Furnace repair professionals specialize in diagnosing and fixing common heating problems in homes and businesses. Sometimes problems result from poor maintenance or a lack of cleaning; other problems are caused by broken parts such as a blower motor or heat exchanger, or by a faulty thermostat or circuit board. The most common furnace problems are deferred maintenance on older furnaces, pilot lights that won’t stay lit, broken blower motors and old furnace filters that need replacing.
Average furnace repair costs depend on the individual furnace and its problem. Repair costs will include the cost of a service call plus the price of parts and labor.
Many repair professionals charge a service fee to go to a home and inspect a furnace to diagnose problems. For example, Havens HVAC of Golden, Colorado, charges a standard $69 service fee to send a technician to a home to inspect a furnace. These fees are often waived — or applied to the cost of the repair — if the customer hires the furnace repair professional for the job.
If the furnace has broken parts, customers will pay for the cost of new parts as well as the labor for a technician to install them. Most furnace repair technicians charge an hourly rate for labor. The good news is that furnace technicians typically carry most of the parts they will need to repair a furnace, or can get replacement parts quickly. The average cost of replacement parts depends on the make and model of your furnace; a technician can give you a cost estimate for parts and labor as soon as they diagnose the problem.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of a furnace helps prevent problems. The air filter should be replaced every season — or every month during times of heavy use. If a professional diagnoses poor cleaning and maintenance as the reason for furnace trouble, the cost usually will be relatively inexpensive. Some furnace repair services offer regular maintenance and cleaning plans, which also help extend the overall life of a furnace. It’s best to schedule a maintenance visit in the fall, just before the furnace goes into heavy use. 1st Response Heating & Air Solutions of Lynnwood, Washington, for example, offers three levels of maintenance plans: a $105 Basic Plan, a $145 Preferred Plan and a $495 Platinum Plan, all of which offer an annual precision tuneup, filter replacement or cleaning, warranties of varying lengths on parts and labor, and discounts on repairs. East Bay Heating and Air of Livermore, California, offers a tuneup special for $58.
Common electrical problems with a furnace include a simple blown fuse or circuit, which are relatively inexpensive to fix. If the electrical system has a serious problem, an electrician will need to help. Thermostat issues are another common furnace problem. Replacing a faulty thermostat can cost $100 or more. If you have a programmable thermostat or want to add one, the technician can help with that as well.
If a furnace is more than a decade old or if the cost estimate is a few thousand dollars, it may be more cost-effective to replace it. Newer furnaces are likely to be more energy-efficient than older ones and offer better air quality control. The cost to replace a furnace depends on whether it’s gas or electric, among other factors. You can expect to pay at least $1,200 for a new furnace, depending on its features, and another $1,000-$1,500 for installation.
If a furnace is still under warranty, certain failed parts might be covered for free, although you’ll still most likely need to pay for the service call and the labor.
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