When you own a home, you already know how unexpected repair costs for your home’s appliances can quickly add up. And when repair fees continue to stack up for the same appliance — say, your furnace — you may be wondering if it’s worth it to continue paying for repair bills or if it’s time to replace the unit with a newer, more modern one.
Undertaking a furnace replacement isn’t something you decide to do on a whim. Buying a new furnace and having it professionally installed has the potential to be quite an expensive job. However, if your current furnace is more than 20 years old and has seemingly reached the end of its usable life, then you may not have any other option but to replace it with a newer unit that’s more dependable and efficient.
Once you’ve made the decision to replace your old furnace, your next thought is probably, “Well, how much will a new one cost?” There are many factors that go into calculating the cost of a brand-new furnace. Read on to learn more.
How big is your home?
If you have a larger than average home, you’ll also need a larger than average heating system to keep it warm and toasty for your family. In some situations, it may even be beneficial to have more than one heater installed, and to have your home “zoned” for an evenly warmed space.
The average-sized home will require a new furnace that has between 30 and 50 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per square foot. BTUs are the measure of how much heat is required to raise the temperature by one degree. The higher the BTU on a new furnace, the more heat it’s able to produce. So, if you have a larger than average home, you’ll need a unit with a higher BTU rating than what’s needed for a typical home. And with that comes a heftier price tag.
Where do you live?
The U.S. has different climate zones, so if you live in a region that has harsh winters with brutally cold temperatures, you’ll need a furnace that can stand up to the challenge. However, if you’re currently living in an area that doesn’t have such extremely cold winters, you may be able to get a furnace that isn’t as powerful.
What type of heating system do you need or want?
There are a variety of furnaces available, including ones powered by natural gas, electricity, oil or propane.
Natural gas units are known for their efficiency. This fuel source is also relatively inexpensive compared to other varieties, and are considered more affordable to operate. Often, natural gas is recommended for new heating systems installed in colder climates in the middle to northern states in the U.S. Additional expenses may be incurred if you need to have adjustments made to your existing ductwork to accommodate the new unit.
Electric furnaces may be more expensive to operate but are often the most affordable to get installed. However, they may not be as efficient at heating a home as quickly as a furnace that runs on natural gas.
Oil furnaces are known as being more environmentally friendly since they don’t generally make use of electricity or natural gas. Instead, the unit is powered by oil stored in tanks on-site.
Propane furnaces are the perfect option for homeowners who may live in an area where natural gas and/or oil fuel sources aren’t easily accessible. To fuel these units, propane is stored in tanks on-site.
How well-insulated is your home?
It’s important to take into consideration the insulation of your home. If you have areas of your home where insulation is insufficient, you’ll have what’s known as an air leak pocket. Often, these problem areas are found in attic spaces where there’s not enough insulation installed. When this happens, heat from your furnace rises up and escapes through the openings. This can cause your home’s heating system (new or old) to work harder than necessary to keep your home comfortable.
You should identify these areas of air loss before having a new furnace installed. This will need to be something that you budget for, and the cost of insulation will vary depending on how much is needed, as well as the climate in which you live.
Work with a professional
Before making any buying decisions, work with an experienced heating professional. He or she will be able to evaluate the size of your home, your current insulation value, your wants/needs, and your budget when recommending the best furnace replacement option (or options) for your family. As you can see, calculating the cost of a new furnace isn’t very simple — there are several factors to consider.
Your heating pro will also be able to assist you with the installation services you’ll need for the new unit, as well as hauling away the old system so you won’t need to worry about taking care of the removal work on your own!