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Technician working on a furnace - Jarboe's Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling

How Much Does a Furnace Cost

Louisville, Kentucky residents question the price of a new furnace. Furnace cost takes so much more than the unit into account. What are the specifics of your bill after installation? Some have concerns about hidden fees or unreasonable prices, but with a careful eye homeowners buy furnaces like pros. As long as you know what to look for, you end up with a great deal on a new furnace.

Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling makes this process easy for homeowners. We cover some of the basic differences between furnace types to give homeowners an idea of what they want. All furnaces have their pros and cons, but homeowners want to know their money is spent well. In this article, we discuss everything about the cost of a furnace. 

Furnace Cost & Types

Furnace cost partially depends on the type of furnace you purchase. Each furnace comes with its own cost for the system and maintenance. Consider where you want to spend your money before you invest in a new furnace. Do you want to spend more on the unit, or more on maintenance? Both have their benefits and pitfalls, but it’s important to consider them before you make a purchase.

Electric

Electric furnaces are popular in places with temperate winters. Because they take a long time to heat a space, many in harsher climates choose other alternatives. However, electric furnaces are better for the environment because they go without gas or oil as their power source.

To maintain an electric furnace, homeowners invest in annual maintenance visits from a technician. For minor issues, homeowners are able to perform troubleshooting in most cases. The cost of electricity in your area determines if an electric furnace costs more than a gas or oil furnace in the long run. In some places, electricity costs more than gas. In others, the opposite is true.

The cost usually sits between hundreds and low thousands. Installation costs bring the total closer to the lower thousands mark. Over time, electric furnaces become more cost-efficient. However, it’s important to consider adverse weather conditions. If you experience an uncharacteristically long or cold winter, your utility bill increases. The system lasts between 20 and 30 years. 

Oil

As the oldest type, oil furnaces are also the rarest because of their use of oil. Oil negatively impacts the environment as a nonrenewable resource, which means few people want oil furnaces in their home. Maintenance and upfront costs are expensive and often not worth the trouble. The oil supply only lowers the more we use it, so the costs continue to rise. 

One major benefit of oil is its low flammability. Unlike natural gas, oil has a lower level of flammability and its fumes aren’t combustible, so there’s no danger of spontaneous explosion due to leaks. 

The furnace cost reaches the high thousands even without installation. Most units start in the low thousands and become more expensive when you take installation into account. Additionally, the system only lasts for 16 to 20 years. 

Gas

Gas furnaces are some of the more popular options. Because natural gas furnaces heat a space quickly, they are often the norm in places with harsh winters. They last about 10 to 20 years and run exclusively on gasoline. The price of natural gas changes from location to location, but in most places natural gas is the cheaper option when up against electricity. 

However, natural gas poses a greater potential safety risk if system problems occur, compared to the other furnace types. Gas and carbon monoxide leaks are also concerns. Regular maintenance ensures these problems don’t occur. The impact of natural gas usage on the environment also proves to be an issue. 

The cost usually comes in at the low thousands with installation. Some systems are even a few hundred dollars for equipment alone. For homes without gas lines, the cost of installation increases because a new line must be made to accommodate the natural gas system.

After you weigh your options, think about where you want to spend your money. Is a lower upfront cost worth the higher maintenance prices? Or does the appeal of low utility bills outweigh the sticker shock? This decision takes time, but is necessary. It’s also important to consider the availability of a given power source over time. How much longer do gas and oil have before they run out? 

Does Efficiency Impact Furnace Cost?

Furnace cost also depends on how efficiently the system performs. Efficient systems cost less over time because they use less power and have a low impact on the environment. Even if you don’t invest in an electric furnace, there are ways to implement efficient technology into your furnace. 

