Although heating systems tend to be reliable and could perform for many years, improper cleaning and maintenance may shorten its lifespan. A dust-filled furnace, after all, would result to waste of fuel. Debris and dirt that accumulates inside it could also lower the system’s efficiency, and eventually could result in malfunction.
A malfunctioning heating system is a bad news for homeowners, especially during the cold season. A furnace that doesn’t work well would result in uneven distribution of heat inside your house and inefficient warmth that would surely be uncomfortable for you and your family. Before that happens, see to it that you’re regularly cleaning your furnace.
You could do the cleaning yourself, or if you’re not confident of your DIY skills, hire someone to do the job. But know that each option entails some expenses. With that said, how much does furnace cleaning cost?
Average Furnace Cleaning Prices
The average cost to clean furnace may run about $70 to $200. Cleaning your furnace may be part of a company’s routine maintenance service. This annual checking is recommended so as to ensure that your furnace is still working well and would function properly in the future. If you opt for routine visits, expect to pay around $100 for the tune-up.
Of course, the exact cost to clean furnace varies depending on how much the company you wish to hire charges for the service, as well as the type of furnace. Typically, an oil furnace would cost more than a gas using type.
The average furnace cleaning prices would also depend on your location. For instance, the price in Pennsylvania for a low-cost service averages $192 while the high-cost cleaning is $230. Comparatively, furnace cleaning services in New York are costlier with the price running from $284 to $341.
Aside from the furnace, you should also get service for its duct system as well. According to Angie’s List, the average cost for air duct cleaning is $35 each vent.
How much does furnace cleaning cost if you ask the companies? Some service may post their rates on their website. For instance, All Pro Heating and Plumbing, LLC charges a total fee of $149 for an annual oil furnace maintenance, including cleaning and replacements.
The company, which operates in Northern New Jersey, offers an 18-point yearly furnace maintenance which includes services like replacement of oil burner nozzle, oil filter, and filter screen, as well as cleaning and inspection of the nozzle assembly, burner components, blower motor, wheel, and housing of your furnace.
On the other hand, Hometown Oil in New Hampshire charges $159 for the annual furnace cleaning. The cost may be higher if you have neglected your furnace for too long, as cleaning it would likely take a longer time than the average 1-hour labor.
The company’s annual cleaning service includes testing and cleaning oil burner safety controls, replacing of the general oil filter and pump strainer, inspecting of smoke pipe and boiler chambers, and combustion efficiency testing.
Some companies may not post their rates online. However, you may know their prices by requesting a quote through their website or through the phone.
Hiring a Professional
As you will be paying for their services, you should make sure that the cleaning service company of your choice is reliable. Otherwise, you would end up paying more for a furnace that was not properly cleaned or for expenses that are totally unnecessary.
Also, beware of companies that offer extremely low-cost services. A price that is too low could be a sign that the company would cut corners or that they would charge additional charges of which total exceeds their so-called “flat rate”. You could check a company’s reputation by reading reviews online or getting feedbacks from their past clients.
It would also help to know what particular services the company includes in the furnace cleaning. Choose a company that offers just what you need for your heating system.
DIY Furnace Maintenance Cost
You could always opt to do the furnace cleaning yourself if you want to cut down on expenses. According to This Old House, the average cost to do the job without professional help runs about $30 to $50.
However, the project is not for the average DIY enthusiast as it is rated by the website as hard. So, if you’re new to the DIY practice, you better call a professional to do the maintenance for you and probably learn by watching first how an expert does it.
If you feel you’re ready to tune-up your furnace yourself, though, here are some reminders:
- Prepare all your tools and materials before starting your project. The tools you need include a socket/ratchet set, 4-in-1 screwdriver, shop vacuum, stiff brush, and fine-grit emery cloth. The materials, on the other hand, include the furnace filter, a drain line, drinking straw, lightweight machine oil, and metal tape.
- Make sure to switch off the electrical power and the fuel supply before starting any maintenance.
- Find out first what makes the furnace inefficient. There might be an electrical problem if the fuse blows or the circuit trips repeatedly whenever you switch on the furnace. In this case, it is advisable to call a professional to fix the problem.
- Dirt affects the basic components of a furnace including the filter, blower, and blower motor and thus you should thoroughly clean these parts.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to wait for an annual maintenance service to knock at your door before you pay attention to your furnace. Given the proper instructions, you can easily give regular cleaning and do replacement of components of your heating system yourself. DIY maintenance is worth a shot as it can keep your furnace at its top performance. Most importantly, it can also save you money as the professional won’t have to deal with major problems later.
Remember that you should not neglect to maintain not only your furnace but also other systems in your home. Each system, after all, is necessary in keeping your house a comfortable place to live in. Your heating system, in particular, would be a sort of refuge come winter season.