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How much will your heating system repair or maintenance cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Heating Specialists on Thumbtack cost$60 - $70

Average price

69 Heating Specialists found near you!

  • Lowest price:$40
  • Most common low price:$60
  • Most common high price:$70
  • Highest price:$90

How much does furnace cleaning cost?

On average, cleaning your heating system or furnace will cost $80, and average prices range from $75 to $93. On the low and high end, professional cleaning will cost $50 and $280, respectively.

Furnace cleaning cost:

National average cost

$80

Average cost range

$75-$93

Low-end cost

$50

High-end cost

$280

The cost of cleaning your furnace will depend on several factors, with one of the most important variables being how much labor rates are in your area and how dirty your furnace is. Keep reading to learn how much it might cost you to clean your furnace. And find out you can get personalized cost estimates from furnace cleaning services in your area.

Furnace cleaning and maintenance cost examples

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies may charge a flat rate for their services. The flat rate will be calculated to account for the anticipated employee time, parts transportation costs and business overhead.

Different HVAC companies may include other services within their maintenance visits, so always ask beforehand what will be inspected and addressed. Often, HVAC companies have two tiers of pricing: one for a basic checkup and the other for a more exhaustive overview and service.

Here are some examples of costs:

Toasty’s Heating & Cooling in Farmington, Michigan.

  • General furnace maintenance: $79
  • Advanced maintenance of furnace: $138/. Can be combined with an AC maintenance service for a total cost of $200, including AC chemicals.

Pro-Air Inc. in Citrus Heights, California:

  • 38-point maintenance check: $89
  • 64-point maintenance check: $178
Get a free estimate from a great heating specialist near you.

Cost factors

Numerous factors that contribute to furnace cleaning costs. Here are some of the most significant variables in the price of having your furnace cleaned:

Type of furnace

One of the main price factors is the type of furnace you have. Electric furnaces require less cleaning because there is no combustion. Unlike propane or natural gas, which requires regular inspections and highly secure plumbing, electric furnaces don’t need additional piping or storage. For this reason, electric units may cost less to clean and maintain.

Warranty

If your furnace is still under warranty, you may be able to have repair parts covered. However, the cost of the technicians’ visit may still apply.

Age

Furnaces have predicted life spans (about 15 to 25 years). The older your furnace, the more intensive the repairs and cleaning jobs may be. 

Size

Larger furnaces draw more air and use more fuel. This puts more strain on the blower, motor, heating elements and other parts, and may result in more intensive repairs. 

Repairs

If your furnace needs more than just a cleaning or a tune-up, you could pay more for repairs. On average, furnace repairs cost $150 to $400. The type of repair you need is one of the leading cost drivers. For example, if your heat exchanger is cracked or the wiring, fan or motor needs repair, replacement parts can be expensive.

Furnace condition

If you’ve kept up with regular cleaning on your furnace (and you’ve addressed all repairs), you have a better chance of keeping your cleaning costs down. However, if one part begins to fail or the unit is not kept clean, other parts of the furnace can overcompensate and become overworked. For this reason, furnaces in poor conditions will likely require more extensive cleaning — and even more expensive repairs — than well-maintained ones. 

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What does furnace cleaning include?

Typically, a trained technician will clean your entire furnace thoroughly, both restoring dirty surfaces and looking for damage that may arise. They may remove build-up and clean air ducts to improve indoor air quality. 

The following parts are usually cleaned during a furnace cleaning:

  • Filters (may be changed if necessary)
  • Blower
  • Fan blades
  • Pilot
  • Combustion chamber
  • Burners
  • Motor
  • Coils
  • Drain line

A furnace tune-up goes further than a cleaning. After the system has been cleaned, a technician should do the following during a tune-up:

  • Inspect heat exchanger
  • Inspect venting
  • Test operation of the safety switch
  • Test for carbon monoxide leaks
  • Test temperature of hot water
  • Check for gas leaks
  • Test thermostat operation and adjust it to customer’s needs
  • Check the sequence of operations in the furnace
  • Oil the fan motor
  • Adjust belts
  • Check gas pressure and adjust if needed
  • Make sure electrical wiring is in good shape, tighten loose connections
  • Test how well the heating works in the house
  • Check clearances around HVAC unit
  • Look at how burners are aligned
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Inspect thermocouple
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Furnace repairs vs. cleaning

Beyond cleaning and tune-ups, your furnace may also need repairs. Often, a furnace tune-up job can turn into a repair job if the technician identifies parts that need to be replaced or worked on. This could include belts, motors, fans, ducts, burners and more. 

Because you’ll also be paying for parts in addition to labor, furnace and HVAC repairs tend to cost more than a cleaning or tune-up. Contact a professional to get an idea of furnace repair costs in your area.

Related content: How much does it cost to clean ducts?

Signs you need to clean your furnace

A furnace is like a car: You learn its cadences and sounds to gauge its maintenance state. If you notice any of the following occurring, chances are it’s time for a cleaning, tune-up or even repairs.

