Furnace Repair Near Me in 2018

In our Furnace Repair Near Me Guide you will find information in regard to best contractors in your area, contractors VS DIY repair and when to get a new furnace.

Furnaces are the perfect way to keep your house warm during the cold months making furnace repair a very vital service. A malfunctioned heater spells trouble for your family for how are you supposed to keep them warm during the cold winter months. To avoid expensive repairs, always maintain and service your furnace annually or semi-annually. Benefits of a well-maintained furnace are:

Increases efficiency – First, a heater is subject to wear and tear much like all other machines. Also, some components fall apart reducing the efficacy. Also, take constituents such as the filter whose work is to sieve dust particles; the screen will eventually get clogged over time lessening the effectiveness of the system. Consequently, the clogging lowers the temperature in your home which is quite undesirable in the cold months. It also reduces the lifespan of your furnace, damages it, while also increasing the heating bill.

Improves reliability – The consistency of a furnace is another primary concern for most homeowners. Nevertheless, problems can arise at the most inopportune time and cause you significant troubles, more so if your system is rarely maintained, leading to massive repair costs. On the other hand, a preventive maintenance program ensures all potential problems are spotted before they bring about any significant heating issues.

Health safeguard – Finally and what’s arguably the top advantage is how furnaces improve air quality owing to the incredible job filters do of sieving out bacteria and viruses. Nonetheless, the sieves get clogged over time, and their catch rate reduces as well. If not regularly checked, bacteria could pass through leading to health effects.

However, despite the best furnace maintenance these systems do break down and call for repair. If your furnace malfunctions, there are several troubleshoot items you can check before calling a furnace repair company.

Furnace shut-off switch – If your furnace does not run, you should first check the furnace shut-off switch. Chances are you might have bumped into it while conducting some necessary maintenance. Moreover, a kid could have switched it off out of sheer curiosity.

Next, check the gas shut-off if your system doesn’t run. The gas shut-off switch cuts the gas supply into the furnace. Make sure the button ridge or handle is in the same direction as the gas line.

Noise – This is one of the chief problems you are likely to encounter with your furnace. If your system is making more noise than usual, it could be your blower or a loose belt. For this, you will have to engage the services of a repair contractor. However, it could be some unfastened screws. Check the access panels to ascertain this and fix it.

Turns on and off repeatedly – If your furnace isn’t consistent and repetitively switches off after some time and turns on later, consider checking the filters. If filters are clogged, your system will switch on and off to protect itself from damage. Replace the bunged up filters. If the issue persists, make a point of lubricating the dry motor or blower. If after this the problem isn’t resolved, you will have to engage the services of a technician.

If your furnace isn’t producing the required heat, check and ensure the thermostat is set right. Change the setting if needed. Additionally, ensure the registers are unobstructed and open and warrant that the filter is clear of clogs; replace it if needed.

Finally, check the pilot light. Your pilot light should always be on for it to function correctly. If the pilot light isn’t working as required, check the gas and make sure it’s not turned off. If this isn’t the issue, clean the opening.

If the above hacks don’t resolve your furnace snags, then it’s probably ardent to employ the services of a furnace repair contractor.

General Services of Furnace Repair Contractors

Furnace repair services are determined by the type of furnace you have, given that gas and electric furnaces have very different components. Also, expect varying services from various contractors.

However, most contractors will offer most of the services below for gas furnaces.

  • Inspect fuses and breakers to warrant amperage draw and replace them if not working as required.
  • Check the burners for proper operation. Repair or replace them for efficacy.
  • Clean any obstruction in the vents and seal any leaks in the vent pipes.
  • Clean clogged filters or replace the vents if the damage is irreparable. Most companies also check the reachable ductwork for any issues.
  • Pilot light and assembly – These components, though tiny, are essential for your furnace to operate optimally. Proficient contractors will always check these and ensure they are working well.
  • Safety controls – Competent repair persons will always establish that all safety controls are operational and in optimal condition. These include the heat cut-off controls and fan limit switch.
  • Finally, they repair any electrical connections.

For electric furnaces, and much like gas furnaces, most companies will check and repair the electrical connections and safety controls. However, there are also other services which are specific to electrical heaters. They include:

  • Unlike in the gas furnaces where contractors check breakers and fuses, in electrical heaters, contractors inspect the circuits to warrant proper amperage draw and fix it in case of any issues.
  • Inspect the relay switches.
    Adjust the fan belt for proper tension and traction.
  • Finally, top contractors will check your heat sensor to make sure the heat sensors are correctly cut-off.

