If you have an older furnace, you've probably thought about replacing it with a new high-efficiency model. Every time there's a Winter cold snap, it's natural to wonder:
- how much would a furnace replacement cost?
- how much could you save on utility bills?
- how long will your old furnace last?
Furnace replacement costs depend on multiple factors. You can choose your furnace installation company, furnace type, and features. However, furnace sizing and installation costs are determined by the area, age, and unique details of your home.
Keep reading to learn how each of these factors affects furnace replacement pricing — or skip it and get exact pricing with a free custom quote for your home.
High-efficiency furnace prices
All new furnaces are built to “high efficiency” standards, which means they use less energy and heat your home more evenly than older furnaces.
Furnace efficiency is measured by AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is a percentage — measuring the usable home heating energy that a furnace can capture from the gas it uses. The higher the percentage, the better.
In Alberta, the minimum AFUE rating for new furnaces is 96%, and some models are up to 99% fuel-efficient. For the same amount of gas consumed (and paid for), high-efficiency furnaces can capture up to 50% percent more energy to heat your home.
There is more to furnace efficiency than AFUE, though. Two-stage and modulating furnaces can vary heating output and air flow to further reduce gas and electricity use.
When you request a quote from Advanpro, we provide pricing for three options so you can compare the costs and features of different furnace types. You can also review examples of actual furnace models we offer.
Single-stage furnace: 96% AFUE
Single-stage furnaces are the most inexpensive furnace replacement option. They're a good fit for bungalows, open floor plans, and townhomes.
Single-stage furnaces have a fixed-speed ECM motor that blows air at one speed and heating output. Once the indoor temperature reaches your thermostat set point, the furnace shuts off.
If you're replacing an old low-efficiency furnace, a new single-stage high-efficiency furnace will consume 20-40% less gas. You'll see significantly lower heating costs — even with the most affordable option!
Single-stage furnace pricing
Including a typical installation in Calgary, a new single-stage furnace costs $4,000 to $5,500. Starting at $4,000 for 30-60,000 BTU (for a 1,000 ft2 home) up to $5,500 for 200,000 BTU.
Two-stage furnace: 96% AFUE
Two-stage furnaces are perfect for two-story homes and families that want more out of their heaters. They can consistently heat multiple levels, operate more quietly, and start and stop less often (for less wear and tear).
Two-stage furnaces run at multiple speeds to save energy and match heating output to demand: low speed for when the weather is mild or your home is already warm, and high speed for when it's cold.
Compared to a new single-stage furnace, a two-stage furnace with an ECM blower uses:
- 30% less gas
- 33% less electricity
Two-stage furnaces are also available with a variable blower, which allows the furnace to run continuously at very low speeds.
A variable blower is helpful if you have a larger two-story home with problematic hot or cold areas, are a light sleeper, or plan to add an indoor air quality system. It also costs even less to operate.
Compared to a new single-stage furnace, a two-stage furnace with a variable blower uses:
- 30% less gas
- 66% less electricity
Two-stage furnace pricing
Including a typical installation in Calgary, a new two-stage furnace costs $5,000 to $6,900. Starting at $5,000 for a 40-60,000 BTU unit with an ECM blower (for a 1,000 ft2 home), up to $6,900 for a 200,000 BTU unit with a variable blower.
Modulating furnace: 99% AFUE
Modulating furnaces offer the ultimate comfort and efficiency for all styles of homes and floor plans.
Modulating furnaces use a variable-speed blower and modulating gas valve to adjust heating output from 30% to 100%. They are often paired with a "communicating" or smart thermostat to monitor and maintain a consistent temperature in your home.
Modulating furnaces can run quietly and efficiently for long periods. Compared to a two-stage furnace, a modulating furnace uses 8-12% less gas.
Modulating furnace pricing
Including a typical installation in Calgary, a new modulating furnace costs $6,200 to $8,000. Starting at $6,200 for 45-60,000 BTU (for a 1,000 ft2 home) up to $8,000 for 200,000 BTU.
Your furnace size must be matched to your home's heating needs based on the building type, area, construction, age, and insulation.
