How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Furnace?

Paul Pogue
Written by Paul Pogue
Updated August 27, 2021
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The average cost to install an electric furnace is $1,590 to $6,545

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Installing an electric furnace is a great way to keep your home comfy during those long winter months. Electric furnaces are great for homes without ready access to natural gas or coal, as electricity is available just about everywhere. They also tend to be slightly cheaper than gas furnaces and can last upwards of 30 years, compared to 10 to 15 years for a gas furnace. 

The best reason to choose an electric furnace, however, may be safety. Electric heaters do not use gas or oil, so you won’t see an oil or gas leak in your home. They do not use fire as a heat source, and they cannot produce carbon monoxide. 

The cost to hire a local HVAC pro to install an electric furnace is $1,685 to $6,545, with labor accounting for $200 to $2,000 of that average. 

Electric Furnace Cost Breakdown

A primary cost will be the electric furnace itself. A brand-new furnace starts at around $500 and shoots up to $1,500. However, installing an electric furnace is extremely labor-intensive and may require more than one technician to complete. You should count on labor costs of $400 to $2,000, or even more in some cases. 

You will also pay more if this is your home’s first electric furnace, as it will need a brand new electrical circuit. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how you can expect to spend your money when hiring a local furnace installer:

Electric Furnace and Components

As previously stated, a new electric furnace will cost $500 to $1,500, depending on the size and range of the model. Choose a furnace that covers a range of 20 to 60 BTUs per square foot of floor space. 

Mobile home furnaces cost anywhere from $600 to $1,000. They include a blower and typically a downflow installation since most mobile home ductwork runs under the floor. Mobile homes are one of the most common places you’ll see an electric furnace because they don’t need gas lines and create no carbon monoxide, eliminating the need for venting. You may also need ancillary components, such as a thermostat, breakers, or disconnects. These additional materials cost $100 to $1,000. 

Electrical Circuit and Wiring

If this is your first electric furnace, you will have to hire a local electrician to build a dedicated electrical circuit. This circuit cannot supply power to anything other than the furnace or you will likely violate a building code and be subject to fines. A brand-new electrical circuit with an associated circuit breaker costs $500 to $2,000. If you are replacing an electric furnace, however, this cost will disappear, as the circuit already exists.

Ductwork

You may need to run some ductwork for heat distribution. Ductwork costs $35 to $55 per linear foot, with a total cost of $500 to $2,000 for an average single-family home. Chances are, however, you already have all the ductwork you need, as gas and electric furnaces share ducts. Even if your ductwork is up to date, you should have it thoroughly cleaned by a professional to improve the efficiency of your heating system. Cleaning ductwork costs $250 to $500. 

Labor

Installing a new electric heater is labor-intensive, so count on paying out for three to four hours of labor for a replacement unit and eight to 12 hours for a brand-new unit. HVAC professionals charge $50 to $150 per hour, though complex installations may require additional team members. The total labor cost is $300 to $800 for replacing a unit and $400 to $2,000 for installing a new furnace.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install an Electric Furnace?

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Building Permits and Inspection Fees

Just as with a gas furnace, installing an electric furnace will require paying for building permits and inspection fees. Obtaining a building permit costs $200 to $500 but will depend on where you live. Generally speaking, permits and licenses are cheaper in small towns compared to large metropolitan areas. 

Framing

You may want to build a dedicated furnace room located in the basement, attic, or near a crawlspace. This is an entirely optional step, though it will increase the aesthetics of your home. A reputable contractor will frame out a furnace room for $1,000 to $3,000, making sure the furnace has proper ventilation and plenty of room to do its thing. 

Removal and Disposal

If you are replacing a pre-existing electric furnace, your pro will have to properly dispose of the old unit. This disposal costs $100 to $300 but be sure to talk to the installation expert to see if they’ll do it as part of your installation fee. You can also contact a local recycling center or scrap yard if you want to handle disposal by yourself. 

Energy Bill

The average cost of residential electricity is 13 cents per kilowatt-hour. A furnace runs through a heating cycle once to three times per hour, depending on the weather, with each cycle clocking in at 10 to 15 minutes. That adds up to an average of two to four hours of active heating per day. 

Considering the average home uses about 20,000 watts per hour of heating, the figures come out to $2.60 per hour, $5.20 to $10.40 per day, roughly $160 to $315 per month, and about $1,900 to $3,800 per year. These figures are subject to differ because electricity prices fluctuate according to the weather, and so do home sizes. Depending on the age of your furnace, you may want to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model to save on your energy bill.

FAQs About Installing an Electric Furnace

How do I find a reputable contractor to install an electric furnace? 

Installing an electric furnace is not a simple DIY project, so you should probably leave it to the experts. There are building permits to obtain, electrical circuits to maneuver, ducts to clean and inspect, and a bulky furnace to haul to its correct location. 

Additionally, many parts of the country only allow licensed professionals to do this kind of work. If you are a licensed electrician or HVAC expert, however, expect to save $400 to $2,000 on labor costs. If not, kick back and relax and let the pros handle it. 

Are electric furnaces efficient?

Electric furnaces are 100% efficient, though there are some caveats. While these furnaces do not lose any energy as it converts to heat, some heat will reduce as it travels through your ductwork and dissipates through your home’s exterior. This is why regularly maintaining your ductwork and installing appropriate insulation are both so important when it comes to making the most out of your electric furnace. 

What other projects should I do at the same time?

While you are having a pro install an electric furnace, you should absolutely ask the technician to look over your ductwork and patch up any leaks. These repairs will improve the overall efficiency of your brand-new heating apparatus. You should also hire a local insulation expert to beef up the insulation throughout your home, further increasing the efficiency of the furnace. To that end, you can never go wrong with a professional energy audit.

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