If you use a furnace to heat your home, you know the unease that occurs if it suddenly stops working. They may stop heating, cycle on and off rapidly, begin blowing cold air, or suddenly start costing more to run without increasing warmth. These problems are fairly common, especially since many of them today are designed to last ten or more years. But during this time, many things may break or wear out.
The national average cost of furnace repair is between $150 and $600, with most people paying around $360 for a service call and the replacement of a pressure switch on a propane furnace. On the low-end, you can expect to pay a minimum of $85 for a service call and filter replacement on an electric furnace to as high as $2,050 to have the condenser and evaporator coils replaced on a gas furnace.
|Furnace Repair Prices|
|National average cost||$360|
For many repairs, your technician charges an hourly rate to make the repair or to replace a faulty or worn part. This fee varies by technician and company, but most charge between $75 and $200 an hour. Some complex repairs have higher hourly costs than simple repairs, but most companies state their hourly rate upfront.
Many causes of furnace failure have nothing to do with the unit itself. This includes a tripped circuit or too much clutter around the unit, causing a sensor to misfire. When you call an HVAC technician to examine your unit, be prepared to pay a service call fee of between $75 and $250 for the technician’s time. This fee applies even if they do not perform any repair work, such as cleaning a dirty sensor or resetting a sensor or circuit breaker. If the technician arrives and finds your unit needs repair, the service fee is usually waived, and you only pay for the repair and labor.
Running into an issue with your unit is never pleasant and can quickly turn costly if not immediately addressed. Because not all types are the same, it is important to research the cost of a repair for the specific type of unit you have in your home. While some homeowners have a modern electric unit installed, others may be working with a gas, propane, or oil model. Below you will see the average prices to repair a furnace depending on the type you have.
|Type||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Electric||$50 - $300|
|Propane||$300 - $1,000|
|Gas||$300 - $1,200|
|Oil||$300 - $1,200|
For homeowners with this type of unit, the average service call for repairs typically runs approximately $50 to $300 and may include repairing a thermostat or addressing leaking water issues. For larger repair jobs, a brand new evaporator coil may be required to get your unit back up and running properly. Other common complaints with electric models are frequent cycling, turning off too early, or failure of the pilot light to ignite.
Repairing a propane unit will typically cost you between $300 to $1,000. The average repairs for this type may include replacing the thermostat or even replacing the blower motor capacitor. They often have repair needs similar to gas models, such as problems with the ignitor switch or frequent cycling. While problems with temperature regulation and ignition will be less costly, repairs like a damaged blower motor will be more expensive.
If you have a gas unit, the average cost to repair it ranges from $300 to $1,200, depending on the type of service call you require. One of the most common repairs associated with a gas model is a thermostat. If you need a flame sensor or a thermocouple replacement, repair costs can cost around $300. More costly repairs can include blower motors, heat exchanges, and coil replacement. When these issues occur, you need to consider the age of the machine to determine if the repairs are worthwhile.
The average cost to repair this type of unit depends on the level of service you require for your home’s unit. For a standard oil unit repair service call, expect to pay from $300 to $1,200. With an oil unit, you may require a repair job of a mechanical thermostat or if an oil burner motor, which differs from electric and gas models repairs. Some of the most common problems experienced with oil units are clogged flue pipes or clogged chimneys. A less common but more costly problem is a crack in the heat exchanger which almost always requires replacement of the part.
If your unit makes funny noises or produces an unpleasant odor unfamiliar to you, call an HVAC professional as soon as possible. Sometimes the issue you are experiencing with your model seems vague, and determining the problem is tricky. Many common repairs are identifiable by sight, smell, or sound.
|Problem||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Leaking Water||$75 - $1,500|
|Scraping Sound||$135 - $275|
|Squealing Sound||$135 - $325|
|Loss of Heat||$150 - $1,500|
|Short Cycling||$250 - $600|
|Blowing Cold Air||$250 - $600|
|Strong Gas Smell||$500 - $750|
A leaking water repair job costs approximately $75. For a more extensive repair job, the total cost ranges from $800 to more than $1500 to fix. If your unit is leaking water, it is most likely caused by one of two things. The first is for high-efficiency models only. High-efficiency models condensate exhaust to extract more heat, and that condensation needs to drain. A clog in this line may cause your unit to leak. If your unit is leaking something that looks like water but has a strong odor, your heat exchanger has likely cracked. This has a wider range of costs because it means taking your unit apart to reach it, then replacing it.
