When the cold hits, there’s nothing worse than a failing furnace and a sudden absence of heat in your home. Often a furnace can be repaired, but you may need to consider replacing your furnace with a new unit if the problems persist.
Pricing the replacement of your furnace
When the time comes to replace your furnace with a newly installed unit, there are a number of factors that can determine exactly how much the replacement of your older unit will cost, as follows.
- The energy source – whether your furnace is gas or electric will impact on the overall price, as gas furnaces have lower operating costs but can cost more for the initial purchase. Much will depend on the fuel type that you have access to and whether your electrical panel is large enough to handle the added load.
- The size of your home – the size of your furnace will need to suit your home’s size in order to provide the heat required to warm the entire property. Furnaces are sized by their heating capacity measured in BTUs. The more BTUs a furnace has, the more heat it can put out.
- The efficiency of the furnace – furnaces with a higher AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) are generally more efficient based on how well they convert energy to heat, but they can also cost more. That said, a more efficient furnace can mean lower monthly energy bills, so the initial investment will pay off over time.
- The brand – often the bigger, more well-known brands will come with a higher price tag, but they do have some of the best performing furnaces out there. Look for brand names such as Lennox, Rheem, York, American Standard, Daikin, and Trane.
- The type of furnace – prices will also vary between furnaces based on the features that they have. For example, a furnace may have single-stage, two-stage or modulating burners, which can vary the burner operations to provide more consistent heating (modulating furnaces can increase burner operation by as little as 0.5% to provide more consistent heating).
- The condition and size of the venting – all furnaces require a venting system for safe operation and new furnaces will need smaller venting, whereas most older houses have venting larger than five inches. If the venting in an older home is too big, a liner can be used to help reduce the venting size. If the venting system is rusted out, it may again need modification to update it, which can add to the overall price of your furnace installation.
- The presence of asbestos – if there is asbestos in the system, which is often found as asbestos tape on the venting, there can be additional costs associated with its removal.
- The rebates that you are eligible for – you can qualify for government rebates from companies such as Fortis that give you a rebate of up to $1,000 if you replace your old natural gas furnace with an eligible ENERGY STAR model.
- The labor involved – a standard installation can be anywhere between $5,000 to $8,000, not including any rebates (which can total $1,000). You’ll pay more for a better quality contractor and you shouldn’t be tempted to cut corners with cheaper labor, as it will come back to haunt you in the future.
What is involved in the furnace installation?
Once you decide to replace your old furnace with a new one, it’s important to know what will be involved in the installation. A qualified contractor will protect your home with floor and wall coverings to ensure that no damage is caused to your property. The old furnace will be removed (and often recycled), while any asbestos will also be removed if found.
With the installation of the new furnace, venting will be replaced (if need be) and new gas lines, electrical, drains, and thermostats will be installed where required. Any trusted contractor will also undertake testing to ensure that the furnace is running to manufacturer specifications. They will also show you how to operate the new furnace and offer a value-driven post-installation plan, such as free filters and tune-ups for one year (as per the Ashton No Problem Plan).
Choosing who will install your furnace
Furnaces are complicated machines and you should always choose a company that has a proven track record in their installation and one that has many positive testimonials of their work.
When it comes to furnace installation, the cheapest is not always the best. A furnace (and its installation) is a significant investment; however, an improperly sized and installed furnace will provide you with nothing but headaches and heartache over the longer-term, and can be particularly hazardous if gas is involved.
Choose a company that has been in business for many years, and that can take care of any servicing and warranty work if needed. It’s also important to use licensed gas fitters, as your home insurance will be affected if someone installs the gas furnace, then there are future problems and it comes to light that the installer was not appropriately qualified. Also, consider manufacturer-certified contractors, where the company is certified by the manufacturer to install the furnace, as you will generally receive a much longer warranty (ten years instead of five years, for example).