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Furnace Installation Instructions – 13 Easy Steps
My experience in life has taught me that if you are able to break projects down into simple steps, you will become the master of that project. That is the difference between a intelligent that person wise person
With that being said, let’s examine how a new or used furnace can be installed…..the smart way. I’ve broken down the process into 13 easy steps. Will you learn everything I know from this article? Of course not. I have installed thousands of furnaces in my lifetime. However, you will understand the process.
Step 1. List of tools. Nothing is more frustrating than starting out on a baking job only to find that some of the tools needed to get the job done are missing. Most of you already have most of the basic tools you will need. Ex: screwdrivers, drills, hammer, etc. I’ll help you make your list so you have everything you need before you start work.
Step 2. Evaluation of your home. You will need to understand how your home is made and insulated. Do you have new or old windows and doors? Is air seeping into your home through dryer vents, window fans, etc.? Do you have a basement or is your home on a concrete slab? You’ll need to know this to install the right equipment in your home.
Step 3. Heating/cooling system and ductwork assessment. This is the most important step. Why? The answer may surprise you. It may even surprise some HVAC contractors. The equipment must be the correct size. Hands down. No exceptions. Why? You might be thinking, “Doesn’t the ‘bigger the better’ rule apply here?” no Let me rephrase that: Hell no!
I will give you a short example here. If you were to put an oversized air conditioner in your home, the air conditioner would only run for a few minutes until the thermostat was at the desired temperature. Great! The larger air conditioner saved me energy by running for a short time and dropping the temperature very quickly. What’s the problem there? Yes, you cooled your home quickly, but what you didn’t do was remove the moisture (water in the air) from your home. The longer an air conditioner runs, the more water it removes from the air. That extra water in the air is what makes you uncomfortable when it’s hot. The idea is to make yourself comfortable. Cooling the house super fast will have the opposite effect. The same principle applies with an oven. It should be the right size. There are many online heating and cooling calculators that are free. Just Google ‘heating and cooling load calculator’. Instructions are usually included. I included one in a guide I wrote called “The Ultimate Furnace Installation Guide”. I found that heat/charge calculator online for free.
Step 4. List of materials. conduits You will need to keep a list of supplies you will need when you go to the store (for all supplies). Maybe the return size needs to be bigger. You will definitely need to attach the old duct to the new furnace. The installation instructions that come with the oven will tell you what the dimensions will be for a proper installation. It’s all part of step 3
Step 5. List of materials – Electrical. By assessing your home as part of step 3, you will be able to determine what your new electrical needs will be. Make a detailed list. Note that all new furnaces require a ground wire. If you don’t have a ground wire on your old power supply, you’ll need to install one.
Step 6. List of materials – Gas supplies. It will also be determined in step 3. Hopefully by now you see the wisdom of following this step-by-step process. Making these lists before starting the installation will help you in the long run. With all the necessary materials on hand, as well as a plan of action, you will not find yourself on the third day of installation, minus 10 degrees, and having to run to 15 different stores.
Step 7. Another list of materials – Miscellaneous. This will be determined by the type of oven you have or will buy. Ex: An 80% efficiency furnace will require different flue materials than a 90% efficiency furnace.
Step 8. Find local suppliers to work with. This may be your biggest obstacle. In the past, you were somewhat tied to your local area suppliers. Nowadays you have the internet. Use it to your advantage. Doing a Google search on the words “furnace goodman” will turn up a surprising amount of information. Always be sure to ask about the warranty. Keep in mind here that buying your own oven saves you money thousands of dollars – even if you end up hiring a contractor to install it for you!
Step 9. Remove the power and fuel supply from your existing equipment. Yes, I know, but some people start breaking things and completely forget this step. It’s a reminder.
Step 10. Secure your existing conduits in place. Why? There’s nothing more heartbreaking than starting to take apart a furnace, only to have the existing ductwork fall to the floor at your feet. Not only does this add an extra day to your work, but it also adds new 4-letter words to your vocabulary. Therefore, Step 10. Secure the existing piping with dowels and screws.
Step 11. Remove the old equipment. Now that you’ve turned off all power to the furnace and protected your ductwork, you’re ready to start removing the old equipment. Once removed, place it next to the workspace.
Step 12. Putting it all together. This section is divided into 6 subsections.
- Oven alignment. If this is done well, it will reduce the amount of work and piping you will have to do
- Connect the return and start to the new furnace
- Coupling of the Old Plenum (ducts leaving the old furnace) to the new furnace. This is called Transition
- Reconnecting the gas line and testing for leaks
- Execution of combustion tubes to remove spent fuel gases
- Reconnection of the thermostat and high voltage power supply
Step 13. Start up your team. Usually, the manufacturer’s instructions will tell you exactly how they would like you to start and test your new oven. Follow their instructions as closely as possible.
There you have it. Twenty years of experience grouped into 13 simple steps. If you are considering installing your own furnace, I hope this helps.
Copyright Gatto Publishing 2008
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