Furnace Repair Cost

How much does it cost to replace the heat exchanger of a furnace?

The heat exchanger, or heater core, is the most important part of your furnace, as it is hub of all combustion and heat-related activity. The most common mishap in a heat exchanger is a crack, which happens from the metal changing temperatures. A cracked heat exchanger is typically noticed when the homeowner reports not having heat or when the carbon monoxide detector goes off. The good news is that heat exchangers typically last 15-20 years. We'll look at the cost of replacing a standard heat exchanger, which costs $1000-$1700.

Cost breakdown

  • Materials: a typical heat exchanger costs $300-$500. Older furnaces may have heat exchangers that are harder to find, and therefore, more expensive.
  • Labor: most HVAC contractors charge $85-$95 per hour and will typically take 6-8 hours to replace a heater core 1. Expect total labor costs of $510-$760.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • For furnaces that are 10 years old or older, it may be a better choice to replace the entire furnace than just the heat exchanger. Talk to your HVAC specialist for a specific recommendation. A common electric furnace can be installed for $2000-$4000.
  • A cracked heat exchanger can leak more carbon monoxide into the home. If you are worried about the aftermath of this, a carbon monoxide detector 2 can be purchased and plugged in for as little as $15.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Some heat exchangers may crack when the furnace is still under warranty. If this applies to you, contact the furnace manufacturer about payment options.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Heater core: A device that allows heat from one fluid to be transferred to another fluid without the two fluids coming into contact. The heat is transferred through the walls of the pipe that keeps the two fluids separate
2 Detector: Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal

Cost to replace the heat exchanger of a furnace varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

National average

$1,000 - $1,700

(standard heat exchanger)

Low: $750 - $900
(lower-grade heat exchanger)
High: $1800 - $2500
(premium heat exchanger & detector)

Cost to replace the heat exchanger of a furnace varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors in your city.

Alternatives
Cost

Heating - Install
Boiler - Install
$2,500
Electric Fired - Install
$5,500
Oil Fired - Install
$4,000
Propane Gas - Install
$175-$600
Boiler - Repair
$150 - $200
$4,500-$8,500
Fireplace - Install
$700
Firepit - Install
$2,000 - $7,000
Furnace - Install
$2,000 - $4,000
Electric - Install
$5,000 - $7,000
Natural Gas - Install
$3,000 - $5,000
Oil - Install
$3,000 - $6,000
Propane - Install
$1,000 - $1,700
Furnace - Repair
$6,000 - $8,000
Gas Central Heater - Install
$2,000 - $20,000
Heat Pump - Install
$7,500
Geothermal - Install
$250 - $600
Heat Pump - Repair
$6,000 - $14,000

Related
Cost

$350 - $7,200
Air Conditioning - Install
$2,650 - $15,000
$1,800 - $7,000
$165 - $1,170
$50 - $150
Air Conditioning - Annual Maintenance
$150 - $8,200
Ventilation - Install
$12 - $650
Attic Fan - Install
$70 - $800
Bathroom Fan - Install
$110 - $3,225
Ceiling Fan - Install
$100 - $890
Central Humidifier - Install
$150 - $500
Dryer Vent - Install
$15 - $1,000
Dryer Vent - Cleaning
$1,050 - $5,150
Ductwork - Install
$200 - $900
Duct Vent - Clean
$600 - $6,000
Evaporative Cooler - Install
$783 - $1,500
Window - Install
$55 - $540
$50 - $700
Thermostat - Install
 

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Anderson, SC
-23%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Camden, TN
-30%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kokomo, IN
-24%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lowell, MI
+5%
Lynn, MA
+19%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milpitas, CA
+33%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Naples, FL
-3%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New York, NY
+77%
Newton, NJ
+1%
North Hollywood, CA
+11%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Pasadena, MD
+5%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Salem, MA
+19%
Sammamish, WA
-16%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Santa Clara, CA
+33%
Seattle, WA
+9%

Labor cost in your zipcode