Money and value are the central points of contestation when talking of furnace repairs and replacements. Every homeowner would want to save money whenever the opportunity presents itself but still get their home repair and replacement projects professionally handled. Most furnace-related maintenance and tune-ups are easy to complete and require no complex skills. However, when it comes to furnace replacement, your DIY skills are likely to disappoint you greatly. So, is furnace replacement DIY possible? Stay tuned to learn everything about furnace replacements.
When should you upgrade your home furnace? Take a look at your utility bills. If they are significantly higher, it may be because of your furnace.
When Should I Replace My Furnace?
Before you embark on the DIY furnace replacement, know if your furnace is ready for replacement or if you can repair it. Premium furnaces from leading world brands can last for 30 years with full-time use. However, your furnace may give up before the 30 years are over, and here are signs of a damaged-beyond-repair furnace.
- Expensive repairs increasing
- High utility bills
- The system is making extremely high sounds as it operates
- The furnace is releasing extreme levels of dust, and soot through its registers
- The unit has a damaged heat exchanger
- The home humidity keeps rising even when the furnace is on
How Much Will I Spend on Furnace Replacement?
The bill you pay to have your new furnace depends on the furnace type, model & brand, and the contractor you hire. Suppose you’ve mastered the necessary HVAC repair and troubleshooting skills. In that case, you can install the unit yourself to cut the costs of professional installation services. The cost of new electric furnace averages at $1000, solar furnace averages at $18,000, natural gas furnace averages at $1500, while a propane furnace will average at $2500. These are the upfront costs of securing the furnaces without the installation costs. Therefore, if you have the tools and can do the job, you’re sure to save some money.
Related: Why Is My Furnace Leaking Water?
Are Furnace Replacement DIY Projects Safe?
DIY furnace installation is technically demanding. For DIYers to do it perfectly, they must be a pro in disguise. For the average DIYer, you’ll need extensive HVAC knowledge to install the furnace adequately. In addition, there are safety considerations to keep your property, loved ones, and yourself safe.
In installing natural gas furnaces, you’ll need to have a certain level of plumbing skills, electrical work, and sheet metal work. The process is simply complex and risky, and for the ordinary DIYer, you’ll be endangering people’s lives by trying to do it yourself. The case will worsen if you’re installing oil or natural gas furnaces as the risk of getting exposed to dangerous chemicals is pretty high. For your best interests, always leave the work of replacing furnaces to a professional, certified, and licensed HVAC technician.
What You May Need to Know If You Go the DIY Route
If you’ve done HVAC repairs and installations for some time, and you think you’re capable of replacing your old furnace, observing certain things is critical. Before starting the installation work, turn the gas and electrical supplies off. You’re risking lives if you try reinstalling the old gas furnace when it’s already connected to electrical or gas supplies. Get every utility to the furnace turned off and then disassemble it carefully.
When disconnecting the vent pipes, electrical wires, and ductwork, you should wear protective gloves and gear to safeguard yourself against cuts and accidental chemical leakage. If your furnace connects to an AC system, the disconnection work will be more demanding. The most recommended solution will be to get a professional to do it. DIY furnace installation may save you money, but only if you do it perfectly. You know the job is complex, and for a beginner, it will take lots of time, and the results may not always be glimmering. Besides, furnaces are very costly, and if you damage your system while installing, you may have to buy a new unit.
Mistakes You May Make if You Go the Furnace Replacement DIY Route
Setting up a furnace for it to run efficiently is simply a job made for specialists. We aren’t saying DIYers can’t get the work done to perfection, but only a few DIYers have what it takes to install new furnaces. As an HVAC DIYer, you’re likely to make the following mistakes when you try installing a furnace yourself.
- Void the warranty: The rule by every manufacturer is that for the furnace warranty to remain valid, the unit should be installed by a certified and licensed HVAC technician. Installing the furnace by yourself automatically voids the warranty. Simply put, you won’t get covered by the warranty in case of future issues when you install the furnace by yourself.
- Problems with combustion: One of the most complex tasks to complete during the furnace installation project is to accurately fix the flue and heat exchanger. When mistakes happen in the flue installation, the system will generate more carbon monoxide than required, which may cause death or illness to those within the house. If the gas happens to leak into the atmosphere, the consequences could be catastrophic, too.
- Issues with system efficiency: When poorly installed, the furnace won’t perform efficiently. It will break down unexpectedly and repeatedly, meaning it won’t make your home as comfortable as desired. Likewise, improper installation shortens the life of the heating system.
- Sizing issues: A furnace installed by a layman won’t perform to the homeowner’s expectations. The problem starts from the moment you visit the store to buy the furnace. You will likely buy a furnace larger or smaller than the size of your home, meaning it won’t meet the comfort need of your home. When talking of installation, you will possibly set up the unit improperly.
- Improper Furnace Installations Can End Up Imperiling Homeowners
Conclusion: Furnace Replacement DIY
DIY furnace installation is never the cup of tea for every DIYer. Some trained HVAC technicians face challenges when installing furnaces, so why would you want to try a DIY on this costly and precious household equipment?