If your furnace is too small it will run more frequently and longer to keep your home warm. The increased wear and tear can lead to a higher-likelihood of early failure.
If your furnace is too big it will heat your home too quickly. This "short cycling" leads to uneven temperature distribution and a shortened life span for key furnace components.
During the quoting process, a skilled and experienced estimator will calculate the correct furnace size for your home. Advanpro guarantees correct furnace sizing.
How home type and area affects furnace sizing
Large homes need more heating capacity than small ones, but there's more to correct furnace sizing than square footage.
How your home's area is distributed between floors, and how those floors are laid-out is a factor in the required heating capacity. Larger homes may have multiple furnaces or heat distribution zones.
Older homes often have less insulation, older windows, and more drafty areas, so they lose heat faster than recently-built homes. An older home will require more heating capacity than a new home of the same size and shape.
How furnace size affects the price
Furnaces are sized by their "BTU input rating", which is the amount of gas the furnace can consume in British Thermal Units (BTUs).
Furnace manufacturers offer each furnace model in multiple sizes, from as little as 30,000 BTU to as much as 200,000 BTU. Most homes in Calgary need a furnace between 45,000 and 135,000 BTU.
Consider the following prices (including installation) for two different sizes of the same single-stage furnace model:
- 45,000 BTU (~1,000 ft2 home): $4,000
- 135,000 BTU (~2,300 ft2 home): $4,900
The unique details of your home can increase the complexity and cost of your furnace installation. For example, a combination of code deficiencies, complicated venting, and furnace relocation can add $500 or more to the installation cost.
Experienced furnace installers (like Advanpro) will ask about these details during the quoting process and verify them before confirming your quote.
New high-efficiency furnaces require updated thermostats, which require more leads and ground wires than some older thermostats.
If your existing thermostat wiring does not have enough leads, a new wire needs to routed from the thermostat location to the furnace.
Furnace location or relocation
Some furnaces are harder to access than others because of small stairwells, crawl spaces, or basement configuration. Additional installation time or furnace relocation may be required.
If you think your furnace location or basement setup could make installation difficult, mention it when you request a quote and ask for an in-home visit to confirm.
Newer furnaces are more compact than older models, and interface with home ductwork at different offsets.
In some cases, custom sheet metal fabrication is needed to hook up a new furnace to existing ductwork.
Adding (or removing) air conditioners, humidifiers, filter boxes, and indoor air quality systems may require new ductwork.
Furnace venting and chimney
High-efficiency furnaces vent exhaust through 2" - 3" plastic pipes, typically routed from your furnace room to the side or back of your house (instead of through your roof).
However, building codes require at least 1 metre of clearance between your house foundation and the property line on the side where the furnace vents (to keep a safe distance to fresh air intakes, windows, and utility meters).
If the closest exterior wall doesn't have the required clearance, the venting needs to be routed to another side of the house or — in extreme cases — through the chimney chase.
Hot water tank age and exhaust installation
Older "natural-draft" hot water tanks share the existing flu stack with older furnaces.
Most high-efficiency furnace installations don't use the chimney for exhaust, so a new chimney liner is required if you have a natural-draft hot water tank (how to tell).
Some flu stacks have offsets or screws that make chimney liner installation difficult or impossible — adding to installation costs.
Sometimes the best option is to replace the older natural-draft hot water tank with a power-vented model that exhausts from the side of the house.
High-efficiency furnaces produce condensates when they run. Ideally, a 3/4" hard pipe drain line is installed to the nearest floor drain.
If there isn't a floor drain near your furnace, a pump is needed to pump the condensate and water to an existing drain.
Your furnace installer will contact the City of Calgary pull the required permit, and is responsible for ensuring all installation work passes inspection and approval.
Legally, furnace installation can only be performed by a certified Journeyman Gas Fitter, Plumber, or Sheet Metal Worker (or an Apprentice under their supervision).
Make sure the cost of the permit is included in your furnace installation quote!
Other building code deficiencies and hazards
In addition to the above issues, other building code deficiencies may need to be fixed to ensure safe furnace installation and permit approval.
