Gas Furnace Buying Guide 2012 – 2013

Did you know that replacing your 15-20 year old low efficiency gas furnace in the 2012-2013 heating season, could pay for itself in just 2-4 years, and provide significant savings of both money and energy, for the 10-15 years that follow? In the typical 2000 square foot home, upgrading from a 70% AFUE system to a top rated high-efficiency gas furnace can save up to $800 per year! (Is high efficiency right for you?)

On this page of our Gas Furnace Guide, we are going to help you understand more about buying a new gas furnace for your home in the 2011 – 2012 heating season. This gas furnace buying guide will cover new high-efficiency furnace technology, tax credits and manufacturer rebates or specials, natural gas furnace prices and costs, and much more.

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New High Efficiency Gas Furnaces for 2011-2012

This year brings a mix of high end, high-efficiency gas furnaces to the market. just last year, 95-96% AFUE was considered the best you could get, this heating season, 98% AFUE is everywhere! Look at a few of the highest efficiency gas furnaces in this years class.

The high-efficiency ratings are primarily achieved through changes in the gas valves and modulating the flow of natural gas into the burners at incremental change rates lower than 1% on some models! This equates to very high-efficiency and savings for you.

All that technology also comes at quite the expense, and several have reported estimated gas furnace costs being much higher than the lower efficiency 95% AFUE models featured in the previous list of top rated furnaces.

Furnace Efficiency Standard Proposed Changes

In 2012, you will start hearing more about a change at EnergyStar, requiring home furnaces and air conditioners, to be manufactured and installed to much higher efficiency based on where you live. In other words, if you live in colder climates that use heating more often than cooling, you will be required to install higher efficiency gas furnaces.

As of February 1, 2012 any product manufactured and labeled as ENERGY STAR must
meet Version 3.0 requirements. At this time, all certifications of products to the Version
2.0 specification will be invalid for purposes of ENERGY STAR qualification and CBs will
only submit product models certified to Version 3.0 to EPA.

Currently, the minimum efficiency is set at 78%, in 2012, that will be increased to 92% or higher in the US North regions, and +90% AFUE in US Southern areas. Learn more about the proposed legislation at the EnergyStar website.

Furnace Tax Credits and Gas Utility Incentives

The 2010 gas furnace tax credits were somewhat extended into 2011, however not at the same rate as before. We updated our Tax Credits Guide for Furnaces and Heating systems earlier this year and for the most part, not much has changed.

  • $50 Tax Credit for High Efficiency ECM Modulating Blowers
  • $150 for +95% AFUE Furnace Efficiency
  • **Up to $500 or more in local utility company rebates!

** You may be able to find limited State level rebate info at the DSIRE website, but we didn’t. We found it easiest to find local rebates by visiting our local Gas Utility Company website, and navigating to the high-efficiency rebates section. Also, you can learn more about Federal Tax Credits at the EnergyStar website.

Gas Furnace Manufacturer Rebates

The furnace manufacturers have once again stepped up to offer some great discounts and incentives to buy their products. Be aware however that whether it’s a manufacturer rebate or no-interest financing incentive, in order to take advantage of the offer you might need to replace your entire system, versus replacing only the furnace.

  • American Standard – None Found
  • Bryant Bonus – Up to $1250 on Select Systems
  • Carrier Cool Cash – Up to $1350 on Select Systems
  • Goodman – None found
  • Heil – None Found
  • Rheem – Up to $1000 Cash Back on Qualifying Systems
  • Lennox – Up to $1350 in Rebates (More when you add Solar Assist)
  • Trane – Up to $1250 Instant Rebate

In addition to the specific system rebates and incentives, almost ALL furnace manufacturers offered some type of financing and many offered a 0% Interest Financing for up to 3 years. You should ask your local contractor about all financing offers. If you need to find a qualified contractor, make sure you visit the heating contractors section, or browse through a few guides below.

  • How to Hire a Contractor – Tips for consumer protection
  • How to Check a Heating Contractors License and Insurance – Make sure you check credentials!
  • Reasons to Choose a Pro Installer – 13 Reasons why having professional installation makes a huge difference.
  • Heating Contractor Guides – Full website about hiring a heating contractor.
  • EnergyStar Quality Guide – Information about what matters on your home heating install.

Furnace Prices and Cost of Furnace Installation

As our dedicated readers know, we maintain a fairly extensive list of gas furnace prices, that is continuing to grow each month. Started a few years ago, we wanted to give consumers a way to share what they are quoted or what they paid for their new home furnace, so it’s easier to budget for a new gas furnace, and get an idea of what a new furnace costs.

For this year, not much has really changed! The key factors in determining what you pay for your system depends primarily on the same furnace replacement cost factors as last year.

Remember, although we share competitive prices that have been shared by our readers, the only way to know exactly how much a new gas furnace is going to cost for you and your home, is to have a heating contractor come out, review your needs and provide a written quote. We always suggest getting at least 3 written quotes from local professionals, before making a choice to replace the furnace.

Need More Information?

We aren’t naive enough to think we know it all! If we missed something that you have more questions about, please ask about it, in the comments section below.

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