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Furnace replacement is one of the most common maintenance expenses for homeowners. Most homeowners replace their old furnaces with the same kind they had to avoid incurring additional costs. Others decide to upgrade their systems to make their homes more energy efficient. Whether you intend to install a gas, oil, propane, or electric furnace, we can help you make the best choice based on your heating needs.
But before you make that decision, knowing the average heat capacity of your home will help you determine the best size furnace for your home, an important factor in reducing cost.
How to calculate the average heat capacity of your home
To lower the risk of overspending on a furnace you don’t need or installing one that increases your utility bill, you need to know how many BTUs, or British Thermal Units, to look for while you shop around. Multiply the number of square feet in your house by the average number of BTUs required to heat a square foot in your climate zone. In Washington, that average is between 40 and 45 BTUs.
So if your home is 2500 square feet, you’ll need a furnace with between 100,000 and 112,500 BTUs of heating capacity. Now that you have an idea of how many BTUs to look for, you’ll be able to gauge efficiency and long-term energy costs when choosing your furnace.
What kind of furnace is the best for me?
The type of furnace you choose will likely depend on the climate you live in, the quality of your home’s insulation and ductwork, its orientation, and what you consider an optimal temperature to live in.
- Gas. Ranging from $1200 to $2400 before installation, natural gas furnace cost is on the higher end. They’re most commonly used in climates that experience extreme cold because of how quickly they heat up homes. Even though gas furnaces cost more up front, they can pay for themselves in a few short years.
- Electric. Electric furnaces cost between $600 and $2000 but don’t need as much work to install. They also don’t need a lot of maintenance, are a safer alternative to furnaces that use combustible fuel, and have a 15 to 20-year life expectancy. Since electricity is a more expensive source or power, it’s more popular in places with mild winters.
- Propane. Propane furnaces are recommended for smaller homes in warmer climates because propane gas costs more than any other fuel. A propane furnace can cost anywhere from $600 to $2000.
- Oil. The oil for an oil furnace can be stored in large quantities for use over time, eliminating monthly utility bills and making them a viable option where oil is still readily available. Even though they are virtually obsolete, they’re still a popular choice in the northeast because they produce more BTUs by volume than gas or electric furnaces. Oil furnace cost can be among the highest, ranging from $1800 to $5800.
Don’t forget to factor in the average heat capacity of your home as you weigh your options. It’s also important not to make assumptions about which furnace is best for you until you have taken all variables into consideration. If you’re still not sure, we can help you find the right furnace for your home and budget.
Call Heating Plumbers for a Free Estimate at (206) 208 – 0007