Average Cost, Heater Repair Philadelphia

Life is full of surprises.

While we all hope that those surprises come in the form of lottery winnings, more often than not we just get bills and expenses. Having your furnace break down is annoying. Unfortunately it happens from time to time, often without warning. You can reduce the risk of breakdowns with regularly scheduled maintenance, but you still never really know when something will go wrong.

Chances are, your furnace is going to break down when it’s cold outside and you need it most. You’ll probably be tempted to get it fixed as quickly as possible, and who could blame you? Walking around your house in a winter coat is pretty miserable, but it’s important to make sure the right person is performing your furnace repair.

Customers often tell us that they feel like they’re at the mercy of their HVAC contractor. Their main concern is that they don’t know if the prices they’re being charged are fair. At HVAC Philly, we want to provide you with the average furnace repair cost for different problems so you aren’t left in the dark.

Heater Repair Costs in Philadelphia, PA.

Let’s start with the basics. If something goes wrong with your furnace, you need to figure out what caused the problem. Sometimes you can do this by yourself, but for hard to diagnose breakdowns, you’ll need to have your HVAC contractor come in and see what’s wrong.

Service Fee. Many HVAC companies will charge you around $99 to send a technician to your house, diagnose the problem, and provide an estimate. Usually, if you hire the HVAC company to repair your furnace, they’ll waive the service fee. HVAC Philly provides free estimates, so give us a call at 215-625-7111 if you need a furnace repair cost estimate.

Filter Replacement. Replacing the filter in your heater is usually considered preventative maintenance. However, if you let your filter get clogged enough, replacing it could be the repair you need. This is something you can and should do yourself. Filters cost less than $20 and are easy to replace. Basically, if something goes wrong with your furnace, the best case scenario is that it can be fixed by replacing a clogged filter.

As we get into more expensive parts, you should know that in some cases, it makes more sense to replace your furnace entirely instead of getting it repaired. Check out our previous post on how to know when to replace your heater.

The Expensive Parts

Gas Valve Replacement. A gas valve ensures that a safe, steady flow of gas gets to your furnace so it can keep you as warm as you need. If you find that the gas valve needs replacing, you can expect a cost of $275 for a furnace gas valve and $400 for a boiler gas valve.

Circuit Board Replacement. The circuit board in your heater controls most operations including the gas valve, furnace ignitor, and flame sensor. Unfortunately, replacing your furnace’s circuit board is one of the most expensive repairs possible. Circuit boards in 2 stage communicating furnaces cost around $575 to replace. Boilers have aquastats, which act as circuit boards and can cost as much as $500 to replace.

Ignitor Replacement. Hot surface ignitors replace standing pilot lights in most newer furnaces and are much more dependable. That being said, they’re not too different from lightbulbs in that they burn out and need to be replaced from time to time. These ignitors can cost up to $220 to replace.

Flame Sensor. A flame sensor is responsible for well, sensing a flame! It ensures that fire is present in your heater so that gas valve isn’t just letting out fuel that won’t get burned. Replacing a flame sensor also costs around $220.

Blower Motor. The blower motor in your furnace pushes heated air through the vents in your home. It’s also the most expensive component to replace in a furnace. We don’t recommend replacing the blower motor unless your furnace is at least 10 years old or has never had maintenance performed on it. Either way, it’s probably going to be more cost effective to get a new furnace installed instead of shelling out $750 for a new blower motor.

Hopefully now you have a better idea of what your furnace repair cost will be. If you live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County, give the HVAC experts at HVAC Philly a call. If you determine that repairing your furnace just isn’t worth it, we offer new furnace installations with a 10 year warranty starting at only $1999.00!

Stay warm my friends.

When to Replace Your Heater

Let’s say you’ve had your heater for a while, and it breaks down.  When an old heater is on its way out, replacing it with a newer, more efficient furnace can potentially save you a lot of money.

Maybe you’re wondering how you can tell when your heater is on its last leg, or even how long it will last when it’s clearly on its way out. Put your mind at ease and read on for the signs that a furnace replacement is on the horizon.

Factors to Consider:

Age. Most furnaces last about 10 to 15 years. However, that doesn’t mean your furnace will operate flawlessly up until its last day. The key to a long life for a furnace is regular maintenance and service.  Oftentimes, a furnace’s factory warranty requires regularly scheduled maintenance. Older furnaces also have lower efficiency ratings and cost you more money to heat than modern furnaces.  You can even use your furnace’s AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating to estimate how much money you’ll save in the long run with a new furnace.

Energy bills. If your energy bills are getting increasingly more expensive (and the increase is not due to inflation)—it’s could be time to think about a furnace replacement.  As a heater gets older, it loses efficiency and increases your heating bills.  A poorly maintained heater with an starting AFUE of 80% may be operating at 68% after 15 years.  Compare that to a new heater operating at 93% AFUE, and the decision to replace is a no brainer.  Replacing your heater helps the environment as well.  According to the Department of Energy, upgrading from a 56% AFUE heater to a new 90% AFUE heater will save 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions per year!

Repairs. As your heating system ages, it will require more repairs. If you’ve already invested in multiple, costly repairs—it’s probably time to give your wallet a break. There’s no sense in investing more money in a heating system that will break down soon anyway. The 50% rule is a popular method of determining whether to repair or replace your heater.  If the repair cost is greater than 50% of the cost to replace your heater, then you should replace it.

Noises. Are you hearing strange sounds coming from your furnace system? Furnace replacement is likely around the corner if you’re hearing banging and rattling throughout the day. There are many reasons your heater could be making noise.  Rattling could just be a loose panel that needs tightening, or it could indicate something more troubling like a blower that’s out of alignment.  Another common noise is squealing, which could mean the motor belt is slipping.  Regardless of the noise, it should be addressed immediately to see if you have a serious problem.

Comfort. Having to wear multiple layers of clothing and expend energy to keep your nose warm at home isn’t normal. Hiking up your thermostat won’t do much to compensate for an aging furnace and will likely drive energy bills up.  If you’re uncomfortable in your own home, you should replace the furnace with a new system—one that employs advanced features to ensure your comfort. Also, furnaces often aren’t properly installed in homes.  Make sure you carefully select the HVAC company who installs your heater to ensure it’s the right size for your home.  Read here for our tips on selecting the right HVAC company.

If you live in Philadelphia, Montgomery, or Bucks County and would like expert help navigating the complicated process of retiring your furnace and choosing a new heating system, contact the experts at HVAC Philly Heating and Air Conditioning. Call 215-725-6111 for a free estimate!