The longer answer: The cost to repair a furnace depends on a number of factors, including the:
- Type of repair needed
- Type of furnace you own
- Type and validity of warranty
- Age of furnace
- Contractor you hire
We’ll break down the details of each of these cost factors to help you better determine how much your furnace repair will cost.
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Price Factor #1: Type of repair
Because furnaces have so many different components, it’s difficult to say how much a repair will cost until a qualified technician is able to come and inspect your furnace.
For example, let's say you call in a professional because your furnace won't start. Any of the following components could be at fault for a furnace that won't start:
- A broken thermostat
- A dirty air filter
- A dirty flame sensor
- A faulty gas valve
- And much more...
And each problem listed above comes with its own price tag.
That said, it's impossible to nail down the exact price you'd pay for your furnace repair without knowing what's actually wrong. Because of this, you should be wary of any HVAC company that will give price estimates over the phone, without evaluating your furnace first.
Price Factor #2: Type of furnace
Gas furnaces typically cost more to repair than electric furnaces. Why?
Gas furnaces have more complex components, making the cost to repair them steeper than the cost to repair an electric furnace. To give you an idea of just how complex these units are, we've highlighted just some of the main gas furnace components in the image below.
Complex parts of a gas furnace
Price Factor #3: Whether or not your furnace warranty is still valid
If your labor warranty or parts warranty is still valid, the cost to repair your furnace could be fairly inexpensive. Two types of warranties you might have include:
1. Labor warranty: Labor warranties cover the cost of labor to repair your furnace due to a faulty installation. Most companies/contractors offer at least a 1-year labor warranty with their installations. Usually, contractors also offer warranties for repairs, but those warranties will only apply to that specific repair. For example, a 90-day warranty given after a thermostat repair will only cover the same thermostat issue that was "fixed" the first time.
2. Parts warranty: A parts warranty is covered by the manufacturer of the furnace you own (Trane, Carrier, Lennox, etc). This warranty will usually cover parts that are malfunctioning due to manufacturing issues. A “typical” parts warranty will last for 5 years, but an extended warranty will be longer (~7-15 years). Note: Most manufacturers now offer a lifetime warranty for heat exchangers.
Heads up: Most parts warranties require that your furnace is maintained annually by a licensed professional in order to stay valid. If you’ve neglected to have your furnace maintained over the years, there’s a good chance your warranty is void.
Price Factor #4: Age of furnace
Depending on the age of your furnace, you may be able to restore your furnace before it needs costly repairs. Restoration is a great option for furnaces with components that are worn and questionable or are showing signs of stress or fatigue. Essentially, a restoration helps a furnace that has not failed yet, but is in a state of failure.
Restoration is usually a more expensive option than a repair but not as expensive as a complete replacement. If your furnace is older and is beginning to wear out, expensive repairs are likely coming and a restoration may be your most cost-effective option.
Price Factor #5: Contractor you hire
“You get what you pay for,” rings true when it comes to the contractor you hire for a furnace repair. Typically, the more qualified and trained a contractor is, the more expensive their time and services are.
When it comes to repairing your furnace, you want to hire a quality contractor that will do the job safely, quickly and correctly, so that you don’t have to suffer the consequences of a poorly-done job.
To find a quality contractor:
1. Ensure they are licensed and insured: This gives you peace of mind that your repair is being done correctly and it’s meeting local code requirements. Additionally, you won’t be held responsible if something goes wrong on the job.
How to check for license and insurance:
How to check for license and insurance:
- Look on their website for their license number. This is a 7-digit number and should be listed somewhere easy to find, like on their home or contact page.
- Check the BBB (Better Business Bureau). To have a profile on the BBB, a company must prove they are licensed and insured. This is a fast and easy way to check for a company or contractor’s license and insurance.
2. Check customer reviews: In today’s world, it’s fairly easy to check how customers feel about the service a company or contractor has provided. We suggest checking for ratings and reviews on sites like:
3. Get a written estimate: The best way to be sure you’re getting quality work for a great price is to get written estimates from a few contractors. High-quality, honest techs will always provide some kind of estimate in writing before starting any work. If they can't provide this, it’s a red flag, and you should think twice about working with them.
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