Although most furnaces work in the same way, they have different fuel types. Keep reading to learn about the three most common types of furnaces on the market.
Natural Gas Furnace
Gas furnaces are the most common type of furnace. Although slightly more expensive than electric furnaces, new gas models are much more efficient, saving you money on your monthly energy bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), many modern, high-efficiency gas furnaces can reach a rating of up to 98.5% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), making them the cheapest to run and great for homeowners who live in cold climates.
If your home receives natural gas, a natural gas furnace may be your best option. If you want to spend less money upfront, purchase a mid-efficiency model with around 80%–88% AFUE. We found that the range of total costs for mid-efficiency or high-efficiency furnaces is generally near $1,700–$9,700 and includes the estimated installation rates.
Rather than burning fuel, electric furnaces use electrical currents to heat the air in the exchanger before distributing it throughout your ducts. Although they’re less efficient and more expensive to run than gas or oil furnaces, they’re better for the environment and have longer lifespans of 20–30 years. They’re also relatively cheap to purchase and install.
For homeowners who want a lower up-front furnace cost, an electric furnace could be a good option. It’s also a great alternative to gas or oil furnaces since it doesn’t require cleaning or other maintenance related to the ash or soot from burning fuel. As the cheapest option, electric furnaces usually cost between $1,600 and $6,200, which includes installation costs.
Although oil furnaces were popular in the early to mid-20th century, they have become much less common due to the availability and lower price of natural gas. However, if your home isn’t connected to natural gas and you want a furnace that will lower your energy bill more than electricity, consider an oil furnace. The oil furnace models that are produced today typically have efficiency ratings of around 80%–90%.
Keep in mind that the up-front costs for an oil furnace are typically higher than electric furnaces. Including labor and installation costs, you can expect the total cost of an oil furnace to be around $4,300–$9,200.