An Easy Fix vs. A New Furnace Installation, What Every Homeowner Needs to Know

By: Brian Schutt  |  November 7, 2012

homesenseAt the beginning of each winter we see furnaces all over the city that haven’t been fired up since February or March get kicked on, then shut off. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t fret, there’s a good chance your system will be able to be fixed. In fact, it almost always can be fixed, save the situations where parts are obsolete.

Fixable Issues

What I want to convey here is that many repairs are not indicative of a system “on it’s last legs” or “about to die” – the quotes are what we’ve heard customers tell us other companies have said to them. As we talk about a lot at Homesense, it’s frustrating that many in the HVAC industry think the way to grow their business is by scaring customers into sales. So, I want to make sure the next time you have another company in your house, you’re educated.

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but gives some common repairs that almost never should require you to have your furnace replaced.

  • Hot Surface Ignitor
  • High/Low Limit Switch
  • Anything involving a thermostat
  • Gas Valve
  • Flame Sensor
  • Thermocouple
  • Filters/dirt buildup

Replacement Related Issues

If any of your repair recommendations involve those, it’s far more likely that your system can be repaired for a relatively inexpensive amount. Now, if you have an old system (15+ years), you might determine that a repair of $200 are more is enough to get you to replace your system. In addition, sometimes these smaller repairs can be indicative of other issues, so I don’t want you to think the small repair always solves every issue.

On the flip side, the issues below are larger repairs that oftentimes have costs involved that make it worth pricing out a new furnace. A big factor again is the age of your furnace, but it’s never a bad idea to have a comparison cost before you make a decision.

  • Cracked Heat Exchanger
  • Blower Motor
  • Inducer Motor
  • Control Board (this could be on other list too, depending on the brand)

If a technician finds an issue with any of these and you’re on the fence whether or not to repair or replace, I strongly encourage you to get a 2nd opinion before making the call. I know it’s tough to delay when you’re in the middle of the winter and your home is cold, however it can be an unnecessary and costly decision.

If you’re having trouble wading through any of the issues above, we’d be happy to talk and answer any of your questions. Try us at 317.670.0171.

Brian Schutt


is the co-owner of Homesense Heating | Cooling. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he loves the city and its people, and is committed to bringing a servants mindset into the heating and cooling industry. One of the ways he does that is to translate the technical language of HVAC into the manageable and understandable for homeowners.

Have a question? Tweet him and you'll get an answer promptly.

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