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Weigh the cost of furnace repairs

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On a cold wintry day during a furnace breakdown, the only thing worse than freezing is anticipating the repair bill. Will it be a quick and inexpensive fix to restore the warm air, or will it involve more time and money? Since an average furnace contains about 50 parts that can malfunction, the repair bill can range widely.

The average repair cost is between $130 to $400, with some bills reaching $1,000 depending on the problem, according to HVAC.com. Homeowners are advised to ask for a repair estimate first, before deciding on next steps. Make sure to check your furnace’s warranty to see if any of the repairs or parts would be covered.

If the repair estimate is more than one-third of the cost to replace the furnace, then buying a new unit may be the necessary choice, explains Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin. On average, a forced-air furnace lasts between 15 to 20 years.

To avoid furnace repairs, Eppers advises annual professional preventative maintenance, which may catch and correct problems before they shut-down your equipment. During a furnace inspection and cleaning, technicians examine burners, pilot lights, safety devices, wiring, heat exchangers, and other vital components. Eppers explains that the process takes about an hour. Minor repairs may be additional, but are less expensive than “catastrophic failures that could require premature unit replacement.” Some furnace warranties may require annual inspections.

Eppers adds that changing your furnace’s filter periodically, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, can also avoid problems, as debris clogs and blocks airflow, forcing the furnace to work harder to produce heat.

Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 : http://doweandwagner.com/

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