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Can I Install a Furnace Myself?

Replacing a furnace is always an expensive prospect, especially since much of the cost comes from the installation fee. As a result, many buyers wonder if they can install furnace parts themselves, or if it’s something that always requires a professional to do.

Installing a furnace is a highly specialized task that should almost always be left to professionals. Before attempting any DIY project, there are a few questions you should always ask: is it truly cost-effective to do this? As in, will it actually save money to install furnace elements on your own, or will ensuring the job is professionally handled be the more financially responsible choice? More importantly, is it actually safe to install a furnace yourself? As you will see, hiring experienced HVAC installers is the best response to all these questions. Read on to learn more.

Can I Install a Furnace Myself?

Different Types of Furnaces

Of course, before you can begin thinking about furnace installation, you must decide on what type of furnace you’ll utilize to heat your home. The fact is that which furnace you elect to buy can make a huge difference when it comes to the installation process (not to mention your energy bill).

First, you’ll need to decide what fuel source you’ll be using to provide heat. Most buildings these days are still heated by natural gas because it is relatively inexpensive and readily available. It’s also the fuel source that many buildings already have easy access to since gas mains are now connected all around the country.

Besides natural gas, there are several other very common fuel sources that are used. Propane furnaces are quite commonplace, as propane has several advantages over other fuel types. Chief among them is the fact that it burns extremely hot, meaning that it is extremely energy efficient and excellent for very cold weather.

Oil, wood, and coal are also popular choices for home heating. Heat pumps, a relatively new technology on the scene, have also begun to take a foothold in many buildings. These are advantageous because they do not require a fuel source; they make use of ambient environmental heat energy. This renders them potentially far cheaper than other methods of heating, although they may struggle to effectively heat a building in extremely cold climates.

An HVAC professional can help you determine which type of fuel will serve your home or building best. Factors like square footage, climate, cost, and access can be analyzed to ensure the right options are considered.

Making Sure You Have the Right One

Choosing your fuel source isn’t the only decision you need to worry about getting right when you install a new furnace. Choosing the correct model of furnace can also be a challenge, and one of the reasons that attempting to install furnace elements on your own may prove too daunting for untrained individuals.

If you choose the wrong furnace, you may find that all sorts of problems can result. For example, a furnace that is too large for a given building will burn through far more fuel than is necessary, while a furnace that is too small will be forced to work continuously and, once again, burn through a great deal of extra fuel. This will have the consequence of driving your energy bill up dramatically.

Of course, having the wrong-size furnace for your building can also result in increased maintenance costs. A furnace that is forced to work harder than it needs to will ultimately break down sooner, due to the increased wear and tear. This, of course, will force you to pay more for maintenance and ultimately pay to have the unit replaced sooner.

Determining the correct furnace size requires several calculations, which should be done by an HVAC engineer. This trained professional will determine the required load of the furnace by calculating the square footage of your home and a few other key elements. Choosing the size of your furnace is not something that should be guessed at; the correct math is absolutely essential.

What’s Involved in the Installation Process

Another element of furnace installation that requires the trained eye of a seasoned professional is the selection of where the furnace is to be installed. What’s critical here is that each element needs to be connected in such a way that it will not interfere with other working elements of the building or home. For example, it’s important that the person performing the installation work around electrical elements, plumbing, gas pipes, and anything else that may pose a hazard or obstruction to the furnace.

For safety reasons, it’s absolutely critical that any furnace has a safe method of ventilation. Most furnaces produce byproducts that are toxic to some degree. Carbon monoxide is a common waste product, as it is produced when burning propane, coal, gas, and other fossil fuels. It is highly toxic, as well as invisible and odorless, so if it leaks into a home, it can cause sickness or death to the inhabitants. The risk can be entirely avoided, however, with adequate ventilation and should be handled by a trained professional to minimize the chances of the ventilation being done improperly.

Your furnace must also be connected to whichever fuel source you have chosen. If this is done improperly, it may increase the chances of an explosion, so once again, it should be performed with great care by someone who is trained to do the job. As the elements are all connected, proper seals must be formed, because it’s crucial for airflow to occur between the furnace and the rest of the building, as well as through the ventilation system itself.

Who Should Perform the Installation?

It’s clear why you should not attempt to perform furnace installation yourself unless you have received professional training. The most important element, of course, is safety. Ensuring a furnace is installed safely requires great attention to detail that can really only come with experience. That’s why your best option is to look for a contractor with years in the business, such as Entek.

While hiring an experienced contractor may come with a larger up-front cost, you’ll find that it saves a great deal of money in maintenance and repairs over the years, especially since it will help to ensure that your new furnace lasts for a very long time and works as it should.

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