In Denver, our cold winters make a working furnace a necessity for comfort, health and safety. Waking up or coming home to a freezing cold house is an unpleasant, and potentially dangerous, surprise. However, you can be prepared for those unwelcome furnace repairs or thermostat problems with some general information. Or, avoid them as much as possible with some basic furnace maintenance.
Nationally, the average furnace repair costs $268 with most homeowners spending between $135 and $422 (source: Home Advisor). Several factors contribute to that cost.
Is it covered by the warranty?
Your warranty may cover parts but not the cost of the service call or labor. Know what your warranty covers and how long it is in force.
What is the cause of the malfunction?
Of course, certain parts may be simple and inexpensive to fix or replace, while others, such as a cracked heat exchanger, a worn out motor or fan, or damaged wiring are quite costly. The age, size and condition of the furnace also impact repair costs. Once your furnace is over 12 years old, it makes sense to consider replacing it rather than repairing it.
Avoid common furnace problems
Many common furnace problems are actually avoidable, particularly those caused by dirty air filters and lack of regular maintenance. Both can result in excessive wear and tear of your furnace.
Changing your air filter regularly every 30 – 60 days is the easiest and most economical way to keep your furnace functioning properly. When your air filter is clogged, dust, dirt and debris can get into your system. This causes your furnace to lose efficiency and may eventually lead to breakdowns as well as shortening the life of your furnace.
Regular maintenance (once a year) by your HVAC professional will also go a long way toward preserving the life and health of your furnace. Technicians are trained to spot and correct problems before they become major repairs, and can clean and service your system more effectively than you can on your own. Your technician can also give you a heads up that a serious repair may be imminent, so you have time to prepare for the cost to fix it or replace it.
Sometimes the problem isn’t your furnace at all, but is actually a defective thermostat. A blown fuse or damaged wiring could be causing your thermostat to give faulty readings or prevent it from turning your furnace on or off correctly. (Read our article on troubleshooting your thermostat.)
Be prepared! Contact IAQ today to schedule a furnace maintenance appointment before your furnace needs costly repairs.