As we approach cold weather in Austin, you may find yourself in the tough spot of having to decide whether or not it’s time to replace your furnace. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of winter with a furnace that’s on its way out and no longer providing you with reliable heat, or with a furnace that’s breaking down multiple times a season, making it no longer cost effective to keep. This is a problem to nip in the bud early, and if your furnace is 10 years old or older, it’s definitely time to consider buying a new one.
But this tip isn’t about when to know if you need a new furnace. That’s a topic all of its own. This is going to be all about what you should expect when you’re in the market for a new furnace. A new furnace is a big investment, and as such, you shouldn’t jump into the market without at least some knowledge of that market and the factors that are going to affect your final price tag. That way, you won’t end up paying more for less, and you’ll get the most out of your money. So read on to learn all about current furnace costs, factors that affect the cost of a new furnace, and regional differences in furnace costs.
Average Furnace Prices
Before going into the details of what might affect the cost of a furnace for your specific home, let’s go over some of the average prices you’ll see out there today just so we get a good baseline for what kind of costs we’re going to be looking at. There are a lot of brands out there to choose from, and it's important to do your research ahead of time before deciding which furnace brand you will go with. You will need to factor installation cost into your overall price if you plan on having it installed by a professional, which is recommended unless you have training in such an area. The one that works best for your home might not be the one that you recognize from radio or TV ads. Keep in mind that top-rated brands come at a higher cost for the furnace as well as installation since Austin heating installers who choose to align themselves with higher-priced furnaces often charge extra for their services.
First thing we’ll do is look at some of the average prices for some of the top brands when it comes to gas furnaces, the reason being that gas furnaces are the most common type of furnaces in the country. These prices are going to be based on the average home with average needs in so far as filtration and power are concerned, that means an 80,000 BTU furnace with a 3-ton blower that is installed in a first floor utility room of a 1600 to 2000 square foot house.
- Payne - $680 furnace cost $1820 installation cost
- Goodman - $695 furnace cost $1860 installation cost
- Coleman - $780 furnace cost $2360 installation cost
- Carrier - $1164 furnace cost $3095 installation cost
- Trane - $1275 furnace cost $3560 installation cost
- Lennox - $1310 furnace cost $3990 installation cost
As you can see, there’s a very wide variety of prices here, correlating with the standard quality of the brand, and there’s a very direct correlation between the cost of the furnace and the cost of the installation. Another factor to consider is propane over gas. If you prefer to use propane instead of natural gas, make sure to factor the price of conversion into the estimates below. Gas furnaces can generally be converted to propane for a minimum fee. In most cases, the conversion process includes replacing the gas valve, the burners, jets, or any combination of these parts depending on the furnace. A conversion kit ranges from $25-$100.
Being in Austin, it’s possible you might be considering an electric furnace over a gas one for various reasons. Electric furnaces aren’t as common as gas furnaces overall, but they are common in places with less harsh winters such as the south. They can run at very high efficiency levels however they are usually more expensive to operate since they use a lot of electricity to heat a home. The average prices for the following electric furnaces are based on the typical setup for a 1500 square foot home in the southeastern United States, in a climate that rarely sees temperatures drop below freezing.
- Payne - $425 furnace cost $1720 installation cost
- Goodman - $395 furnace cost $1657 installation cost
- Coleman - $480 furnace cost $1800 installation cost
- Carrier - $753 furnace cost $2100 installation cost
- Trane - $1130 furnace cost $2265 installation cost
- Lennox - $1145 furnace cost $2520 installation cost
As you can see, prices go down pretty significantly when you go over to electric furnaces, especially for installation. Still, the same pattern remains, with more well-known brands being more expensive, and those well-known brands attracting higher quality cooling and heating installers, making the costs go up.
