After suffering through the past few winter seasons without any form of central heating, you're finally making the decision to install a forced-air furnace in your home. However, since you don't have any experience with the furnace installation process, you're worried that you'll encounter several problems when your HVAC technician arrives to set up your furnace. Make sure your installation goes seamlessly by performing or arranging for these three tasks:
Have Your Gas or Electrical System Inspected
Your forced-air furnace will become one of the most demanding appliances in your home. Even though your furnace is designed to use its electricity and gas supplies efficiently, it will still draw a large amount of power or gas from your home's systems.
For this reason, you must make sure your home's infrastructure is capable of tolerating the demand of your furnace. Your gas lines, electrical wiring, and fuses or circuit breakers must be sized and inspected to make sure your furnace can operate safely and efficiently.
If your new furnace will use gas to heat your home, then improperly-sized gas lines can make it impossible for your furnace to match its airflow with its heat production. As a result, your furnace can operate for hours without ever significantly increasing the temperature of your home.
Both gas and electric furnaces will require a large amount of voltage to operate. If your electrical wiring has been damaged by rodents or overloading, then your furnace will worsen the existing damage when it attempts to pull a large amount of electrical current through the frayed or burnt wiring. In homes with severe wiring damage, this issue can result in an electrical fire.
Measure Your Air Supply
In addition to gas or electricity, your furnace will require a large supply of air to operate. Your forced-air furnace will heat your home by drawing air into its blower motor and combustion chamber. After air passes through the combustion chamber, it will ventilate throughout your duct system and into your home.
However, if the air supply in your furnace room is less than the CFM (cubic feet per minute) of your furnace's blower motor, then you can expect your furnace to produce less heat than its specifications state. Additionally, the internal components of your furnace (such as your thermocouple and heat exchanger) will overheat and fail due to metal fatigue.
Not all furnaces draw air from the room in which they're installed. Some furnaces have air supply pipes that draw in cool, outdoor air and ventilate it through your furnace. If your furnace is designed in this way, then you don't need to worry about measuring the air supply of your furnace room.
However, if your furnace draws air from the room in which it's installed, then measuring your air supply won't be an easy task. In addition to the volume of your furnace room, several other factors (such as the BTU output, heating method, and style of your furnace) will affect your airflow calculations. For this reason, it's best to leave the task of measuring your air supply to the HVAC technician who will be installing your furnace.
Lay Drop Cloths Around The Work Area
Installing a furnace can be an incredibly messy task. Drywall must be cut or drilled to gain access to wiring, and air ducts must be installed throughout your home. Additionally, if you're installing a gas furnace, gas pipes must be located and connected to your furnace.
These tasks will generate debris. To minimize the mess created by your furnace installation, place drop cloths in the areas of your home that will be modified for your furnace. Once the work is completed, you can remove all leftover debris by simply folding up your drop cloths and disposing of them.
If you're unsure about the state of your home's gas and electrical systems or the amount of air available in your furnace room, then hire your local electrician and HVAC technician perform inspections of your home. By arranging for these inspections, and by preparing the work areas around your home, you'll allow your technician to install your furnace without a hitch.
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