Natural gas is one of the most important energy sources in the US, widely used for heating and electricity generation. Natural gas was used to generate 38.3% of US electricity last year, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and 47.6% of homes use gas-fired heating systems according to the US Census Bureau.
A new gas furnace can help you reduce your home heating costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR unit with a high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE).
Here we will discuss how much you can expect to pay when installing a new gas-fired heating system, while giving some technical recommendations to achieve top performance. We will also discuss pros and cons of gas furnaces, providing a comparison with other home heating options.
Contrary to what the word “natural” might suggest, natural gas is a fossil fuel – it’s not considered a renewable energy source.
However, natural gas has much lower emissions than other fuels. For example, coal-fired power plants produce 2.23 lb of CO2 per kilowatt-hour generated, petroleum-fired power plants produce 2.13 lb CO2 per kWh, and gas-fired power plants only produce 0.91 lb CO2 per kWh (according to US EIA data).
How Much Does a New Gas Furnace Cost?
The cost of a natural gas furnace depends on many factors, including the rated heating capacity and energy efficiency (AFUE). As the square footage of your home increases, the heat input required to keep a suitable temperature also increases.
The heating capacity of a gas furnace is measured in BTU per hour of MBH (thousand BTU per hour); for example, 60,000 BTU/hour is equivalent to 60 MBH.
On average, you can expect to pay between $4,500 and $8,500 for a new gas furnace in the US, including installation costs, but not including the cost of new ducts. If your ducts are in good condition, you may be able to replace the existing furnace with minimal modifications to other HVAC components.
On the other hand, if your existing ducts require major modifications or you need a complete system for a new home, this can add around $5,500 – $15,500 to your budget.