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New Year, New Furnace – What You Need to Know First

Published on December 27th, 2017

New Furnace

Will a new furnace help you reach a money-saving goal in the new year? It could!

January and goal-setting go hand in hand. Always has, and probably always will. What do you want to accomplish in the new year? Take some time this week to consider what that is for you. For example, do you want to take a vacation? Set a specific savings goal to make that vacation happen this year. The key word here is “specific.” Now, how will you save that specific amount of money to reach that specific goal? Saving money on your monthly energy bills could help – a lot! Would a new furnace help you save money every month? It could.

How to Know if You Need a New Furnace

Our Blue Frost Heating & Cooling experts know when it’s time to replace your furnace. But here are a few things you need to know first that will help you decide:

If your old furnace suffers frequent breakdowns requiring costly repairs, it’s time to replace it. A new furnace will be more efficient, reduce your heating bills, and keep you comfortable on our cold winter nights.

Look for the manufacturer date on the label on your furnace. Furnaces average a life of ten to twenty years. A reputable, top-quality furnace with regular maintenance can give you another five or six years of service. But when your furnace is beyond 75 percent of its life expectancy and repairs cost more than one-third of what it would cost you to replace it, it’s time.

The Cost of a New Furnace

Every homeowner’s needs are different. This makes the question, “How much will a new furnace cost,” impossible to answer. But these three things to consider will give you a better idea of the cost:

1. Energy Source

Unit costs for electric furnaces are least expensive, then gas, and then oil. New furnace costs (price plus installation) vary based on city, cost of living, brand, efficiency, warranties, and more, of course. But a standard-efficiency electric furnace will cost $1,925 and a high-efficiency electric furnace, $4410. Compare these costs with a standard-efficiency gas furnace: $2,100 and a high-efficiency: $4,625; a standard-efficiency oil furnace: $2,885 and a high-efficiency: $6,480.

2. Efficiency

Keep this in mind: Higher efficiency means higher complexity. Most furnace installers suggest and prefer that you purchase the most efficient furnace. But the parts to repair high-efficiency furnaces are more expensive, about three times more. So, in the long run, you may not really save anything. A new furnace with a 95 percent rating will keep you away from the costly repairs of a furnace with a 97 or 98 percent rating, but your best value may be to get a 92 percent efficiency furnace with one of the new ECM fan motors. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more efficient but cost more upfront. In the long run, they may save you money on your monthly energy bills. You’ve certainly got lots of different options to shop for!

3. Size

We’ve stressed the importance of the right-sized furnace for your home and how it can save energy costs up front and in the long run. Simply put, bigger means more money. You may need a smaller furnace. Behemoth furnaces were the norm for homes back in the day. But a new, smaller, high-efficiency furnace with a lower BTU rating can put out as much heat as an old, oversized one. Compare an old 75 percent efficient furnace with a rating of 100,000 BTUs to a new furnace with 94 percent efficiency and a rating of 80,000 BTUs.

Again, depending on the energy source, an increase in size can affect a unit’s initial price. For example, the cost of a gas furnace with 20,000 BTU increases by about $600 for smaller furnaces and up to $1,500 for larger furnaces. The same capacity increase for an oil furnace stays in the $500-$600 range no matter what the size of the unit is.

Schedule a Manual J HVAC load test with Blue Frost Heating & Cooling. We will determine the right-sized furnace for your home. Don’t waste money on a furnace that costs more upfront and more each month because of higher utility bills.

Installation of a New Furnace

The cost of a new furnace is more than just the price of a new furnace. You must also consider the cost of installation. Installation costs include the time it takes to install the furnace, where it’s being installed, how difficult it is to install, and whether or not new ductwork needs to be installed.

New ductwork?! Yes, with a new furnace comes new efficiency and the need for proper airflow and maximum efficiency provided by new ductwork. So when you’re shopping for a furnace, get your ducts checked at the same time. There’s no sense in getting a new furnace if the hot air will be escaping through leaks or poor insulation in your ductwork. And when considering and planning for the cost of a new furnace, include a contingency budget for the unexpected and unforeseen.

More of What You Need to Know First

  • Don’t go with the lowest bidder. The company with the lowest bid often makes the biggest mistakes. Costly service calls are likely to happen due to poor installation. Stick with a reputable furnace contractor.
  • If the contractor marks up the price of the unit plus installation significantly, you may have no chance of a payback in your lifetime. A contractor actually pays about $300 to $500 more for a 95 percent furnace than he does for a 90 percent furnace. So, if that added cost is passed on to you with little markup, you might be able to cost-justify it. Visit yourmoneypage.com/ energy/furnace1.php to run a payback calculation.
  • Have a new energy-efficient thermostat installed.
  • Go with a company who provides a detailed written proposal. It should outline exactly what will and won’t be done. The manufacturer and model number of the proposed equipment should be listed. The cost of all plumbing, venting changes, or electrical work required should also be listed on the proposal.
  • Research brands, rebates, and tax credits before you buy. Buy a reputable brand.
  • Factor in local energy costs, and take advantage of local, state, and utility rebates and incentives, too. Visit www.dsireusa.org for more information.
  • Will you be living in your home for 10 years or more?

Do you need a new furnace to help you reach a specific money-saving goal in the new year? Finding the right furnace and the best ways to save money on your energy bills can be a chore. With all the different factors to consider, you can get overwhelmed easily. Blue Frost Heating & Cooling is here to help you make informed decisions. Call (630) 761-9007 today. We can help you make your home more energy-efficient and save you money.

Blue Frost Heating & Cooling has been taking care of families for over 25 years. We’re still in business because we care about our customers and do quality work. And we’ll still be around if you have problems in the future.

WE REPAIR AND INSTALL ALL MAJOR BRANDS

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