How long do home furnaces last?

Most furnaces last between 15-20 years, depending on the brand. Proper and regular maintenance is important in ensuring your furnace works well for as long as possible.

Should I repair or replace my furnace?

How old is your furnace? Most HVAC professionals follow this rule of thumb: if a furnace is past three-quarters of its life expectancy and/or if the repairs would exceed more than a third of the cost required to replace it, then the furnace should be replaced.

Additionally, if your heating bills have increased a lot over the past few years, then it might make more financial sense to replace the furnace.

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How much do home furnaces cost?

Furnace price varies by energy source, efficiency, and size.

Energy source is an important consideration. Electric furnaces are cheaper to purchase although running the equipment will be more costly. Gas furnaces are more expensive upfront but are cost-effective to operate.

Efficient furnaces, those with higher AFUE ratings, will cost less to operate during their lifetime although the initial cost is higher. A furnace with standard efficiency will be less expensive to purchase, although you will pay during its lifetime in the form of higher energy bills.

Lastly, size makes a difference in your furnace’s price. Bigger is generally more expensive, not only when it comes to the initial purchase, but even when factoring in the day-to-day operation costs.

Should I buy an electric or gas furnace?

Consider your budget and your home’s setup. First, how much do you want to pay upfront for a new furnace? Additionally, do you think your utility bills are too high? An electric furnace costs less to purchase although your monthly bills will be higher. A gas furnace generally results in lower utility bills although the initial cost to purchase one is higher.

Secondly, is your home already piped for gas? If it’s not, is gas available in your area? Contact your utility provider to see what the process is for acquiring gas power and how much it will cost. Costs vary, but in general, the average homeowner spent almost $1000 in 2019.

Is a furnace better than a ductless heat pump?

It depends! First, does your home already have ducts? If so, a furnace likely makes sense. If your home isn’t ducted and you don’t want to spend considerable time and expense in installing ductwork, then a ductless heat pump is a great choice. Secondly, what type of building do you want to heat/cool? If it’s an outbuilding, ADU, or addition where you couldn’t extend existing ductwork, you might also want to choose a heat pump.

Learn more about heat pumps!

What is an AFUE?

Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) the efficiency of a furnace. The higher the AFUE score, the more efficient the furnace. A standard furnace is 80% efficient although high efficiency models can be over 98% efficient. Models with high AFUEs tend to be more expensive to purchase initially, although users can expect to eventually recoup those expenses through lower energy bills.

What is a variable speed furnace?

A variable, or modulating, furnace is an efficient option. Instead of a single stage furnace (which can only be turned on or off) or a two-stage furnace (which can be used at full speed or half speed), a variable speed furnace provides you with customized options. Speed and heat output can be modulated based on the outside temperature and the temperature you want your home. A variable speed furnace only works as much as you want it to.

What size furnace do I need?

Furnace size should not only take square footage into account, but also insulation, orientation, window types, etc. (called a Manual J load calculation). A smaller but more efficient model may heat your home just as well as a model that is larger and older. Our skilled technicians will determine the size of furnace that will keep you comfortable!