Can I Do Furnace Installation Myself?
When the time comes to replace your old furnace with a newer model, you may wonder if it’s possible to save some money by doing the work yourself. While furnaces are usually installed by certified professionals, you’re a pretty handy person, and you think you might be able to handle the task on your own. However, furnace installation is a complex task that can be dangerous if it’s not done correctly. We recommend that this is one task you always leave in the hands of a highly trained, experienced contractor. Read on to understand why.
With a Furnace, Safety Is Crucial
If you’re attempting to DIY a job such as repairing the plumbing, making a mistake can certainly be costly. If a leak occurs, for example, it can cause thousands of dollars in water damage to the home, not to mention force you to have the job redone by a professional anyway. Still, while it may not be recommended to perform plumbing work on your own if you’re not experienced, at least it’s not dangerous.
Certain DIY jobs do come with an element of danger: performing carpentry on your own, for example, carries with it the risk of injury if a mistake is made with the necessary tools. However, even in this case, the risk is usually only to yourself. If you decide to DIY the job, you do so understanding any risks involved, and you may accept these risks as worthwhile in order to save some money on construction costs.
When it comes to furnace installation, however, the danger isn’t just to yourself: everyone in the home can be put at risk by an improperly installed furnace. While a furnace installation that has been performed by a professional contractor is extremely safe, one that has been installed improperly can create a major fire hazard. Not only that, it can create the risk of odorless, invisible carbon monoxide gas being vented into the home. This gas can be lethal to humans and, without a functioning carbon monoxide detector, has no warning signs until it’s already too late.
While you may be a seasoned DIYer who is extremely handy with every kind of tool there is, ask yourself if you’re confident enough in your abilities to accept this risk to your loved ones. In this situation, it’s to entrust the task to people who have trained rigorously to earn certifications stating that they are experts in their field.
You Need a Professional to Help You Choose the Right Furnace
A professional contractor can also ensure that you have chosen the correct furnace for your home. First, you’ll have to decide what heat source you wish to employ: while this is a matter of preference, you’ll also need to consider what fuel you have available to you. For example, your home may already have easy access to propane or natural gas pipes. If that’s the case, it’s often best to simply opt for a furnace that utilizes a fuel you already have access to. This is worth a little research, though. Some fuel sources are more efficient than others, and some areas have better access than others.
Most homes use natural gas, propane, oil, or wood. Electric furnaces are another popular option, especially for homeowners who don’t have easy access to other fuel sources. Electricity tends to be far less efficient, however, than most other fuel sources. While it may be easier to access, it can also mean that your monthly bill might be much higher.
You’ll Also Need a Pro to Make Sure Your Furnace Is the Correct Size
It’s crucial to have the correct-size furnace for your home. If it’s too small, it will struggle to provide enough heating energy for the entire space. Rather than provide heat and then switch off once the desired temperature has been reached, a furnace that is too small will remain on longer, using up a great deal more energy. Conversely, a furnace that is too large will use much more fuel than necessary to heat a given area.
Your professional contractor will use the square footage of your home to calculate what size furnace is needed for an area. Size is determined in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. The amount that a furnace generates is listed by the manufacturer. A contractor will help you look for a unit that puts out the correct number of BTUs for your square footage.
Finding the Right Contractor
Of course, it’s not enough to simply say that you need a professional to perform the job for you. The fact is, not just any professional contractor will do. You need to find one you can trust completely to perform the task in a fast, efficient, and safe manner.
You may be tempted to comparison shop and make cost one of your primary considerations. While it’s true that many less-than-reputable HVAC companies will attempt to overcharge you for their services, it’s also true that if the cost of an installation seems a little too low, it may be a red flag that the service isn’t up to snuff. By all means, compare prices between various companies. Just understand what you can usually expect to pay for a furnace installation and reconsider any companies that quote suspiciously low numbers.
One thing you should do when searching for contractors is to pay attention to others’ experiences and check references. Talk to past clients who have worked with the HVAC company you’re interested in. Read online reviews and try to get a sense of how successful the company has been at leaving satisfied customers.
A highly experienced company is also critical. They should have plenty of experience installing furnaces similar to the one you’ve chosen. Entek HVAC is a great example of such a company, having been in business for over 75 years. With highly skilled contractors and technicians who are certified in every type of HVAC system you can imagine, we have a proud record of customer satisfaction that will ensure that your furnace installation is in great hands.