Furnace Types and Prices
Buying a furnace can be a difficult task. While you can go to a local home appliance store or search the internet, it’s hard to determine what furnace will be best for your home’s needs. In addition to the size and type of furnace, you’ll also need to determine what efficiency level to purchase and see what you can afford on your budget. The best way to decide what kind of furnace to buy is to consult with an expert heating contractor. However, before you do, here is some information about prices you can expect to pay.
Types of Heating
Before looking for a furnace, you need to determine what kind of fuel source your home has. Furnaces are usually fueled by gas, oil or electricity. While you can opt for a different fuel source than you have, especially if you want to switch to a more efficient one, sticking with your existing fuel source will save you money on the installation.
A gas furnace can run on either natural gas or propane, and it warms your home by extracting heat from exhaust gases. If a gas furnace has an efficiency of 90% or more it is known as a condensing furnace. These tend to cost $3,000 and up, about $1,000 more than non-condensing furnaces. While a condensing furnace is initially more expensive, because it will use less gas over time, it will save you money in the long run. In addition, a condensing furnace with a high efficiency rating can also qualify for a federal tax credit, and it emits less pollution than a non-condensing furnace. For information on tax credit eligibility, visit Energy Star.
In colder areas such as Cincinnati or Saint Paul, a high-efficiency furnace is worth the higher initial cost because of the amount of money spent on heating annually; while in milder climates, an 80% efficiency rating is likely to be more cost effective in the long run.
Oil furnaces, while less popular than gas ones, are still used in many parts of the country. Though these are generally less efficient than gas furnaces, some newer models are meeting high standards and are also qualifying for federal tax credits. Most oil furnaces today have an efficiency rating of about 85%, and tend to cost $1,500 – $3,000, depending on the size.
Electric furnaces convert electricity into direct heat, which is then blown throughout your home; similar to the way a central HVAC unit supplies warm and cool air to your home. Electric furnaces are relatively inexpensive, ranging from $500 – $1,000, and require minimal installation.
One advantage of an electric furnace is that if you don’t have an A/C unit in your home, many electric furnaces can easily be converted to supply cool air as well. Another advantage is the possibility of installing underfloor heating, depending on the type of floor you have. Lastly, electric furnaces are generally extremely efficient, with an efficiency rating of 95% – 100%.
If you live in a climates with a moderate climate, you may want to consider installing a heat pump to work with your electric furnace. Because a heat pump moves heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house rather than generating it, it can provide up to four times the amount of energy it consumes, and can also be eligible for federal tax rebates.
When purchasing a new furnace for your home, be sure to consult with an experienced technician. He will be able to help you determine the best type of furnace for your home’s needs, and install it properly and safely.
Mark Stevens is a writer from New Jersey who has written over 100 home improvement articles. Want to ask Mark something? Send him a message.