Furnace Installation Labor Costs
A big factor when it comes to the final cost of getting a new furnace is the cost of the labor. This is going to vary wildly, not just between regions and areas but from company to company. That’s why it’s really worth doing your research when deciding who to call to install your new furnace. Generally, the cost installation is going to coincide most distinctly with what brand you choose, as you can see from some of the price estimates above. The higher rated and more widely renowned brands are going to attract higher quality installers of heating in Austin who are going to charge more premium prices.
You can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $75 per hour for a licensed furnace installer, along with up to $50 per hour per person additional for their team members. In some municipalities, a permit may be required to install a furnace, and that will add to the cost, potentially $50 to $150, depending on where you live. You might also need to get it inspected. Overall, the project cost will depend on the current set-up of your home and whether you need to repair or install new ductwork. For an average 8 hour or so installation time this comes out to around $1000 for a ballpark estimate of installation labor costs.
Generally speaking, it will take anywhere from 7 to 11 hours to install a new furnace. The things that go on during the installation process include assembly of the unit, leveling and securing the unit, connecting the unit to the ducting, and configuring the controller. This all also includes planning, equipment and material acquisition, area preparation and protection, setup and cleanup. Your average installation is going to run you anywhere from $875 to $1245 if you’re looking at general factors and typical costs.
As far as warranties go, two warranties come along with furnace installation and function. The first is the manufacturer's warranty, which comes with the furnace and protects against defects in the furnace itself, such as inoperable fans or pilot lights that won't stay lit. The second is the contractor’s warranty, and the contractor's warranty covers the labor involved to make repairs if the furnace doesn't work properly and is often good for a period of 5 to 10 years. Some contractors charge more for extended warranties. Make sure to get any warranty in writing; also make sure that it specifies exactly what gets covered, for how long and what the contractor will do to fix the problem. Although the costs of installing a furnace vary significantly, you can avoid price pitfalls by doing your own research.
Other Factors in Furnace Cost
Of course, there’s more to consider when narrowing down the cost of your next furnace than the company you hire and the brand you choose. One of the biggest factors when it comes to furnace cost is the size of your home as this will determine the size and output power of the furnace. When you’re looking at size differences you’re looking at the difference of thousands of dollars, making this a major factor.
Region plays a big factor as well. Homes typically require 30 to 60 BTUs per square foot. Whether a home needs more or fewer BTUs depends on the climate zone where the home is located. The U.S. has five different climate zones. In warmer climates, 30 to 35 BTUs is sufficient to warm a typical home. New or remodeled homes tend to have better insulation and can operate in the 30 BTU range. In colder climates, most homes need 50 to 60 BTUs. Homes in temperate climates require 40 to 45 BTUs. Austin is in a warmer climate meaning you’re probably going to be looking at around 30 to 35 BTUs per square foot for a typical home. This measurement has the added factor of size so that’s regardless of the size of your home.
The bigger the size of your home, condo or apartment, the more expensive your furnace will be. The furnace must be properly sized to the home, as a furnace with excess capacity will use extra power and cost you money while an undersized furnace will not effectively heat the home. Along with its efficiency, electric furnaces run smaller than others on the market. This affects the overall furnace installation price.
Furnace Cost and Heating Repair in Austin
There are many factors involved when it comes to the cost of a new furnace including the price itself and the price of installation and labor. Some of the biggest factors include the brand of furnace you get, who you get to install it, what size your house is, and what region you live in. When you take all of these factors into account you can get a good idea of what you should expect to be paying for a new furnace and that way you won’t accidentally spend more than you have to.
Just as you’ll eventually need to replace your furnace, you may eventually need to repair your current furnace as well. Even new furnaces with good warranties are eventually going to either need some kind of tune-up to keep working at max efficiency or some kind of repair to get rid of an internal issue. In such cases, consider the Austin heater repair company AC Express. AC Express has been doing heater repair in Austin for over 10 years and we’ve earned our reputation. Our heating service in Austin is unmatched and we work on all brands and types of heaters in the area, from Cedar Park and Georgetown to Round Rock and Taylor. For expert heating repair in Austin, contact AC Express today!