How Much Would It Cost for a Furnace Replacement in Your Building?
Replacing a furnace in a commercial building requires careful assessment of factors that affect furnace performance and efficiency. Here’s a brief description of several of those factors, along with general estimates of what it will cost to replace furnace equipment in your facility.
In commercial facilities, there are three major types of furnaces that are most common:
- Gas furnaces: Gas furnaces use natural gas as a fuel to produce heat. The gas is commonly supplied by a local utility company and is constantly available. Gas furnaces must be properly vented for safety since the burning fuel can produce dangerous carbon monoxide as a by-product of combustion. Gas furnaces are typically the most efficient option. Gas furnaces often last several years, commonly 15 to 20 years.
- Oil furnaces: Oil furnaces burn a type of combustible fuel oil for heat. Oil furnaces usually require a fuel tank on the premises to store the oil. The tank must be monitored to make sure there’s enough oil available. When the oil runs low, the tank must be refilled by a local supplier. Oil furnaces can also produce carbon monoxide.
- Electric furnaces: Electric furnaces use electricity to power internal heating elements that provide the heat for your indoor spaces. Electric furnaces do not produce harmful gases or by-products. They typically last for 15 to 20 years or longer, but they aren’t as efficient as gas furnaces. Keep in mind, however, electric furnaces are also not efficient for heating large open spaces.
The furnace you choose must be properly sized, which means it has to have the ability to produce enough heat to keep your interior environment at the temperature you, your employees or your tenants prefer. A heating load calculation, performed by an HVAC professional, can determine how much heating is needed. From there, your pro can help you choose a furnace that will supply the proper amount of heat.
High-efficiency furnaces produce the most heat for the least cost. They are designed to make the best possible use of the fuel they use. The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating will indicate furnace efficiency. Higher AFUE numbers, typically in the 90s, mean greater efficiency. High-efficiency furnaces cost much less to operate and can pay for themselves in monthly savings on heating bills by about the halfway point of their expected life.
Cost to Replace Furnace: General Estimates
- Furnace replacement costs can vary significantly based on factors such as the type of furnace purchased, the equipment’s efficiency level, the time of year when the furnace is purchased, and the local economy.
- Electric furnaces are usually the least expensive of furnace replacement options.
- Gas furnaces are second in line for cost of furnace replacement. Lower efficiency gas furnaces cost less than highest efficiency models, but remember that high-efficiency furnaces cost much less to operate each month.
- Oil furnaces are also available and typically run in the mid-range between electric and gas furnace options.
The estimated cost to replace furnace equipment and heating systems should include an amount reserved for installation and labor. If ductwork needs to be adapted or other renovations made to your facility’s structure, or if you purchase a maintenance plan, installation costs could be even higher. Talk to your HVAC supplier about installation costs. He may offer installation specials or incentives, depending on the type of furnace you buy and when you buy it.
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