Furnace Repair Costs

Deciding average repair costs is a challenging task seeing as you are dealing with over 50 components and several types of furnaces and brands. However, most homeowners report incurring costs of between $200 and $250 for most parts. Nonetheless, it’s easier to predict the cost of some common repairs.

Cost of Repairing Different Furnaces

Electric Furnace

Electric furnaces are the cheapest to repair owing to their small size. Also, most of the problems are within the heating elements and ducts meaning it will be easier and faster to diagnose and repair the furnace. Electric furnaces will set you back on average $300. Nevertheless, some factors influence this price. First, the nature of the problem, the ease of diagnosing and mending, and accessibility. Correspondingly, the furnace brand will as well determine the repair costs. Some makes are quite challenging to repair.

Gas Furnace

These are a bit more expensive than their electric counterparts, given that they require different skills and the components aren’t readily available. Take for example the propane gas furnace fuelled by liquid propane that’s burned to push air into your home. The apparatuses in this heater include a heat exchanger, a pilot light and a combustion chamber which aren’t easy to come across. Their scarcity and the skills required increase the cost of replacing a damaged flame sensor to $375 and that of repairing a gas valve to $675. Alternatively, there is the natural gas furnace. Though the fee can fall a bit for these heaters, their repair price is pretty much in the same range with the propane gas furnace. By and large, expect to pay between $125 and $1200 to mend natural gas furnaces.

Boilers

Other than furnaces, boilers are a great way to keep your home warm during the cold months. Boilers or better yet a hot water system delivers hot water into every room in your house through a network of pipes. Radiators then maximize the heating effect ensuring your home gets maximum warmth. Nonetheless, a few glitches will occur over time which necessitates the services of a handy professional person. For these repairs, expect to pay between $180 and $ 600.

Cost of Repairing Various Furnace Parts

As pointed out earlier, you are dealing with well over 50 components in a furnace. The many parts mean that the price can vary drastically and is only wise for us to look into the expense of repairing these parts for a more comprehensive understanding of how much it will cost you to fix your furnace.

Ignitors and Flame Sensors

These will set you back between $300 and $400 to repair, and nine out of ten times, it’s a lousy flame sensor that causes a furnace to malfunction. However, we notice that the above price is above the projected fee, but this is because most homeowners request repair services during emergency service. The extra hour fees further increase this amount and thus the $300 to $400 cost. This estimate can be halved though if customers requested repair services within the regular work hours and cleaned them regularly.

With regular servicing, you can double the lifespan of your ignitors but are difficult to save if too much time passes without service. Their failure can lead to some issues such as shorting out your circuit board. On the other hand, flame sensors also will malfunction if clogged with dirt but will always return to normal with some thorough cleaning.

Thermostat

As a rule of thumb, you always check the thermostat first whenever your furnace isn’t working, and this is the best scenario from a cost perspective. Problems with your thermostat could be due to a couple of issues. First, the batteries could be dead, and the thermostat needs a new one. Batteries are relatively cheap to repair as the technician will only charge you a service fee. Moreover, it could be that the thermostat is faulty and requires a replacement which will cost you anywhere between $20 for a basic thermostat and $200 for more advanced options. Don’t forget to add a service fee to this price. The final thermostat issue leading to a faulty furnace could be the wiring that connects it to your heating system. Expect to pay between $108 and $282 inclusive of labor to have this issue sorted out.

Blower Motor

Unlike the thermostat, damage to the blower motor is a serious issue that will cost a ton of money and time. It’s easy to identify the blower in your furnace as it is the part at the bottom of your HVAC that looks like a hamster wheel. A blower motor is requisite for all systems and contains a motor and a fan. It’s the component purposed by pushing hot air throughout your home, and the system is bound to fail if the motor fails. Expect to incur a charge of not less than $150 for minor fixes and $450. However, depending on the sophistication and size of the motor, the price can go up to $1500.

Heat Exchanger

The last part that brings about problems in your system and one that should be dealt with promptly should a problem arise is the heat exchanger and will set you back between $100 and $1200. From the name, I am confident you gathered what this part does. The heat exchanger is responsible for heating the air the blower motor pushes through your home. The heat exchanger consists of a chamber where heat energy is transformed into forced air and later thrust through your home. However, it also has vents responsible for getting rid of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, and for this reason, any problems with this component should be dealt with swiftly.

