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Most common furnace repairs and costs (updated for 2024)

Published January 7, 2024
Written by Eric Smith
Most common furnace repairs and costs (updated for 2024)

The most common furnace repairs and their costs explained and broken down in 2024 dollars.

While having an unexpected heating system failure that will likely result in needed furnace repairs, it’s completely normal to be wondering, “What are these furnace repairs going to cost?” We sat down with our Master Tradesman and lined out the most common furnace repairs we make and how much each repair costs. All costs in this informative article are updated to reflect furnace repair costs in 2024.

“Furnace repairs can be broken down into three categories: Maintenance related repairs, consumable components wear and tear, and major component failures.” 

Category 1- Maintenance related furnace repairs (most common)

Modern HVAC equipment, specifically forced air furnaces, are very reliable heating systems when they are adequately maintained. However, if you leave maintenance out of the equation, you may be facing a maintenance related furnace repair. For conciseness, we classify all of the following furnace repairs into the same category because they are all both maintenance related and in the same range as far as costs are concerned.

The most common maintenance related furnace repairs we make are:

  • Replacing a clogged furnace filter
  • Repairing basic furnace leaks
  • Clearing the furnaces vent or intake pipe
  • Cleaning dirty furnace flame sensors 
  • Unplugging furnace drain hoses 
  • Cleaning fouled burners
  • Replacing batteries in a thermostat  
  • Minor low voltage wire repairs 
  • Minor system adjustments

Cost to complete maintenance related furnace repairs: $250-350

Each company’s cost to complete simple routine maintenance related furnace repairs will vary based on their pricing structure. At Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air, a repair such as the ones listed above would break down as follows: $149 service and diagnostic fee + $100-200 for the repair = total furnace repair cost. 

Category 2- Consumable item repairs & replacement (2nd most common)

Like the break pads and tires on a car, there are components inside a furnace that wear out with normal use. We call these components consumable items because as your furnace heats your home, the useful life of these heating system parts is consumed. Staying true to Austin’s mission to be transparent and concise in providing the cost of repairing most furnaces, we can bundle consumable repairs together into one cost category.  

Here are some of the most common furnace repairs that involve consumable parts: 

  • Replacing pressure switches
  • Installing a new HSI or hot surface ignitor 
  • Replacing the flame sensor rod 
  • Installing new motor capacitors
  • Major wire repairs or other internal furnace electrical repairs 
  • Installing new furnace drain lines 
  • High limit switch replacement 

How much to do these common repairs cost?- $350-600

Wondering how these repairs break down cost wise? As previously mentioned, each heating repair company will have their cost profile for all of the services they offer. At Austin, if we were to complete one of the above common furnace repairs, the overall cost would break down into something like this- $149 service and diagnostic fee + $200-450 in furnace repair = total cost of furnace repairs. At this level, included in the cost of some repairs is additional diagnostic time and post repair testing related to the associated repair. Another thing to note about these common furnace repairs is that we are able to use non OEM furnace parts. These high quality furnace repair parts allow us to repair our clients furnaces for a fraction of the cost rather than having to source OEM parts.   

Category 3- Major furnace component repair or replacements (least common)

When your furnace is on the fritz in the middle of a Wisconsin heating season, it’s hard not to imagine that you’re going to be looking at an expensive furnace repair. Most of our clients are pleasantly surprised that the worst case scenario is the least likely scenario! Although major furnace components do vary in cost based on the need to use OEM parts, we can think of these as one cost category as well. 

Common furnace repairs requiring major component replacement:

  • Installing a replacement gas control valve
  • Installing new furnace circuit boards 
  • Replacing a vent motor 
  • Replacement of the venting and intake on a furnace 
  • Heat exchanger replacement 
  • Blower motor replacement

Cost to repair a furnace with a major component failure- $700-$3,000 

When evaluating the cost breakdown of furnace repairs that involve the installation of an OEM major furnace component such as the ones listed above, and you choose Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air as your furnace repair contractor, that repair may breakdown as follows: $149 service and diagnostic fee + $200 of additional troubleshooting + $350-2,650 for the repair = total cost of the furnace repair.  

For a repair by repair comprehensive breakdown of almost every HVAC repair we make, visit this in depth article about HVAC repairs and their costs.

No matter the needed repair, furnace repair costs should be quoted upfront 

At Austin, Plumbing, Heating & Air, integrity and transparency are both core values. To demonstrate both to our clients, we always provide an up front, in writing, bottom line price for all repairs we make. Our up front, bottom line pricing model protects our clients from the cost of a furnace repair changing and provides them with total transparency of what the furnace repair will cost before the work begins. 

Why HVAC companies charge different prices for furnace repairs

Earlier and throughout this article, we have mentioned the pricing for each common furnace repair will vary from company to company based on several factors. Let’s explore why the cost may be different from furnace repair service company to furnace repair service company.

  • Experience of tech- Some companies (like us) have expert level heating techs that have been with our company for a very long time. Having an experienced tech that has been in the industry for a long time is worth it. 
  • Pricing method- Some HVAC contractors charge hourly for the time spent in your home and driving to get parts.
  • Company support- There is a lot that goes into making furnace repairs that happens behind the scenes. This backend company support also plays a factor in the cost of the furnace repair.
  • Size of company- There are times when having a furnace repair “guy or gal” may be ok but when you need service and need it fast you’ll want more than a one-person-band to attend to your issue. On the other hand, you probably don’t want to be doing business with a mega HVAC corporation either. The size of the furnace repair company will have something to do with the overall costs. 
  • Some are unethical- There. We said it. Some furnace repair companies are down right unethical and prey on desperate Wisconsin homeowners who don’t have heat.

How can you be sure you’re getting a fair price for furnace repairs

Hire a local furnace repair company- This is easier said than done. Everyone on the internet claims to be a furnace repair near “pick the city”, but the truth is they are not. Do some research and make sure the company you are calling has a physical location near you. 

Check the furnace repair company’s reviews- The most reliable source for seeing how good or how bad an HVAC company is to check Google reviews. A company that has less than 1000 Google reviews (regardless of how big they look) is typically not a major furnace repair company in the market. You should expect to see a lot of really good reviews and some really bad reviews. No company, no matter how hard they try, can make everyone happy. If you stumble on conflicting reviews on platforms such as Yelp or the BBB, take those with a grain of salt. Many disgruntled clients go to Yelp and the BBB because they feel their voice can be heard on such a small review platform, plus almost everyone who posts a bad review on Yelp or the BBB did so first on Google. 

How long they’ve been in business- Ten, even 20 years is not that long. A sure sign of a rock solid heating company is that they and their brand has been around for multiple generations.

Trust your gut- Did the furnace repair tech do a thorough evaluation? Did they clearly communicate what they found, what caused the issue and present options on how to move forward? If before or during your HVAC service call you are not feeling comfortable with the interaction, that may be a good sign to get a second opinion.

Who is the best heating repair contractor in Wisconsin?

With over 1500 reviews with a 4.8-star rating and over 80+ years of providing trusted heating system and furnace repair services to Southeastern Wisconsin, Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air is a furnace repair company you can trust. To book expert level furnace repair service, call our office at 262-367-3808.

About The Author: Eric Smith
Eric Smith is a 3rd generation State of Wisconsin Master Plumber, Water Well Pump Installer, Plumbing Contractor, Water Well Contractor, HVAC Contractor and Water Treatment Expert and the owner of Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air.