Last Updated: December 7th, 2021
This has been a beautiful fall in the Pacific Northwest! As we gear up for the winter season ahead, we need to prepare for colder temperatures. Is your furnace in working order—or does it need a tune-up or replacement?
In this edition of the Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning blog, we’re going to take a look at the costs involved in replacing a furnace, along with the common signs that a furnace may need to be replaced.
If you’re just after the numbers, feel free to click here to jump down to our furnace replacement cost breakdown.
Signs of Furnace Failure
How do you know when a furnace has run its course? A few signs that your furnace may be failing include:
- Increasing utility bills.
- Repeated service calls for repair.
- Furnace cycles that turn on and off rapidly.
Additionally, the burner flame should be blue; if it’s yellow, it’s not operating at maximum efficiency.
Do you have a natural gas furnace? If so, you need to actively monitor for carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector and monitor it consistently.
Common Furnace Issues
While old age is a big factor, there are many reasons why a furnace might fail—and many ways to prevent or prolong failure (check out our blog on how to care for and extend the life of your heating equipment!). Some of the main causes of furnace breakdown include:
- Dirty filters. If you don’t clean or replace your filters regularly, it’s like putting a plastic bag over your head and trying to breathe. Keep that air flowing with proper filter upkeep!
- Old age. When a furnace is old enough to drive, it’s time to consider a replacement. 16-20 years is the average, but sometimes, homeowners may want to replace a furnace earlier than that to improve their home’s efficiency. Newer units are often more efficient.
- Cracked heat exchanger.
- Blower motor failure.
Additional reading: Furnace Problems: 10 Common Issues & Easy Solutions
If you suspect that your furnace may be needing a tune-up or replacement, be sure to contact your local HVAC specialist for a consultation.
Benefits of Replacing an Old Furnace
If your furnace isn’t failing, but you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your home, you may want to consider replacing your furnace with a newer model. Older furnaces usually just have simple on and off switches. But today, with smart technology, furnaces can be more efficient, turning on and off based on determined settings or conditions. This helps to lower your utility bills and improve the overall efficiency of your home. Hop on over to our smart technology blog for more details.
Cost of Replacing an Old Furnace
The cost of replacing a furnace can vary depending on a number of factors.
Some factors that come into consideration are:
- Size of the home. The size of your home will dictate the size of the equipment.
- Number of people or pets in the home.
- How many levels or stories are in the home.
- Window directions.
- Where the furnace will be installed.
- Efficiency/comfort needs.
- Type of furnace.
All that said, for gas furnaces, the price usually ranges between $4500-$7000. For electric furnaces, it’s between $3000-5000. And for hybrid heat (gas furnace and heat pump), it’s between $13k-$20 (remember this system includes cooling too).
Additional reading: How Long Does A Furnace Last & When To Replace It
Combined Furnace Replacement and AC Installation
If you’re planning to replace your furnace and your HVAC system is on the older end, we recommend that homeowners plan to replace the entire system. We understand that’s not always possible! In fact, if you’ve recently had a new air conditioner installed, we can always replace just your furnace.
When you replace a furnace, installers need to open up the entire system. So, if you’re already planning to get an AC at some point or your current AC is old enough to drive, it’s best to do it all in one fell swoop. Ultimately, this will save homeowners money. Review costs of installing an AC on our blog.
Types of Furnaces
As you’re considering replacement, you’ll want to know what type of furnace you want to invest in. Different types of furnaces include:
- Natural gas furnaces.
- Oil furnaces.
- Electric furnaces.
- Propane furnaces.
- Other heat sources are heat pumps, ductless mini-split systems, and oil/gas boilers.
There are pros and cons to each type of furnace. At Jacobs, we install a number of different types of furnaces. As Carrier partners, we’re happy to carry incredibly efficient Carrier systems. Carrier offers efficiencies of up to 98.5%. The Carrier Infinity Furnace with Greenspeed Intelligence, for example, is the ultimate in comfort
Another very popular combination is with a high-efficiency furnace and heat pump, this is called a Hybrid Heat System. The heat pump does both heating and cooling, and it’s quiet, efficient, and super comfortable. This is a great and popular solution for homes here in the Pacific Northwest.