Gas furnace replacement can be costly and you have to, not only know when to replace your furnace, but how to replace it and where you can save money and where you should rather be spending. There are quite a few costs that are associated with replacing your furnace but when you know what to look for and where to look for it, you can prevent the cost of gas furnace replacement from getting you down.
Doing this task by yourself may be dangerous both to you and your furnace if you do not know what to look for and what to do. In this case, you need to work under instruction from either the manufacturer or a professional who has experience in teaching their craft to others.
Cost Factors to Consider When Replacing Your Gas Furnace
There are so many different types of gas furnaces these days and each come with their own set of rules of how and when and how much. It is difficult to keep up. There are a few elements that are prevalent across all makes and models which can be used as a guide to how much it will cost you to replace your gas furnace.
Some of these elements include:
- Size of the unit
- Type of furnace
- Which geographical area you stay
- Whether the duct work needs to be replaced
- Whether any additional ductwork or canals need to be fitted
The make of your furnace could play a big role in how you will go about replacing your furnace. Your unit may still be under warranty and if you do not call in an accredited technician to replace the unit, you may lose the warranty that comes with the new unit. Some manufacturers are very specific in their warranty terms and conditions about how, where and by whom the unit should be fitted and any breach in these terms will render your warranty void.
To avoid being taken for a ride by a specific technician, you should contact your manufacturer for a list of accredited technicians so that you have more than one to choose from. It is always a good idea to get at least three quotes on what the replacement of your unit will be so that you have an idea of what the market average rates are and choose the accredited technician that will not charge you the earth to replace your unit.
The size of your furnace will also have an effect on the price of replacing it. If you are replacing a smaller unit with a larger one then you may have to pay relatively more to have it installed. The ductwork and vents of your current system may not be sufficient for the new and larger unit either and these will need to either be extended or replaced. The person that will be replacing your unit will be able to advise you on whether the ductwork is sufficient, but it is always a good idea to get a second opinion.
When to Call in the Experts
There are many ideas and different opinions of whether you should replace your furnace yourself to cut on the replacement costs or to call in the experts to do it for you so that you don’t spend extra cash on fixing any mistakes that you may have made. There is also the risk that you may be running that the unit is damaged while you are trying to install it yourself instead of calling those who have been trained to replace these units. There are so many intricate parts that interconnect and you have to be very careful when working with electricity and gas that it may be a good idea to call in the experts and not to attempt this project by yourself.
As with any other technical project there are quite a few reasons why you need to have an expert looking at your replacement for the furnace.
- Warranty – As mentioned, you may lose the warranty if you cannot produce the certificate from the approved technician to your manufacturer should something go wrong.
- Connecting up gas valves – Should a gas pipe not be connected properly or start to leak when you have connected them to the new unit by yourself, then you may have to spend more money afterwards to fix your replacement project. Leaking gas pipes, valves and vents will be hazardous to your health as well as for everyone else in your home.
- Compatible ducts – Should you fit the furnace yourself, will you know whether the current duct system is compatible with your new unit? You may be upgrading your gas furnace and this would mean that you may have to upgrade the entire duct system.
Whether you are attempting this large job by yourself or whether you are going to be entrusting this project to an expert will all influence how much you will be spending on the replacement of your gas furnace. If you attempt it yourself and it does not work out, you may have to spend more in the long run. It may be a better idea to call in the expert right from the start so that you know the replacement has been done correctly and properly and that all the different components are compatible with each other.
Actual Cost of Gas Furnace Replacement
Different sizes of gar furnaces will cost a different amount to replace. The costs that are involved are not necessarily just for the unit but the labor and the tools and parts to have the new unit installed. These costs need to be factored in when you are looking at the replacement cost of the unit.
When you take into consideration that your furnace will probably last between 15 and 20 years, the $3000 to $5000 you may have to spend to have it replaced does not seem like a lot. It is a different story though if you are not prepared to have such a huge financial expense at once. The cost of the furnace is probably the highest cost you will incur.
If you have a furnace that has now stopped working, then chances are that it is about 20 years old already and it will need to be replaced with a newer upgraded model. Many of the furnaces that were installed about 20 years ago had an AFUE of about 60 – 80% which means that if you want to replace it, you will need to do so with something with better efficiency to comply with government safety standards. If your furnace lasted longer than it was expected too then it would be a very good idea to have all of your gas lines and ducts and vents inspected as well. This extra cost will pay off in the end because then you are sure that your furnace is compatible with the ducts and that you will not have to worry about any leaks or cracks where you may lose any heat.
The efficiency of your new furnace will also be largely affected by the type of ducts you have installed. The older units used to use ducts made of sheet metal, but for the newer units to recycle the air properly without losing heat, they need PVC ducts which are also easier and cheaper to replace and repair than the older metal versions.
To install a new unit should not take any longer than one day. If your technician wants to charge you the labor or taking any longer than that, then you need to negotiate this with him or you need to find another technician.
What to Look Out For Before Replacing Your Furnace
There are a few things that you can take note of before approaching the professionals to have your new gas furnace installed.
How big is Your Home?
The size of your home will influence the size and the efficiency class of the gas furnace you will buy. Gas furnace replacement cost depends mainly on the type and size of the unit you will now be installing. The best way to determine this is to take measurements of your home. How big is the square feet measurement of your home? You can also take down the specifications of your current gas furnace and take all of these measurements with you when you shop around for a new gas furnace. The manufacturer will be able to tell you which other newer units will be compatible according to what you currently have and how big your home is.
Your Budget Constraints
The amount of money you have in your budget for replacing your unit will also have a large effect on how much you will spend on the new gas furnace. You need to consider as well that if you choose a unit with a lower AFUE then you may spend more money in the long run on heating fuel costs. The higher the AFUE on the gas furnace, the more money you will save in the long run. Even if you save just $20 per month on heating costs, you can well imagine what a difference that can make over 15 to 20 years.
Your Negotiation Skills
Many fitment centers have their set rates, but some of them are willing to negotiate their rates. You should never be too shy to haggle with them over their price of their services. If you have obtained more than one quote, this will also have a big influence on how much bargaining power you have. This should of course fall within reasonable boundaries, but if you can prove to one service provider that you can have the same job done somewhere else for cheaper, they may just drop their price to match or better the other quote so they can do the job for you.
When to Repair and When to Replace
There are a few things that can be done to prolong the life of your gas furnace a while longer, but once it has reached a certain age and a certain point then maintaining the furnace becomes more expensive than buying a new one.
Another good indicator that it is time to replace your furnace is if you can no longer find the parts and fittings for the unit to repair it or if there are no technicians who know how to work on the unit. A lot of the newer models are worked digitally through computers and many of the technicians have switched over to working on these machines.
When your unit is older than 20 years, it will definitely be time to change the furnace as this is about the length of time a furnace will last. If you have just moved into your home, you may want to check the furnace you have in the home and check with its manufacturer on how old the furnace is so that you can have an idea of when you will expect to replace it. If the unit is anything over 15 years old, you may have to replace it a lot sooner than you may have planned to. When replacing your old furnaces you need to also remember to change the ducts as well.
When the heater is being erratic and giving off heat intermittently, there may only be something wrong with the thermostat in which case you would only want to repair what is wrong with the furnace to cut on costs.
To make sure you comply with all of the safety and health standards that are associated with gas furnaces, you may need to change your furnace if the AFUE is anything below the minimum required standard. With natural resources becoming limited, we all have to do our part to limit our use of these resources. Your reward for doing so will be a drop in your heating costs per month because you use less gas to heat your home with the higher efficiency on your Furnace.