A common hazard in older homes is asbestos, which was sometimes used to insulate furnaces and ductwork. Asbestos is known to cause cancer and is hazardous when moved or disturbed. Special procedures are needed for its safe removal and disposal.
Furnace Add-ons + Options
It is almost always less expensive to install add-ons and options at the same time as your new furnace.
Because of the dry climate, most Calgarians already have a humidifier and choose to install one on their new furnace.
Many Calgary homeowners are already thinking about whole-home air conditioning because of rising temperatures. If you install an air conditioner at the same time as your new furnace you can save on installation costs — and beat the Summer A/C rush.
UV lights, HEPA filters, and PureAir systems interface directly with the ducting near your furnace, and certain systems restrict airflow. Adding an indoor air quality system at the same time as your new furnace allows for ideal model selection, installation, and set up.
Many of our furnace installation customers also choose to upgrade their hot water tank or add a tankless water heater. Depending on the age of your furnace and hot water tank, your furnace install might already require an exhaust modification or upgrade.
Using Advanpro's online quote, you can request add-ons to get them priced for installation along with your new furnace.
Requesting furnace replacement quotes
Once you're familiar with the details of your home that could influence installation, the next step is to request quotes from the furnace installers you're considering.
If you get quotes from multiple installers, you'll be able to compare the costs and features of multiple furnace models and brands.
When you request a furnace installation quote from Advanpro, we include three furnace options so you can compare prices and choose the right model for your needs.
Confirming your quote
Once you've received the quotes you can start to narrow down your choices. Comparing quotes can help to identify details that were overlooked in other estimates.
Check each quote to make sure it includes the following:
- furnace brand and exact model
- required ducting, carbon-monoxide detectors, and thermostat(s)
- all installation services, specific to your home
- disposal fees, taxes, and permit costs
- total, "guaranteed" price
- financing terms (if any)
If there's anything unusual or it seems like a detail was missed, now is the time to ask about it. It's also important to ask:
Is the quoted price guaranteed?
Is an in-person walk-through required to guarantee the quote?
What happens if the installer runs into an unforeseen issue?
For typical homes, a phone or online estimate can be quite accurate. If you have a unique home or suspect a complication with installation, get an in-person inspection and estimate to confirm. These are usually provided free of charge.
Scheduling your furnace installation
A trained, certified, and experienced installer can replace a furnace in a single day.
To ensure costs, timing, and quality are maintained, home-specific installation details should be identified during the quoting process. There should be no major surprises on the day of installation.
The availability and cost of furnace installation can vary by season. During Winter and Late Spring — peak season for furnace installation — there may be scheduling backlogs or supply shortages. During non-peak season, there may be specials or discounts!
Financing + payment plans
A financing plan allows you to spread the cost of your furnace installation out over multiple manageable monthly payments.
Your new furnace will last for 20 years or more. You have to live with it (literally), so if it feels like the furnace or features you want are out of reach, a financing plan can help.
Financing plans typically offer at least 3 months of no interest or payments and are "open", meaning they can be paid off at any time during the loan term without penalty.
Advanpro offers financing plans through FinanceIt. Learn more and apply here.
Furnace brands and warranties
Most installers offer a specific brand of furnace, sometimes combined with an alternative or discount brand.
Premium name-brand furnaces (like Lennox) are built to a higher standard, have a reputation for excellence, and are backed by strong warranties.
Installation quality matters
The brand of furnace you choose affects its longevity and reliability, but so does the installation quality. A properly-installed furnace will last more than 20 years, but a poorly-installed furnace may not even last 10 years.
Some installers take short cuts with installation and don't guarantee their work. A little research, including reading online reviews can help to rule out these suspicious companies or installers.
If it seems like an installer is estimating incorrectly, not pulling permits, or doesn't have insurance/WCB coverage, it's a red flag — walk away. If the quoted price is "too good to be true", it probably is.
Looking for a reliable partner? Advanpro can help.
Our certified journeyman furnace installers have a great reputation for quality work — thanks to years of experience with Calgary homes of every type.
Over 15 years as a locally-owned business, we've served more than 50,000 customers (many of them year after year).