The cost to repair the scraping sound of your unit is between $135 and $275, which may require a repair job of the ball bearings. If your unit is making a loud scraping noise, it is likely caused by some worn-out ball bearings. It needs to be dealt with right away, or you may have bigger problems and more expensive repairs. Allowing ball bearings to continue to wear out results in the need for a complete unit replacement or a replacement of the motor itself.
Fixing the squealing sound of your unit is possible by repairing the belt on a motor, which costs $135 to $325, depending on the type you have and the severity of the belt damage. If your furnace is making a loud squealing sound, there is a loose, slipping, or damaged belt on a motor. Most often, the repair for a squealing unit is simple and does not require extensive labor or time to get the job done.
If you hear a scraping sound coming from your unit and notice your home is cooler than usual, maybe it is because the burner and the gas valve need to be repaired. The cost to repair them is around $200 to $500. The burner and gas valve may go bad due to age, general wear and tear, or even a lack of ongoing maintenance. Repairing an ignitor is $150 to $300 and may be necessary due to wear and tear or even using the wrong ignitor on your furnace. In some instances, you may need to repair your unit’s circuit board after years of usage, an electrical shortage, or even water damage. An HVAC circuit board repair cost is $250 to $765, and repairing a faulty unit motor for larger issues costs up to $1,500, depending on the motor type. If your furnace is turning on but not getting hot, this may be caused by several issues, from a faulty blower motor to a furnace ignitor. In some cases, it could be a circuit board malfunction.
If your unit keeps turning on and off more frequently than it should, you are looking at a circuit board repair cost of $250 to $600, although this may also be a dirty flame sensor. Repairing the circuit board of your furnace is necessary when experiencing short cycling with your unit. You should also check your filter because a dirty filter may cause this. If you remove the filter and it functions normally, install a new one.
The repair cost for a unit blowing cold air is approximately $250 to $600, depending on the type of unit you have installed in your home. A unit that is blowing fine, but the air coming out is cold is most likely having an issue with the circuit board. The circuit board may be disconnected or have dirt and debris buildup, causing it to short out or work improperly, resulting in the blowing of cold air. Sometimes, a dirty flame sensor may also be the issue.
A furnace gas line leak repair cost is between $500 and $750. A gas leak has the potential to become dangerous and even life-threatening quickly if left alone. If there is a strong gas smell around your unit, it is probably the gas line. If you smell gas, leave the house immediately and call for emergency service immediately because this is extremely dangerous.
In most instances, if you have a problem with your unit that cleaning or a minor repair does not solve, you need to replace one or more parts to fix the problem. The exact replacement cost for each part is derived from several factors, including the furnace manufacturer, how difficult the area is to reach, and the technician’s hourly cost.
|Part||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Filter||$75 - $125|
|Transformer||$100 - $175|
|Thermocouple||$100 - $250|
|Thermostat||$120 - $550|
|Pressure Switch||$150 - $350|
|Capacitor||$175 - $450|
|Combustion Chamber||$200 - $600|
|Gas Valve||$200 - $1,000|
|Ignitor||$300 - $425|
|Circuit Board||$300 - $1,000|
|Flue Pipe||$400 - $800|
|Blower Motor||$400 - $1,500|
|Motor||$400 - $1,500|
|Draft Inducer Motor||$500 - $700|
|Heat Exchanger||$800 - $1,500|
|Coil||$800 - $2,000|
The average filter replacement cost ranges from $50 to $150, depending on the type of unit you have installed. Changing your filters regularly keeps your furnace running better for longer. A clogged filter may cause your unit to stop working. Pet hair and allergen filters cost more than standard filters. For best results, change your filter every one to three months as recommended by your manufacturer or whenever you no longer see light through them.
