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Both gas and electric furnaces can display a variety of symptoms that aren’t easy to diagnose. But when your furnace stops working altogether, the diagnosis is usually straightforward: your furnace motor has gone out. Unlike furnace maladies that present big problems but are easy and inexpensive to fix, dealing with a broken furnace motor costs a little money in parts and labor, leading some people to make unwise decisions in an attempt to save money.

One mistake that people make when their furnace motor goes out is trying to repair it instead of having it replaced. In some cases, a broken furnace motor is indeed a good candidate for repair, and an honest air conditioning service technician will tell you if it is. But in other cases, repairing a motor can be almost as expensive a fixing it. If you’ll only save a few dollars by fixing a faulty motor, it’s probably a better idea to pay a little extra and get a new motor; one that won’t have you calling the repairman again next winter.

A second mistake that people make when facing furnace motor replacement is trying to replace the motor on their own. While cutting out the middleman is a great way to save money, you might end up with more problems than you started with if you replace a furnace motor without having the requisite experience. In addition to homeowners installing motors the wrong way and having to call a repairman anyway, there are also cases of homeowners being electrocuted, severely burned and losing fingers while trying to install a furnace motor, which is the best reason of all to pay a little extra for installing a new furnace motor.