How Much Does Furnace Ignitor Replacement Cost?

Common Range: $120 – $365, Installed

National Average: $210, Installed

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Updated: January 13, 2023, by: Steve Hansen

Cost Range for Furnace Ignitor Replacement

Homeowners typically pay between $120 to $365 to have the ignitor replaced on their furnace. If the unit is still under warranty, you’ll only pay for labor which runs around 2 hours total and cost around $150.

This includes the cost of the service call and diagnosing the repair, the furnace ignitor itself, removal and replacement, as well as testing and all labor costs.

Average Cost

Average Do It Yourself Cost
$20 – $45 (Parts only)
Average Contractor Installed Cost
Typical Cost Range
$120 – $365, Installed

furnace hot surface ignitor

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Overview of a Furnace Ignitor

The majority of gas furnaces, both natural gas and propane, are fired by an ignitor rather than a pilot light. The ignitor (or igniter) is typically an electronic hot surface ignitor (HSI). It is also referred to as a glow plug or glow bar because electric resistance causes the ignitor to glow red-hot, about 1200 F, to ignite combustion.

With age, the ignitor wears out or cracks. Continuity is reduced or broken, and the ignitor must be replaced. This can usually be discovered during annual maintenance and testing as well as a visual inspection. Learn more about furnace tune up costs here.

The cost of furnace ignitor replacement is affordable enough that many homeowners have it done pre-emptively during regular furnace cleaning and maintenance or do it themselves at a convenient time. This can help prevent waking up to house with no heat during the coldest weather of winter.

This cost estimate page, or Costimate, discusses this common furnace repair. Cost factors, the retail cost of an ignitor and whether the job is DIY are covered.

You’ll also find costs from other estimating sites. Some of the estimates given are based on emergency repair (nights/weekends) costs, so are on the high end.

Ignitor Replacement Cost Factors

There are just a few simple factors that determine furnace ignitor replacement cost.

  • Standard vs Emergency Repair – This is the most significant cost factor. When a technician has to come out at night or during the weekend, the labor rate might be two to three times more than rates during normal business hours. The cheapest time to have the repair made is during scheduled furnace cleaning and maintenance.
  • Ignitor Type – Most are universal, but if an OEM part is used, the cost might be higher.
  • Ignitor or Ignitor Kit – Typically just the ignitor with a short wire lead and plug is replaced, and cost is lower. If the entire assembly including longer wiring and mounting brackets is replaced, the part cost and labor cost will be higher.
  • Igniter Access – Reaching the igniter is usually easy once the furnace panel has been removed. However, some disassembly is required on a few furnace brands, and this will increase the labor portion of the repair cost.
  • Furnace Access – Cost is higher for repairs made to furnaces that are difficult to reach – in an attic or cramped crawlspace, for example.
  • Whether the Part is Under Warranty – Most furnace warranties are 5 or 10 years on general parts. However, labor isn’t covered after the first year (if at all), and labor is the major portion of this furnace repair cost. The part is so inexpensive that warranty claims are rarely made. They’re more hassle than they’re worth for a $25 part.
  • Cost of Living – In large metropolitan areas, especially in the Northeast and on the West Coast, everything costs more. Costs are average in cities of the Midwest and South and tend to be lowest in rural areas and small towns.
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Cost of Parts and Installation Supplies

Furnace ignitors are inexpensive and widely available online and from hardware and home improvement stores. Most are manufactured by third-party parts makers like Emerson, White Rodgers and Honeywell. You’ll also see those made specifically for Carrier, Rheem, etc.

  • $15 – $35 | Universal hot surface ignitor only
  • $24 – $90 | OEM/Furnace brand hot surface ignitor only
  • $50 – $75 | Complete universal ignitor assembly with brackets (not typically required)

Outside of the part itself, there is not much needed in installation supplies, other than a few basic hand tools. There are however safety concerns with a homeowner replacing the part themselves, and we recommend using a furnace repair company in your area to handle the work.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 | A permit is not needed to replace a furnace ignitor

Related Costs and Installation Time

The table near the top of the page shows total cost for both DIY and professional installation.

If you do the job yourself, which is discussed below, you’ll save HVAC labor rates. The repair takes less than an hour, but most companies charge a minimum of one hour of labor, which ranges from $65 to $125.

Install Time Schedule

Replacing an ignitor is one of the easiest repairs a furnace technician makes, but it’s also not as simple as replacing a light bulb. Ignitors are very brittle and it takes quite a bit of care to assure they are not damaged during the installation.

  • 15 to 45 minutes | Replace a gas furnace ignitor
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Having your home heating system or gas furnace running properly and at peak efficiency is important during the winter months. Here are a few related HVAC repair and replacements topics that you may find helpful.

Are You an HVAC or Furnace Repair Pro?

If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

Quite a few years ago, as a first-time homeowner, my furnace “quit.” It would go through the start-up sequence but then not fire – an obvious case of a failed ignitor.

Not knowing much about furnaces then, I called a local heating company. The next day a young technician came out, and I watched him test and replace a bad ignitor. He was done in about 20 minutes. I handed him a good chunk of money, and he left. I couldn’t believe I’d just paid that much for such an easy fix. Lesson learned!

So, yes, this is a DIY repair for anyone with basic skills that wants to give it a try.

Diagnosing a bad igniter: Here’s the sequence you should hear and see when your furnace starts.

  1. Thermostat calls for heat
  2. The inducer/draft motor comes on
  3. The hot surface ignitor begins to glow
  4. The gas valve opens, feeding gas through the manifold to the ports, and the gas ignites

If your ignitor is bad, Steps 1 & 2 will take place. But the ignitor won’t get hot.

Then, Step 4, the gas valve will open with a “click” sound, and you might hear gas rushing through the valve. But if there is no ignition, the flame sensor won’t sense heat, and it will signal the gas valve to close.

To DIY, watch a good tutorial video, and then take your bad ignitor to the parts store to get a matching replacement or find a replacement online.

Then follow the basic installation steps, turn the power on and fire up your furnace.

This tutorial video shows how to 1. diagnose the issue, 2. check for continuity in the igniter to confirm it is bad, and then 3. replace it. The video is longer than it will take the handiest among you to replace the igniter once you get the new part.

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Compare Costs from Leading Resources

Common Questions and Answers

How long does a furnace ignitor last?

In many cases, the furnace ignitor can last as long as the life of your gas furnace with annual maintenance and proper tune ups.

Where can I buy a furnace ignitor?

Once you are sure your furnace ignitor is bad, there are several places they can be purchased online. Amazon, HVAC parts houses, etc. Make sure you get the right part number for your specific brand and model of furnace.

Can a furnace ignitor be cleaned?

In some cases, yes a furnace ignitor can be cleaned and used for an emergency. This is however just a delay in needing to replace it.

Reviewed and Edited by Steve Hansen of Costimates

steve hansen of costimates-sm Steve Hansen is the Lead Editor of Costimates. (Learn more) An avid home improvement professional with more than 35 years experience in both DIY projects and working as a construction foreman in residential new home building, upfits, repairs and remodeling.

"Like most homeowners, I became frustrated with the lack of quality information available on specific home improvement repairs and renovations. In 2015, Costimates was formed to help homeowners learn as much as possible about various projects and their costs so they could make better financial decisions."