If your transformer has gone and needs replacing, it costs $100 to $175. Transformers are common parts of many electrical devices and fixtures. When a transformer is overloaded due to an excess surge of power, it may burn and break. The transformer is an essential component of the unit itself. Without the transformer, it is impossible to supply power to the unit itself, thus rendering it useless. Transformers are one of the lowest cost repairs, although they are less common than others.
Thermocouples are also relatively inexpensive to replace. The thermocouple repair cost will likely run you between $100 and $250. The price of a thermocouple depends on the unit brand and how hard it is to reach. For those who own a gas unit, a thermocouple is an integral part of your unit’s system. The thermocouple is responsible for opening and closing the gas line (main line) that works with the heating output you have configured.
Replacing your unit’s thermostat costs $120 to $550 and solves many of the issues. The thermostat replacement cost varies based on whether you have a gas, propane, oil, or electric model. Electric and mechanical thermostats are available to fit just about any make and model of unit you have installed in your home. Many times, when your unit stops operating or begins to operate erratically, the unit may not be the problem. Instead, it could be a faulty thermostat.
A pressure switch replacement costs from $150 to more than $350, depending on the unit make and model you have in your home. Your pressure or relay switch sometimes fails or becomes stuck and needs a replacement for your unit to turn on and off correctly. This may occur due to old age, a lack of maintenance, or even improper configuration of the switch itself. Because pressure switches are necessary for optimal safety and protection, it is important to fix your unit pressure switch as quickly as possible.
On average, the capacitor replacement cost is between $175 and $450. There is a wide price range as capacitors vary in shape, size, and make. A capacitor typically assists the fan motor, making it a vital component of any type of unit. Power surges, short circuiting, and even an overheated system can all lead to issues with the capacitor. A capacitor that is no longer working or requires a replacement may result in the failure of your unit’s motor starting or the ability for your unit to generate electricity and heat altogether.
The average combustion chamber replacement costs between $200 and $600, depending on the make and the age of your oil unit. A combustion chamber, also commonly referred to as an oil combustion chamber, assists in the process of producing heat while simultaneously maintaining maximum efficiency within the oil unit itself. A combustion chamber is only found in an oil unit, not in an electric, gas, or propane units. An oil combustion chamber is essential for any properly working oil furnace.
The gas valve replacement cost ranges from $200 to more than $1,000, depending on the location of the gas valve issue on the line and how easily accessible the line is for your technician. The gas valve controls the flow of the gas utilized for generating heat and should be immediately tended to if you notice an issue. The gas valve on your unit may corrode or clog over time, depending on its age and maintenance.
The ignitor replacement cost is typically $300 to $425. The ignitor is needed to create the flame necessary for your unit to begin generating heat. The cost of the ignitor varies based on your unit make and model and the type you have in your home (gas, electric, propane, or oil). In some cases, you may also be required to replace your flame sensor in addition to your ignitor if it is your problem. If your ignitor is the issue, you will likely need to replace your sensors at the same time. On average, replacing a flame sensor ranges from $75 to $250 in addition to the ignitor cost. The flame sensor can detect the heat that is generated by the combustion process. As the flame sensor completes this process, it signals to stop the ignitor, which is responsible for lighting the furnace’s flame. Without an ignitor or sensor in place, it is not possible to run your unit properly.
A complete circuit board replacement costs from $300 to $1,000, depending on the circuit board your unit requires. The cost of the circuit board depends on the make and model of your unit and the availability of the circuit board you require. Your circuit board controls everything on the unit, and if it becomes faulty, any number of things may go wrong. Identifying the circuit board as the problem is usually the result of exhausting other issues. Issues with the circuit board can mimic issues that occur with several other parts, so your technician may need to check multiple parts before settling on the circuit board.