 

  • Sticker price. Though no one wants to hear it, expensive furnaces often have the newest efficiency technology. Homeowners comfortable with a sizeable investment upfront benefit from the efficiency of the newest heating technology. Overall, these systems use less energy, last longer, and require fewer repairs. Think about this before you choose an inexpensive system purely because it’s the cheapest option in front of you.
  • Check the size. Make sure the furnace you purchase fits the size of your home. The furnace cost raises when it doesn’t fit in the space. Different furnace sizes give off different amounts of heat, which means an incorrect size impacts how well your home receives warmth. If it’s too small, the heat doesn’t reach all the rooms. If it’s too big, you find yourself sweaty all the time. Plus, incorrect energy usage increases your utility bill.  
  • Use electric where possible. You don’t need an electric furnace to benefit from electric parts. In a gas furnace, the power comes from a pilot light. This light remains lit all the time. With an electric ignition, the pilot doesn’t need to be on all the time, which saves gas and money. 
  • Stay current. Lastly, make sure you update your furnace. There comes a point when a furnace costs more to keep alive than to replace. When this happens, update your system. Additionally, new units tend to have more efficient technology anyway, so it’s an automatic improvement for energy usage.  

 

What About Labor & Furnace Cost?

Labor is a vital part of the furnace cost. The cost of labor and installation makes up a large portion of the expense. Take this into account before you make a decision. Think about how much the labor costs, how much the system costs, and if they make sense together. These tips outline some of the costs labor includes.

  • Size of unit. If you purchase a furnace bigger or smaller than your previous unit, the technician has to refit the ducts to the new system. This adds to the furnace cost because the technician must perform the refit in order to install the actual furnace. 
  • Disposal. Technicians also dispose of your old furnace for an extra cost. Of course, they remove the old furnace to install the new one regardless of if they dispose of the system or not. Dumpsites charge fees for furnace disposal, which adds to the overall cost as well.
  • Number of technicians. If the job needs multiple technicians, homeowners face additional charges. One technician usually works by an hourly rate. When another technician comes, they also have an hourly rate, but it’s slightly lower than the original tech’s rate. Costs rack up quickly with multiple technicians on the scene. 
  • Duct repairs. The ducts need to be in top condition before a new furnace enters the home. If the ducts need repairs, the technician must fix them in order to install the new furnace. The furnace cost increases because of this. If the ducts are in poor shape, this is an unavoidable cost. However, proper maintenance throughout the life of the system keeps this problem at bay. 
  • Time spent. The amount of time technicians spend on installation determines the labor cost. Most contractors charge by the hour for their technicians, so you pay for the amount of time it takes for the installation to finish. Any work the tech does in relation to the project counts toward the installation time. Duct repairs, old unit removal, and duct resizes all count toward the total time spent on the project.  
  • Warranties. Finally, warranties ensure the furnace cost doesn’t drastically increase if something goes wrong on the job site. Good warranties cover the homeowners in the event of a malfunction with a major component. Contractor warranties also cover incorrect installation separately, so homeowners are safe if they don’t notice a problem until the job is complete. 

Furnace Cost & Extra Services

There are a few more expenses in the overall furnace cost. These are both optional, but they aid the efficiency and longevity of the furnace. Consider these extra services when you purchase your new furnace. Most are happy with their decision to invest in the amenities below. 

 

  • Service. Yearly maintenance visits from an HVAC technician ensures your furnace stays active as long as possible. In many manufacturer warranties, regular maintenance is obligatory to maintain the warranty agreement. This keeps preventable problems in check, which saves you and the manufacturer money in the long run. Homeowners who go without annual maintenance open themselves up to more malfunctions and breakdowns.
  • New thermostat. Thermostats are the last expense to consider in the furnace cost. If you need a new furnace, it’s likely you need a new thermostat as well. New models use sensory data to determine the perfect temperature for your home. They use environmental cues to turn the system on and off. The new thermostat adds to the overall cost. 

 

Jarboe’s Explains Furnace Cost 

The mystery of furnace cost becomes easier when you know what expenses to take into account. Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling in Louisville, Kentucky answers your questions about furnace costs. Call us today for more information on our services and to schedule a maintenance visit!