As you browse oil furnace prices on this site, you may be wondering what factors contribute to the bottom line for any given model. Outlining those factors is the purpose of this oil furnace buying guide.
In reading this article, you can evaluate which factors are the most important to your buying decision – which ones are worth the money for you. At the end of the guide, you’ll find a range of oil furnace prices you can expect to find as you get estimates on specific models. Here are the key determinants of pricing for today’s gas furnaces.
Oil Furnace Efficiency
Efficiency makes a bigger difference in HVAC prices of other components such as gas furnaces and heat pumps. The reason for this is that there is less range in the efficiency of oil furnaces. The least efficient are about 80%; the most efficient are about 86% efficient.
Higher-efficiency models like the Carrier Performance Model OVM, Carrier Comfort Model OBL and Bryant Preferred 80 374RAB are built with a secondary heat exchanger in addition to the primary heat exchanger. The purpose is to raise efficiency by capturing additional heat from the exhaust gases before they exit the furnace. These units cost more than those with just one heat exchanger, but in cool climates, the increased fuel efficiency will pay you back in just a few years through lower oil costs.
Some oil furnaces are manufactured with better parts, improving their quality but also raising their price. The payback for the homeowner is better durability with fewer repair bills over the life of the oil furnace. In some cases, the performance is better too.
One notable area in which this is true is the burners that oil furnaces use. No part is more important to the durability of the furnace and its ability to make your home comfortable. The highest-rated burners in the oil furnace industry are the Beckett Flame Retention burners. Models that use them cost more. The second-best burner is the Riello Carlin burner, and it elevates the price too, over models with inferior burners.
It’s true. Carrier, Lennox, Trane and a few others cost more in part because of their reputation and the advertising budgets behind the brand. Armstrong, Ducane, Ruud and other brands cost less because they are not as aggressively marketed. So yes, you will pay a premium for a top brand name.
However, it’s important to note that leading brands like Carrier, American Standard, Trane, Lennox, Heil and a few others also have outstanding service records – among the very best in the industry. With them, you pretty much get what you pay for.
The least expensive oil furnaces are equipped with a single-speed blower. It runs at full speed the entire time. Sometimes a single-speed blower will come on before air in the combustion box is adequately heated, resulting in an uncomfortably cool blast of air at the beginning of the cycle. This nuisance is alleviated by the addition of a variable-speed blower. It will start slow and only ramp up to full capacity when the air is fully heated. Then, after the burner quits firing, it will slow down again as it pushes out the last of the warm air.
Variable-speed oil furnaces like the Armstrong Air 80 Highboy Model LUF80C57/72D12, Lennox Signature Collection O23V, Bryant Preferred OVM, Ruud ROCA Highboy Series and the Carrier Performance VS 80 Model 58VMR are among the most popular variable-speed oil furnaces available.
Keep in mind that the oil furnace will work with a central air conditioner if one is installed as part of the system. A variable-speed blower will assist in the cooling process, making it more comfortable. In fact, if the compressor in the AC is a 2-stage model, running on low capacity most of the time, then some oil furnaces with variable-speed blowers will match the air conditioner by using low speed or high speed accordingly. The result is more even cooling and better humidity reduction. In our oil furnace prices, we try to note it if the model is equipped to enhance the performance of a 2-stage AC.
NOTE: Unlike gas furnaces, oil furnaces are not equipped with staged burners. There are no 2-stage or modulating oil valves at present. Oil furnaces fire at 100% capacity, relying on a variable-speed blower to make the heating as gentle and comfortable as possible.
Cost of Living in Your Area
As you know, some areas offer a relatively cheap cost of living and others are very expensive. All of the HVAC prices on this site reflect the average. The prices you find when you get estimates may vary up to 20%.
Oil Furnace Prices
Of course, prices also vary by the size of the furnace. Here’s an example of this from Lennox:
90,000 Btu Lennox Elite O23 oil furnace: $1,449
120,000 Btu Lennox Elite O23 oil furnace: $1,689
154,000 Btu Lennox Elite O23 oil furnace: $2,019
From model to model, prices will vary based on all the factors we’ve outlined. The prices below reflect what you’ll find from 3 levels of gas furnace. A “good” gas furnace will have an efficiency level of 80%-82% with a single-speed blower. A “better” model will have be 83%-85% efficient with a variable-speed blower. A “best” model will be 86%-87% efficient with a variable-speed blower and top-quality burner.
Here’s what price ranges might look like at 3 popular sizes.
90,000 BTU: Good, $1,000-$1,300; Better, $1,200-$1,500; Best, $1,400-$2,200
120,000 BTU: Good, $1,400-$1,800; Better, $1,600-$2,100; Best, $1,700-$2,600
150,000 BTU: Good, $1,700-$2,200; Better, $2,000-$2,700; Best, $2,500-$3,500.
As you read our oil furnace posts, you’ll see the details of how these factors affect pricing. You will also have a better idea of what you want in your next oil furnace. And when it comes time to make your choice, we recommend getting at least 3 written estimates from local contractors in order to find the best oil furnace prices on models that would meet your needs.