The best furnace installation tip is also the easiest: Don’t attempt this yourself. Only a licensed furnace installation contractor has the knowledge, skills, tools and ability to protect your warranty. Depending on the make and model of your furnace, you may be required to have a professional install it in order to ensure your warranty is upheld. However, that’s just one small piece of the puzzle. Installing a furnace can be dangerous work — both during the actual installation process and afterward. It poses a fire risk, and if not properly installed, can needlessly sap energy. Still, a number of DIY-ers think they can save a bundle by installing this costly appliance themselves.
Think you have what it takes for a furnace installation? Take a look at some of these tips from furnace experts, and you might quickly change your mind. There’s a reason it takes years of experience, special certifications and a natural talent in order to offer superior furnace installation. Trying to install a furnace yourself is like trying to give yourself a haircut. Even if you do a pretty good job, an expert could do so much better.
1. Cut the right-sized opening for the return air duct connection: If that sounds like Greek to you, you’re not alone. What’s the right size? How can you cut it and make it look professional? How do you even know which side of the furnace the air duct should be connected to? Installing a furnace isn’t a simple matter of plugging it in — it requires serious prep work and knowing what you’re doing, where and why.
2. Add support blocks: Many furnaces are housed in basements, and if this is the case with yours, the appliance needs to be lifted on blocks at least four inches above ground level. This protects it from floods, becoming a home for pests and potentially damaging your basement floor. If it’s not housed in the basement, it needs special support pads. If it’s in the attic, a second drain pan is in order. Suddenly, plopping it down wherever it looks good is no longer an option.
3. Pick the right exit for the condensate drain: Not only do you need to figure out the best side for the return air duct connection, you also need to pick a side for the condensate drain exit. Ideally, the furnace should be placed on a slight slope that favors this exit. Once the furnace is secure and you begin connecting the systems — both the duct and condensate drain — you’ll need to secure these areas with a special sealant or metal foil tape. A lot of DIY-ers use duct tape — a dangerous rookie mistake.
Installing a furnace is challenging at best for most homeowners. Give the pros at Sandy Heating and Air Conditioning a call for expert installation and peace of mind.