When homeowners are looking to purchase a gas furnace, they focus on its features and price. As the unit ages, they start worrying about repair costs.
Several gas furnace errors can be fixed with simple steps. As long as buyers don’t need to replace any parts, you may be able to find DIY on YouTube. However, some other problems need professional hands. As expected, homeowners should be prepared to pay the gas furnace repair cost. It ranges from $60 to $900 per service depending on the issue.
Since repairing price can range, a lot of homeowners try to learn about types of errors. Should they call contractors or try to repair them DIY? Once you need a contractor’s help, how much will it cost?
Knowing When to Replace Your Gas Furnace
There is one simple calculation to check whether you should replace a gas furnace or not. Contractors call it the “5000” rules.
The calculation is easy; multiply the repair cost and age of the gas furnace. If the result exceeds $5000, then replace it. If the result is less than $5000, then repair it.
Replacing Unit When Calculation Is Less Than $5000
In some cases, it is recommended to replace the unit even though the calculation (furnace age x repair cost) is less than $5000. When?
- Furnace produces loud noise during operation. Despite its AFUE rating, the gas furnace still surprises you by the end of the month. The energy bill is still high. You might replace it when the unit blows cold or hot air swings.
- Furnace is way too old so you need to repair several parts at once. Even after these repairs, it still cannot work properly.
- Furnace is not as “eco-friendly” as you wish. In this case, purchasing a 95+ efficiency unit will be a good choice.
Repairing Unit When Calculation Is More Than $5000
There are several conditions where units should be repaired first.
- Furnace spare parts are available in many stores and you are on a tight budget. Replacing unit might not be a wise thing to do.
- Furnace is expected to work for one more year. This case often happens to families that will move soon. Purchasing a new unit would be a waste of money. Therefore, they should repair the gas furnace instead.
Common Gas Furnace Problems & Repair Costs
Panicked homeowners might immediately call the brand’s service center immediately after they find that the gas furnace stops working. It will be either right or a careless thing to do. Once the repairman arrives, they will check your gas furnace. If they are fixing minor problems, then you have to pay for the repair man’s travel expense and time. The minimum cost per call is $75.
Several examples of minor problems are disconnected gas lines caused by the kitchen’s reparation, dirty filter, clogged pipe, and many more. The more serious problems might happen as well. For this case, you will pay more; around $200 or less.
Listening to heavy machine sound is not pleasing. You have tried to turn the machine off and on. Still, the disturbing noise doesn’t stop. In this case, the clogged filter might be the culprit. A lot of things could get stuck in furnace filters; fine hair, pet hair, and debris. In addition to the noisy machine, the clogged filter also affects heat distribution to rooms.
You will have two choices to solve a dirty filter problem; cleaning or changing it. Not all brands install washable filters. In this case, you have to buy a new filter. One new filter costs $3 to $40. If you already call for help from a repairman, then you also need to pay for his service.
Cleaning the Gas Valve and Burner
This trouble will happen to a house that puts a gas valve and burner in a dusty place, cooking area, or pet shelter. Otherwise, such a problem could only be found in oil furnaces only. This fact doesn’t mean that no maintenance is needed for these two features.
Once every two years, you have to clean them up. In addition to cleaning, tune-up might be needed as well. It is better to call a professional contractor to handle this job. When maintenance time comes, get ready to wait for one hour for cleaning time and around $150 to $400 for service costs.
Another feature that might call for repair soon is the thermostat. So far, there are three different kinds of thermostats; wire type, WiFi thermostat, and programmable thermostat. Depending on these types, you might spend less or more on the unit purchase, repair, and installation.
Wire thermostat is the cheapest among all types. You could buy it for $15 per unit. If you could follow installation steps well, then there is no installation service fee needed. For a wireless thermostat, it costs around $600 including installation. The last type, the programmable thermostat, is available at an affordable cost; from $185 to $450 including installation.
Ignitor and Flame Sensors
In order to be able to provide heat, a gas furnace relies on an ignition machine to light up the fire. Once this feature is broken or not working properly, the gas furnace will be stopped. You better prepare yourself, since this is the most common trouble with heating furnace. If your machine is 10 years old already, ask the contractor to replace the ignitor and flame sensor next time they come for a regular visit.
It is better to replace them as the repairman opens up the cabinet. Waiting until the ignitor goes bad is also an option, but it will cost you more. For unit and installation, you will pay around $300 to $425.
You might say that the blower motor is the heart of a gas furnace. When it breaks, you might need to consider buying a new furnace as well. It is also possible to find and install new parts. Keep in mind that you might pay more for this part since each brand has different sizes.
The complexity of its installation also contributes to high-cost installation service. Some blower motors are using a built-in computer module to start the function. Of course, the installation price for this specific model will be high. The average cost to replace a blower motor is $400 to $1400 and the reparation time is about one to two hours.
Draft Inducer Motor
It is not surprising that not many buyers know about this feature. The draft inducer motor is a small but functional part of a gas furnace. It pulls combustion gas to go through the heat exchanger. Then, the draft inducer motor also directs this gas to flow out through the exhaust chimney.
Replacing the draft inducer motor in a gas furnace is not for you. Even advanced DIY lovers should give the job to a professional. The entire replacement process takes about one to two hours. For the cost, you need to pay $500 to $700 per unit. Don’t worry, it already includes installation costs.
Circuit Board Replacement
In a gas furnace, the circuit board plays a motherboard role in the computer. This board controls a lot of functions; sensors, gas valve, ignitor, and many more. It is also possible to follow the installation directions. Beware though; this unit should be installed properly, wire to wire.
If you are not sure, then leave the job to a professional HVAC repairman. Remember that the circuit board is nonrefundable once it is installed. The time needed to connect wires on the circuit board is about two hours. Be prepared to pay $250 to $600 for unit and installation service.
Heat Exchanger Replacement
Have you ever wonder why a heat exchanger has the longest warranty? It is because this feature is connected to most parts of a gas furnace. In the other words, replacing the heat exchanger is similar to split open the entire unit.
For this reason, replacement cost is very high and installation time takes longer than any other parts. When your heat exchanger is breaking, the repairman needs two to four hours to replace it. Then, you also need to pay around $800 to $1400.