Ashburn, VA

How much does a heat exchanger replacement cost?

$350 – $850 replacement cost (under warranty)
$1,000 – $3,000 replacement cost (not under warranty)

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

January 11, 2022

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 2 expert boiler companies on HomeGuide.

Furnace heat exchanger replacement cost

Replacing a furnace heat exchanger costs $1,000 to $3,000 on average. Heat exchanger prices are $350 to $850 for the part. Heat exchanger replacement labor costs $650 to $2,150. A heat exchanger warranty lasts 10 to 20 years and only covers the part, not labor.

Heat exchanger replacement cost - chart
Heat exchanger replacement cost - chart

Heat exchanger replacement cost
National average cost $2,000
Minimum cost $700
Maximum cost $3,500
Average cost range $1,000 to $3,000

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members without warranty coverage.

  • Industrial or commercial heat exchanger prices are $1,500 to $5,000.
  • A heat exchanger for a combi boiler costs $100 to $300.
  • A secondary heat exchanger costs $300 to $800.
Only replace the heat exchanger if the furnace is less than 10 years old with no other issues, and if it costs much less than a new furnace. A new furnace costs $2,000 to $5,400.

Heat exchanger prices

Heat exchanger prices are $350 to $850 for the primary heat exchanger unit alone and $300 to $850 for a secondary heat exchanger in most residential gas furnaces.

Heat exchanger prices
Type Unit price Total replacement cost
Heat exchanger $350 – $850 $1,000 – $3,000
Secondary heat exchanger $300 – $800 $1,000 – $2,000

Furnace heat exchanger diagram
Furnace heat exchanger diagram

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Heat exchanger cost estimation by brand

Heat exchanger unit prices depend on the brand:

  • Carrier and Bryant heat exchangers cost $350 to $800.
  • York heat exchanger prices are $470 to $800.
  • Goodman heat exchangers cost $260 to $860.
  • Lennox heat exchangers cost $260 to $840.
Heat exchanger price estimation by brand
Brand Price range
Armstrong $340 – $800
Carrier / Bryant $350 – $800
Goodman / Amana $260 – $860
Heil / Quaker $320 – $860
Lennox $260 – $840
Rheem / Ruud $290 – $800
Trane $320 – $825
York $470 – $800

*Material prices only, excluding shipping.

Single-cell heat exchanger tubes cost $100 to $250 each to replace part of the heat exchanger rather than the entire heat exchanger assembly kit.

Secondary heat exchanger cost

Replacing a secondary heat exchanger costs $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the brand, material, and furnace capacity. The secondary heat exchanger part alone costs $300 to $800. Only a high-efficiency condensing furnace uses two heat exchangers to reclaim extra heat from the exhaust.

Heat exchanger for boiler cost

A heat exchanger for a boiler costs $100 to $300 on average, depending on the boiler type, size, and BTU rating. Most boilers need a brazed plate heat exchanger for a water-to-water heat transfer system. Modern condensing boilers have two heat exchangers that increase energy efficiency.

Commercial / industrial heat exchanger prices

Industrial or commercial heat exchanger prices are $1,500 to $5,000 on average. The price depends on the furnace type, size, brand, and BTU rating. Commercial heat exchangers typically have heat-output ratings greater than 150,000 BTUs.

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Heat exchanger cost factors

Costs to replace a heat exchanger depend on the furnace size, brand, accessibility, heating-system design, and labor costs.

Heat exchanger cost factors to replace
Brand Average cost
Heat exchanger $350 – $850
Installation labor $650 – $2,150
Total cost $1,000 – $3,000

Additional cost factors include:

  • Furnace size – A heat exchanger for a larger furnace typically costs more.
  • Furnace age – Installing new parts in an older furnace is more difficult and requires additional labor.
  • Brand – Heat exchanger prices vary by manufacturer. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts typically cost more than generic parts.
  • Material – Stainless steel heat exchangers cost more than aluminum.
  • Heat-exchanger system type – A high-efficiency condensing furnace with two heat exchangers is more complex than a standard furnace, so replacement parts and labor cost more.
  • Labor cost – Labor rates are typically higher in bigger cities compared to rural areas. Hard-to-reach furnace locations require additional labor.
  • Contractor experience – Expert HVAC technicians with 5+ years of experience and multiple certifications charge more for labor.
  • Season – Service fees increase during peak cold weather due to high demand.
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Heat exchanger replacement labor cost

Heat exchanger replacement labor costs $650 to $2,150, depending on the furnace size, accessibility, and location. Labor often costs more than the part because the contractor must disassemble and then reassemble the entire furnace interior.

