Winter HVAC Repair: Should You Repair or Replace a Faulty Furnace?

When a residential furnace has problems in the winter, the first thing the homeowner wants to know is how much it will cost to repair. In many cases, that is a difficult question to answer for two reasons: parts for different furnaces cost different amounts, and fixing an HVAC issue in one furnace could require more labor than fixing the same issue in another furnace. Even so, it is often possible to predict whether certain problems would make it better to repair or replace an aging furnace. Below are some examples of these problems:

Problems that could Justify Repairing a Furnace

Several furnace problems do not cost an arm and a leg to repair. More often than not, these problems occur in furnaces that are over fifteen years old:

  • Replacing gas burners
  • Replacing a hot surface igniter
  • Replacing a flame sensor or thermocouple
  • Replacing a blower motor

These repairs rarely have a high price tag; however, there are circumstances where fixing one problem could lead to fixing another one, in which case the repair cost could rise.

Problems that could Justify Replacing a Furnace

Although most furnace problems are affordable to fix on most budgets, fixing some problems can be rather expensive. Examples of furnace problems that could cost over $500 are:

  • Replacing a cracked heat exchanger
  • Replacing a squirrel cage fan (including motor)
  • Replacing a gas valve or smart valve
  • Replacing a draft inducer

If one of these repairs costs over four-hundred dollars, and your furnace is near the end of its lifespan, replacing the furnace might be better than repairing it. Because an old furnace can present the homeowner with repair after repair in a short period, replacing it can be the most economical choice.

Other Considerations

The cost of an HVAC repair is determined by factors in addition to the cost of parts and labor. For example, the price of a repair may also reflect the quality of customer service that you receive, and how quickly parts arrive from the warehouse. HVAC services that offer excellent customer service and fast parts delivery might charge slightly more than services that do not offer these benefits. However, if you need an HVAC repair in the middle of winter, the last thing you want is poor customer service and a long wait for a part to arrive.

Most homeowners wish to pay as little as possible for HVAC work. It is important to remember that cheap HVAC services are often cheap for a reason, such as a service’s poor business history or lack of credentials. Before you conclude that a service offers the best deal, consider whether the provider is likely to do the best work. In the end, the job quality of an HVAC can have a greater financial impact than how much it cost to perform.

About the Author:

Bardi Heating and Cooling, rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and Best Small Business by Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, has been a trusted heating and cooling company providing superior AC, Heating and Plumbing care in Atlanta for nearly 25 years. Bardi will ‘always, always, always do the right thing.’

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