Think it’s time to replace your aging furnace? Or installing one for the first time? The first question on most homeowners’ minds is:
“How much will this set me back?”
While we can’t provide a price that’s specific to your unique furnace installation project, we can provide a broad price range so that you have a better idea of what to expect.
In the Colorado area, the cost of a furnace installation typically varies anywhere from $3,500 to $15,000+.
Now, we know that’s a big range. To help you get a better sense of where you fall in that price range, we’ll explain the four factors that determine how much a furnace installation costs.
- Cost Factor #1: The Fuel Type
- Cost Factor #2: The Size of the Furnace
- Cost Factor #3: The Efficiency of the Furnace
- Cost Factor #4: The Contractor You Choose
Factors That Affect the Price of a Furnace Installation
Cost Factor #1: The Fuel Type
When it comes to “fuel”, furnaces can run off of either:
Typically, gas furnaces have the highest upfront cost of all 3 fuel types. However, gas furnaces are definitely the most popular fuel type for homeowners because they offer the lowest operational costs and higher comfort (gas furnaces produce hotter air than electric furnaces).
Keep in mind, though, that the fuel type you choose will most likely depend on the fuel you have access to.
For example, if you currently have an electric furnace and don’t have access to natural gas, it’s going to be much more cost-effective for you to stick with an electric furnace vs retrofitting your entire home to accommodate a gas furnace.
Cost Factor #2: The Size of the Furnace
Furnaces are sized by how much heat they put out per hour. That measurement of heat is expressed in BTUs (British Thermal Unit). The higher a furnace’s BTU output, the more it typically costs to install.
To give you a better picture of furnace sizing, 1 BTU is roughly equivalent to the amount of heat that’s produced by burning through one match. That said, most homes need anywhere from 40,000 to 200,000 BTUs for optimal comfort on a cold day.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind, though — the size furnace you need isn’t a choice you make. Bigger is not always better when it comes to HVAC equipment sizing. Instead your furnace size should match your home’s heating needs.
For example, you wouldn’t buy bigger pants just because they are bigger, right? Your HVAC equipment is no different, you want it to fit right.
Oversized units can actually cost you money in the long run. That’s because oversized units will “short cycle”, meaning your unit will turn on and off more often than it should, which causes:
- Shortened equipment life
- Higher energy bills
- Uneven temperatures throughout your home
- All that said, your furnace size should be based off a number of different factors, including:
- The square footage of your home
- The climate you live in
- The number of windows and doors
- The type and quality of insulation your home has
- The height of your ceilings
- The number of people living in your home
- The type of flooring throughout your home
Good contractors will perform what’s called a “load calculation” in order to size your furnace. This calculation takes into account all of the factors listed above (and more) and provides a precise measurement of how many BTUs your new furnace needs.
Our advice? Beware any contractor who offers to give you a furnace size estimate over the phone. They’re likely only basing the furnace size off of your home’s square footage, and square footage alone will not provide an accurate furnace size. Basically, an improperly sized furnace can run up your energy bills, have a shorter lifespan and won’t keep you comfortable.
Cost Factor #3: The Efficiency of the Furnace
Every furnace has an AFUE rating that signifies its level of efficiency. The higher the AFUE rating, the more expensive the furnace. However, higher AFUE ratings also mean lower energy bills throughout the lifetime of the furnace.
Because Colorado has 4 full seasons, we typically recommend getting a gas furnace that has at least an AFUE rating between 92% and 95%. Of course, you can definitely get a higher AFUE rating if you’re interested in an even more efficient furnace and even lower energy bills.
Cost Factor #4: The Contractor You Choose
Not all contractors charge the same amount for a furnace installation job. Typically, higher quality contractors will charge slightly higher prices for the overall project.
Our advice? Don’t skimp on the quality of your furnace installation contractor.
Here’s why: The truth is that most furnace and ACs operate in the same fashion. To differentiate between a top-of-the-line, high-efficiency system and an average system, it truly comes down to the quality of the installation job. That said, the quality of the installation is the most important factor when buying a new HVAC product.
A lower-quality contractor may offer temptingly low prices but they often provide rushed work and might not even provide a decent labor warranty. The low-quality work that comes along with a low-quality contractor will usually just result in you spending more money (and wasting more of your time) in the long run.
To help you find a high quality contractor for your furnace installation, we recommend doing the following:
- Check that the contractor is both licensed and insured in the state of Colorado. License and insurance numbers should either be posted on a company’s site or can be verified via a company’s Better Business Bureau profile. Any company listed on the BBB has a verified license and insurance.
- Check to see if the contractor has great ratings and reviews on sites like the BBB and Google. Reading through reviews will give you a better idea of how your experience with the contractor will pan out.
- Make sure the company has more than 10 years of experience installing furnaces. This typically ensures that the company will be around years after your installation and will ensure that you get their help if/when you need it later on down the road.
- Ask the contractor if they offer a labor warranty to back their furnace installation work. Most companies offer at least a 1‑year labor warranty on installations. Don’t trust a contractor who offers less than this — or who doesn’t offer one at all!
Looking for a High-Quality Colorado Contractor for Your Furnace Installation?
Look no further than the Cooper Green Team. We’ve been serving the Colorado area for more than 40 years and we know a thing or two when it comes to furnace installations.
Our team is A+ accredited by the BBB and we’re recognized by Xcel Energy as the top high-efficiency installation in Colorado for 9 years running. In fact, over the years, we’ve completed more than 41,321+ install jobs. And of those, 21,070 were high-efficiency installations.
That means, when you choose Cooper, you’re choosing the team that can save you the most money in the long run.