 QuantityLowHighAverage
Electric Furnace1$300
Gas Furnace1$125$1200
Boilers1$180$600
Components
Ignitors1$300$400
Thermostat Replacement1$20$200
Thermostat Wiring1$108$282
Blower Motor1$150$1500
Heat Exchanger1$100$1200

Furnace Repair vs. Replacement

If the damage to your system is minuscule, then repairs are the way to go. However, there are instances where it’s more advantageous to replace your system over repairing it. So, the question begs, how do you know it’s time to replace your furnace?

Safety First

Safety is a no-brainer. If the current furnace only in any way compromises the health of your family, then you should promptly replace it. The critical health issue that furnace pose is carbon monoxide that produced by the heat exchanger. Though this component is equipped to deal with this silent killer safely, the vents that are supposed to get rid of the gas do suffer from wear and tear and eventually leak carbon monoxide into your house. So, if this is the case, it’s judicious to replace over repairing your furnace.

Cost Efficiency

A new HVAC system costs on average $4000. However, depending on the brand and size, the price falls between $2000 and $6000 with the make having a tremendous impact on the price. On the other hand, repairs will cost you tops $1200. In light of these costs, it might seem wise repairing your system over replacing it though this might not always be the state of affairs if you consider the long-term benefits. Older systems are known to use up a lot of energy while new models are quite energy efficient and it might, therefore, be better to install a new system. Though the cost of installing a new furnace may be steep at first, chances are you will recoup this amount in saved energy bills.

Statistically, a system that is 15 to 20 years old has an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of about 70% meaning you waste 30% of energy. In contrast, some newer systems have an AFUE of about 95%, implying you will save 25% on energy bills with the more modern system. Yes, they might be costly but the federal government offers a tax incentive of $300, and there are many other tax incentives from local authorities.

Lifespan and Repair Cost vs. Replacement Cost

Finally, consider the amount you are forking out for repairs against the amount required for a new system. If you are incurring more than a third of the value of the system on repairs, then it’s about time you consider a replacement. Also, according to a 2007 study by Bank of America, furnaces have a la lifespan of 15 to 20 years. You might want to consider a replacement if your system is older than this. However, this is not to say, that an HVAC cannot last longer than this. With the necessary servicing, a system can last for more than 25 years.

How to Find a Good Furnace Repair Contractor

A furnace/HVAC is one of the most complex systems in a home. It, therefore, goes without saying that an expert should service it. However, there are several issues you ought to sort out beforehand to avoid scams, and only because a contractor is all the rage does not mean he is the right fit for you. When you are looking for a technician, you are looking for more than the skills but also for a person you can work alongside.

Finding a Repair Contractor

First, you can check the air conditioning contractors of America (ACCA). With over 60,000 professionals and 4000 business in the indoor and energy industries, you are bound to find a reputable company or contractor in there. Another option to consider and which works better than most is to ask your colleagues for referrals or people within your circles who you believe won’t mislead you. Finally, you can look for contractors on our site by browsing the form on our page. Using our form, you can get up to 4 free contractor quotes.

Essential Paperwork

Any competent HVAC contractor should be licensed. However, don’t worry about this as the government requires all furnace repair persons to be authorized depending on the location of their business. In some states, a contractor should be approved by the state while in others, permitting falls under the jurisdiction of municipalities and counties. In most cases, licensing is done by the municipalities and counties while the state only requires a certificate of passed technical HVAC training.

Other than an HVAC license, a contractor might also be required to have a plumbing license or a licensed plumber on call to deal with repairing or installing plumbing to supply oil or gas to heating equipment.

Credible HVAC contractors should have the required insurance coverage. First, a contractor should have workers compensation coverage if a worker is injured working on your property which protects you from any financial overhead that you could have incurred. Additionally, a repair person should carry general liability coverage to cover lost items, and finally, there is the professional liability coverage that general liability insurance rarely covers. It’s therefore ardent to only hire contractors who carry professional coverage to cater for any damage owing to actions by experts.

Finally, there is the bonding paperwork. Though it’s not an essential requirement, you will need it to protect you against unfair dealings. It works as a financial insurance in case.

By and large, a proficient work person has all requisite documents. Nonetheless, don’t take his/her word for it but ask to see the papers.

Experience

HVAC systems are complicated installations and need a wealth of experience for not only proper setup, but repair and maintenance as well. To ascertain that you are getting the best work persons, determine that they have at least 2 to 5 years hands-on experience in furnace repair. Experience is critical for comfort and safety of your home. The expertise assures you that the contractor can efficiently deal with ventilation issues and exhaust systems that get rid of dangerous gases and thus guaranteeing safety. Additionally, the experience is critical as an HVAC will need a skilled person who has an understanding of the system and can deal with the many components in a furnace.

