Forced Air Heating System Cost


How Much Does a Forced Air Heating System Cost?

A forced air heating system is part of most modern homes, and if you are facing a replacement or new installation, like most, you probably have a lot of questions.

In order for this type of system to function, it relies on ductwork, vents, and plenums to distribute warm air to outlets through the home.

Before you start picking out your new system, however, it's best to consult with a licensed contractor to get a better understanding of your home's specific size, age, and configuration to identify the best way to your heating needs.

Forced Air Factors To Consider

There are a few common factors to keep in mind when calculating your overall cost to install forced air heating. Some of these cost influencing factors include:

  • Fuel type - Most homeowners tend to stick with what's already in their home to minimize installation costs, however, this may not always be better than switching to a system that uses a different fuel. 
  • Home size  - If you install a furnace with capacity that isn't properly matched to your home's size, you could experience unnecessary expenses or costly repair and even replacement over time.
  • BTU, AFUE, and load calculations - This is the mathematical calculations to determine how efficiently and effectively your new forced heating air system will heat your home. 

If you are upgrading or switching to a system with different fuel requirements, you can expect your cost to install forced air heating to increase due to additional repairs or installations needed for the successful completion.

There's a lot that goes into factoring your total installation costs, so it's important to have an in-depth discussion with your contractor about your options and what may be the most cost efficient solutions that can suit your home's unique forced air heating system needs. 

Size Of Forced Air Heating System

To help better calculate the overall cost to install forced air heating, you need to calculate the square footage of your home. An average home requires between 30 and 60 BTUs per square foot to heat it up. This will also be affected by the type of climate you live in. Warmer climates may only require 30 to 35 BTUs per sq ft.

So, for example, a home of 2,200 sq ft in a warmer climate may require a system of between 66,000 - 77,000 BTUs. Homes in a colder climate should require 50 to 60 BTUs per sq ft, or 110,000 - 132,000 BTUs for a home of 2,200 sq ft.

Furnace Efficiency

Regardless of the type of furnace installation you choose, you will have to take note of the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency( AFUE ). 

A mid-efficiency furnace offers between 78-84% efficiency, compared to a higher-efficiency furnace which offers as much as 95% efficiency. While a higher efficiency rating will come at a more expensive price, the federal government does energy efficiency by offering a 10% rebate for the best-performing systems.

Keep in mind new or remodeled homes have better insulation and will require less to heat up, so talk to a specialist in your region about your options.

How Much Will It Cost To Install Forced Air Heating System?

The average installation of forced air heating will cost around $3,900, but your price can range anywhere from $2,300 to as much as $8,400 or more depending on your unique situation. Installing a forced air heating system in your home can be quite the investment, so you want to be sure that you make the right choices that will provide you and your family with years of comfort and efficiency.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the furnace installation will make out the largest portion of the overall cost to install forced air heating system. 

Type of Forced Air Heating System

The 3 most common types of forced air heating system to choose from include:

  • Electric -  $670 to $2,000: These are common in warmer regions and handle slight temperature drops well, but may be a liability in areas that experience harsh winters.
  • Natural gas / propane $1,200 to $2,400:  Most common in harsh winter regions where it produces heat by fuel combustion. If your home is connected you can settle for a natural gas unit, otherwise a propane unit with tanks.
  • Oil -  $1,800 to $5,800: If the oil prices in your region are reasonable, this is a good option. Oil furnaces are the oldest of all, however, and more expensive to install as they will require specialized labor.

Cost Breakdown

  • Labor -  A new installation can take up to nine hours of professional labor. Contractor charge between $50 -$75 per hour plus an additional $50 per hour for every additional team member they require. Costs for installation will vary depending on your location and your chosen contractor. 
  • Supplies - Tools and supplies for this project will cost between $155 and $220
  • Inspections & permits  - Equipment inspections will ensure safe operation while permits are required in some regions. Expect to pay $50 to$150

There may also be some hidden costs involved in a forced air heating system installation which will have to be determined, for example:

  • Removal and disposal of the old furnace and equipment can cost around $60, but local recycling companies often do free removals.
  • Some new ductwork should cost in the region of $8 $12 per linear foot.
  • Air cleaners or humidifiers can add between $400 - $1000.
  • Variable speed blowers, automatic adjusters, and other furnace enhancements can cost between $500 - $800.

Your contractor can make recommendations on everything including which fuel to use and which brand of furnace would work best for your home, so it's important to find an experienced contractor who you feel comfortable communicating with.

How To Get Hold of Local Professionals 

You can find licensed professionals by simply entering your home zip on this page. Professional are standing by for your details and they will be happy to provide you with a free quote and a more accurate breakdown of the cost to install forced air heating.


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