2020 Guide to the Cost of Replacing VS Repairing Your Gas Furnace
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It finally happened – you woke up to a frigid house because your furnace broke in the middle of the night. You’re thinking about buying a new one… but how much does a furnace replacement cost? Should you hire someone to repair it instead?
To help you decide how to spend your money, we’ve compiled an up-to-date guide on replacing or repairing your gas furnace. We’ve researched HVAC professionals’ recommendations and gathered data on furnace prices to push you in the right direction.
The first thing we need to talk about? What goes into replacing a furnace.
The Details of Replacing a Gas Furnace
Before you make any purchasing decisions, you need to understand how much it costs to buy and install a new furnace. Our research indicates that furnace prices fall anywhere from $750 to $3K, depending on their features. That’s a wide range, we know, but we’ll dive into that later on.
You’ll also have to add a furnace installation cost to the initial purchase point. On average, homeowners pay at least $500 to have HVAC professionals install their new furnace.
It’s difficult to give you a straight answer to the question, “How much will a new gas furnace cost?” It depends on the size, efficiency, and performance of the unit you want.
If you’re looking for a basic furnace that will do its job (mediocrely), you can budget under $1K. However, a furnace that will impress generally falls between $1.1K and $2.3K. If you want to splurge, you can spend up to $3K on a gas furnace that keeps you nice and toasty at all times.
Furnace prices aren’t just based on size and “fanciness” – they’re based on the unit’s complexity. Some furnaces require extensive sheet metal work while others do not. This will impact both the furnace cost and the price of installation.
If you require high-end service, your total furnace replacement cost could easily be $5K ($3K for the unit and another $2K for the installation).
The bottom line is that gas furnace replacements are expensive, no matter how you put it. Even looking at the lowest unit prices and installation costs will set you back over a grand.
So, now it’s time to determine if you need to replace the furnace. Let’s talk about some of the common fixable problems that furnaces experience.
Common Furnace Problems That Can Be Repaired
A Broken/Off Thermostat
Before you panic and call your HVAC company, take a look at your thermostat. Is it set properly? Turned on? Look for any signs that there’s a simple thermostat problem that could be fixed for a minimal price.
Broken Circuits or Tripped Fuses
When a furnace stops producing heat, the issue could result from a circuit breaker or fuse that has been blown. Take a look at those before you panic and drop thousands on a brand new furnace.
Sometimes, a lack of heat in your home is the simple result of a dirty filter. If your furnace is working against a clogged filter, it may stop functioning altogether or put out minimal heat. Check your filters for apparent obstructions. Clean and replace them as necessary.
Filters aren’t the only place where obstructions manifest. Is the area around your furnace cluttered? Is furniture placed in front of it, making it difficult for the unit to keep the house warm?
Also, remember that dust and lint can accumulate in your unit, causing problems. Keep the area clean and free of debris at all times – incredibly flammable items.
Contaminated Burner Flames
Is there debris in your burner? If the flame isn’t blue and even, you might need to (safely) clean the area to get the furnace working again.
A Bad Switch
Have you checked your switches? A bad one could make the blower run continuously, which then causes it to die. Fortunately, the blower can be replaced quickly.
Reasons to Buy a New Furnace
If none of those fixable problems are plaguing your furnace, it might be time to look for a whole new unit. Don’t sweat it, though. Purchasing a new furnace comes with a range of benefits, including:
- Decreased risk of problems in the future
- Lower repair costs in the future
- Lower gas bills due to better unit efficiency
- Improved climate control in your home
Buying a new furnace isn’t a bad idea if you plan to stay in your home for quite a while. Even if you decide to sell, home shoppers will be pleased to find a home with an updated, more efficient furnace already in place.
Is Your Gas Furnace “Efficient” Enough?
Speaking of efficiency in furnace replacement costs and needs, we highly recommend questioning how well your furnace is working, even if it can be fixed.
If your home experiences freezing winters, you’re likely spending a high amount of energy keeping it warm. Old furnaces aren’t very eco-friendly, and you’re likely wasting plenty of money and valuable energy every cold season.
In short, gas furnaces have improved over time. A gas furnace made in the 1970s typically has an “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency” rating of about 65 percent. The lowest efficiency allowed by law for new gas furnaces is 78 percent. Many modern units can now achieve 97 percent efficiency – a vast improvement.
Even if you’re hesitant to face furnace prices and installation costs, it might be worth doing if your current unit is old and inefficient. Save money on your utility bills and do the right thing for the surrounding environment by upgrading.
FAQs About Furnace Replacement Costs
How much should it cost to replace a furnace?
A gas furnace should be replaced when it’s between 15 and 20 years old. If your furnace is still kicking after two decades, we highly recommend upgrading to a more efficient unit.
Can I replace my furnace?
Yes – but that’s not always advisable. Some cities will require you to obtain a permit to do so. Talk to an HVAC professional beforehand to understand everything that goes into a DIY installation.
When should I replace my furnace?
You should replace your furnace if:
- It’s older than 15 years
- Your bills are excessively high for your area/usage
- It’s expensive to maintain (and keeps breaking)
How much should I expect to spend on a high-efficiency furnace?
A furnace with nearly total efficiency will easily cost you $13,000 to install, including labor costs. However, there are also high-efficiency furnaces out there that can cost as little as $5,000. You’ll need to do plenty of research on furnace prices to understand how expensive your ideal unit is.
We hope this piece has made your understanding of furnace replacement costs crystal clear – or at least somewhat more transparent than before.
Our team at Bogner Sheet Metal is more than happy to explain further. We’ve been working with HVAC systems and furnaces like yours for more than three generations. Whether you need a replacement furnace or only some advice on improving your system, we’re here to help.
Call 831-423-4322 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!