“Baby it’s cold outside” isn’t just the most controversial song title of the holiday season, it’s the beginning of your furnace installation. If you are lucky, a furnace replacement is a DIY project you undertake in warm weather.
Keeping your home warm is no simple task. Many people do attempt to refurbish or install their own heating systems every season. The following tips are to keep your DIY project:
Furnaces come in all different shapes and sizes. Not all furnace types are suitable for self-installation. In fact, some furnaces require professionals and permits. Read on to learn more.
Choose the Right Furnace
Thanks to the ubiquitous internet, researching and buying a top of the line furnace is entirely possible. You aren’t limited to whatever your plumber or HVAC tech can show you. Buying a furnace online isn’t such a radical step.
Some furnaces are more suitable than others for self-installation. For example, replacing your boiler with individual room electric units or combo air conditioning heating split units is a relatively straightforward process. Natural gas, propane or oil-fueled furnaces are a little more difficult.
Be aware of your municipal laws regarding furnace size, plans or construction. If you must add power hookups or a new gas line it is not a DIY project.
Beware of endless YouTube videos promising to make installation easy. Mistakes can be dangerous or deadly.
Have the Right Tools for Your Furnace Installation
A furnace installation is no time to “MacGyver” your way through with a roll of duct tape and some pliers.
Most homeowners who want to complete a DIY installation will need to visit their local hardware store and possibly a rental yard to get the tools and equipment necessary for the job.
Failing to use the right tools can damage the furnace and void your warranty.
Know Your Limits
Removing the old furnace or ductwork may expose you and your family to dangerous materials like asbestos. It may take an expert to clean up certain hazards. New installations sometimes require more sophisticated bracing or ventilation than the furnace they replace.
If you are not an engineer, do not remove walls, cut joists or otherwise weaken your building support to fit a new furnace in. Likewise, contact the skilled trades with questions about additional gas lines, adequate ventilation or additional power.
Don’t skip important alarms like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. They are required by law in most states.
Size Your System Correctly
The wrong size system can cost you money. The size and efficiency of your furnace needs to match your space and use. Too large of a system or an unbalanced airflow causes premature wear and can cost money in the long run.
Too small of a system or a poorly regulated airflow results in the furnace working overtime. this costs you money in high energy bills. You can also waste money heating the area between the walls if ductwork is not correct.
DIY at Your Own Risk
Selecting your own furnace system with research and thought is a good idea. Saving money by performing the furnace installation yourself is less than ideal.
If you’re an engineer and HVAC expert, the process is possible. For the ordinary homeowner, DIY should be attempted under specific conditions.
Like these helpful hints? Read more about HVAC in older homes here.