If you receive month after month of high energy bills, your first instinct might be to panic. Actually, it might be to search for energy saving tips. If your bills are still high, the next logical step many homeowners take is to assume the furnace may need to be serviced, or worse, replaced.
Replacing a furnace with a newer model is always expensive. There’s the cost of the unit, then the cost of the installation to consider. It requires an HVAC contractor or technician to install and setup for you.
Chances are you might not even need a new furnace. If a contractor inspects your house and tells you that you need a new furnace, I would definitely get a second or third opinion. If nothing else, you can choose from the best price and service offering.
Be aware that when a furnace is updated, there are several not-so-obvious additional costs you are most likely to incur.
First, there’s the thermostat. Different furnace brands and models may require certain thermostats. If your thermostat has to be replaced, that is extra. There may be additional wiring as well from the furnace to the thermostat. So be prepared to possibly have to repaint a wall or two. Additionally, the electrical supply line may have to be updated so the furnace gets the proper power. Again, that is extra.
Also, be aware that the ducts might need to be repaired or replaced, depending on the furnace. It makes no sense to have a high efficiency furnace if the ductwork is bad or in need of repair. Once again, that is extra.
When the contractor walks through your home and gives you an estimate for a new furnace plus installation, ask for a breakdown of the costs. Ask what he plans to do. And definitely ask about the efficiency. I would definitely get more than one opinion as mentioned before.
Furnaces are usually installed rather quickly, especially in the colder months. Most of the time, for a straight forward installation, the technician can have the unit installed in as little as a day, possibly with a return visit to tidy up, tune up, or perform related work. Of course, if ducts have to be replaced or wiring has to be done, the estimate increases from there.
Now that said, a new furnace / any HVAC work done recently (the last 7-8 years) will add value to your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers, as well as more comfortable for you. Top 10 best vacuum pumps