A number of other variables can influence your decision on whether to repair or replace your furnace, as well. In addition to cost and brand, consider the expected lifetime of your furnace. If it is more than 15 years old, it might make more sense to invest in a new unit even if it costs more than simply repairing the current problem. Long-term costs also play into the equation. For example, your new furnace may be more energy efficient than the current unit. Even though you will pay more for the actual installation, you might be able to make back your investment through lower energy bills. To make your decision, consult with a reliable professional on what to do. In inspecting your furnace, they will be able to make an informed recommendation that looks not just to the next year, but years into the future. That way, you can make the best possible decision for your home and budget long-term.
Finally, don't underestimate the thermostat as a potential reason why your furnace is not working. Everything on the heating unit itself may function perfectly, but your home still will not heat right if the console you use to set the temperature doesn't communicate your input. A faulty thermostat can either be due to the wall unit itself, or the wiring that connects it to your furnace. Average thermostat repair costs are between $108 and $282, including labor. Replacement costs, of course, depend on the thermostat you choose. Visit our thermostat repair cost guide to learn more about this type of issue.
Because an air conditioner moves heat between the indoor coil and the outdoor coil, both must be kept clean. This means that, in addition to replacing the air filter at the evaporator coil, it is also necessary to regularly clean the condenser coil. Failure to keep the condenser clean will eventually result in harm to the compressor, because the condenser coil is responsible for discharging both the indoor heat (as picked up by the evaporator) and the heat generated by the electric motor driving the compressor.
Next check and clean the furnace’s flame sensor. The video below shows you how—note that this guy fixes it in about 5 minutes. We would probably use a little bit of emory paper, but he cleans the sensor with a 5-dollar bill. Another video further down the page under the discussion of “If your furnace keeps shutting off after about 5 minutes” shows the same project with a different brand of furnace.
The belt should slip right into place. If it seems to be too tight or difficult to set in place, it may be necessary to adjust the motor mount to provide more slack. Then you can re-tighten the tension once the belt is in place. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for proper tension—in most cases, the belt should deflect about an inch when you press down on it.