We are asked a multitude of furnace questions, and those about new furnace installation costs are high on the list this time of year. After all, what is a fair price for a new furnace? As with most things…it depends. But, as I peruse through some of the other websites which have answered this question, I felt it important for us to weigh-in. No, it doesn’t cost us $2,250 for a new furnace as a contractor (as some of these sites have mentioned), and it will probably blow your mind just how inexpensive some of this furnace equipment actually is. But, as with most things, the cost of a new furnace is mostly in the brand chosen, labor, and your location. Those of you who have read some of our articles, know that we are a small, U.S. Veteran-Owned heating and air conditioning company in California, and have built our reputation on giving honest, straight answers – this article will be no different. In this article we will discuss new furnace installation costs, including: typical furnace components, furnace brands, and the features you need (and don’t need) to keep your family toasty this winter.
This article addresses a fair furnace installation price – for the same article on air conditioning and heating installation costs, try:
New Furnace Installation Cost – The Factors
There are many factors that can affect a new furnace installation cost, but which ones are important? In this section, we’ll lay out the factors that affect the installation cost of your new furnace, in order of most to least expensive.
Contrary to what you might think, the largest factor that affects furnace cost is not the AFUE, or other features, but rather, the brand of furnace that you choose. If you are just looking for a ballpark price, then I won’t waste your time…it’s about $4,000 (Homeadvisor – Furnace Installation Cost). Here is a list of some of the major furnace brand prices:
Average Furnace Prices by Brand:
For those of you looking for a more accurate number, try our: Furnace Installation Cost Calculator. It includes actually contractor pricing for your specific project, fair installation prices, and more.
Factor 1 – Brand Affects New Furnace Installation Cost
People spend a lot of time asking us how much changing their AFUE value, or the type of blower motor will affect their furnace installation cost. After resisting the urge to be a smart-ass, I often have to show them that this is not as big of a factor as they think it is – it’s more important to focus on what type of unit works best for your home.
I continue by telling them that if they’re looking to reduce their furnace installation cost, then they should really start by getting rid of having their heart set on Lennox furnaces, and instead look at comparable [but more affordable] companies like Goodman Furnaces, or Day & Night Furnaces. I know what you’re thinking: “But Tim, my neighbor Herb has one, and he just swears by them…” Don’t care!
What most people don’t realize (unless they’ve read some of our articles), is that there are only a few companies that make furnaces. But, in a move to gain more share of the market, they use multiple brand names and price ranges. Don’t believe me? What if I told you that Carrier, Heil, Day & Night, Payne, and Bryant were all the same furnace company? Well, whether you buy it, or not, they are. In fact, up until a few years ago, they all used to come as the same exact unit, in the same box, with all five brand name tags in it – yes, you heard correctly – the contractor would actually install the tags onto the unit themselves… on site, and pass the increased furnace installation cost on to you, the consumer.
Gratuitous side tangent: as you might imagine, we irritated some of our competitors when we’d ask our clients which tag (i.e. which brand) they wanted for their new furnace, and charged them the same price for Carrier as for Day & Night…but I digress. The point is, brand matters when it comes to your furnace installation cost, but that doesn’t mean that the furnaces are less reliable just because they have a different name – do some research.
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Factor 2 – Features Affect Your Furnace Installation Price
I know that it feels good to spend the money, and get extra features; I’m one to talk (especially when it comes to buying cars). But please realize that furnaces aren’t cars…they’re utilitarian – they serve a purpose – and paying for features you don’t need is like throwing money down the drain, and increase your furnace installation cost needlessly.
If you want to keep your furnace installation cost low, you’ll need to take some time and figure what it is that you actually need. If you live in Southern California, then you definitely don’t need a 98% AFUE (what is AFUE?) furnace for $3,000 uninstalled…you’ll do just fine with an 80% AFUE furnace. Likewise, the 80% furnace might not make it up in Bozeman, Montana, where a modulating furnace might help keep you warm without breaking the bank.
Other added features that you may or may not need, are:
- Two-stage operation – instead of your furnace having one combustion chamber, this furnace feature is kind of like having two little furnaces that work together (What is a Two-Stage Furnace?). If it’s chilly out, then only one stage runs…but when the temperature drops, it turns on the second stage and cranks into high-gear. Again, worth-while investment in Montana…in Texas, not so much…especially if you’re trying to keep your furnace installation cost down.
- Variable-speed and modulating valves – think of these as kind of like being fuel injectors for your car, which can modulate the amount of fuel introduced into the combustion chambers, making your furnace more efficient (WES – What is a Modulating Furnace?). However, do you need to pay for this added feature? Again, if you live in a place where 32-degrees is considered “T-shirt weather,” then by all means…add it to your furnace installation cost. If you didn’t know that it could even get to 32-degrees outside (ahem, South Texas), then it’s probably not worth the investment!
Factor 3 – Location Affects Furnace Installation Cost
Is your furnace in an easy-access closet in the garage? If so, we can probably change it out in a few hours from start to finish. If it’s in a 2ft X 2ft crawlspace under the house and infested with rodents, however, it’s going to take a while…the length of time that your project will take, will play a huge roll in your furnace installation cost.
