A new furnace! Except for a new paint job or a new roof, there’s probably no more dreaded replacement in the canon of home improvement than a new furnace. The average heat-provider will work for a family for over 20 years, if it is well maintained, but when its time comes around, furnace replacement cost can run from $3000 to $5000 and more.
If a consumer’s furnace is indeed dead, he should look at the cost of furnace replacement philosophically; the item was probably made in the late 80s, and he’s had plenty of good use out of it. In those good old days, a furnace could at most be expected to have an efficiency of 70 percent or a bit more, meaning that 30 percent or more went up the spout (or chimney).
85, 90 and even 95 percent efficiency is the norm now, so a major boost has occurred in the efficiency of furnaces, if not in their longevity.
So what are the steps to furnace replacement? Let’s begin with inspection.
Furnace Inspection Cost
If a furnace is acting up or refusing to heat, an inspection is in order. These usually average between $50 and $100 for a visit from a professionally licensed government inspector, who makes his living inspecting furnaces via the federal standards that mandate all furnace inspection points. These individuals can usually be located online or in any federal courthouse listings.
So, the furnace has been inspected and found deficient. What are the steps now? Is furnace replacement inevitable at this stage?
Furnace Service Cost
Some furnace services in lieu of furnace replacement are easily maintained by a do it yourself maintenance schedule, which includes thermostat checks (a new thermostat will run between $25 or more, with about $100 to $150 installation costs; a do it yourselfer with an electrical bent can do it easily), replacing filters (usually running about $10 to $25) and cleaning vents (a few minutes of elbow grease are all that is needed). A tune up from a professional may also serve; a professional service call for a furnace usually starts at $40 to $75 in middle states, with coastal areas running $100 to $150 and more. If repairs or parts are needed, the furnace cleaning cost would boost to between $200 and $500, depending on time and parts replaced.
Furnace Tune-Up Cost
A professional furnace tune up would cost approximately the same as a service call, depending on the amount of damage, cleaning or parts repair was needed. One should figure between $50 and $100 to start, with a possible boost to $150 to $200 if any repairs are needed. A tune up could go as high as $500 to $600, depending on the labor involved and number of repairs needed.
Furnace Cleaning Cost
Furnace cleaning cost can be obviated by regular scheduled visits by professional cleaners; many appliance centers and air-conditioning and heater firms have customer service plans to keep furnace cleaning cost to a minimum.
On average, an annual inspection will run the consumer between $100 and $150; regular yearly service prolongs the life of the furnace, and the sting of a $500 bill and more for a tune up or repairs on a faulty furnace is alleviated by regular maintenance and checks. Furnace cleaning cost should not run over $250 for annual visits; it is only with old furnaces that are not regularly serviced that this expense gets out of hand.
Furnace Repair Cost
Furnace repair costs should still be easier to maintain and afford than the cost of furnace replacement; even if the furnace has not been regularly inspected, most repair jobs are simple, involving little expense (certainly nothing like a replacement would). Most repair jobs start around the same price as annual inspections, running between $100 and $150; if there is extensive damage, or the furnace must be out of commission for a day’s labor or more, that is where the money starts to flow out, as the furnace repair cost may climb as high as $700 to $900, depending on the extent of the damage and the length of the repair time.
Furnace Installation Cost
The cost of furnace replacement ends with installation. Remember that this is the price for labor and installing only, not including the cost of the furnace. Installation is not an easy task, as it takes two men an eight hour day and more to remove an old furnace (they are extremely heavy) and replace it with a new one. As well, one should trust the installer; a good furnace poorly installed will give two decades of bad heating, after all.
One should consider that a new furnace installation, in addition to the furnace replacement cost, will run at least $3000 for a two man day; it may be as high as $5000 if the labor is intensive or the installation runs into problems (obscure kinds of plumbing, etc.). This is also, unfortunately, not a job for a do it yourselfer unless he himself, and at least two friends, have extensive experience with furnaces and the vagaries of their replacement. It seems a shame to spend the money, but it works out well when one considers a new furnace well installed and performing into the next generation.
Hopefully the consumer can use any of these ideas to further lower his cost of furnace replacement, a major expense for a major undertaking.
Gas Furnace Replacement Cost
When it comes to the best gas furnace, there is no hard and fast rule in furnace replacement cost; Trane, Coleman, Lennox, Tempstar and Rheem/Ruud all make excellent models. A Rheem model, for example, with 90,000 BTU, runs from $1400 to $1600; efficiency gas furnaces run from $800 to $1200. A small apartment sized 14000 BTU sells as low as $600.
Oil Furnace Replacement Cost
There are few if any all-oil furnaces made these days; however, many models are made with oil/gas features. These usually retail from $1800 to $2200.
Furnace Motor Replacement Cost
Many consumers economize and keep their old furnaces going with new motors, which should be professionally installed; these can retail anywhere from $60 to $200, but they are far cheaper than the entire cost of furnace replacement; installation usually runs between $100 and $200, depending on time needed.