Energy Star

Any competent contractor should help you with your energy saving concerns which will help you benefit from the long-term benefits of saving on energy. Therefore ensure that all parts that the contractor installs have the energy star. Energy Star products meet the stringent standards set by the US environment protection agency to safeguard our environment. So in a world that is under threat owing to human activities, the least we can do is protect it, and we can start by using energy efficient components. Proficient contractors understand this as well.

Expect an Evaluation

Any able HVAC repairperson should/would spend a considerable amount of time studying your heating and cooling system as well as the ducts and vents before giving you an estimate. The evaluation shouldn’t be a visual only. He should inspect the pipes for any leaks and the heating chamber for leaks. Also, he should spend a considerable amount of time examining your system to figure out where the issue stems from. Finally, he should check the entire setup to figure out the manufacturer’s specifications thus making sure that the repair parts meet these specifications.

Obtain Estimates

Before any repair or installation, it’s always wise to get at least three bids from different companies, and always ensure that they are bidding on the same job. Expect poles apart prices as various institutions have differing overheads, operational costs, and services. Obtaining several estimates enables you to gauge the amount before making your hiring decision. It also helps you get top value for your money.

There are some factors to consider when taking bids.

First, check the cost efficiency of the work to be done. A company that promises lower power consumption though for a higher fee would be better as you would save more money in the longer term from lower heating bills.

Warranties. Only work with companies that warrant their handiwork and components. Though they might be a bit expensive, the guarantee they offer of their work is worth it.

Get it in Ink

In conclusion, certify that you have the terms of your agreement written down and signed before work can begin on your furnace. A contract protects both parties; you the client and the contractor. A contract protects you by specifying the project costs, model numbers, and what you require by the end of the job. It, therefore, assures you of a bare minimum result that you are okay with. It also shields you from additional costs as the contractor has to go with the stipulated price. For a thorough contract, ensure that the deal has:

  • A full breakdown of all the work and the costs involved
  • All details about which task is to be performed when
  • Payment schedule
  • And the deadline for project completion

DIY Furnace Repair vs. Hiring a Professional

We all love a bit of DIY. It does not only save us a lot of money in service fees, but we also get to test our might at various activities. Furnace repair is no different.

There are some jobs that you can DIY to save you that extra dollar. Replacing dirty filters is one of them. Instead of engaging the services of a technician that will cost you $20, you can change the filters yourself and only incur the material cost. This is a negligible fee as a fiberglass filter costs $1. You will have to fork out more money if you are looking for more efficient filters. However, these restrict the airflow straining your furnace.

Another task that homeowners can handle albeit with a bit of skill is replacing belts in belt driven blowers. These straps need replacement and constant inspection. While replacing them, tension it so that it deflects ½” to ¾.” A new belt will set you back around $5 against $30 you would have to pay a repairer.

Another task you can DIY at no cost is to clean your flame sensor. As mentioned earlier a malfunctioning flame sensor is one of the many issues that can lead to your furnace failing. However, you can have it up and running by cleaning the sensor with a fine emery cloth. Just pull it out of its bracket, lightly clean it and put it back in. This is entirely free compared to engaging a handyman for a fee.

Finally, another task you can DIY for no cost at all is to clean your pilot. A malfunctioning pilot causes the thermocouple to report false reading that the pilot isn’t lit. Using a drinking straw, blow slightly on the pilot to dust it, and your system should be back up.

On the same note, there are some reasons why you should employ the services of a contractor for repairs and maintenance. Firstly, there is the value of your home. Engaging the services of an expert ensures that your home is painless to sell. Potential buyers will be impressed by the available paperwork of annual repairs and maintenance which shows that the real estate is a good investment as the house will not need any serious servicing for the next 5 or so years.

Additionally, you should always employ the services of a repairer to protect yourself in case of fire outbreaks. If a fire torches your home, insurance companies will have to identify the cause of the fire, and there is a high likelihood you will not be compensated if the fire could have been prevented with basic furnace repairs by qualified personnel.