Traditional flue pipe replacement costs range from $400 to more than $800, especially if you have an older type of unit. If you have an older, less efficient unit, your flue pipe replacement costs will be much more than modern units. Your furnace needs to vent exhaust outside as part of its combustion. Newer, more efficient units often use PVC exhausts that are less likely to be a problem or need replacement.
A fan motor replacement cost varies greatly, with an estimated cost of $400 to $1,500, due to the many sizes available for blower motors today. A blower motor repair cost is likely to range from $400 to more than $1,400, depending on the type of motor you have in place. A blower motor failure indicates that your unit is reaching the end of its lifespan. If this is the case, it is highly advisable to consider the overall value of your home’s unit to determine if a repair is right for you. When your blower motor ceases to work, many homeowners choose to replace the furnace instead of repairing it.
The average motor replacement costs from $400 to $1,500. A motor replacement may be necessary due to the natural aging of your unit and overuse of it. Improper cleaning of filters and improper maintenance can also cause excessive wear and tear on a motor. The cost of the motor depends on the type of unit you have installed, its age, and the specifics of the motor you require. Also, you must consider the number of motors needed and whether they are still being produced and are available. Without a properly working motor, it is impossible to run your unit at all, which is why a repair or replacement is an immediate must.
A draft inducer motor replacement cost runs from $500 to $700. Your draft inducer is what pulls the combustion gasses through the heat exchanger. It is typically referred to as a motor-driven fan, which helps house powerful connections within the unit itself. The inducer motor is essential to help with removing potentially harmful and/or deadly gasses through various chambers, keeping them from entering your home. It is less likely to need repair, but if it stops working, a repair is imperative for optimal safety.
Cracked heat exchanger repair costs $800 to $1,500 to replace, mostly because they are so difficult to reach inside the furnace. The heat exchanger is responsible for separating the combustion process inside the unit from the air pumped into your home through your home’s vents. If you have an electric model, it will not have a heat exchanger, so this replacement will not be needed. Without a properly working heat exchanger, you are putting your family and loved ones in your home at risk. If you suspect you have a cracked heat exchanger, replace this immediately because it causes carbon monoxide gas to build up in your home.
A coil replacement, commonly referred to as an evaporator coil, costs between $800 and $2,000. The evaporator coil is an integral part of any gas model, as it helps to pick up heat from inside of the home. The evaporator coil does the opposite of a condenser, which helps to expel warm air outside. Without a properly functioning coil, you may notice a significant decline in the overall output of your unit. Your electric model may also have an evaporator coil if it is connected to a central air system.
Regular maintenance and service prevent many furnace repair costs. Service and maintenance include oiling belts, inspecting for wear, cleaning sensors and burners, and changing filters. For the best results, have service performed yearly. This has a starting tune-up cost of around $70. A basic tune-up and cleaning will likely include a filter inspection and a cleaning of the basic components of your unit.
But for furnaces requiring more cleaning or that may have higher cleaning costs like oil models, your service fees may be closer to $200. For larger homes or homes with multiple pets and numerous household members, cleaning more than once a year may be more suitable, especially if you utilize your unit frequently. Paying an annual maintenance cost is a way to ensure preventative care to extend the lifespan of your home’s unit. The total time to repair a furnace varies. While some quick fixes require just a few minutes, others require hours to complete, especially replacing a motor or the unit entirely.
A furnace inspection costs $100 to $300, depending on the make, model, and type of unit you have in your home. While it is not mandatory, an inspection is highly recommended before investing in large repairs or replacements. You can request an inspection before placing or accepting an offer on a home.
An inspection runs the same cost regardless of whether you have an electric, oil, gas, or propane model. However, you may be required to pay additional fees for units that are more complex such as zoned systems. The inspection includes a thorough inspection of the motor, coils, transformers, belts, and other key components necessary to keep your unit up and running properly and efficiently at all times. Typically, the inspection will not require more than an hour if all parts are easily accessible and/or visible. A inspection is highly advisable regularly to extend the lifespan of any type of furnace.
