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How Much Does A New Electric Furnace Cost To Install?

National Average Change Location | View National
$3,185
Typical Range
$910 - $5,496
Low End
$149
High End
$8,800

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As their name implies, electric furnaces use electricity to heat and distribute air throughout your home. Inside are three to seven heated electric resistance coils or “elements,” which are sized according to the kilowatts of power consumption of the unit. An electric furnace moves air over and through a series of heated coils. Then it distributes this air throughout your home via a system of ductwork and vents.

On This Page:

  1. Average Electric Furnace Prices
  2. Electric Furnace Cost Factors
  3. Advantages & Disadvantages of Electric Furnaces
  4. Electric Furnace Efficiency
  5. Conclusion

Electric Furnace Costs

The average cost to install an electric furnace is between $910 and $5,496, depending on the brand you have installed and the amount of labor required (typically about 10 hours).  Other price factors include whether you are replacing or installing a new unit, if your vents need repair or replacing, and the current state of your insulation.

Some brands of electric furnaces and their prices include:

American Standard

  • Low efficiency: $1,900-$2,500
  • High efficiency: $2,900-$,4000

Carrier

  • Standard efficiency: $1,650-$3,000
  • High efficiency: $2,660-$4,000

Bryant

  • Standard efficiency: $2,100-$3,000
  • High efficiency: $2,950-$4,000

Lennox

  • Standard efficiency: $1,950-$2,500
  • High efficiency: $2,875-$3,500

Trane

  • Standard efficiency: $2,195-$3,590
  • High efficiency: $2,860-$4,260

Goodman

  • Standard efficiency: $1,700-$2,300
  • High efficiency: $2,500-$3,500
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Cost Factors

The cost of electric furnaces can vary greatly based on a number of factors, including installation costs, insulation, duct and vent quality, BTUs and output. Here is a quick explanation of how these variables will affect the overall return on your investment.

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Installation Costs

The quality of your installation will greatly affect the later efficiency of the unit, so it is important to hire a fully trained and licensed professional to perform the installation.

Installation costs can vary due to a multitude of factors.

  • If you are replacing an older unit, you must factor in the cost to remove the old equipment.
  • Disposal fees vary from place to place, so ask someone familiar with your geographical area to get an idea of how much your disposal will cost.
  • Permitting and inspection costs also vary according to geographic area.
  • Building codes and requirements may have changed since your last furnace installation, so prices may increase.

Labor will usually factor in an additional $400 to $600. It takes about 10 hours to install a new furnace. Most contractors include removal of the old furnace as part of the quote, but some contractors charge an additional fee. Additional parts may also be needed to complete installation. For instance, you may need a new thermostat or new electrical breakers or disconnects. These additional parts will add to the overall cost of your electric furnace installation as well.

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Insulation

The amount of insulation in your home will also affects the size requirement of your electric furnace. Homes with plentiful insulation will require a smaller unit than homes with little insulation. If you have poor insulation in your home though, you may need to invest in new insulation before installing a new electric furnace. Regarding your home’s basic insulation needs, you must also consider:

  • Number and type of windows on your home
  • Weather stripping around your exterior doors
  • Home’s construction type
  • Number of levels to be heated

A general rule of thumb says that if your home is well-insulated and your windows are fairly new, you will be safe in choosing a unit at the smaller size of the range available for your square footage.

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Duct and Vent Quality

If you are replacing an existing furnace, it is important to carefully inspect your existing ductwork and vent system. If there are leaks in your ductwork, even the most efficient electric furnace will have trouble adequately heating your home. If the only issues with your ductwork are small leaks, it is possible to seal those leaks and use your existing duct system. Sealing both the supply and the return air ducts will increase its efficiency.

If you discover major problems with your existing ductwork, it is likely best to replace your ductwork before installing your new furnace. Replacement ductwork ranges from $35 to $55 per linear foot, bringing the total cost for a typical single-family house to around $530 to $1,600, depending on the length and type of ducts used. A professional, trustworthy contractor can offer sound advice concerning your ductwork and vents.

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Replacing vs. Installing a New Furnace

As with other home repairs, there is a cost associated with replacing an older furnace. First, you must calculate the cost of removing and disposing of the old equipment, which could be an additional $100 onto your total installation cost depending on the contractor. Then, you must consider the potential modifications which must be completed to accommodate your new furnace.

On the other hand, if you have not previously had a forced air heating unit, you must calculate the cost of installing new ductwork and vents (up to $1,600), new electrical breakers ($1,400) and the new furnace itself (up to $2,500). In this case, you may find that new installation is more expensive than simply replacing an older furnace.

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Pros & Cons of Electric Furnaces

Benefits of Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces convert all energy used into heat. In that sense, they are highly efficient.

  • They burn cleanly, and they are generally considered safe because automatic breakers protect them from overloading.
  • Because electric furnaces have few moving parts, they are relatively easy to maintain.
  • Initial costs are low, making them an attractive option to those looking for a quick solution to their heating needs.
  • They are generally best suited for use in climates in which winters are mild or moderate.

Benefits to consider over a gas-powered furnace include:

  • There is no need to relight a pilot light or deal with combustible fuels in your home.
  • They do not require additional venting and storage tanks.
  • Electric furnaces require less maintenance than gas furnaces.
  • They run more quietly than gas furnaces and have a longer lifespan.
  • They pose a lower risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Initial cost is considerably cheaper.

Drawbacks to Electric Furnaces

Using electricity as the only source of heating your home can be more expensive over the long term than using other methods like natural gas. Because the heat comes into your home via ductwork, a significant amount of heat may be lost before it reaches your home’s interior. This makes electric furnaces a less efficient choice for colder climates, as your system will be forced to work to compensate for temperature variations.

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Efficiency of Your Electric Furnace

The efficiency of your furnace can greatly impact your monthly energy bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), heating accounts for approximately 30 percent of the energy used in a typical U.S. home. With this figure in mind, it’s easy to see how paying attention to the efficiency rating of your furnace can also help you lower your utility bill.

BTUs

Heating capacity is measured in thousands of British Thermal Units (BTUs), which are rated according to the amount of fuel energy consumed when the furnace is running in a steady state. This is called input BTU. It is important to note that furnaces with the same input BTU may offer different levels of efficiency.

Output BTU

The more important figure to ascertain is the output BTU -- the measurement of the actual heat produced. When you read the specifications for various electric furnaces, this is usually expressed as a percentage of efficiency. For instance, a furnace with an efficiency of 80 percent will produce 80,000 BTUs of heat. A furnace with an efficiency of 95 percent will produce 95,000 BTUs of heat.

Indoor Blower Capacity

Another measure of output is the volume of air that passes out of the electric furnace and into the ductwork over a specified span of time. This is called indoor blower capacity, which is generally measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm).

When you are reading about the indoor blower capacity of your electric furnace, you may see information about maximum capacity and default capacity. Maximum capacity represents the highest possible setting, whereas default capacity represents the default factory manufacturer’s initial setting. Since there are various ways to measure the efficiency of a furnace, we advise that you research BTUs and energy efficiency ratings to find the electric furnace that will best match the needs of your household.

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In Summary

Choosing the correct electric furnace for your needs requires attention to detail regarding cost, location and efficiency ratings. If you choose to install a new electric furnace, it is probably wise to allow a professional to do the actual installation. The acquisition of pertinent local permits, compliance with building codes and legally mandated inspections must be handled appropriately. Additionally, any previous furnace must be removed and properly disposed of. A professional contractor can easily ensure that all standards are met and that your furnace is correctly installed and set to heat your home for years to come.

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