Technician fixing a gas furnace.

Factors to Consider When Replacing a Furnace in Canada

If you’re checking out this article, it’s likely because you’ve run into some trouble with your furnace and are thinking about replacing it. While there are loads of articles that offer vague costs about replacing your furnace, it’s hard to find something that walks you through the process step-by-step. In this article we’ll give you the information you need to estimate the average cost of furnace replacement and some important factors to consider before you make a final decision. Of course, the exact cost of replacement will vary depending on where you live in Canada. 

Installation Costs  

Before getting carried away with deciding which furnace brand or style you want to install, you should think about what your installation costs will look like. Many people don’t realize that in some cases the installation of a new furnace can cost as much as the furnace itself, sometimes more. When it comes to furnace installation here are some factors to consider.  

Fuel Type: The first thing you should look at is the type of fuel your furnace currently uses. Depending on where you live, you may have the option to choose from gas, electric, and oil. Which one you choose will determine how much it costs to replace and install your new furnace. The average cost for a gas furnace replacement can average from $3,000 to $5,000, while the average cost of an electric furnace replacement can range from $2,000 to $3,000 (depending on your region). 

In cold climates like Canada that experience a longer winter, gas furnaces typically provide better, more consistent heat. They’re also very effective at taking the chill out of the air in larger homes.  

Installation Location/Difficulty: Because most furnace installers charge by the hour, the amount of time and labour required for removal of your old furnace and installation of the new one will also be a determining factor in the average cost to replace a furnace. It makes sense that the more work required and the longer it takes to replace your furnace, the higher the installation cost. Although most HVAC companies may not be able to provide you with an exact cost, an experienced HVAC pro should be able to give you a close estimate of how much removal and installation will cost. This way you can take this cost into account when making your decision. 

Type of Furnace – High-Boy or Low-Boy  

The type of furnace you choose will also factor into the final cost for replacement. High-Boy furnaces are usually one to two feet taller than Low-Boy furnaces. Both typically require oil as a fuel source. The average cost to replace an oil furnace is usually higher than other types of furnaces. The reason for this is an oil furnace is more expensive and installation is more time-consuming. A high-boy furnace can cost up to $5,000 for installation, while a low-boy will cost about $500 less, on average (depending on your region).  

Furnace Vent: One reason why an electric furnace may be less expensive to replace, and install is because they don’t require furnace vents. Since gas and oil furnaces use combustible material as a fuel source, they require venting to the outside of your home to remove potentially dangerous fumes. This venting requires additional time, labour and materials which can add to the cost of a replacement.  

Furnace Costs  

Now that you have a better idea of how to figure out your installation costs, it’s time to choose a furnace that works best for your needs. The size, efficiency rating, and brand of your furnace will all factor into the final cost of replacement.  

Home Square Footage: It might sound like common sense, but the bigger your home is, the bigger your furnace needs to be. Trying to save money and install a furnace that’s too small but slightly cheaper won’t pay off in the long run. Your furnace blower will likely be overworked and eventually need to be replaced more often, which will increase your yearly maintenance cost. The average cost to replace a furnace blower will probably be higher than the money you initially saved by installing a small furnace.  

Efficiency Level: Each type of furnace has a specific efficiency rating. Although a high-efficiency furnace may cost you more initially, they usually pay for themselves long-term. A high-efficiency furnace provides better overall energy savings. So even though they cost about $500 more on average than a low-efficiency furnace, they will eventually save you money each year on your energy bill.  

Furnace Brand: Like many products today, choosing a reputable, well-known brand also comes with an assurance of quality. Brands such as Trane, American Standard, Carrier, and Bryant may cost a little more, but along with that brand name comes the peace of mind that the company will stand behind their product. These brands produce quality furnaces that are reliable and longer-lasting, but most do come at a higher price. However, there are some lesser-known brands that can provide the same level of performance and quality. Ask your local HVAC professional for recommendations and additional information.  

Related Topic: How Many Years Should a Furnace Last - Aire Serv  

Get Professional Assistance  

As you can see, there are several important factors to consider when replacing your furnace. The average cost to replace a gas furnace is higher than electric, Low-Boys are usually cheaper than High-Boys, and the list goes on. The good news is your local Aire Serv professionals are here to help. We can check out your current furnace and help you decide on a repair or replace option. If it’s time for a replacement, we’ll provide you with different furnace options and help you choose one that meets your needs and budget. Call us 855-679-0011 or visit us online to make an appointment.