Furnace Repair Cost, Replacement, and Installation Tips

HVAC Logo IconBy HVAC.comSeptember 25, 2023
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That rattle, squeak, or lack of heat coming from the furnace sends a shiver up the spines of many homeowners – and not just because of the chilly air! Many worry about furnace repair costs, assuming the price tag will be beyond affordable.

Wintertime in cold climates makes furnace repairs a necessity. It isn’t advisable or safe to ignore issues preventing your home from heating properly.

The price for furnace repairs will vary from company to company. While we can’t tell you how much a furnace technician will charge you, we’ve put together some estimates of furnace repair costs to help you avoid “sticker shock.”

Cost of a Furnace Technician Service Call

Most HVAC contractors charge a service fee for a furnace technician to come to your home. This fee typically ranges between $50 to $100. This charge is just for the furnace inspection. Repairs are in addition to the service fee. Your fees may increase if you require service after normal business hours, over the weekend, or on a holiday.

Some companies offer deals to waive service fees when you purchase repairs. Or, if you have a preventative maintenance agreement with a contractor, the company may wave your service fee. Check the contractor’s website and local ads for deals. Ask the contractor about any special offers which could save you money.

Furnace Repair Costs for Common Heating System Issues

Per HomeAdvisor, the average furnace repair cost across the country is $268. Most homeowners spent from $135 to $422 per repair. Below, you’ll find common furnace issues, and a rough estimate of the price to correct them.

Faulty Ignitors

Ignitor malfunctions are a common problem which cause a furnace to break down. Lack of maintenance causes dirt and grime to build up on the ignitors, eventually damaging them. To replace furnace ignitors, a furnace technician will charge about $300 to $400.

Bad Thermostat

A faulty thermostat can cause a homeowner to assume there is a problem with the home’s furnace. Replacing a thermostat has a broad cost range, as there are so many types available. A basic manual thermostat will cost you $20 or so; a smart thermostat will run $200 or more, depending on the model.

Flame Sensors

The system’s flame sensors detect heat from the burners, telling the furnace to continue releasing fuel. If the sensor is faulty, fuel may burn in an unsafe way, putting your family in danger or causing the system to completely shut down. Furnace repair costs to replace a flame sensor can run from $80 to $250.

Furnace Motor

Replacing a bad furnace motor is a serious repair, taking more time and more money to correct than some other issues. In some cases, a furnace technician may not have the correct replacement motor on-hand, and will need to order the part, adding a day or more before completing the repair. Replacing a furnace motor can cost between $400 and $1,500.

As furnace problems arise, many homeowners are overcome with worry as to what the cost to fix their heating system will be. Knowing a rough estimate of the price your repairs may cost will help you better financially plan for the service your system needs. This will also help you feel more in control when meeting with a furnace technician, so you are not blindsided by the price tag.

Once you receive an HVAC quote for furnace repair or replacement service, QuoteScore from HVAC.com can analyze it to determine if it’s a fair deal.


Furnace Installation FAQs

How much does furnace installation cost?

Nationally, the average cost of furnace installation is $4,000. Many factors affect cost, including duct installation or repairs.

How is equipment size determined for my furnace installation?

Your HVAC contractor should perform Manual J to determine the heat load of your home to size your new furnace. This calculation considers many factors related to the home’s construction, occupants, and exterior elements for accuracy.

How can I tell how efficient a furnace is?

If you desire high efficiency models for furnace installation, look for furnaces with an AFUE in the 90s. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization ratio. It tells you how much heat the furnace creates for every dollar of heating fuel the unit consumes. All new furnaces must have an AFUE of 80. The highest efficiency models have a rating of around 98 AFUE.

Can I perform my own furnace installation?

Furnace installation requires advanced technical knowledge and skills to ensure a safe and accurate installation. If you don’t have this knowledge, best leave installing your furnace to licensed professionals.

Furnace Replacement FAQs

How long will my furnace last before I need to replace it?

The average furnace offers a service life of 15 years. With yearly maintenance, your furnace may last longer. Without it, it may fail sooner than 15 years.

Should I repair my furnace or do a furnace replacement?

If your furnace is close to the end of its estimated service life and frequent breakdowns occur, you may choose furnace replacement instead of repair. When facing repairs totaling over 50 percent of the cost to buy a new furnace, replacing the furnace may be a better investment.

Is it best to replace my furnace with the same type or one that uses a different fuel source?

This is up to your preference, but switching from electric to natural gas heat can lower your operating costs. Natural gas furnaces are more efficient to run, and natural gas typically costs less than electricity. Many factors can affect the savings switching can generate for you, such as if you already have natural gas lines installed or if you will need to have them ran to your home.

What’s the best time of year to schedule furnace replacement?

Furnace replacements and furnace installations take place year-round. Ideally, you will want to schedule this in the spring or fall. These are periods where heating and cooling contractors are generally not as busy. You’ll have more flexibility in scheduling the job and may be able to take advantage of pre and post season deals.

Should I replace my air conditioner at the same time as furnace replacement?

Replacing furnaces along with air conditioners is ideal to create balanced HVAC systems. Both systems share air handlers and indoor coils, so upgrading all equipment together can ensure all components are properly matched, and save labor. If both systems are 10+ years old and have had a lengthy repair history, you should replace them all at the same time. If one is newer, it may not be financially smart to replace it just for the sake of matching the systems.

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