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Estimated Repair Costs for 4 Common Furnace Issues

November 30, 2021

Your furnace is a key part of your home. Without one, you wouldn’t be able to stay warm during cold weather. Yet furnaces can have some problems that are more typical than others.

Let’s review these problems and about what they might cost to fix so you know before you call an HVAC technician. Some of the most common furnace repair issues include:

  • Furnace won’t turn on
  • Furnace doesn’t stay lit
  • Furnace won’t blow hot air
  • Furnace won’t turn off

1. Furnace Won’t Turn On

There are a few reasons why your furnace won’t turn on, so make sure to check all of them.

  • Is your thermostat set correctly? Make sure it’s on “heat,” “auto” and that your preferred temperature is greater than the room’s current temperature. If you use a programmable thermostat, make sure it has new batteries.
  • Is the circuit breaker tripped? Your furnace can’t operate if it doesn’t have electricity. Reset the switch if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the furnace switch off? Your furnace has a power switch located on or near it. Because this switch looks like a light switch, it’s easy to unintentionally turn it off. If it was off, it might take your furnace a few minutes to turn on.
  • Is the air filter clean? A dirty air filter can cause a lot of issues for your furnace. Replace yours if you can’t see light through it.

Estimated Repair Cost

This problem can be complicated, so the estimated cost to repair it varies according to what’s wrong.

2. Furnace Won’t Stay Lit

Your furnace follows a certain sequence when it begins heating your home.

  1. Your thermostat notices the temperature has fallen and tells your furnace to start running.
  2. The draft inducer fan activates to pull in fresh air for combustion.
  3. The gas valve unlocks for the burners, which are ignited electronically.
  4. The flame sensor signals to your furnace the burners have been lit.

If something is wrong during the sequence, your furnace will shut off as a preventive measure.

A couple of potential causes for this issue include:

  • Dirty or malfunctioning flame sensor. If the sensor doesn’t sense a flame, it will turn off your furnace to prevent natural gas from spilling into your home. The ignition process corrodes flame sensors as time passes. While cleaning during annual furnace maintenance can help, yours may ultimately need to be taken out and changed.
  • Bad limit switch. This safety feature will turn off your furnace if it detects backdrafting. Backdrafting is dangerous, because carbon monoxide and natural gas can leak into your home. These switches can fail due to age, damage or dust accumulation.
  • Old thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t working correctly, your furnace won’t be able to run.
  • Dirty air filter. A dirty air filter can reduce airflow and cause your furnace to shut off to avoid overheating. Make sure to replace yours every 30 to 90 days, or whenever you can’t see light through it.

Estimated Repair Cost

These costs are estimates, so it’s important to note yours may vary based on your furnace’s brand and model.

  • Flame sensor: $350–$500
  • Limit switch: $150–$300
  • Thermostat: $150–$350
  • Furnace filter: $10-$30

3. Furnace Won’t Blow Hot Air

In many cases, this problem is linked to a wrong thermostat setting or a dusty air filter that’s restricting airflow. Use the steps above to resolve the issue.

4. Furnace Won’t Turn Off

If it’s extremely cold outside or you like your home to be warm, your furnace may be working for a long time.

If this isn’t what's happening, ensure your thermostat is set correctly and running properly. If your fan setting is at “on,” the blower motor will be going even when the furnace isn’t, so it’ll sound like your furnace is running all the time.

Alternatively, there might be a problem with the blower motor or your ductwork may be losing air, making your furnace run continuously to make up for the air loss.

Estimated Repair Cost

These costs are estimates, so it’s necessary to note yours may be different based on your furnace’s brand and model.

  • New blower motor: $250–$800
  • Seal ductwork: varies based on house size

American HVAC Inc Can Resolve Your Furnace Issues Quickly and Affordably

Furnace issues can be an expensive headache, but not when you call American HVAC Inc. We’ve been delivering the quality, affordable furnace repair San Jose homeowners have relied on since 2010. Contact us at 408-215-1018 to receive your free estimate today.

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