Finally, engage the services of a pro during all repairs for the safety of your family. Fires are not the only issue that should concern you but carbon monoxide as well which is a silent killer and’s produced by the heat exchanger. If not regularly serviced, chances are the vents supposed to direct the gas away from your home will crack and the gas will start leaking into your house. However, you can have them checked and restored when you are conducting other repairs. Therefore always engage the services of an expert.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

Conning is an age-old problem and probably one of the oldest professions. The furnace repair industry as well is filled with fraudsters who are out to get your hard-earned money for little or no work.

Always ask for the broken part – A common prank by fraudsters is to tell you that they replaced a part while they did not. They do so to have you pay more money than you could have. Therefore always ask for the replaced component. On the same note, some companies can replace the part while it wasn’t damaged. If you are skeptical, always seek a second opinion from an experienced contractor.

Beware of the free tune-up services – Most furnace repair institutions offer free estimates on your work. However, an at no-cost tune-up service should be a concern and try and avoid such organizations. These companies are trying to sell you services that you don’t need at an insanely high price. Free tune-up service should always raise a red flag.

High-pressure sales – Another common way people are defrauded off their money is through high-pressure sales whereby a technician tries to get you to sign a repair agreement for your furnace repair stating that you can’t afford another minute to repair your furnace. High-pressure sales are a great way to instill fear into clients and have them sign contracts without any second opinion. If a repairperson tries this on you, demand hard evidence of the problem as chances are they are attempting to pull a fast one on you. Some even offer sign-now rebates. At this point, you should bid them farewell. Don’t allow a repairer to coax you into signing an agreement that you will regret.

Bait and Switch – If the deal sounds too good to be sweet, more often than not, it probably is. Another common scam, the bait and switch scam is where the contractor charges an unbelievably low price for a service and most often over the phone.

However, they will ask for massive amounts to repair problems that did not exist. The attractive offers are only meant to get a technician into your home. These technicians know how to wreak havoc undetected. You will finally be charged insane amounts for them to repair the issues with your furnace. For that reason, avoid companies that offer insanely low prices.

Upfront payment – Finally, avoid any company that requires all money to be paid upfront. Reputable organizations only request a down payment to assure them of the final payment, and a second sum once all the repairs are over. Some might require a payment schedule to work with. However, frauds demand all the amount upfront. Often, the amount is an absurdly large amount. The companies then proceed to do an abysmal job thus ripping you off your money.

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

There are some questions to ask a contractor before engaging their services. These issues help you gauge the type of person you are employing.

Do you provide written estimates?

Price will vary with different companies but as a rule of thumb, ensure you get at least three estimates from various groups. These three guesstimates give you a broad field to choose from. Price is the factor to consider here but also check the scope of the work as well as the details.

Which brands do you carry?

When looking for a furnace repair company, always ask which brands the company specializes in then base your hiring decision around enterprises that carry your furnace brand.

Experience with your system

The general idea here is to get a company that is competent enough with your furnace. This question though simple and a bit vague makes sure you only get companies that understand your system well enough to carry out the repairs.

Rebates

Depending on the repairs you are carrying out, your system may qualify for cash backs if it meets all the requisite standards. The idea here is to ensure you enjoy all the benefits that come with federal or state rebates while saving a bit of money.

Any new technologies I should consider?

Tech is ever-changing, and HVAC systems are no exception. Better HVAC components are released every other day, and you stand to gain a lot by asking this question. By and large, you’re targeting to find out how you can acquire energy-efficient components, digital solutions to your current system, and safer setups. This query goes a long way in ensuring you get only the best.

Do you handle all the necessary permits and approvals?

Permits can be a nuisance. You are therefore looking for a company that is competent enough to save you the trouble of having to deal with the authorities.

Do you guarantee your work?

This is a question you should ask all organizations and not only furnace repair institutions. A company that can stand behind its work and assures you of what to expect is one you should work with. However, avoid any organization that isn’t willing to stand behind their work.

What is the timetable for the repairs?

The basic idea here is to not only know how much you will incur in labor charges but also when you can start enjoying the comforts of your furnace. It also serves as a guarantee. Also, ensure that they offer discounts should they exceed the stipulated time.

Is your company a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

The BBB allows clients to review companies and file complaints against them. Therefore, any credible business will be on the BBB. Any company that is not on the site more often than not always has something to hide from the past. Either an unresolved complaint or legal action was taken against them

How long has your company being the furnace repair industry and under which names?

Finally, look into the history of the organization. The thought behind this question is to establish the company’s reputation and relationship with previous clients and whether he was honest in his dealings with them. Verifying the contractor, you are dealing will go a long way in making sure you only deal with reputable institutions.

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