HVAC heat exchanger replacement cost by type

HVAC heat exchanger replacement costs $1,000 to $3,000 for most furnace types. Heat exchangers must fit the fuel type, model number, and brand of the existing furnace.

  • Oil, propane, and natural gas furnaces use the same process to convert fuel into heat. However, their heat exchangers are not interchangeable.
  • Electric furnaces don’t use heat exchangers.

Heat exchanger warranty

A heat exchanger warranty lasts 10 to 20 years or the lifetime of the furnace, depending on the brand, model, and type of furnace. Most part warranties for furnaces do not cover the cost of replacement labor. However, labor is sometimes free with a labor warranty from the dealer.

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Cracked heat exchanger repair cost

A cracked heat exchanger repair costs $1,000 to $3,000 for replacing the part. HVAC technicians typically don’t repair heat exchangers due to safety concerns, and replacing the part is the most common repair method. Even hairline cracks will leak carbon monoxide.

The most common cause of a cracked heat exchanger is overheating, due to a dirty filter, lack of maintenance, or an oversized furnace.

Only a technician’s combustion analysis test can fully verify that a heat exchanger has a crack and is leaking carbon monoxide. Beware of scams to make a heat exchanger appear cracked as a trick to sell a whole new furnace.

Cost to replace heat exchanger vs. new furnace

Replacing a heat exchanger costs $1,000 to $3,000, while furnace replacement costs $2,000 to $5,400 on average.

Cost to replace heat exchanger vs. new furnace
Replace heat exchanger Install new furnace
  • If part-replacement work will cost much less than a new furnace
  • Active warranty covers the part cost
  • Furnace is less than 10 years old with no other issues
  • Furnace heats the home evenly
  • If replacing the heat exchanger will cost more than a new furnace
  • Warranty has expired
  • Furnace is more than 10 years old and has had multiple repairs
  • Furnace no longer heats the whole home evenly
  • The heat exchanger has a crack and is more than 10 to 15 years old

Frequently asked questions

What is a heat exchanger?

A heat exchanger is a metal tube system within the furnace combustion chamber that heats the air blown over it while keeping toxic exhaust out of the central air ducts.

How it works:

  1. The ignitor sets off the natural or propane gas to light the burners.
  2. Hot gases from the burners enter the sealed heat exchanger, which heats up and vents toxic gases outside.
  3. The blower fan sends cold air over the surface of the hot heat exchanger, creating heated air sent indoors through the ductwork.

How long does a heat exchanger last?

A furnace heat exchanger lasts 15 to 20 years on average, depending on the maintenance frequency, quality of the part’s materials, and daily usage. Older cast-iron heat exchangers last for 30+ years.

How long does it take to replace a heat exchanger?

Replacing a heat exchanger takes 5 to 10 hours on average, depending on the furnace type and the technician’s experience. Replacement includes removing everything in the combustion chamber, installing the new part, re-assembling and rewiring every component, and testing.

What are the symptoms of a bad heat exchanger?

Damaged or cracked heat exchanger symptoms include:

  • Carbon monoxide detector alarm
  • Corrosion, rust, or cracks in other furnace parts
  • Orange or yellow flame instead of the usual blue flame
  • Unexplained furnace shut-offs
  • Rattling noises when the heat turns on
  • Strange smells, like formaldehyde or other toxic chemicals
  • Signs of decay on furnace exterior
  • Water on the floor around the furnace
  • White or black soot buildup around the furnace burners
A cracked heat exchanger leaks carbon monoxide (CO). Signs of CO poisoning include drowsiness, headaches, shortness of breath, vision changes, nausea, and vomiting.
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Finding and hiring an HVAC service

Before hiring a pro for furnace repair or boiler repair near you:

Questions to ask

  • Can you provide a list of references?
  • Do you offer free estimates?
  • How long will the job take?
  • Do you use original equipment manufacturer parts?
  • Will you do a combustion analysis to test for carbon monoxide leaks?
  • How can I make the heat exchanger more efficient and prevent similar damages?
  • Will you conduct a full inspection of my furnace, ductwork, and flue pipe? Does that cost extra?
  • How do I keep my gas furnace as safe as possible and improve the air quality in my home?
  • 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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