What is the most affordable furnace?

Your guide to furnace affordability

Your new furnace shouldn’t have to cost you a fortune. At first glance, finding the right furnace for your home can seem like a challenge—after all, there’s so many systems out there, with so many factors (AFUE, furnace size, etc.) to think about. Let’s make things easier for you. In this article, we’ll explore how you can find the right furnace for the right price, and why furnace affordability involves thinking about more than just the upfront “sticker price.” We’ll also provide you with a guide to finding an affordable Carrier furnace.

At Wagner, we install new furnaces here in Albuquerque. If you’re local and starting your search for a new heating system ahead of winter, contact us to set up a free in-home estimate. You’ll be glad you did!

What makes a furnace affordable?

If you’re shopping for a furnace, there are four things you need to consider: the base price, its energy-efficiency, the make and model, and installation. In the sections below, we’ll break down each, and explain how you can be sure you’re getting the best deal on your new furnace.

Base Price

Let’s call this the “sticker price.” This is part of what you pay for the system upfront. The other part is installation, which we discuss below. For a variety of reasons that we’ll get into, this sticker price can often obscure what you’ll end up paying for the system over the long haul. However, if you’re trying to operate within a budget, it’s a good place to start.

The most-trusted HVAC manufacturers, including Carrier, have a wide variety of furnaces available at different price points. As we’ll explain below, the cost of different furnaces is often determined by both their output and energy-efficiency, with the most powerful and efficient furnaces being the most expensive ones.

Navigating this intersection between sticker price, efficiency, and furnace size can be confusing. It’s why many HVAC companies—including our team at Wagner—like to start the process with a free in-home estimate.

First, we’ll need to take measurements of your home to figure out what size of furnace you need. Second, our tech will also want to discuss your budget and review your options. We’ll provide you with a recommendation of which furnaces fit the bill, literally and figuratively speaking!

One final thing to consider when buying a furnace: you don’t necessarily have to pay for it all now. At Wagner, we offer financing with approved credit on new HVAC systems. Talk to our team to learn more.


There’s two ways to look at furnace affordability. First, there’s the dollar amount you pay upfront for the furnace and installation. That’s probably what first comes to mind when people think about whether or not a furnace is affordable.

But, just like buying a car, your investment doesn’t end with the initial purchase. As a homeowner, you’re going to be paying into that furnace in the coming years through both your energy bills and your maintenance and repair costs.

Let’s start by talking through energy costs. Just like cars, some furnaces are more efficient than others. There’s often a correlation between cost and efficiency. The most-efficient furnaces available today are going to cost more upfront than low-efficiency furnaces. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, in many cases, this difference in cost will even out over the years in the form of lower monthly heating bills.

So, does it make sense to invest in a less expensive furnace that’s inefficient, or a more expensive furnace that’s very efficient? One thing to keep in mind is that the cost of electricity and natural gas consistently is on the rise. Since your new furnace will heat your home for the next two decades, you might find that a low-efficiency furnace is prohibitively expensive to run in 2021—nevermind 2041!

Here’s another consideration: there’s a relationship between efficiency and longevity. A furnace that has to work harder or run more to produce less heat for your home is one that is experiencing significantly more wear-and-tear than an efficient furnace that runs far less often, yet can keep the home at the same desired temperature. If you try to buy the cheapest furnace, you might end up getting what you pay for.


This probably goes without saying, but not all furnaces are made the same—or designed to last. If you’re taking the long view on affordability—and you should—you need to consider just how many years you’re likely to get out of the system.

After all, if you end up having to purchase two furnaces in the same time another, slightly more expensive model would have lasted, you’re not coming out on top, even though you saved money upfront.

With this in mind, limit your search down to furnaces and heating systems from long-time, trusted manufacturers. Established HVAC companies like Carrier have a proven track record of excellent products and reliable service. You know they’ll be there to back their warranties years down the road—you might not be able to say the same of smaller, newer manufacturers.

Companies like Carrier also have official replacement parts and tools, which makes servicing the system far easier and less costly.

Quality Installation

Ask any seasoned HVAC technician, and they’ll let you in on a secret: many nagging furnace problems start on the first day, when the system is improperly installed. At Wagner, we get plenty of heating repair and service calls from homeowners where we have to clean up the “work” done by a contractor or, potentially worse, a well-meaning but inexperienced family friend or neighbor. To put it another way, professional installation is worth the investment.

If you’re trying to find ways to make your furnace purchase more affordable, don’t make the mistake of going cheap on installation. It’ll often end up costing you more down the road.

Have the professionals at Wagner install your furnace right the first time, so you can sleep easier at night knowing that your furnace is ready for the winter ahead.