How Much Does a Propane Furnace Cost?
$3,000 - $6,000
$3,000 - $6,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Published November 30, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
Installing a propane furnace costs between $3,000 and $6,000, with most people spending around $4,000. Replacing a simple furnace like-for-like can cost as little as $1,800, while replacing a high-efficiency propane furnace and replacing or repairing the peripherals can cost you $7,000 or more.
|Average Cost||High Cost||Low Cost|
A propane furnace burns propane or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to heat air. Once heated, the air moves through the ducts and into the rooms of your home. The propane is stored in a tank outside your home and connected to the furnace by a fuel line known as a forced air system. Unlike with a boiler system, there's no need for radiators with a forced air furnace.
Read more about the difference between boilers versus furnaces here.
You primarily determine the cost of a propane furnace by its size or British thermal unit (BTU) output. You need the right size furnace to heat your home. If you go too small, you'll find the house always cold, and you'll overwork the furnace as it tries to keep up with demand. Too big, and you'll unnecessarily waste propane as the furnace burns more propane than it needs.
To figure out how many BTUs you need, multiply your home's square footage by your zone's recommended BTUs per square foot. For example, if you're in Zone 3, multiply 2,500 by 45 for a BTU output of 112,500.
Take a look at the recommended BTUs per square foot for each climate region in the U.S. and how many BTUs per hour you'd need for a typical 2,500-square-foot house in each zone:
|U.S. Climate Zone||BTUs per Sq. Ft. per Hour||BTUs per Hour for 2,500 Sq. Ft.|
|Zone 1||30 – 35||75,000 – 87,500|
|Zone 2||35 – 40||87,500 – 100,000|
|Zone 3||40 – 45||100,000 – 112,500|
|Zone 4||45 – 50||112,500 – 125,000|
|Zone 5||50 – 60||125,000 – 150,000|
Once you know how many BTUs you need, you can use the table below to get an idea of the cost of the furnace you need to heat your home adequately:
|Furnace Size (BTU per Hour)||Average Cost Range (All-In)||Average Cost (All-In)|
|40,000||$2,000 – $5,200||$3,600|
|50,000||$2,050 – $5,300||$3,680|
|60,000||$2,100 – $5,400||$3,750|
|70,000||$2,200 – $5,500||$3,850|
|80,000||$2,300 – $5,700||$4,000|
|90,000||$2,400 – $5,900||$4,150|
|100,000||$2,500 – $6,000||$4,250|
|120,000||$2,600 – $6,200||$4,400|
|140,000||$2,700 – $6,300||$4,500|
The type of propane furnace you choose impacts costs, regardless of size. There are three types: single-stage being the least expensive, two-stage the happy medium, and modulating the most expensive. However, differences in installation costs are often offset by long-term running costs.
|Propane Furnace Type||Average Cost Range (All-In)||Average Cost (All-In)|
|Single-stage||$1,600 – $4,400||$3,000|
|Two-stage||$1,800 – $5,900||$3,850|
|Modulating||$2,300 – $6,700||$4,500|
Single-stage furnaces cost between $1,600 and $4,400, with most people paying around $3,000. These are the simplest furnace types with only two settings: on and off. When the temperature drops sufficiently, the furnace starts up at full speed to raise the temperature and immediately switches off when it reaches it. It stays dormant until the temperature drops a few degrees below the target, then turns back on at full force.
This simple system is the least expensive to install but the most expensive to run since it consumes more propane per hour than other types.
Two-stage propane furnaces range from $1,800 to $5,900. On average, homeowners spend around $3,850 to install a two-stage propane furnace. These units have three settings: off, low, and high. If the house is cold, the furnace uses the high setting to reach the desired temperature, then switches to the low setting to maintain the temperature.
This setup keeps your home more consistently comfortable and uses less propane, so it’s more affordable to run than a single-stage furnace.
A modulating propane furnace costs approximately $2,300 to $6,700, with an average price point of $4,500, installed. Also known as a continuous furnace, a modulating model runs continuously with multiple settings.
Although it's always on, it has more finesse than other types, consumes less fuel, and is much more efficient. Although these units cost more to install, they're much more energy-efficient and cost-efficient over time.
The brand you go with can have a big influence on cost. Don't just go with the least expensive option. Shop around, choose the right furnace for your home, and look at the extras you get for your money, such as service agreements or extended warranties.
|Propane Furnace Brand||Average Cost Range (All-In)||Average Cost (All-In)|
|American Standard||$2,800 – $7,700||$5,250|
|Bryant||$2,100 – $5,600||$3,850|
|Carrier||$2,200 – $6,300||$4,250|
|Coleman||$1,900 – $5,500||$3,700|
|Goodman||$1,800 – $5,000||$3,400|
|Lennox||$2,500 – $7,200||$4,850|
|Rheem||$2,200 – $6,100||$4,150|
|Trane||$2,400 – $6,700||$4,550|
|York||$1,900 – $5,300||$3,600|
You can choose between a standard-efficiency furnace or a high-efficiency one. Standard-efficiency models cost less up front but only achieve between 80% and 90% efficiency. That means that for a 100,000 BTU-rated furnace, you'd only get between 80,000 and 90,000 BTUs of heat into your home. The rest is wasted energy.
