Natural Gas Furnace: A Look at Prices and Efficiency

Natural Gas Furnace

Natural gas furnaces are used to keep your home warm during the winter.  Natural gas is a clean-burning energy source used in furnaces, and has become very efficient at home heating.  The efficiency of natural gas furnaces have gone up to 98%, which is a very significant increase over the minimum code standard in the United States of 78% . These types of furnaces have obvious energy savings benefits, but you can also get incentives from your utility company to replace your gas furnace or buy a new.  Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company offers a rebate for of up to $300 for buying an energy efficient furnace.


Gas Furnace Efficiency

Natural gas furnaces are rated by what is called an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating.  The AFUE is an average thermal efficiency for a given furnace for an entire season.  It is a better representation of the actual efficiency of a furnace than when a manufacturer just gives you the thermal efficiency.  The most energy efficient gas furnaces are called condensing furnaces with AFUE ratings of 90% and above.


Gas Furnace Prices

You can expect to pay from about $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the furnace capacity.  This price is for the furnace alone.  The price of installation varies.  You can install the furnace yourself or you can get a contractor to do it for you.  The price of the furnace will rise the more energy efficient it is.

A condensing furnace with an AFUE rating of 90% will cost you $1,000 more than a non-condensing furnace with an AFUE rating of 80% for the same heating capacity.  The extra $1,000-$2,000 you pay for an energy efficient furnace will be paid back in a few years by the energy savings you get.   Not only will you get the difference you paid back, but every year after that represents lower gas bills since the expected lifetime of a furnace is 20 years.

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