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Question DetailsAsked on 11/26/2016

What should i pay for a new forced air furnace for 800 sq ft home in Des Moines Ia

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Assuming replacing with equivalent size and capacity and same flow direction (upflow, downflow, side flow, etc) so there is little ductwork to do other than basically just hooking it up, probably around $2000-2500 in your area for plain-jane 80% efficient gas furnace, depending on brand- perhaps as low as $1500-2000 range because you are in a pretty cheap area, IF the selected unit basically size-replaces the existing one.

Upgrade to 90% efficiency range and you are commonly looking at about $2,000-4,000 range, and 95% plus generally $4,000 plus depending on brand (not that that high an efficiency is worth that much). NOte that in most cases the actual cost of the unit is only a few hundred $ more for the next step higher in efficiency - but the installers upcharge the units far more for higher efficiency. I have seen bids from HVAC contractors for $3,000-4,000 for a 80% furnace versus $8,000-10,000 for same brand 96% efficiency unit (which takes maybe $500 more effort to install), even though the retail list cost of the unit itself was only $500 more. So, if you get widely disparate bids for 80% (standard) versus higher efficiency units, if you call the bidder out on the bid difference after researching the difference in list price between the unit, sometimes they will come down to something reasonable, like maybe $1000 or $1500 difference in installed cost.

You can find a lot of previous comments in the Home > HVAC link in Browse Projects (at lower left) regarding the tradeoff of higher installed cost for higher efficiency, and the difference it makes whether you intend to stay in this home "foreever" or if it is likely you will move in the thypical 5-6 years or less in one home.

Also, of course, energy costs matter a lot in the tradeoff - but generally in an area with normal, routine natural gas service, unless you plan on staying in the home 20 years or more, an over 90% efficiency unit generally does not pay off, and in many cases a plain 80% unit will be as good or a better deal when you consider payback period and the time value of the extra upfront money (or loan interest if paying with a loan).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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