On the other hand, a high-efficiency propane furnace achieves 90% to 99% efficiency, so there's much less wasted energy. Although a high-energy propane furnace costs more up front, it's less expensive to run per hour, adding significant savings over time.
|Propane Furnace Efficiency Type||Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency||Average Cost Range|
|Standard-efficiency||80% – 90%||$1,600 – $5,000|
|High-efficiency||90% – 99%||$1,900 – $6,400|
There are many different tasks and costs involved in installing a propane furnace. For a standard installation, labor costs between 30% and 50% of the project. However, the extent of the work, any repairs, adding ductwork, and other related tasks can significantly change the project price.
The furnace itself costs between $600 and $3,600. Standard-efficiency, single-stage furnaces are priced toward the lower end of the range, while high-efficiency, modulating furnaces fall on the upper end. The cost of additional materials—such as ductwork, pipes, insulation, propane tank, and drain lines—can add an extra 25% to 50% to your material costs.
Typically, labor costs between $1,000 and $3,100 for an average propane furnace installation. But you'll pay more for HVAC pros near you who charge between $75 and $150 per hour, with standard installations taking between 10 and 20 hours. You'll pay more for extra work like installing new intake lines, exhaust pipework, insulation, new ductwork, and HVAC zoning.
You'll pay more in labor and materials if you need anything other than a standard installation. Take a look at some common tasks that influence the price of furnace installation.
If instead of replacing an old furnace, you're facing the cost of installing a new furnace and all the necessary ductwork, you'll spend between $5,000 and $12,000, including labor. This includes new ductwork, priced at about $2,000 to $6,000, alongside the furnace.
If you already paid for the cost of a natural gas furnace, it may be able to burn propane instead with minimal setup needed. Alternatively, you may have to buy a conversion kit, which costs between $75 and $250.
If you want to convert an electric furnace to propane, expect to pay between $4,500 and $10,000. And if you have an oil furnace, you'll spend between $6,500 and $13,000 to convert it to a propane model.
Propane costs more per hour than natural gas but less than oil and electricity. To work out exactly what you'll pay, you need to do some calculations. First, find the current average propane cost in your area, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Then, take the average national price, which is currently at $2.66. The BTUs per gallon is 91,547. And lastly, you’ll need to know your home's square footage and climate zone.
For example, a 2,500-square-foot house in Zone 3 requires 40 to 45 BTUs per square foot. We'll use the higher per-square-foot number. Multiply the square footage by the per square foot BTUs, or 2,500 x 45 = 112,500 BTUs per hour.
Take that figure, which is the required number of BTUs per hour, and divide that by the BTUs per gallon to find out how many gallons we'll use per hour: 112,500 / 91,547 = 1.23 gallons per hour. Multiply the cost of propane per gallon in your area by the required gallons per hour: 1.23 x $2.66 = $3.27. So, it would cost $3.27 per hour to run a propane furnace in a home with these specifications.
Maintenance costs on a newer furnace should be minimal. However, hiring a pro for annual or biannual furnace service, inspection, and tune-up is advisable. This costs around $200 to $400 but helps to stave off significant problems and keeps your furnace working at peak efficiency. Repairing a furnace costs considerably more than regular servicing.
If you have a furnace, you can use the same ductwork to add central air. Installing central air costs between $3,900 and $7,900. It's a good option for cooling the air in your home year-round, using propane and forced air in the winter and electric air conditioning during the warmer months.
If you don't already have a propane storage solution in place, you'll need to rent or buy one. Installing a propane tank costs between $280 and $8,150, depending on whether it's above-ground or below. If you want a buried tank, you'll pay considerably more for the installation because of the excavation cost. Propane tanks are priced at about $30 to $3,500, depending on the size and type.
Installing a furnace isn’t a job you should tackle yourself. It requires the skills of a qualified, licensed pro. Hire a local furnace installer who can take care of all the permit requirements, safety considerations, and the installation itself.
Propane furnace installers require specific certifications from the North American Technician Excellence (NATE); the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); or the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA).
Additionally, your state may have separate licensing requirements, so make sure you do your due diligence before you commit to a contract.
A propane furnace lasts between 15 and 20 years. With regular maintenance, it could last much longer, with some furnaces lasting as long as 50 years. As your furnace ages, it may need some basic repairs. Some people prefer to replace a furnace rather than do any repairs on it if it’s out of warranty.
Yes, propane furnaces are efficient. A low-efficiency furnace has an 80% efficiency rating, and a high-efficiency furnace has a 90% to 99% efficiency rating. Your fuel costs will decrease if you upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace. Single-stage propane furnaces cost the most to run and are the least efficient, while modulating furnaces are the most efficient, using the least energy, so they cost less to run per hour.
Potentially yes, propane can give off carbon monoxide when burning. However, a properly installed propane furnace is safe as it has a venting system to remove potentially harmful gases. It should also achieve an "ideal burn" where no carbon monoxide is left over. This is why professional installations and regular inspections are vital.
Yes, a propane furnace needs a chimney or other venting system to vent the exhaust adequately. This process removes potentially harmful gases from the furnace and prevents them from being released into your home via the ducts. If you don't have or want a standard chimney, you may be able to vent your furnace horizontally through a wall.