The national average price for furnace repair ranges from $150 to $400. What you will pay depends on the warranty on your furnace, the type of furnace, service fees and labor costs, what replacement parts your furnace needs, and the extent of the furnace problems.
Loosing heating in the winter is enough to send chills up the spine of any homeowner. Before you panic, run through this quick checklist to confirm your furnace needs repairs:
- Make sure the thermostat has fresh batteries, is turned on and set to the correct time and day.
- Check that the circuit breaker isn't tripped.
- Replace the air filter on your furnace following the owner's manual.
If your furnace still doesn't turn on, it may be time to call a contractor who specializes in furnace repair. A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractor, also known as an HVAC technician, specializes in diagnosing and fixing common furnace problems.
They can also conduct furnace maintenance before the start of winter to make sure you don't end up without heating when you need it most.
Along with the not turning on at all, a faulty furnace might result in more expensive energy bills as you turn it on more often to heat your home. Also call an HVAC contractor if you hear unusual noises, like loud clanking sounds, if it keeps cycling, if your pilot light goes out, or if the unit is leaking.
What's in this cost guide?
- Furnace repair cost factors
- Common furnace problems
- Repair or replacement?
- Cost saving tips
Your furnace repair costs will depend on whether or not you still have a warranty and what it covers, the hourly fee of your HVAC professional, the type of repair you need, and the cost of any replacement parts.
The more expensive, fuel-efficient furnaces typically have longer parts warranties than basic models. A newer high efficiency furnace typically has a 10-year warranty. Some have limited lifetime warranties on certain parts, such as the heat exchanger.
Lower efficiency furnaces typically have a 5-year warranty. Most manufacturers offer a 1-year labor warranty for installation. Check to make sure whether your unit is still under warranty before paying out of pocket.
What you'll pay in labor costs may depend on when your system breaks down and how quickly you need it fixed. Some HVAC professionals add an hourly surcharge for working after hours or during emergency situations, such as a snowstorm.
Many repair professionals charge a flat service fee to inspect a furnace to diagnose problems. These fees are often waived if you hire the furnace repair professional for the job. Expect to pay a flat service fee of $69 on average.
HVAC technicians typically charge hourly rates plus parts. The national average for HVAC specialists ranges from $60 to $70 an hour.
If the furnace has broken parts, you'll pay for replacement parts on top of the labor for a technician to install them. 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 furnace parts depends on its make and model; a technician can give you a cost estimate for parts and labor as soon as they diagnose the problem. If your furnace parts are proprietary, it can cost more to repair or replace these.
|Common Repair||Average costs|
|Replace blower motor||
|Install a replacement furnace||
|Replace control board||
Home heating accounts for 42% of household utility bills, according to the Department of Energy. Regular furnace maintenance can help your system run more efficiently and also extend the life of your unit.
Ideally, you'll discover your furnace needs repairing during a routine pre-winter furnace tune up (and not, say, during a polar vortex). The HVAC contractor will have enough time to order parts if necessary and schedule the work during regular hours, charging you a standard hourly rate plus parts. Expect to pay between $79 to $89 for a basic tune up and $138 to $178 for advanced furnace maintenance and cleaning.
1st Response Heating & Air Solutions of Lynnwood, Washington, for example, offers three levels of maintenance plans, all of which offer an annual precision tuneup, filter replacement or cleaning, warranties of varying lengths on parts and labor, and discounts on repairs:
- $105 Basic Plan
- $145 Preferred Plan
- $495 Platinum Plan
East Bay Heating and Air of Livermore, California, offers a tuneup special for $58.
As a homeowner, you might be experiencing one of the following problems with their furnace when your heating stops working:
A furnace's control board works a lot like a computer's circuit board. It controls all of the furnace's functions and will shut down when other problems arise as a safety mechanism. For example, if a burner igniter fails, it will turn off the gas valve to prevent a gas explosion. It can also tell you what's wrong with your furnace and help diagnose other issues. However, since it — like your computer circuit board — is a complex component, it too can fail. Estimate around $600 - $1,000 for a replacement control board.
Your furnace needs regular tune ups. Deferred maintenance often contributes to failure and reduced efficiency. Clogged air filters reduce airflow and can cause your furnace to shut off—one of the main causes of a furnace problem.
Clogged or dirty ducts can also keep the heated air from circulating throughout your home, leaving some rooms without heat. Some HVAC contractors also clean ductwork or you can hire a duct cleaning company. Expect to pay between $90 to $250 on average for duct cleaning.
Older gas furnaces feature gas-powered pilot-light ignitions. These igniters are a continually burning flame that turns on the burners to heat your home. Newer furnaces have an electric igniter. The pilot light going out is a common problem with gas furnaces.
Both these ignition systems can malfunction or fail to turn on. Restarting either requires a series of steps found in your furnace owner's manual. It's not as simple as lighting a flame. Electronic igniters can't be lit manually and doing so can be dangerous. A contractor can restart the ignition system for you and, if proper restarting fails, replace the ignition.
A broken thermostat is also something a contractor can fix. If it's beyond repair, you may need to install a new thermostat. Estimate around $20 to $40 to buy a new non-programmable digital thermostats.
To improve energy efficiency, upgrade to either a programmable digital or a wifi access thermostat. With either, you can set the temperature to automatically go down when you're not home, or turn on when you are or if the temperature in your home reaches a preset minimum.
Programmable digital thermostats that don't offer remote wifi access range from $20 to $120 or more. The price for wifi-enabled programmable thermostats range from $100 to $250 on average. Also expect to pay $65 on average for a contractor to replace and install your new one.
Electrical problems, like a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, are common but relatively inexpensive to fix. HVAC technicians can tackle most electrical problems directly related to the furnace. If the electrical system has a serious problem, you may need to hire an electrician.
On average, expect to pay $450 parts and labor to replace a single-speed motor and $600 for a new variable-speed motor.
The blower motor is responsible for pushing air over the system's heat exchanger and circulating the heated air through your home's ductwork to keep your home warm and toasty. Air won't circulate if the blower motor is broken or malfunctioning, and no air circulation means no heat.
Like anything mechanical, furnaces have an average lifespan. Most last 15 to 18 years before you need to buy a replacement. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, keeps breaking down, or the cost to repair the furnace approaches or exceeds the cost of a new furnace, it's probably more cost effective to replace it.
The national average furnace installation costs for a replacement ranges from $2,000 to $6,000. The higher the fuel efficiency of the new furnace, the more expensive your new furnace will be.
But the upside is that many furnaces on the market today are more fuel efficient and can save you money on energy bills. Also keep in mind that natural gas is cheaper than electricity, so even though an electric furnace may cost less up front, a gas furnace can save you money in the long run.
To save money on a furnace repair, first check to see if it's under warranty. If your furnace is still under warranty, certain failed parts might be covered. You'll still most likely need to pay for the service call and the labor.
Also ask your contractor for a free quote before you get started.
Fixing a furnace is never a fun task for homeowners, but with the right HVAC professional at your side, you'll restore your home to its warm and cozy self in no time.