Few people would suggest that installing a new furnace is a simple do-it-yourself job, but it's one that experienced homeowners may nevertheless attempt to tackle themselves. While the nuts and bolts of a furnace installation may seem straightforward, the job can quickly become complicated if problems arise. More importantly, there are serious safety concerns that often require professional attention.
Before you try to tackle a furnace installation yourself, consider these three potential hazards that may make this job more challenging than you expect.
1. Vent Sloping
If you look at the vent from your furnace, you may not immediately notice much of a slope. Vents typically slope towards the furnace at an angle of 1 inch for every four feet. This relatively small slope can be challenging to notice if you aren't looking for it, but it's an essential aspect of safe furnace installations.
An improperly sloped furnace will prevent condensation from dripping back into the furnace. This extra water can cause metal vent pipes to rust and potentially reduce airflow through the vents. In many cases, a vent that does not slope towards the furnace will eventually cause the unit to shut down. Rusted vent pipes also have the potential to leak dangerous exhaust gases.
2. Gas Line Installation
Installing a new gas furnace will always require you to disconnect and reconnect your gas lines. If you are not installing your new furnace in the same location as the old one, then you will also need to run new gas plumbing. Not only is working with gas lines dangerous, but it's also often regulated by both local and state building codes.
Incorrectly installing your gas lines may create a severe fire or explosion hazard, and can also cause your furnace to fail local inspections. Professional installers will be familiar with local building codes and can help to ensure that your furnace installation meets all local regulations and permitting requirements.
3. Carbon Monoxide Detection
Even a correctly installed furnace can fail in ways that create dangerous carbon monoxide leaks. These problems typically occur as a result of poor maintenance that results in damage to the heat exchanger or exhaust venting. When a professional HVAC technician installs your furnace, they will help you to ensure that your home has adequate alarms for carbon monoxide leak detection.
Modern gas furnaces are reliable and safe, but they are not appliances that favor do-it-yourself installations. Working with a professional HVAC technician will help you to avoid these potential hazards so that you can enjoy safe, energy-efficient heating in your home.