Think about it – the contractor has to pay a two-man team to install a furnace for you, so the difference between a one-day job, and a three-day job can be $1,000 or more, greatly increasing the furnace installation cost to him (and therefore, you). As such, keep in mind that there are just some things that are outside of your control, and the location of your furnace is one of them.
Factor 4 – Who You Choose to Use Affects the Furnace Installation Cost
Look, I’m not here to make any friends – there are a lot of contractors out there that are untrustworthy. Sad, but true.
We come across them on construction sites almost every day, and they can have a huge impact on your furnace installation cost. You may want to do some research on choosing a contractor; here’s an article to help you by Energy Star…it is a government run organization, so curtail your enthusiasm: Energy Star – Hiring an HVAC Contractor.
However, there are also companies out there that are still honest and will give you a fair price! So, do your research, and if you forget everything else from this article, then remember this: who you get to install your furnace is more important than any other decision that you will make affecting your furnace installation cost. Most of you aren’t even close to our service area, or maybe you just don’t like us, so here’s our article to help you find a reputable contractor in your area: ASM- How to Choose an HVAC Contractor.
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Don’t overpay for your new air conditioner or furnace. See how this online program can help:
What’s a Fair Furnace Installation Price?
For those of you looking for the direct answer on a fair furnace installation price, I’m afraid it’s not quite that simple. If you don’t know why, please see factors 1-4 above. However, we can give you some guidelines.
Fair Furnace Installation Cost Range: $2,000 – $5,000
What this furnace installation cost range implies is that if you used a reasonably priced furnace, like Goodman, and your job is relatively straightforward. So, if you choose a reputable contractor, then you can expect to pay in the $2,500 range for a new furnace. If, however, you choose an expensive brand, such as Lennox or Trane, or if you have a difficult job, or a pricy contractor, then your furnace installation cost might be closer to $5,000.
Still not satisfied? I didn’t think so…So, for more specific prices (based on brand and other features), you may also be interested in:
The Furnace Installation Cost for a Few Popular Furnaces
Look, it’s literally impossible of me to write down the furnace installation costs of every make, model and size – that’s why we designed our HVAC Design and Consultation Program. However, what I can do, for those of you who are just perusing, is write down the fair furnace installation cost of a couple of the more popular furnaces, and break down the prices for you (actual prices will differ based on location, brands, etc.):
CARRIER 80% AFUE COMFORT SINGLE-STAGE GAS FURNACE INSTALLATION COST w/ (PCS BLOWER) – 44,000 BTU Size
- Price of furnace: $577.80
- Price of labor: $432.00 (estimated)
- Materials: $212.00
- Fees and other misc.: $537.00
- Total furnace installation cost to contractor: $1,758.80
- Profit margin: 40%: $703.52
- Total new furnace installation cost (at 40% profit margin to contractor): $2,462.32
DAY & NIGHT 80% AFUE PERFORMANCE SINGLE-STAGE GAS FURNACE INSTALLATION COST w/ (PCS BLOWER) – 44,000 BTU Size
- Price of furnace: $410.47
- Price of labor: $432.00 (estimated)
- Materials: $212.00
- Fees and other misc.: $537.00
- Total furnace installation cost to contractor: $1,591.47
- Profit margin: 40%: $636.59
- Total fair furnace installation cost (at 40% profit margin to contractor): $2,228.06
Keep in mind, of course, that this does not include any add-ons, such as a new thermostat, ductwork, or a fancy 4.5-inch Honeywell media air filter…but you get the point, and at least these furnace installations costs will help get you going on the right foot.
New Furnace Installation Cost Review
To review, here’s your one-stop guide on how to reduce your new furnace installation cost:
- Brand Affects Your New Furnace Installation Cost – choose a brand that’s reliable, but you don’t need to invest in high-end brands like Carrier and Lennox. Smaller companies like Day & Night have the same internal components, at a fraction of the cost.
- Features Can Affect New Furnace Installation Cost – don’t get carried away with features; most of them you don’t need unless you live up north in harsh winter climates.
- Location of Furnace Affects Installation Cost – if your furnace is in a difficult to reach location, just realize that this will affect labor costs, which will increase your installation price.
- The Contractor Chosen Will Affect Your New Furnace Installation Cost – spend 70% of your time researching contractors, and the other 30% of your time looking up academic items like furnace brands and features.
Again, I’m not trying to beat the dead horse here, but if you want to know what a fair installation price is for your new furnace, do your research. Here’s a good place to start:
Final Thoughts on a New Furnace Installation Cost
Keeping yourself from getting ripped off in this day and age can be tricky, but hopefully our furnace installation cost guide was helpful in doing so. Remember, however, that who you get to install your furnace is probably the most important part of purchasing a new furnace, so if you find someone who is a little pricier than this, but reliable and has a good reputation…pay the extra money. It’ll be cheaper in the long run! For more information on topics similar to our furnace installation price guide, try our ASM furnace and air conditioning blog.