How Long Does It Take to Install a Furnace? (And 5 Other Questions to Ask Before You Start)
The beginning of fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The leaves start to change, jack-o’-lanterns are carved, and people gather around various spiced beverages of their choosing. And if you’re a homeowner, it’s the ideal time to install a furnace.
Your furnace is the beating heart of your house’s heating system. Whether you’re building a brand-new home and you need to buy your first furnace, or you’ve been living there for years and it’s time to replace Old Faithful, it’s best to take care of business before the chill really sets in.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: Why the rush? Sure it’s important, but how long does it take to install a furnace? The answer is more complicated than you might think.
There are many factors that will affect your furnace installation, meaning the process could take from as little as one day to as long as a few weeks. As experts in the HVAC field, we’re happy to walk you through the process. Here are just a few of the questions you should ask before getting a furnace, and how long it will take to install it.
What are my heating needs?
One of the main reasons it’s so hard to tell someone how long it will take to install a furnace is that every house has different needs. For example, a small, ranch-style house will have different heating needs than a massive mansion. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for home heating, and depending on how large your home is, you may be looking at additional workdays. We highly recommend contacting a trusted HVAC professional to get an estimate on both the cost and time it will take to complete the installation.
What is the best furnace for me and my house?
Once you know your heating needs, you can start looking at difference furnace options. There’s a wide market for furnaces, and the kind you choose may impact your installation time.
The first major choice you’ll face will be the size of the furnace. If you pick one that’s too large, you’ll be wasting energy and spending too much money. If you pick one that’s too small, you’ll be unable to effectively heat your home. On top of that, furnaces that are too large or too small tend to break down faster, meaning more repair costs in your future.
After size, you can start thinking about your personal preferences. What are you looking for in an efficiency rating? How noisy is too noisy? How expensive is it to use the furnace after it’s installed? Do you have any brand preferences? Each furnace is a little bit different, and depending on your choice, those differences can add or subtract to your installation time.
Which fuel source do I use?
Choosing the fuel you want to use for your furnace can be almost as big of a choice as choosing the furnace itself. Fuel types not only have a major impact on the cost of use and maintenance, but they can also affect how long it takes to install a furnace. The main fuel options you’ll see are electric, oil, natural gas, and solar. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and only you will be able to decide which fuel source is right for your home.
Oil is a powerful heat source, but it pollutes your indoor air quality more and will leave you reliant on fuel deliveries. Electric furnaces are much cleaner sources of heat, but they’re also more expensive to use than oil or gas. Natural gas is one of the cheapest options, and solar is very environmentally friendly, but they require specialty hookups in order to function.
If you decide to install a natural gas furnace and don’t already have a natural gas source in your home, you’ll need to have one installed before you can make use of your heating. Likewise with solar. You’ll need to install a way to collect solar energy. Before you commit to a furnace, take stock of what your home is equipped to handle and determine if any additional installations are worth the time and cost commitment.
How old is the existing heating system?
The furnace may be the center of your home heating, but it isn’t working alone. In order to spread heat effectively through your home, your furnace relies on a complex network of air ducts to circulate air and regulate indoor temperature. If you’re in a newer home, it’s more than likely your heating infrastructure is up to muster. Newer construction homes are built to today’s safety and performance standards, so installing a new furnace might be as easy as removing the old one and installing the new unit.
If you’re replacing a furnace that’s 10 or more years old, however, it might lead to replacing your entire heating system. Should you find yourself changing out air ducts and rewiring thermostats, expect a significant increase in the time it’ll take to install a furnace.
What are your installation circumstances?
Once you’ve completed your initial consultation and taken the time to select the furnace that fits your home’s needs, you’ll finally be ready to move forward with the project. Depending on what you’ve chosen and how much work you know you need done, you should have a good idea of how long it will take.
That being said, there are still some outstanding variables that may affect installation times. Depending on where the furnace is being installed, additional time and labor may be required. If it’s going into an easily accessible area in your garage, great! Installation should be a breeze. Do you need to have it lifted to the top of your condo building? That may take some extra time.
What time of year are you having this work done? If it’s the end of summer or early fall, you’ll have plenty of time until you need your heat up and running. Technicians will also generally be more available, as they won’t have as many last-minute installations or emergency repairs to deal with. Get ahead of the winter hysteria, and you’ll save some serious time. But with the help of an experienced HVAC technician, such as those at Entek, you’ll have support with whatever might come your way. As long as you work with someone you trust from the very beginning, they’ll be able to account for every variable and give you an accurate estimate of how long it will take to install a furnace.