It’s certainly that time of year. We’ve finally experienced enough cold weather that your furnace has been forced back into overdrive following the long dormancy of summer and the unseasonably warm fall of 2019.
Hopefully your furnace is humming along nicely, keeping your family comfortable without worry.
However, if you are experiencing problems – problems severe enough to send you scrambling on an internet search for “furnace repair near me,” – you may be wondering just what kind of price tag you’re about to be stuck with.
Well, according to improvenet.com, the average cost of furnace repair nationwide is $300, and most homeowners spent between $160-400 to have their furnaces fixed last year. That figure can drop as low as $50, while some costs soared to $800.
The reason for the wide range for furnace repair depends on a number of factors, including warranty factors and service visit fees from the contractor. And the furnace’s age, size and overall condition also factor into the repair cost.
And if your unit is over 10 years old is experiencing consistent issues, it may be time to go ahead and replace the entire unit rather than nursing it along with continued repairs – that is especially true if you’re looking at a repair cost in the four-digit range.
But how do you know if you’re in need of real furnace repair – or if it is a minor issue that you can undertake on your own?
First and foremost, listen to your furnace. If it is making weird noises or is louder than normal, then it is definitely time for some serious troubleshooting – or to call a professional contractor.
If, indeed, your furnace is talking to you in a bad way here are some simple troubleshooting tips that can get you around needing to call a professional:
- Make sure the thermostat temperature is set higher than the actual room temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure it has fresh batteries.
- If equipped with central air, or the system is zoned, make sure the selector switch is on heat.
- Check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box to ensure that they have not either tripped or burned out.
- Check the pilot light. On standing pilot furnaces, the burner will not light if the pilot has gone out. If you are not familiar with the function of the gas valve or lighting the pilot, call for service.
- Furnaces with electronic ignition have a sequence of safety steps the burner takes to light. Information is usually attached to the inside of the burner or blower access door. Follow the procedure according to the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid the risk of fire or explosion.
- NEVER disconnect any piping to check for gas supply. An instrument is used to check for pressure and checking it should be done by a qualified furnace repair serviceman.
- If the furnace is vented through PVC (white plastic pipe) out the side of the building, examine the ends of the pipe or pipes outside. Blockage of any kind will cause a shutdown.
- If the furnace turns on and off repeatedly, it might be dirty from repeated use. It needs to be cleaned. Otherwise, the motor or blower needs to be lubricated with oil.
- If you’ve heard noises coming from the furnace lately, that could be a sign of loose access panels, worn bens or a dirty burner. In all but the last case, you can fix these by fastening the access panels or adjusting/replacing the belt. In the case of the burner, you’ll need to call a pro.
If none of these troubleshooting tips alleviate your problems, then it is most likely time to call a professional contractor to come out and have a look.
Assuming you maintain consistent service on your furnace, including replacing the air filter ever 60-90 days, it is more than likely an electrical or gas supply issue that will require deeper knowledge of HVAC.
If you find yourself in this position, please call a certified professional, as incorrectly handling a furnace can result in serious injury or worse and/or property damage.
Certainly, we understand that you want to get your furnace issues fixed as fast possible, but be sure to contact a contractor with experience, one that is willing to come out and give you a free assessment of your furnace troubles, and just what it will take to fix it.
If you find yourself facing a heating emergency, Conditioned Air Systems is here to help. Our experienced technicians know technology both new and old and are happy to come and assess exactly what it will take to cure your heating ills. We will do so with courtesy, respect and honesty, and we’ll get the job done as soon as possible.
Call 770-536-7509 today and let us get you back on the road to comfort.