When buyers are going to purchase gas furnace unit, they focus on its features and price. Later after the unit is installed, they need to start worrying about repair cost. Even though heating unit is recently installed, it might be broken soon. Therefore, buyers are suggested to prepare themselves before hand.
Several gas furnace errors could be fixed with simple steps. As long as buyers don’t need to replace any parts, usually DIY fixing steps could help. However, some other problems need professional hands. As expected, home owners should be prepared to pay gas furnace repair cost. It ranges from $60 to $900 per service depending on how broken the unit is.
Since repairing price could be either low or high, a lot of home owners try to learn about types of errors. Should they call contractors or repair them manually? Once they get contractor’s help, how much they must pay?
Knowing When to Replace your Gas Furnace
There is one simple calculation to check whether you should replace gas furnace or not. Contractors call it the “5000” rules. The calculation is easy; times the repair cost and age of 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
For some cases, it is recommended to replace unit even though the calculation is less than 5000. What are the conditions?
1. Gas furnace produces loud noise during operation. Despite of its AFUE rating, gas furnace still surprises you by the end of the month. Energy bill is still high. You might replace it when unit blows cold or hot air swings.
2. Gas furnace is way too old so you need to repair several parts at once. Even after these repairs, it still cannot work properly.
3. Gas furnace is not as “eco-friendly” as you wish. In this case, purchasing 95+ efficiency unit will be good choice.
Repairing Unit When Calculation Is More Than 5000
There are several conditions where units should be repaired first.
1. Gas furnace spare parts are available in many stores and you are in a tight budget. Replacing unit might not be wise thing to do.
2. Gas furnace is expected to work for one more year. This case often happens to family that will move soon. Purchasing new unit would be a waste of money. Therefore, they should repair gas furnace instead.
Common Gas Furnace Problems & Repair Costs
Panicked home owners might immediately call brand’s service center immediately after they find that gas furnace stops working. It will be either right or careless thing to do. Once repair man arrives, they will check your gas furnace. If they are fixing minor problems, then you have to pay for repair man’s travel expense and time. Minimum cost per call is $75.
Several examples of minor problems are disconnected gas line caused by kitchen’s reparation, dirty filter, clogged pipe and many more. More serious problem 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, 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 noisy machine, clogged filter also affects heat distribution to rooms.
You will have two choices to solve dirty filter problem; cleaning or changing it. Not all brands install washable filter. In this case, you have to buy new filter. One new filter costs $3 to $40. If you already call for help from repair man, then you also need to pay for his service.
Cleaning the Gas Valve and Burner
This trouble will happen to a house that put gas valve and burner in dusty place, cooking area or pet shelter. Otherwise, such problem could only be found in oil furnace only. This fact doesn’t mean that no maintenance is needed for these two features.
Once in 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 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 repairing soon is thermostat. So far, there are three different kind of thermostat; wire type, WiFi thermostat and programmable thermostat. Depending on these types, you might spend less or more on 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 wireless thermostat, it costs around $600 including installation. Last type, the programmable thermostat, is available at affordable cost; $185 to $450 including installation.
Ignitor and Flame Sensors
In order to be able to provide heat, gas furnace relies on ignition machine to light up fire. Once this feature is broken or not working properly, gas furnace will be stopped. You better prepare yourself, since this is most common trouble with heating furnace. If your machine is 10 years old already, ask contractor to replace the ignitor and flame sensor next time they come for regular visit.
It is better to replace them as repair man opens up the cabinet. Waiting until 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 blower motor is the heart of 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 part. Keep in mind that you might pay more for this part, since each brand has different sizes.
Complexity of its installation also contributes to high cost installation service. Some blower motors are using built-in computer module to start the function. Of course, installation price for this specific model will be high. Average cost to replace blower motor is $400 to $1400 and reparation time is about one to two hours.
Draft Inducer Motor
It is not surprising that not many buyers know about this feature. Draft inducer motor is small but functional part of gas furnace. It pulls combustion gas to go through heat exchanger. Then, draft inducer motor also directs this gas to flow out through exhaust chimney.
Replacing draft inducer motor in gas furnace is not for you. Even advanced DIY lovers should give the job to professional repair man. 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
You know computer has motherboard. In gas furnace, circuit board plays motherboard role in computer. This board controls a lot of functions; sensors, gas valve, ignitor, and many more. It is also possible to follow installation direction. Beware though; this unit should be installed properly, wire to wire.
If you are not sure, then leave the job to professional HVAC repair man. Remember that circuit board is non refundable once it is installed. Time needed to connect wires on 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 heat exchanger has longest warranty? It is because this feature is connected to most parts of gas furnace. In the other words, replacing 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, repair man needs two to four hours to replace it. Then, you also need to pay around $800 to $1400.