As you plan the year ahead, you might ask, what is the average cost of a new gas furnace installed in 2012? This guide will provide details of average costs for the equipment and for installation. We’ll also offer suggestions for getting the best deal on your new furnace and the cost of installation.
Average Cost of a Gas Furnace
The least expensive gas furnaces cost less than $1,000; the most expensive cost over $4,500. There are several factors that affect furnace cost. Knowing what these are will help you budget for your next furnace and will also help you reduce costs where possible. Here are the primary cost factors.
1. Capacity or Size of the Furnace: Furnaces are measured by the number of Btu’s they produce. Small furnaces for residential application start at about 40,000 Btu’s per hour while the largest make over 150,000 Btu’s per hour. Within a brand series, the higher the capacity, the more it will cost. Here’s an example from Goodman to show how size affects price within a furnace series:
Goodman Downflow, Variable Speed, GCVC95 Gas Furnace Prices
46,000 Btu Goodman GCVC95 gas furnace: $1,349
69,000 Btu Goodman GCVC95 gas furnace: $1,439
90,000 Btu Goodman GCVC95 gas furnace: $1,659
115,000 Btu Goodman GCVC95 gas furnace: $1,839
2. Efficiency of the Furnace: The efficiency of a furnace measures the amount of created heat that actually gets into the duct work of your home. It is called AFUE, or Annualized Fuel Usage Efficiency. Efficiency ranges from 80% to over 98%. Within a brand, the more efficient the furnace is, the more it will cost. Here’s a typical example from American Standard. The fur is the same except for the efficiency level. The 80% SV has a single heat exchanger while the 95% ZV has 2 heat exchangers to capture more of the created heat:
95% AFUE 115,000 Btu Platinum ZV gas furnace: $2,779
80% AFUE 111,000 Btu Platinum SV gas furnace: $2,359
3. Performance Features: Basic furnaces have a single-stage burner and a single-speed or multispeed fan. Two-stage furnaces with a variable-speed blower are available from all the leading manufacturers. They run at low capacity, which is about 65%, most of the time, and at 100% capacity only when a significant boost in heat in required. On low capacity, the furnaces run longer, creating very balanced temperatures within your home. Some brands now make modulating furnaces that run at 40% to 100% capacity, for even more comfortable heating. See the Amana AMVM96 gas furnace, the Rheem Prestige Series Communicating Modulating RGFE furnace or either the American Standard Platinum ZV gas furnace or Platinum SV furnace as examples of modulating furnaces. Here are price examples of American Standard 80% AFUE furnaces with similar size, and capacity with different types of gas valves:
Single stage 111,000 Btu Silver SI 80 gas furnace: $1,319
2-stage, 112,000 Btu Gold SM gas furnace: $1,549
Modulating, 111,000 Btu Platinum SV gas furnace: $2,559
When all of the possible factors are taken into consideration, the average cost of a gas furnace about $2,400. That’s a typical cost for a 90,000 Btu 2-stage, 90% AFUE gas furnace. If your furnace is smaller, less efficient, or a single-stage model the cost will be lower accordingly. If it is larger, more efficient or a modulating furnace, the furnace will cost more.
One of the keys to saving money on your next furnace is to choose a single-stage or 2-stage model. You must have the right size furnace, but you choose the level of efficiency and performance you want. Modulating gas valves, with a few exceptions like the 80% American Standard Platinum SV, are used in furnaces with very high efficiency levels. If you don’t plan to remain in your home more than 3-5 years, you can also save money in the short-term by choosing a less efficient furnace. However, an 80% furnace in a colder climate will end up costing you money in the long-run through higher utility bills.
Gas Furnace Installation Costs
The second major variable in your total gas furnace costs is the installation part of it – the cost of labor and additional parts to have the furnace installed. There are several factors that affect installation costs.
1. Complexity of the Job: A furnace installed in a first-floor utility room will be relatively inexpensive; installation in an attic or crowded crawl space will cost significantly more.
2. Contractor Availability: Heating and air conditioning contractors are the busiest in winter and summer, depending on the specifics of the climate where you live. When they are in high demand, their prices are higher for installation; when business is slack, they offer more competitive prices. If you can plan installation during a slower period, you might save 10% to 20% on installation. For this reason, it makes sense to get at least 3 written estimates for the total cost of having a new gas furnace installed.
Installation of the furnace alone – not an entire HVAC split system – will cost $1,200 to $5,000 depending on these factors. The average installation cost is about $2,200.
Total Gas Furnace Costs
What is the average cost of a new gas furnace installed in 2012? An average furnace with average installation charges will cost about $4,600. You’re costs will be higher or lower depending on the size you need and the efficiency and features you choose for your gas furnace.