Frequent switching on and off

When a furnace keeps switches on and off, the culprit could be many things. It could be that your thermostat needs to be calibrated. Or, maybe your filters are dirty and clogged, and they need to be replaced. Build-up and debris can harm the efficiency of your furnace. If you notice frequent switching on and off, it’s probably time for a clean up and tune-up.

Excessive, loud noise

Like excessive cycling, too much noise could be the result of several things. The belt within your furnace could be loose, or there might be problems with your burner, blower, motor, fan, air filters and other components. If you hear unusual noises or a loud bang, contact an expert ASAP.

High energy bills

A high-efficiency furnace relies on its parts being clean to turn fuel into heat. One of the most common side effects of a dirty furnace is inefficient heating. If you notice your energy bills spiking, it’s time to call a technician to clean out your furnace and remove the impediments to its proper function. The technician may also identify other parts contributing to the problem.

Inconsistent temperature

If some areas of your home are hot and others are cold, it could be that your ventilation and HVAC system needs a good clean. Ducts can become clogged and prevent warm air from reaching various parts of the house, resulting in you cranking the thermostat up (or down) to compensate. This can further contribute to the problem.

Unresponsive thermostat

Turning up the thermostat should always result in a warmer room. If it doesn’t, you might have a broken thermostat.

A sudden increase in dust

One of the main advantages of HVAC is that it cleans the air of dust, pollutants and allergens. If you notice excessive dust, your heating or duct system is probably in need of a cleaning. The likely answer is that your filters are clogged and can no longer remove dust from the incoming air. 

Orange or yellow furnace flames

Unless your furnace’s flames are blue, there’s a problem that requires a technician’s skills and expertise. Orange or yellow flames could be the result of too much gas or there’s not enough air. 

Here’s a pro tip: If you don’t remember the last time you had your furnace cleaned, now’s the time to hire a pro to clean and inspect it.

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Furnace maintenance plans

Some HVAC companies offer maintenance plans to their new furnace customers. For a fee, the company can provide ongoing annual, semiannual or monthly service.

Maintenance plans can vary in price based on the extent of the services involved and whether new parts are included. Here is one example of tiered package pricing from 1st Response Heating & Air Solutions in Lynnwood, Washington.

  • Basic plan: $105 annual fee
  • Preferred Plan: $145 annual fee for semi-annual visits.
  • Platinum Plan: $495 annual fee for monthly visits.

The increased package pricing means increased access to service, parts, cleanings and discounts, while all three packages include an annual tuneup and filter replacements.

Keep in mind that fall is a great time to schedule an annual maintenance service to prepare your furnace for the hard work it will do all winter. But if you miss your fall appointment, any time of year is better than none. Tune-ups keep your machine clean and running efficiently, and prevents failure.

Related content: The best HVAC system maintenance tips.

How to hire a furnace cleaning service

Begin your hunt for a furnace cleaning pro by searching your local area. Be sure to ask the following questions, as well as any others you have. For example:

  • What is the cleaning cost for your particular type of furnace?
  • Do you work on cooling systems as well?
  • What is the cost of air duct cleaning?
  • If needed, can you perform ductwork?
  • Will you provide free estimates?
  • How much is a furnace inspection and repairs?
  • Do you work on my particular fuel type (propane, diesel, natural gas, etc.)?

It’s helpful to have your furnace's make and model, your home’s square footage, and any other details related to your heating system ready when you contact them.

Compare price quotes from three to five different services to make a cost-effective decision. And make sure your pro is appropriately licensed in your state.

Find a furnace cleaning service near you

Keeping your furnace well-maintained is a money-saver in the long term. Cleaning is the most important regular upkeep you can do — so schedule a service call soon. Look for local furnace cleaning pros on Thumbtack to find the best deal possible.

Get a free estimate from a great heating specialist near you.

FAQs

What is a furnace?

A furnace is a type of forced-air heating system that distributes heat throughout your home or office through a series of ducts and vents. A furnace can be manually turned on via the thermostat or set to come on automatically when the air inside the home reaches a specific temperature. Most gas furnaces are powered by natural gas, but they may also be fueled by oil or propane gas.

Can I clean my own furnace?

It’s often recommended that you leave the cleaning to a professional who has the tools and the know-how. Some tools that are typically needed include screwdrivers, a ratchet and socket set, a shop vac or vacuum with an upholstery brush attachment, a stiff-bristled brush, new furnace filters and more.

If you’re uncomfortable with the process, don’t have the skills or don’t have the proper tools, leave it to a professional.

Is it worth getting your furnace ducts cleaned?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends only necessary, not regular, duct cleaning. 

How often should you have your furnace cleaned?

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, you should have it inspected and serviced before each heating season to protect your household against carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the EPA. Regular furnace and boiler maintenance suggested by the U.S. Department of Energy includes:

  • Checking the vent connection pipe and chimney
  • Inspecting the heat exchanger's physical integrity
  • Adjusting the controls to provide optimum air temperatures
  • Checking the combustion chamber for cracks
  • Testing for carbon monoxide (CO), adjusting the blower control and supply-air temperature
  • Cleaning and oiling the blower
  • Removing soot and corrosion from the furnace
  • Sealing the connections between the furnace and the main ducts

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