On average nationwide, a furnace blower motor replacement costs $400-$600, including parts and labor. A single-speed blower motor costs around $450 to replace while a variable-speed motor costs $600+. While the motor speed is an important cost factor, repair costs also depend on local labor rates, the location of your furnace inside your home, and whether a warranty plan will cover all or part of the cost.
You may be able to change the filter in your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system yourself, but you shouldn't attempt to make complicated furnace repairs like replacing a blower motor unless you're very experienced. That's because HVAC systems are highly complex and DIY repairs gone wrong can make a seemingly simple problem more expensive to fix. This type of repair can also be dangerous since it involves electricity. A professional HVAC technician can do the work for you competently, efficiently, and safely.
Before you hire a furnace repair specialist to get your furnace heating your home again, get an estimate of how much it will cost to replace your blower motor with this guide.
What's in this cost guide?
- What is a blower motor?
- Furnace motor replacement cost factors
- Repairing a furnace motor vs. replacing a furnace
- How to hire a furnace repair specialist
A furnace blower motor is a part that circulates air across the heating and cooling components of your HVAC system and through the ductwork into your home. The principal heating component in this process is the heat exchanger. In the cooling process, the principal component is the evaporator coil.
The blower motor works essentially the same way whether your furnace runs on oil, gas, electricity, or a combination of fuels. If the motor malfunctions or breaks, your furnace may fire up and then shut down, or it may not operate at all. This is usually a sign that you need a blower motor repair or replacement.
The total cost to replace or repair a furnace blower motor will depend on the type of motor, replacement furnace parts, manufacturer, labor costs, how accessible your furnace motor is, and whether or not it's still under warranty.
Standard blower motors operate at a single speed and cost around $450 to replace, including parts and labor, while variable-speed motors cost $600 and up.
However, if your HVAC blower motor isn't too badly damaged, the technician may be able to clean and repair it so you won't have to incur the cost of a replacement. If you do need a new motor, there are three types:
- Single speed
Single-speeds are generally less expensive to replace than multi-speed or variable-speed blower motors. Electrically-commutated motors (ECMs) are typically quieter, more energy-efficient, and more costly to repair. If your system has a permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor that needs to be replaced, you may be able to upgrade to an ECM to improve your system's performance and efficiency.
Blower motors are made up of a motor, a blower wheel (also called a "squirrel cage") and the shell. The capacitor acts like a spark plug, creating the energy needed for the motor to engage. As a result, the capacitors undergo a lot of wear and tear, and it's not uncommon for them to fail.
One Thumbtack pro and radiator repair specialist in Oakland, CA charges $179 to replace a blower motor's capacitor but says he's seen other companies charge closer to $250.
If a blade on the blower wheel gets bent or becomes loose, it could cause the unit to function noisily or improperly. Replacing a blade is not expensive, but most companies charge at least $80–$100 to have a service technician pay a visit.
Many manufacturers use the same components for different furnace makes and models, but there may still be some brand differences in prices for replacement parts. A generic blower motor could be less expensive than a brand-name part, but if your HVAC is covered by a manufacturer's warranty, installing a generic part may void that coverage.
Some technicians charge a flat rate for HVAC and furnace repairs. Others charge by the hour. They also generally charge more for same-day service or work done on a weekend, holiday, or in the evening. Labor costs also vary due to local factors, such as the cost of living and competition among HVAC repair companies.
If your furnace is located in a main-floor closet, it will be easier for the technician to access than if it's located in your attic or basement. Easier access means a faster repair and, usually, lower cost.
Most furnaces come with a manufacturer's warranty, but labor costs are often covered only for one year. Your furnace may also be covered by a retailer's or home warranty plan. A repair technician can help you find out what's covered and what's not, and how much you'll have to pay out of pocket.
Replacing a furnace costs between $2,000 and $6,000, which is much more than what you'll pay in repair costs. It's sometimes (though not always) worth it.
Frequent repairs may keep an older, less energy-efficient furnace functional for years beyond its expected lifespan. If your budget is very limited or you're planning to sell your home within a few years, ongoing repairs may make sense.
Otherwise, if your furnace is more than 10-15 years old and needs expensive repairs, you may want to replace it rather than pay for parts and labor out of pocket. A new furnace should come with all-new parts, upgraded features, and a manufacturer's warranty. You may also see some savings when you pay your utility bills thanks to increased efficiency.
Before you hire a contractor, get repair bids from several HVAC professionals. Some companies offer free estimates. Others charge a fee for a service call to inspect and diagnose the problem. The service fee usually will be applied to the repair cost if you're happy with the bid and ready to authorize the work.
A broken furnace motor is a pesky repair for any homeowner. Fortunately, HVAC professionals can help make the job easy. To return your furnace to its former, functioning glory, find a furnace repair specialist near you on Thumbtack.