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Estimated Repair Costs for 4 Typical Furnace Issues

November 30, 2021

Your furnace is an integral part of your home. Without one, you wouldn’t be able to keep warm during the winter. Yet furnaces can have some issues that are more common than others.

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

  • 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 right? Make sure it’s set to “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 fresh batteries.
  • Is the circuit breaker tripped? Your furnace can’t run 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 close to 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 start.
  • Is the air filter clean? A dirty air filter can create a lot of issues for your furnace. Replace yours if you can’t see light through it.

Estimated Repair Cost

This problem can be complex, so the estimated cost to repair it depends on what’s wrong.

2. Furnace Won’t Stay Lit

Your furnace follows a specific sequence when it starts heating your home.

  1. Your thermostat notices the temperature has dropped and tells your furnace to turn on.
  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 down as a safety precaution.

A couple of possible causes for this problem include:

  • Dirty or malfunctioning flame sensor. If the sensor doesn’t detect a flame, it will turn off your furnace to prevent natural gas from getting into your home. The ignition process corrodes flame sensors as time passes. While cleaning during annual furnace maintenance can help, yours may eventually need to be replaced.
  • Bad limit switch. This safety feature will shut off your furnace if it detects backdrafting. Backdrafting is dangerous, since carbon monoxide and natural gas can leak into your home. These switches can malfunction due to age, damage or dust buildup.
  • 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 prevent overheating. Make sure to change yours every 30 to 90 days, or anytime 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 instances, this problem is linked to a wrong thermostat setting or a dusty air filter that’s restricting airflow. Follow the steps above to resolve the issue.

4. Furnace Won’t Turn Off

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

If this isn’t the case, 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 seem like your furnace is running all the time.

Otherwise, there might be an issue with the blower motor or your ductwork may be leaking air, making your furnace run continuously to make up for the lost air.

Estimated Repair Cost

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

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

Three Rivers Heating & Cooling Can Resolve Your Furnace Problems Quickly and Affordably

Furnace problems can be an expensive headache, but not when you work with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling. We’ve been delivering the quality, affordable furnace repair Portland homeowners have relied on since 2019. Call us at 503-213-4433 to receive your free estimate today.