Does It Matter Where Furnaces Are Located in a Home?
If you’re having a new furnace installed in your home, chances are you’ll have to do some homework first. There are plenty of factors you’ll need to consider, such as the size of the furnace in relation to the size of your home. The type of fuel is another major consideration, as well as how you’ll access it (i.e., you may need to have a gas main installed for your furnace).
One element you’ve probably already taken into consideration is the location of the furnace. Where are furnaces usually located within the home? Does the placement make a difference? As you might expect, this isn’t always an easy question to answer. Below, we’ll discuss some of the variables affecting the placement of a furnace inside the home.
What Type of Furnace Do You Have?
Nowadays, there are multiple methods of heating a home, each of which is unique in where it can be placed as well as how it is powered. For example, a ductless heat pump can be placed essentially anywhere as long as it can access the outside of the home. This is because, as its name implies, a ductless heat pump doesn’t require the home’s duct system to transfer air from place to place. Instead, it pumps the heated air directly into a given room with a separate pump needed for each area of the home.
Unless your home is making use of this advanced technology, however, what you most likely have is a forced-air heating system. In this case, a furnace burns some kind of fuel (or may use electricity) to generate heat, which warms up air that is then transferred throughout the home by way of a fan and a series of ducts. If this is the case, the placement of your furnace will certainly matter, as it will need to be able to access these ducts at the very least.
When the question of where furnaces are usually located arises, the first and foremost consideration should always be safety. Because most furnaces burn fuel, they produce a gas called carbon monoxide, which is extremely dangerous because it is invisible and odorless and displaces oxygen. This means that a person could be breathing it in for a while before they ever realize anything is wrong, and by then, the damage could already have been done. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be lethal, which is why homes even suspected to have a leak of the dangerous substance should be evacuated.
The placement of your furnace can help keep you safe from carbon monoxide buildup. First, you’ll need a place where it can be properly ventilated. Toxic gases such as carbon monoxide will dissipate harmlessly if they’re vented outside. You’ll also want to consider other safety features, such as a carbon monoxide detector, and ask your HVAC professional to perform regular inspections to ensure no blockage develops.
Another important safety consideration when deciding where to place your furnace is finding a location that’s clear of fire hazards. There shouldn’t be any boxes or other obstructions near the furnace. Especially avoid combustibles such as paint and cleaning products.
Making Use of Available Infrastructure
In some cases, you’ll be able to use some of the home’s existing infrastructure when installing a furnace. It can also be installed in an attic that has exposed rafters. This makes it easy to lead ventilation through with minimal construction.
Your furnace will need to be connected to a fuel source, such as a propane or gas main. This means that places where furnaces are usually located have easy access to these pipes. It’s often unnecessary to have additional piping installed in other areas for a furnace to be able to be installed in the home.
Allow Plenty of Room
When you wonder where furnaces are usually located, the answer tends to be in large, open areas such as attics and garages. There’s a reason for this: it’s the fact that a furnace needs plenty of room on either side of it to operate properly. When you think about it, it’s not hard to understand why. Furnaces generate heat by burning fuel. In order to burn, fuel needs plenty of oxygen. Therefore, a furnace needs plenty of airflow, and a larger area with more open space will allow for more airflow.
A larger, open space also makes it far easier for your HVAC professional to perform maintenance work. If the furnace is in a cramped area, your HVAC technician will struggle to access certain areas, which will make it more difficult to perform everything from routine cleaning work to more involved repairs.
A furnace that is placed in a garage needs to have room underneath it as well. This is because garages often have fumes of flammable materials, such as gasoline, hovering near the ground. This can create a fire hazard if it comes in contact with the pilot light or other heated part of the furnace. A slight elevation, of a few inches or so, will help keep the area safe from the risk of fire.
Who to Call to Have Your Furnace Installed in the Right Place
If you have further questions about this subject, contact the professionals at Entek HVAC. We can help you with anything and everything with regard to your home heating, including the right type of furnace for your home, the perfect size furnace for your square footage, and yes, the best place to have your furnace installed. In addition, we’ll be able to provide regular maintenance for your furnace, as well as 24/7 emergency repair should you require it.