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By Tom Moor
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Posted 8/1/23
repairman looking at furnace

Charlotte winter low temperatures average 36℉, so you’ll want to handle a broken furnace quickly. A heating choice homeowners often face is whether to repair or replace the furnace.

Asking the right questions and understanding your investment will help you make the right decision. Use our expert tips to decide whether you need a quality Charlotte furnace repair tech or if it’s time to replace the system.

Broken furnace? Schedule a consultation with one of Charlotte’s top-rated HVAC companies.

Charlotte furnace repair

The average bill for Charlotte furnace repair is $275, slightly below the national average of $309, according to HomeAdvisor. (For more pricing details, read our piece on Charlotte HVAC technician costs.) 

In most cases, your technician will charge a trip fee when they visit your home to diagnose the issue. According to our recent survey of Charlotte homeowners, this fee often costs between $51-100. 

If your heating contractor can diagnose and fix your furnace in one trip, they will. However, there may be instances when they need to get a part or schedule more time for a complex job.

Charlotte furnace replacement

In Charlotte, a new furnace costs an average of $5,454, according to HomeAdvisor. That price is above the national average of $4,687.

Of course, the cost of a new furnace depends on many variables, including the size of the system, its fuel type, and its efficiency rating. Electric furnaces are usually the least expensive and most environmentally friendly. Your technician will be able to recommend the best furnace for your home. 

When replacing your furnace, you’ll not only have to pay for the equipment itself but also for installation. Labor can range $2,000-10,000. Most furnace contractors charge a flat fee for installation that calculates out to $50-100 per hour per technician.

You may also need to budget for the removal of your old furnace. The 2023 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator says this should cost no more than $300. 

Shopping for a new furnace?

Furnace repair vs. replacement

There are a number of considerations when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace.

Furnace age

Furnaces generally last 15-20 years. If your furnace isn’t working and it’s towards the end of its lifespan, it may not be worth it to repair the unit.

Newer furnaces run more efficiently. Investing in an updated furnace could reduce your utility bills.

Repair frequency

As your furnace ages, it may run less effectively. You may notice more issues that require repair.

If you have to call a repairperson multiple times a season, it may be time to start researching a furnace replacement.

Cost of repair

We recommend using the $5,000 rule to evaluate whether it’s more cost-effective to repair or replace your furnace.

Your HVAC technician should diagnose your furnace issue and provide a quote for a repair when they visit your home. Multiply the age of your furnace by the estimated cost of repair. If the resulting sum exceeds $5,000, you should consider skipping the repair and replacing your unit instead.

For example, if your furnace is 12 years old and your repair quote is $550, multiply 12 times $550. 12 x $550 = $6,600. Since $6,600 exceeds $5,000, a replacement might be a better investment. 

Need a furnace quote? We’ve got you covered.

Getting a second opinion

It’s a good practice to get at least two diagnoses if you’re considering replacing the unit. Schedule an appointment with two Charlotte furnace repair companies to compare their diagnoses, suggestions, and cost. 

Most furnace repair companies in Charlotte will do a home diagnostic visit for less than $100. If you need a diagnostic visit and quote, can connect you with one of our preferred HVAC technicians in Charlotte.