Ashburn, VA

How much does a furnace ignitor replacement cost?

$20 – $50 cost of ignitor part only
$100 – $250 average cost for professional replacement

Get free estimates from furnace repair services near you, or view our cost guide below.

November 29, 2021

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 3 expert HVAC companies on HomeGuide.

Furnace ignitor cost

A furnace ignitor replacement costs $100 to $250 on average. Most universal hot-surface ignitor prices are $15 to $35 for the part alone. Gas furnace ignitor prices are $20 to $100 for parts from the original manufacturer (OEM). The labor cost to replace a heater ignitor is $80 to $200.

Furnace ignitor replacement cost - chart
Furnace ignitor replacement cost - chart

Furnace ignitor cost to replace
National average cost $175
Minimum cost $90
Maximum cost $400
Average cost range $100 to $250

*Prices include diagnostics, materials, and all replacement labor.

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

Furnace ignitor replacement cost factors

A gas furnace ignitor replacement costs $100 to $250 on average for the part and replacement labor.

Furnace ignitor replacement cost factors
Factor Average cost
Furnace ignitor part $20 – $50
Labor cost to replace $80 – $200
Total $100 – $250
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Additional cost factors include:

  • Ignitor type – Universal parts cost less than OEM manufacturer parts.
  • Ignitor vs. ignitor kit – Total costs increase when all the ignitor wiring and mounting brackets need replacing.
  • Labor – Metropolitan labor rates typically cost more than hiring a pro in rural areas. Extra costs apply for emergency repairs or furnaces in hard-to-reach locations.
  • DIY vs. contractor – Replacing an ignitor saves $80 to $200 in HVAC technician labor. Reputable furnace specialists offer labor warranties for long-term savings.
  • Warranty – Most warranties cover parts for 1 to 3 years, but not the labor costs to replace them.

Hot-surface ignitor prices

Universal hot-surface ignitor prices are $15 to $35 or $20 to $100 for OEM or original equipment manufacturer parts. A new furnace spark ignitor costs $20 to $50 for the part alone.

Spark or hot surface ignitor prices
Ignitor type Hot-surface ignitor price Spark ignitor price
Universal $15 – $35 $15 – $50
OEM / Brand $20 – $100 $20 – $60

*Prices not including installation.

Furnace ignitor part up close
Furnace ignitor part up close

Labor cost to replace heater ignitor switch

The labor cost alone to replace a heater ignitor is $80 to $200 on average, depending on the location, technician’s skill level, and furnace accessibility.

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How to tell if a furnace ignitor is bad

To tell if a furnace ignitor is bad, check for the following warning signs:

  • Ignitor part has cracks, chips, warping, or scorch marks on it.
  • Ignitor doesn’t burn or switch on when the furnace is on.
  • After cleaning the air filter, the ignitor still won’t heat up.
  • No glow is visible from the burners or the ignitor part.
  • The furnace turns on and off in short bursts without remaining on.
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How to test and check a furnace ignitor

To test and check a furnace ignitor:

  1. Turn off the furnace using the thermostat.
  2. Switch off the circuit breaker for the furnace to bring the temperature down.
  3. Remove the service panel.
  4. Find the ignitor located near the burners or heating elements.
  5. Use a multimeter to test the electrical current if the part looks undamaged.
  6. Replace the ignitor if it has visible damage, the meter shows infinity, or the meter reading stays at zero ohms.
Be sure to shut off power to the furnace and close the gas valve before removing the ignitor. DIY repairs void the terms of some manufacturer’s warranties.

Frequently asked questions

What is a furnace ignitor?

A furnace ignitor is the heating element that converts the fuel source into heat for the home.

  • Direct spark (DSI) and intermittent pilot (IPI) ignitors use an electric spark.
  • Hot surface ignitors (HSI) use a heating element to ignite gas burners.

An ignitor fires most natural gas and propane furnaces instead of a pilot light.

What does a furnace ignitor look like?

A furnace ignitor looks like a 1- to 2-inch metal piece with a white ceramic base located near the gas burners. Removing the furnace service panel is necessary to access the ignitor.

  • Hot surface ignitor – A single, flat, rough piece of metal with two wires that lead to a plastic plug connector
  • Direct spark ignitor – Two metal prongs with one wire that snaps onto the ignitor

Where to buy an ignitor for a furnace

Homeowners buy ignitors for furnaces at:

  • Appliance parts or HVAC parts distributors online
  • Home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s
  • Hardware stores
  • HVAC service companies
  • Furnace brand manufacturers (for exact part matches)

How long should a furnace ignitor last?

A furnace ignitor lasts 3 to 7 years on average. For furnaces over 7 years old, ask the contractor to replace the ignitor and flame sensor to prevent an emergency fix later. Most furnaces outlast their ignitor parts.

Furnace flame sensor replacement costs $80 to $250.

How long does it take to replace a furnace ignitor?

Replacing a furnace ignitor takes 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the furnace location, and if the wiring and brackets also need replacing. While basic repairs typically take less than one hour, most companies charge a minimum service fee regardless of the time spent.

What causes a furnace ignitor to fail?

Causes of a failing furnace ignitor include:

  • Clogged filter
  • Debris from the heat exchanger short-circuiting the unit  
  • Dirty sensor
  • Faulty control board
  • Gas supply problem
  • Ignitor damage
  • Oversized furnace
  • Standing water in the drain pan
  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Voltage is too high or too low
  • Wrong ignitor type

Are furnace ignitors universal?

Many furnace ignitors are universal in their compatibility with popular models and brands. However, some furnaces require parts from the original equipment manufacturer. Research the specific type of ignitor currently in the furnace to ensure a proper fit.

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Hiring a furnace repair service

Before hiring a furnace repair service near you, be sure to:

Questions to ask

  • Can you provide a list of references?
  • Do you offer free estimates?
  • How long will the job take?
  • Can you recommend ways to increase the efficiency and lifespan of my HVAC system?
  • How can I make my furnace ignitor last longer?
  • Is it necessary to replace any other furnace parts affected by the ignitor?
  • Will you provide a full furnace inspection and check the ductwork?
  • Do you offer an HVAC maintenance plan? If so, what does it include?
  • What does your warranty or guarantee include?
  • Will you provide a written report summarizing the repairs and maintenance?

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