely it will be that you will need new ducts. Simple galvanized metal ducts may bleed away your heat before it gets to the vent, wasting the efficiency you paid for. It may be worthwhile to have an HVAC expert check your current vents for energy leaks to maximize your new furnace cost.

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5. Do-it-yourself home energy audits

Though the cost of a new furnace is one expense to plan for, overall energy bill savings are another consideration to make as you’re considering a new furnace purchase. Home energy audits help you assess the overall efficiency of your home, and can also help you find a way to save money on your HVAC equipment. By reviewing the interior and exterior of your home you can evaluate your home’s energy efficiency and determine where you can find energy savings. Like with many projects around the house, your budget will dictate who performs your home energy audit. Depending on how much time and money you want to spend, you can either hire an HVAC professional who is energy audit certified or perform a DIY home energy audit.


If you cannot afford the $500 to $800 that most homeowners spend on a home energy audit, you can perform a home test to locate some of your home’s inefficiencies on your own.


  • The first DIY home energy audit step is to review your energy bills.Energy Star has a simple and useful tool, called the Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick, that helps you compare your energy bills to similar homes across the country. If your bills are considerably higher than similar homes or they have been steadily increasing, you may have a problem.


  • Walk through your home and ensure that your doors and windows are free of any drafts.Poor insulation and gaps in your windows and doors let indoor air escape and outdoor air in, costing you money.


  • Caulk and seal any drafty windows or doors.This is one of the easiest things you can do to save energy and money!


  • What to expect during a professional audit: once you find a professional, there are several things you should expect during your two to three hour home energy audit.


      • First, your professional will walk the exterior of the home searching for leaks or broken seals and assessing your outdoor HVAC units, window location and plants or trees that affect your home’s energy use.


      • Next, your professional will inspect the inside of your home. Here, your HVAC pro will be looking to make sure that things like insulation, window seals, ventilation ducts and all other parts of your HVAC system are free of problems and running efficiently. As a part of the internal inspection, your professional should conduct two important tests: the blower door test and an infrared or thermographic test.


      • The blower door test is used to measure the airflow leakages in your home. Your audit professional will attach a blower door to your front door and blow air out of your home until it has reached a standard pressure. He will then measure the air flowing back in through the blower door and other cracks in your home, establishing where potential problem areas are.


      • Infrared scans, also called thermographic scans, are another tool energy auditors use to assess how much air your home is leaking. Often times, this test is performed during the blower door test to maximize the opportunities for finding leaks. Your professional will use an infrared scanner to determine whether or not the insulation in your home is effective and if not, where additional insulation is needed.


    • Once your auditor has finished, you will receive a report with the findings of your home energy audit. This report will include steps you can take to increase the efficiency of your home. This is where the energy savings is recognized. In order to take advantage of your energy audit, take the recommendations of your energy audit professional seriously. Implement as many of the recommendations as you can, and I promise that your investment will pay off.
person checks furnace for maintenance
Joyseulay / Shutterstock

Your home is your greatest investment. Buying the right furnace is an excellent way to ensure that your home and loved ones will be comfortable, no matter what comes outside. It is essential that you speak to a qualified HVAC expert or professional to determine accurate furnace prices. One of the best ways to find information about dealers and specialists near you is HVAC.com.


Frequently Asked Questions


How much does a new oil furnace cost? 

For a 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft. home, a new oil furnace can cost between $5,580, for a standard-efficiency model, and $6,290 for a high-efficiency model, including installation fees.

How much does a new boiler furnace cost?

A new boiler furnace can cost anywhere from $1,500 to more than $5,000. The cost depends on a variety of factors, including the type of fuel used, the brand, installation costs and your home’s specific heating needs.

How much does a new gas furnace cost? 

As of 2018, a new 100,000 BTU gas furnace can run you between $650 and $1,350, with installation costing between $800 to $3,000.

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