Most of the time, the first indication that your unit needs repair is when it stops working altogether. However, for some models, there are other signs to watch and listen for that can help you to prevent major repairs or replacements.
Common issues you may experience that are typically signs that your unit needs repair include scraping and squealing sounds, unpleasant odors, leaking water, or even a noticeable increase in your energy bills. Whether you require a repair for your furnace’s belt or motor or if your unit needs a brand new thermostat, it is important to keep your eyes and ears open at all times.
In serious situations, such as with a cracked heat exchanger, carbon monoxide poisoning is possible. Carbon monoxide poisoning signs range from headaches and nausea to traditional flu-like symptoms. If you experience any of these issues, it is best to call your HVAC technician right away.
If your unit stops working suddenly in the middle of the night or on a cold winter’s day, your HVAC technician may charge you an emergency repair cost to come out quickly. This varies by technician. While this is an emergency for you, sometimes callers ahead of you may push your service out until the morning hours. If this happens, your visit may end up being cheaper despite when you made the call. Expect an emergency visit to have a flat fee of $75 to $250 just for entering the door. This is not waived when making repairs like it normally is for a service call.
Deciding on whether you should repair or replace your unit is not always a straightforward decision as a homeowner, especially if you have never experienced issues or trouble with your unit. Before settling on a decision, it is highly advisable to compare the costs of both repair jobs and complete replacements to help save money long-term.
If you have a well-functioning model that is three years old and requires a huge repair such as an ignitor or motor replacement, then the total cost of the repair will be more than a completely new furnace investment. Choosing to repair your unit is always advisable if the system is fairly new and if the repair cost is significantly less than the cost to replace it completely. On the other hand, if the repairs cost you more than a new unit, decide to install a new unit.
Additionally, suppose your system is more than fifteen years old, and the repair would cost more than a few hundred dollars. In that case, your technician will likely recommend a new unit as efficiency will begin to wane after fifteen years.
The average repair cost ranges from $150 to $600, whereas the average replacement cost is likely to run from $900 to $9,000. Consider the make and model of your current unit to compare both repair and replacement costs you may need.
|Project||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Repair||$150 - $600|
|Replacement||$900 - $9,000|
This depends on the age of the unit and the repair. Multiply the cost of the repair by the age of the unit. If the cost is less than $5,000, then, repairing it is advisable. Otherwise, you should replace it.
A blower motor cost varies depending on the size, make, and model you require for your unit. It is anywhere from $400 to $1,500. In some cases, it is not optimal to repair the motor if the cost of the repair is more than a replacement of a similar model. If your unit is outdated or if the repair is more than the cost of a new one, it may be best to replace your it entirely.
Typically, a furnace has a lifespan of anywhere from 8 to 15 years. If it is close to or over ten years old and failing, it likely needs replacing. Once you begin to notice major issues with the belts, motors, or other important components, it may be time to consider a complete replacement.
There is no one cause of a blower motor going bad. A blower motor going bad can happen in any unit, regardless of its age. A number of issues may be the cause, including an electrical wire failure, overuse, not enough lubrication, too much dirt/dust, or simply age.
No, most of the time, but if the heat exchanger becomes cracked, it could be dangerous because your unit may begin to leak carbon monoxide, which requires an immediate inspection. But with good overall maintenance, old units are not dangerous.
If your furnace cycles on and off quickly, you notice a burning smell, or if it makes louder sounds than normal, these are signs of overheating.
As a rule of thumb, you should clean your unit or have it cleaned by a professional provider at least once a year. Inspecting, cleaning, and/or changing the filters should also be done at least once every two to three months. Ongoing maintenance of your unit prevents long-term and irreversible damage while also helping to save you money in the long run. In some instances, oil and propane models may require more extensive cleaning if the unit is outdated or no longer in production.