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Old 02-09-2014, 06:25 PM   #31
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Furnace repair costs


The Devil is in the details and we need to know the whole "true unbiased" story. I have done furnace checkups and found the igniter to be white and almost burnt out and the inducer motor noisy as heck. I tell the customer what the issues are and if he authorises the work then $800 later we are done. That includes clean and check the furnace for 1-2 hrs plus travel to the wholesaler for parts and back to the house and install them. I can change an igniter and inducer in 1 hr on some furnaces and others take 3 hrs because you can barely stick your hands in them. Time is $$ and the devil is in the details. If I had to buy/sell all the parts individually for a furnace it would cost 2-3 X what it sells for.

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Old 02-09-2014, 09:35 PM   #32
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I have been told by a neutral reliable source that it is standard in this area to charge twice the price paid for parts. I was charged almost three times what wholesalers charge for this. There is NO WAY any of you can put a positive spin to defend this rip-off contractor. He is out of line and I will let everyone else who needs work not to use this company.

Most of the contengencies you guys mentions do NOT apply. This guy was done in a little over an hour.

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Old 02-09-2014, 09:41 PM   #33
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I have been told by a neutral reliable source that it is standard in this area to charge twice the price paid for parts. I was charged almost three times what wholesalers charge for this. There is NO WAY any of you can put a positive spin to defend this rip-off contractor. He is out of line and I will let everyone else who needs work not to use this company.

Most of the contengencies you guys mentions do NOT apply. This guy was done in a little over an hour.

Since this is a DIY site. Why didn't you DIY?

PS: I would have charged you $145.00 to tell you what is wrong. I also mark up some items 600%.

You are talking to some low end contractors, if they tell you only 200%. Plus, why didn't you use the lower priced guys in the first place.

You made your choice. No use complaining about it now.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:48 PM   #34
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Furnace repair costs


It simply does not work the way you think. Every contractor's overhead is different.
In the end if you approved the repairs at said price without doing your due diligence then there is no one to be upset with but yourself.
Contractors charge what they do to cover their expenses and still be profitable. Who are you to tell a contractor what he should charge for repairs or what his markup should be?
You authorized the repairs.... you should not have any problem with the cost or if you did then you should have questioned the contractor at that time. Suck it up and use a different contractor next time but quit belly aching about this contractors cost. You have a choice to use whatever contractor you want.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:49 PM   #35
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I've replaced a few inducers in the last fee weeks that have crapped out on people . Between parts and labour the prices varied between 600 and 900$ The company I work for generally is two and a half times cost so if the part costs 250 were charging 625 for it. Every contractor is different and will add or take off what they feel.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:23 AM   #36
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Maybe it was a VS ECM inducer motor, which is a very expensive motor.
That's true.... and it's exactly this kind of insanity along with contractor mark up that made me switch to an electric furnace.

I may pay a higher operating cost... but no more of these outrageous, almost cartoonish repair and service bills for me on these "high efficiency" furnaces. A few heating elements and sequencers and a blower motor.... simple. I can't remember the last surprise repair bill I got.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:18 AM   #37
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My company uses 2.5 X markup on stuff we have no flat rate pricing for and then we charge by the hour to fetch parts etc. Small items like thermocouples and capacitors get marked up a lot more as companies can go broke if that is all they sell. The fact that people can find out the price of a capacitor and think they know what we should sell it for means nothing to me. If I went to a customer and he was a lawyer and said hey man I think you are worth $50 an hour instead of $200 I would be doing my own lawyering pretty fast (we both have offices and schooling to pay for and high overhead). With the HVAC biz, we are in it to make money not be a charity. Unfortunately there are lots of Joes heat em and cheat ems just scraping by and they work for peanuts but that is their problem.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:24 AM   #38
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That's true.... and it's exactly this kind of insanity along with contractor mark up that made me switch to an electric furnace.

I may pay a higher operating cost... but no more of these outrageous, almost cartoonish repair and service bills for me on these "high efficiency" furnaces. A few heating elements and sequencers and a blower motor.... simple. I can't remember the last surprise repair bill I got.

I like electric furnaces as they are very reliable and simple. Was thinking of going that route with my new house but I already have 200 amp service and the furnace would have put me into a 300 category and MB Hydro has a much higher rate for over 200 service plus prospective buyers later may not want to buy if it has electric. But yeah, they are simple and cheap to repair and reliable as heck.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:45 AM   #39
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That's true.... and it's exactly this kind of insanity along with contractor mark up that made me switch to an electric furnace.

