As with any major purchase, the price tag for a furnace installation rarely ends with the price tag on the unit themselves. While you are probably ready to take care of both the cost of the furnace itself and its installation, there are some other costs that you might not be as prepared for.
In order to get the maximum benefit from your new, more efficient furnace, your ductwork needs to be in good condition as well. HVAC technicians have learned a lot of over the past few decades, and it is not only the furnaces themselves that has improved. While spending money on beefing up your duct system might sting, it will be even worse if you allow leaks to waste your money for the next several decades.
When the technician comes to discuss your new furnace, have them do a quick inspection. Make sure they have easy access to your attic and basement, as this is where the majority of ductwork is often run. This will make it easier to include the cost of ductwork repairs into your quote for the installation. Depending on your situation, you may need to decide between making the easy repairs in your attic and basement, or opening up one or more walls to rerun the ducts or patch major leaks that are not easily accessible.
Adjustments In Your HVAC System
It is unlikely that getting a furnace that is just like your old one is going to be the right choice. Furnaces have improved in their efficiency, homes are more air-tight, and formulas that determine the size of your furnace have become more exact. It is very likely that the right furnace for your home will be significantly smaller than your last one. In addition, there are a few other things you should consider when picking out your furnace.
First, think about spending extra to get a furnace with a higher efficiency rating. The upfront cost of a more efficient furnace is quickly repaid in lower energy bills, leaving you with a net profit on your investment. A second way to improve the efficiency of your furnace is to invest in a two-stage model. Traditional furnaces are either on or off, but two stage models are set up to efficiently handle a partial load. This will be especially useful in the spring and fall where your indoor temperature just needs a bit of a boost.
Changing Your Furnace Type
If you are planning on making a major change in the type of furnace you are using, prepare for your bill to be much higher than expected. This is because the tech will have to retrofit your existing system to work with the new furnace.
- Changing between gas and oil furnaces is relatively straightforward, as the tech only needs to change the supply feed. You will likely be able to keep all your existing ductwork.
- Moving to electric baseboard heating from a central HVAC system is often a less efficient option, but since you don't have to install any ductwork, the cost shouldn't be too heart stopping. However, going the other way will be extremely expensive, as you will need to have a complete set of ductwork installed into your home along with the furnace.
- Switching to or from a heat pump system will likely require some modifications to your existing ductwork. A traditional furnace needs to be centrally located, whereas a heat pump system will originate near the outdoor condenser. Geothermal heat pump systems will also incur the cost of digging up your backyard.
Buying a furnace often takes a bit more effort than you might initially realize, but those little extras are often worth the money. Make sure you bring up these possible problems with your contractor early, so that they make it into the final quote. Click here for more info on what to expect with a furnace installation.