Cost to Replace a Furnace Draft Inducer Motor
If your furnace is relatively modern, it will most likely be outfitted with a furnace inducer motor. This is definitely one of those parts that you don’t consider until something is wrong with it. As the furnace inducer motor is one of the most common pieces to fail on a furnace, it’s important that it is properly understood.
It costs an average of $617 to replace a furnace inducer motor with professional help. You can spend between $85 and $1,150 depending on how old your furnace is and how long it takes to replace the furnace inducer motor. However, you can replace your furnace inducer motor for as little as $175 if you buy the parts and do it yourself.
In this guide, we’ve provided all the necessary information pertaining to your furnace inducer motor repair. We’ve outlined everything from what exactly an inducer motor’s purpose is, how to tell when its gone bad and what you can expect during the repair process.
What is a Furnace Inducer Motor?
If you’ve never heard of a furnace inducer motor, you may be surprised to find out that it has a very important purpose. It is basically a motor-operated fan whose job it is to divert any harmful gases such as carbon monoxide out of your home by way of furnace vents or through the chimney.
The motor is a part of a complete assembly that involves a fan, motor mount vent cap, capacitor, clamp, wiring and the connection itself. It is essentially contained in a metal housing with an electrical box for power connections. A properly functioning furnace inducer motor will transfer air through the furnace and heating vent channels removing any poisonous gases from the last heating cycle.
The movement of the motor also prevents the furnace burners from getting clogged with dirt or other debris. Essentially, a furnace inducer motor that is up to standards means clean air in your home and a more efficient, safer furnace.
How To Tell If Furnace Inducer Motor Is Bad
Pay close attention the noises that are coming from your furnace as a bad inducer motor will likely be indicated by the sound it makes. After a heating cycle starts, a furnace inducer motor that is not functioning properly will create a very distinct noise. The sound will typically be a whirring, tapping or humming noise.
If the furnace unit itself will turn on but the blower motor will not, there are some troubleshooting methods you can do to assess if the inducer motor has gone bad.
- Turn off the power for safety and using a voltage pen, verify that there is no power before reaching your hand into the unit.
- First, remove the furnace doors and locate the blower motor side of the furnace. (Usually on the right side of the unit)
- Check if the blower motor is warm by gently touching it.
- If it’s hot, this likely indicates that it has been trying to start but has been unsuccessful. This ultimately suggests an issue with the draft inducer motor.
- Next, locate the squirrel cage. This will most likely be to the left. Be careful not to get clipped by the sharp fins.
- Try to spin the squirrel cage. If it does not spin freely, this is another sign that there’s a problem with your inducer motor.
Furnace Draft Inducer Motor Replacement
As previously mentioned, the motor is included in the entire assembly and almost always sold together. Purchasing and installing the complete assembly will actually save you on labor costs. Disassembling the entire assembly to replace just the motor can be costly and time-consuming.
Although the range can be anywhere from $85 to $1,150, the average cost of replacing a furnace inducer motor is typically between $245 and $465. When the damaged or broken part is under warranty and all you’re paying for is labor to have it installed you can expect to pay around $245. Whereas, if the warranty is expired and you’re paying for the full cost of the furnace inducer motor, you’ll pay around $465.
However, if instead of hiring a professional you’ve opted to do the install yourself, this can drop the costs down to around $175. There are a lot of different factors that will influence the cost of a furnace inducer motor replacement. We’ll explore these in the next section.
Furnace Inducer Motor Replacement Factors
Here are some of the factors to consider when understanding the price of your furnace inducer motor replacement.
- Furnace warranty – If your furnace is still under warranty, you will only pay labor costs to install. In some cases, the cost of labor can be more expensive than the replacement part itself. This is where you may consider to DIY the install.
- DIY or Professional Install – The price will shift depending on whether you decide to hire someone or handle the replacement yourself.
- Motor Capacity – The larger the furnace, the more air required and the larger the motor needs to be.
- Motor Type – The most common draft inducer motors are PSC motors and are relatively affordable. However, some furnaces run on ECM motors and these are quieter, more efficient and cost more.
- Voltage – This is sometimes related to capacity. 110-120 inducer assemblies are less expensive than 220-240 motors.
- Furnace Access – The cost will vary depending on the location of your furnace. Especially if it’s not located in any easily accessible area of your home.
- Cost of Living – The particular cost of living in your area will be reflected in the cost of repair for your furnace.
- Demand in Your Area – You can expect to pay more during HVAC company’s peak, busy seasons.
How long does a furnace inducer motor last?
Furnace inducer motors last for an average of 20 years. They can go bad after 10-15 years due to poor installation or if you don’t clean and change your air filter.
Should a furnace inducer motor get hot?
A furnace inducer motor should get hot if you are running the furnace. Furnace exhaust can pass through the inducer motor and that can make it hot during operation. Avoid touching your inducer motor if the furnace is running.
What causes a furnace inducer motor to fail?
Furnace inducer motors fail when the internal bearings are worn or if the unit is 10-20 years old. You generally cannot repair a furnace inducer motor, so it will run less efficiently over time when there are internal problems. Failure to clean or replace HVAC filters can make your furnace inducer motor fail more quickly.
How long will it take to replace a furnace inducer motor?
It takes an average of 1 hour to replace a furnace inducer motor. Professionals generally charge you for the hour of labor as well as equipment and transportation costs. Replacing a furnace inducer motor can take as little as 30 minutes with experience.
How do I know if my furnace inducer motor is bad?
You can tell that your furnace inducer motor is bad if is loud when the furnace runs. Check the power in your furnace inducer motor with a voltage pen to see if it has enough power. Your furnace inducer motor is bad if the fan won’t spin during operation.
Wrapping It Up
A furnace inducer motor is essential to proper functionality of your entire furnace. If your inducer motor has broken, this means that there will be no movement of combustion air, no furnace ignition and no release of harmful gases.
A lot of factors need to be considered and understood when assessing how much you’ll pay for a furnace inducer motor replacement. If you’ve determined that your motor does in fact require a replacement, depending on costs of labor, parts and whether your warranty is still active, you could pay anywhere between $85 and $1,150.
Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.
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