Winter in certain areas is difficult to bear without a heating device. Some people still use small systems, but these become very expensive and inefficient in the end. That is why it may be the best time to install a new furnace to heat your home. If you want to know how to install a furnace and if you can do it yourself then you came to the right guide.
The first thing you should know is that installing a furnace is not simple. This is a dangerous task due to the multiple elements that have to be handled, such as gas, electricity, and plumbing, so it is recommended that newbies refrain from trying.
The following article is a reference to make furnace installation practical, but it does not mean it will be easier. As a starting point, we will use a forced-air gas furnace, but other types on the market may have a somewhat different installation. Replacing an old furnace will be almost similar in all cases.
Costs to install a natural gas furnace
In all systems where forced air is used through ducts, you will need a furnace that transforms energy into heat. The power of the furnace to do this will determine the price it will have.
You don’t need a very powerful furnace if you live in a relatively warm area, so one with a capacity of 35 BT /h is probably enough. In colder climates, you may even need a 70 BTU/h per square foot furnace.
It is also relevant to determine the type of fuel that the furnace will use. Due to the ease of obtaining and the economical use of the resource, propane gas furnaces are the most popular. Just connect it to an external gas outlet and you can have a constant supply.
With the type of furnace selected, it is time to choose the model. As we mentioned before, the price will change depending on the furnace. Oversized ones with large capacity are much more expensive. You have to add labor, which is expensive if there are no previous facilities.
These systems that use hot air to heat the home require ducts that carry air throughout the home. Pipelines that draw gas from a mainline are also required to heat the furnace. Finally, the furnaces require an air outlet to dispose of the residue generated from burning the gas, which means another duct.
The estimated average for a 2,000-square-foot home is $6,000, with the cheapest options being $3,000 and the most expensive being $8,000.
How to install a furnace
This list will help you know what the process is like, and what precautions you must take to avoid any accident.
The first thing to do is to shut off gas and electricity supplies. You cannot install or uninstall anything while they are open. The best thing to do is to physically disconnect the cables and ducts.
As usual with construction jobs, you will need to wear protective gear for additional safety. These will consist of gloves, glasses, and if possible thick clothing that can avoid accidental cuts with the metal.
Find the right place
A new furnace installation needs a perfect place where it can be manipulated. The choice of the location will depend on the furnace to be purchased and the facilities that are needed.
Before purchasing a furnace, check its specifications and compare them with the available space in your home.
If you already know where to place it, you should proceed with certain preparations before installation. Clean the area free of dust or debris that may interfere.
Additionally, you must get four or more concrete blocks on which to support the furnace so that it is safe against possible flooding. The blocks should be accompanied by insulation pads, which will dissipate the sound of the furnace when it is running. If your furnace didn’t include them, or you need extras, get them before you begin.
How to select the ideal furnace location
To properly install your furnace, you can consider certain basic aspects that they need regarding the environment.
Furnaces, especially those using propane, should be located in rooms with enough air circulation. Despite the existence of ducts to eliminate the gases, these may not be enough, so it is recommended that there be a window nearby. Rooms like basements can work.
It must be close to a wall or ceiling so that ducted ventilation can be installed.
The location of the furnace must also be strategic, that is, it must have accessibility to what it needs, such as electric power and gas supply. The closer they are the less additional piping will be necessary.
If you meet the prerequisites, the last thing you should try to do if possible is for the furnace to have space around it for easy maintenance and repair.
The direction of the ducts will determine that of the furnace
The direction of the furnace is as important as its location. This will be determined by the ducts and pipes you need.
Many furnaces make it easy to locate the return duct by simply locating it at the bottom. Since you will anyway lift it with blocks of at least four inches high, it is convenient that this conduit is here.
Other models simply have a conventional opening on one side, which will be easy to direct to the outside.
When the furnace is installed in the basement, it does not require additional considerations. On the other hand, if you intend to know how to install a furnace in an attic, you should be prepared to apply special insulation measures.
Since the attic is above other rooms, you will need to place a tray under the furnace to prevent water leaks from entering the floor and damaging it.
It is also possible that the insulation pads are not enough to eliminate all the noise it produces in the attic, so it is recommended not to place it on top of any bedroom.
This process is easier when you are replacing an old furnace, as it possibly has the necessary ducts.
Connect the return ducts
If you already had ducts from a previous installation, they may have some size discrepancy. Even if the difference is not so great, you will need to make adjustments before joining the ducts.
Remember that the connections must be made so that the tubes have a certain angle of inclination so that the steam always goes up. This will prevent condensation in the pipes.
Add the gas supply
A gas furnace installation will not be ready until the propane gas supply is connected to it. If you have previously had a gas furnace, chances are you have the piping needed for the installation. Otherwise, you must hire a professional who connects the street gas to your home.
With the main system ready, all you have to do is connect the pipes to the furnace and make sure they are not leaking. You should also be sure that carbon monoxide does not accumulate in the room where the furnace is, as it is harmful to health.
Both gas leaks and carbon monoxide accumulations can be verified using a gas detector.
It is the turn of the electrical connections
Never connect electricity before gas, as it could cause an explosion. Once the gas lines are connected, you can proceed to install the thermostat and other electrical components.
Again, if there was a previous installation, you don’t need additional knowledge to know how to install a furnace, just connect the cables where they correspond.
In case this is your first time installing a furnace, or if the wiring does not resemble the device you had before, it is recommended that you call an electrician to do this job.
With everything connected, the time has come to test whether the furnace works. The first step is to open the pipe and let the gas flow into the furnace for at least 5 minutes. During this time, you should leave the room to avoid possible poisoning.
After the time has passed, enter the room and sniff for gas leaks. If nothing smells strange, then you can turn on the furnace according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The process of lighting a gas furnace begins with a preheat. Here you can check if the temperatures inside the furnace and in the air outlet are adequate.
Can I install my own furnace?
Now that you have a superficial understanding of the process, it is time to ask yourself if you are capable of replacing a furnace.
Unlike other installations, a furnace is very dangerous due to the electricity and gas connections it has. The danger is even greater for new installations or furnace replacements from one type to another.
For these reasons, it is necessary to have a special permit authorizing you to install furnaces. Special training is required to get this permission, so even if you learn the basics of how to install a furnace, you will not be able to legally carry out this project. We also do not recommend that you do so if you do not have the necessary knowledge.
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