The typical furnace has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. This average can vary based on a variety of factors, including the quality of the furnace and how you use it. The type of furnace you use also determines how long it will last, with forced-air systems that have a heat pump generally lasting shorter than oil- or gas-fueled models.
Regardless of the type or quality of the furnace you use, keeping it well maintained by doing regular tune-ups can help increase its longevity.
But how much does it cost to service a furnace? What does a furnace tune-up involve? How often should you schedule tune-ups?
These are just some of the issues we discuss in this post. Keep reading to learn more.
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What Does a Furnace Tune-Up Entail?
Before we talk about the actual furnace tune-up cost, it’s important to know what exactly you’re going to be paying for. A professional furnace tune-up aims at addressing common HVAC system complications. The goal of the tune-up is to improve energy efficiency, ensure operational accuracy, and root out potential problems early on.
During the tune-up, the contractor will:
Inspect the Flue
When servicing your furnace, the technician checks the flue for a tight connection. It’s essential that combustion exhaust gases leave your furnace through the flue instead of leaking into your house. Combustion gases such as carbon monoxide can be harmful.
Check the Filter
One of the top problems a furnace can have is having a dirty, clogged, or worn out filter. Such a filter forces the furnace to overwork, consume more energy, and face mechanical problems. The technician checks and cleans or changes your furnace’s filter during a tune-up.
Start the Furnace
The contractor will also start your furnace to check its basic operation. Some of the things the technician wants to confirm by starting the furnace are whether the furnace’s draft motor starts as required and whether the burner fires appropriately. They’ll also be checking whether the blower comes on and the unit sounds like it’s running correctly.
Clean the Interior of the Furnace
Cleaning your furnace is one of the most important tune-up steps. The technician will vacuum out any debris in your furnace and clean the pilot assembly and hot surface igniter. They’ll also clean the blower motor as well as its cage.
If the igniter contains carbon, the contractor uses sandpaper or emery cloth to clean it completely.
Test the Ignitor
Like other parts of your furnace, expect the ignitor to wear out with time. One of the major problems with a worn ignitor is that it lets too little charge throughout. In the end, the ignitor stops working.
If your furnace’s ignitor has a problem, it’s very likely you’ll need to replace it. Currently, furnace ignitor replacement costs range between $150 to $250.
Adjust the Furnace’s Pilot and Burners
Some furnaces come with pilots. During a tune-up, your technician will adjust the pilot to its optimal height. The burners will also be adjusted to ensure they’re burning at optimal efficiency.
Inspect the Electrical Components
Your furnace comes with many electrical components that need to be checked during a professional tune-up. The technician will check the state of the thermostat contacts, limit control, safety switches, wiring, fan control, and so on.
Check the Blower Assembly
The contractor also inspects and lubricates the motor, if there’s need to. They’ll also adjust the motor to maximize airflow. Next, the wheel is checked and cleaned.
Inspect the Ducts
One of the most common and costly furnace repair problems is a leak in the ducts. Such problems can waste a considerable amount of heat from your furnace. The technician inspects the ducts for any visible leaks and fixes the problem if needed.
Check the Heat Exchanger
Air from your furnace’s ductwork flows over the system’s heat exchanges for heating and dispersal to your home. Any cracks in the heat exchanger can leak carbon monoxide into your living space. If the technician notices such a problem, it’s time to start shopping for a new furnace.
Restart the Furnace
As soon as the technician has done all of the above, they’ll fire the furnace a second time to check whether it runs well. They may also write up a report showing that your furnace was serviced and what its condition is.
How Much Does It Cost to Service a Furnace?
Now that you’ve seen what goes on during a typical furnace tune-up, it’s time to talk about what you can expect to pay for the service. The average cost of this service ranges between $115 and $200. The cost of furnace repair, on the other hand, ranges from $131 to $469.
As you choose a suitable furnace technician for tune-up service, keep in mind that the estimates may be lower than normal or higher than usual. Why? Let’s look at some of the potential reasons.
A contractor who charges you less than $80 for a furnace tune-up can still do a thorough job. It could be that the company is genuinely trying to attract new clients, so don’t dismiss them as being incapable.
That said, you need to beware of scams. Some contractors will offer you what seems to be a great deal but do everything to find something wrong with your furnace. The idea is to inflate the cost of furnace repairs to make up for what they lost when doing the tune-up.
Some companies charge at least $175 for furnace tune-ups. This is one of the signs that the company has enough business and is likely to do a great job. However, when the price is ridiculously high, it could mean you are about to get scammed.
The best way to decide whether to hire a furnace contractor, therefore, is to go beyond pricing and check such factors as good references, customer reviews, and so on.
Regular Furnace Service Is Worth Every Penny
We hope that we’ve answered your question: How much does it cost to service a furnace? Regular furnace tune-ups can keep your unit running well and ensure that your family is warm and comfortable during the winter.
Would you like to read more great content on how to keep your furnace in top shape? Please keep visiting our blog.