How you install a furnace will affect your comfort and energy bills for years. Even if you're going with the same manufacturer and same type of furnace as you already have, your heating needs may have changed or the furnace might not have been properly chosen and installed to begin with. When you purchase a new furnace, always start from scratch, and keep the following things in mind.
One of the most important decisions is getting the right heating capacity. When you're researching your new furnace, you'll see many online guides saying "so many BTUs per square foot." These are only the roughest of estimates.
Your furnace should be tailored to meet your home and climate. In the northernmost areas, high efficiency furnaces are primed to handle long deep freezes since they make up much of the heating season. However, in slightly more temperate areas, a furnace designed to handle deep freezes won't be as efficient as one that works best in the 30s and 40s.
You also need to consider unique characteristics of your home. What is your insulation and sun exposure? Are you a standalone home or do you have neighbors above, below, or next to you so that not all of your walls are exposed to the cold? Also, do you have a more difficult to heat multi-level home?
Your furnace needs to be properly vented to the outside for efficient operation, fire safety, and carbon monoxide poisoning prevention. Old vents may not be up to modern building codes and may not be safe with your existing furnace.
An old vent may also be damaged or blocked. Finally, if you're not installing an identical furnace, an old vent may simply not be the right fit for your new furnace.
There are three questions to ask about your air ducts. First, are they still in good shape or have they been damaged over the years? Damaged ducts often mean energy leaks.
Second, are they insulated? If you have uninsulated ducts, you could be losing a lot of heat as your heated air passes through the ducts in your frigid basement and attic. Insulated ducts prevent this heat loss.
Third, are they the right size? Different furnaces have different air outputs, and your home's layout and air distribution may have changed through a remodeling.
To learn more about how to properly install a furnace within your home, talk to a local HVAC installation contractor today.