During the cold, winter months, your furnace plays an important role in supplying warm air to your home. Any issues with your furnace will need to be addressed as soon as possible. In fact, it's better to identify potential issues before the furnace actually breaks down.
Depending on the type of maintenance required, the cost of repairs to your unit will vary. You should be prepared to handle the cost of furnace repairs, so you don't spend cold or freezing nights in your home. To better anticipate the cost of furnace maintenance, consider the following cost factors.
The age of your furnace
If you have an older furnace, it will be more prone to maintenance issues down the road. Specifically, furnaces that are ten years or older require frequent maintenance to avoid sudden operational issues.
Older furnaces may also experience costly repair problems such as motor issues, wring complications, or a faulty compressor. These are among the most costly furnace repair issues. Therefore, with an older furnace, you're likely to spend more on repairs over time. Keep a close track of how much you're spending on regular maintenance. If you're often incurring high maintenance bills, consider investing in a new furnace/heater installation.
The contractor you're working with
Your repair contractor will also largely influence maintenance costs. Some contractors charge by the amount of time they spent to fix your furnace, while others charge by the specific issue your unit has encountered. Labour and transport costs may also apply.
You should first ensure that your contractor is doing a good job. Don't go too cheap and end up with a faulty furnace in the middle of the winter cold. Also, seek out contractors who offer clear and transparent pricing for their services. This will make it easier for you to budget for your furnace repairs.
If your furnace is under warranty (typically within the first three to five years after you purchased it), you may not need to pay anything for repairs. The manufacturer should handle any issues with the unit during this period.
When the warranty period is over, you should consider insuring your furnace. Insurance coverage shields you from high repair costs, especially during an emergency. In exchange for a monthly premium, you may end up not having to pay a large amount for repairs out of your own pocket.
Replacement of dysfunctional parts
Your furnace repair cost will also depend on the part that has malfunctioned inside the unit. Fixing a damaged compressor is one of the most expensive repairs for your furnace, followed by the motor and blower.
Other issues such as replacing the thermostat or fixing damaged ductwork cost a bit less, but come at a significant price none-the-less. The cheapest repairs include changing air filters and cleaning the compressor coils.