I may pay a higher operating cost... but no more of these outrageous, almost cartoonish repair and service bills for me on these "high efficiency" furnaces. A few heating elements and sequencers and a blower motor.... simple. I can't remember the last surprise repair bill I got.
For all the years I spent doing electrical work as a licensed contractor along with the hvac and plumbing side of the business,I can count on one hand the number of electric furnaces I ever came across period.
Which didnt really bother me since I was never really thrilled about working on them.
Always reminded me of a toaster with a really bsd attitude! Hahaha
Id say they are about as efficient as any other kind of heat out there though.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:27 PM   #40
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It simply does not work the way you think. Every contractor's overhead is different.
In the end if you approved the repairs at said price without doing your due diligence then there is no one to be upset with but yourself.
Contractors charge what they do to cover their expenses and still be profitable. Who are you to tell a contractor what he should charge for repairs or what his markup should be?

I was over a barrel because this is a rental property and the tenants were cold. I did not want the pipes to freeze as it has been below zero here. I understand that you will take the side of the contractor, but just realize that I as the consumer DO have the power to tell other landlords what this guy did and they can decide if they want to use him. I will certainly never use him again, so it means he lost a lot of future business.

It comes down to fairness and honesty. This guy took advantage of a situation and I will not forget it.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:05 PM   #41
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I was over a barrel because this is a rental property and the tenants were cold. I did not want the pipes to freeze as it has been below zero here. I understand that you will take the side of the contractor, but just realize that I as the consumer DO have the power to tell other landlords what this guy did and they can decide if they want to use him. I will certainly never use him again, so it means he lost a lot of future business.

It comes down to fairness and honesty. This guy took advantage of a situation and I will not forget it.
Youre absolutely correct. You were over a barrel and the guy sensed it like a shark does blood in water. Now maybe he had to come out to your house at 0300 hrs, you never said a time, but does that justify the rape? Like you said, spread the word what the person did just stick to facts as not to slander.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:22 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Bob Sanders View Post
That's true.... and it's exactly this kind of insanity along with contractor mark up that made me switch to an electric furnace.

I may pay a higher operating cost... but no more of these outrageous, almost cartoonish repair and service bills for me on these "high efficiency" furnaces. A few heating elements and sequencers and a blower motor.... simple. I can't remember the last surprise repair bill I got.
Many electric furnaces have VS ECM motors.

The money a gas furnace or heat pump could ave you would more then pay for any service call/repair.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:25 PM   #43
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Youre absolutely correct. You were over a barrel and the guy sensed it like a shark does blood in water. Now maybe he had to come out to your house at 0300 hrs, you never said a time, but does that justify the rape? Like you said, spread the word what the person did just stick to facts as not to slander.
For all you know, the contractor may have given him a discount from his normal price.

Maybe I missed it. But I didn't see anything about if the guy had to drive to go an get these parts to fix the furnace. nor a total time spent on this one service call.

For what limited info is posted. It may have been a 6 hour service call due to having to run and get parts.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:06 PM   #44
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For all you know, the contractor may have given him a discount from his normal price.
Are you kidding me. What fantasy land do you live in. The one where you offer a 20% discount but then raise the price to offset the discount. I think that is the discount you mean.

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For what limited info is posted. It may have been a 6 hour service call due to having to run and get parts.
I know that is false because then the price would of been $1200. SHould not cost 60% of a new furnace to replace two plug and play parts.

Oh yeah I forgot about the cleaning of the furnace. OK he took a shop-vac and danced it around the burners for 10 seconds. Thats worth $85. There are honest HVAC guys.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:13 PM   #45
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Are you kidding me. What fantasy land do you live in. The one where you offer a 20% discount but then raise the price to offset the discount. I think that is the discount you mean.



I know that is false because then the price would of been $1200. SHould not cost 60% of a new furnace to replace two plug and play parts.

So was it an ECM inducer?

Oh yeah I forgot about the cleaning of the furnace. OK he took a shop-vac and danced it around the burners for 10 seconds. Thats worth $85. There are honest HVAC guys.
None of us were there when the tech was. So no one knows how much time he spent there, or running to get parts. Unless he wrote it on the work order, and the OP just is telling us.

I charge a lot more then 85 bucks to clean a gas furnace. And I do a lot more then just "dance" a vacuum around.

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