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 typical than others.

Let’s review these issues and about what they might cost to correct so you know before you contact 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 desired temperature is greater than the room’s current temperature. If you have 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 near it. Because this switch looks like a light switch, it’s easy to unintentionally turn it off. If it was off, it may take your furnace a few minutes to turn on.
  • Is the air filter clean? A dusty air filter can create a lot of problems for your furnace. Replace yours if you can’t see light through it.

Estimated Repair Cost

This issue can be complex, 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 starts 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 lit electronically.
  4. The flame sensor tells your furnace the burners have been ignited.

If something is wrong during the sequence, your furnace will shut down as a safety precaution.

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 keep natural gas from spilling into your home. The ignition process corrodes flame sensors over time. 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 senses backdrafting. Backdrafting is dangerous, because carbon monoxide and natural gas can leak into your home. These switches can malfunction due to age, damage or dust accumulation.
  • Old thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, your furnace won’t be able to operate.
  • Dirty air filter. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause your furnace to shut down 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 necessary 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 an incorrect thermostat setting or a dirty air filter that’s limiting airflow. Follow the steps above to fix the issue.

4. Furnace Won’t Turn Off

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

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

Alternatively, 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 square footage

Ilten's Incorporated Can Solve Your Furnace Problems Quickly and Affordably

Furnace problems can be a costly headache, but not when you work with Ilten's Incorporated. We’ve been delivering the quality, affordable furnace repair Cedar Rapids homeowners have relied on since 1892. Call us at 319-208-3295 to request your free estimate today.