Categories: Furnace
furnace repair

With the Farmer’s Almanac predicting a return of traditional cold weather in southern Ontario this winter, you may want to consider whether your home is ready for the frigid weather. And that all starts with getting your furnace repaired or replaced sooner rather than later.

A furnace is a type of home heating unit that produces and distributes warmth throughout the winter. It is vital that the thermostat, exchanger, blower, ductwork, and other essential components are in working order.

A furnace functions by using fuel—whether it be natural gas, electric, or oil—to produce heat, which is then distributed throughout your home via ducts and vents. Typically, furnaces use burners that ignite the fuel and heat up an exchanger; this warmed air then passes through filters to your home’s ductwork and finally out your registers into the rooms you want to be heated.

Some more modern furnace varieties use a “blower motor” to help distribute that warm air around your home even more efficiently. However, no matter what kind of furnace you have, the end result is always the same: a warm and toasty home despite the coldest days of the year.

To ensure your furnace keeps working its best, it’s important to schedule required regular maintenance to extend the lifespan of the unit. Most furnaces last between 10 to 15 years.

Repairing a Furnace

Knowing when furnace repairs may be necessary can take the guesswork out of whether a professional needs to be called.

Common Signs You Need Your Furnace Repaired

  • Dirty Filters: A clean filter purifies the air throughout the home while keeping the furnace in good working order. 
  • Thermostat Not Set: It happens. The thermostat for the furnace may be set to “cold” rather than “heat”, especially if the furnace was used during the summer months to produce cool air. 
  • Making a Squealing Noise: While loud banging or clanking noises indicate a dislocated or broken component within the furnace, the high-pitched squeal sound usually points to the blower belt. 
  • Pilot Light or Ignition Issues: If the furnace does not turn on at the appropriate temperature setting, the flame sensor may be to blame. 
  • Cracked Heat Exchanger: Signs of soot within the unit, an unpleasant odour, or pooling of water near the furnace may indicate the heat exchanger is cracked. 
  • Lack of Maintenance: Neglecting furnace maintenance on a regular basis can lead to costly furnace repairs. Professional inspections and cleanings at least once a year can extend the unit’s lifespan. 

The Cost of Furnace Repairs

When it comes to furnace repairs, the cost is largely dependent on the type of problem(s), the scope of the work involved, and the availability of replacement components. In southern Ontario, the average repair bill can range from $75 to $1,500.

When to Repair a Furnace

Even the smallest issues can make the unit work harder, increasing pressure on the interior components and raising energy costs. A general rule of thumb to help you determine whether you need to repair or replace your furnace is to consider its age. Any unit less than 15 years old that needs repairs that cost less than half the cost of a brand-new furnace should be repaired.

Installing a New Furnace

A furnace replacement may be necessary and knowing how to choose the right furnace can save you money and energy for years to come. 

Types of Furnaces

  • Gas Furnace: Using natural gas, a gas furnace can last for up to 20 years with regular maintenance.
  • Electric Furnace: An electric furnace needs regular maintenance to meet its lifespan of up to 30 years.
  • Oil Furnace: Regular maintenance allows the oil to be filtered into the burner for an average of 20 years. 

The Cost of Furnace Installation

The cost of a new furnace installation takes into consideration the initial cost of the unit and the labour, which will vary depending on where you place the furnace in your home. Most furnaces average between $3,000 and $7,000 in the GTA. The province of Ontario has several rebates and packages with local utility companies to assist homeowners in the installation of a new furnace.

When to Replace a Furnace

By replacing an older existing furnace, homeowners are able to lower their heating bills by up to 60%. A model that is 15 to 20 years old can result in high repair bills that indicate it is time for a new furnace installation.

Factors to Consider When Making a Decision

When deciding whether to repair or replace a furnace, you may be tempted by the lower price of a repair bill but homeowners need to take into consideration several key factors.

Age of the Furnace

A furnace used for more than 10 years may be able to be salvaged with minor repairs to extend the lifespan for several more years. The same type of furnace manufactured years ago will have a lower energy efficiency rating and may require more maintenance.

The Cost of Repairs vs. Replacement

A furnace that is constantly being repaired a few times throughout the winter season may cost more than a brand-new furnace would cost. As it ages, a furnace will need major components replaced as most older models need frequent repairs in the last two years of operation.

Energy Efficiency of the Furnace

Consider the energy efficiency of the existing furnace. While regular maintenance and repairs may help to boost operation, older units require more energy use which results in higher utility bills. Regardless of the type of furnace, consider the price of the fuel source and the increasing need for supply over time.

Home Heating Needs

Another key factor is the amount of heat the furnace produces in the home. Small repairs may help increase comfort levels but if the heating continues to drop, it may be time for a replacement. Areas in the home that are overly hot or extremely colder than others are a sign the furnace is not properly functioning. 


The warranty of a furnace can help cover many repair costs, but it is important to remember warranties expire long before the unit stops working. Paying out of pocket for frequent repairs should be compared to the cost of installing a new furnace with a new warranty coverage.

Contact the Expert Technicians at Econoair to Replace or Repair Your Furnace in Toronto

Whether your home furnace is in need of repairs, or you are thinking about switching to a new furnace, talk to the heating experts of Econoair Heating & Cooling Inc. Our trained technicians can help you decide the best course of action for your heating and budget needs. 
Contact us at 905-763-2400 or fill out our form for a free no-obligation consultation.

Author Bio

Eiden Patros

Eiden is the successful owner of EconoAir, a well-established HVAC company with three locations. He began his career in the industry at the bottom, working as a technician and gaining valuable experience. With a passion for the field and a drive to succeed, Eiden worked his way up the ranks. He is a seasoned professional in the industry with a wealth of technical knowledge and a passion for providing top-notch service to his customers. His leadership and determination have led to the growth and expansion of EconoAir, with the opening of three branches across the region. Eiden is always looking for ways to innovate and improve, staying current with the latest industry trends and developments to offer cutting-edge solutions to his customers. He is a driven and dedicated professional who takes pride in the success of EconoAir and the satisfaction of his customers.