Now that it is spring, it's the perfect time to replace your gas furnace before winter rolls around again. Here is what you need to know about the gas furnace installation and replacement process.
Schedule An Assessment
Call your heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to schedule an in-home assessment with a technician. Before the appointment, be sure to gather your gas bills from the most recent winter. They will first do a tune-up on your current furnace. This will enable them to accurately assess its current efficiency. Armed with that information and your fuel bills, they will be able to determine the current annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE.) The lower the percentage, the lower the efficiency. The technician will run the numbers with new furnace options that have a higher AFUE than your current furnace. This will let you know how long it will take to realize savings in relation to the expense of a new furnace.
Another part of the assessment process is looking at things like the vent system, current window and door efficiency, the floor plan, and the insulation level. Most HVAC contractors will recommend at this point that you also schedule a professional home energy audit. These specialized experts will inspect every household system and make weatherization recommendations. The more weather-tight your home is, the more efficient your new furnace will be.
Choose Your Furnace
Once the HVAC contractor has completed their evaluation and the energy audit has been conducted, the HVAC contractor will want to meet with you again to discuss your new furnace options. Most contractors recommend choosing a furnace that meets the minimum criteria to participate in the government's Energy Star certification program. This program chooses the most energy-efficient appliances on the market and typically offers rebates or tax breaks for homeowners who purchase them. The initial outlay may be greater when choosing an Energy-Star-certified appliance, air conditioner, or furnace, but your return on investment will be higher as will your energy savings.
Your HVAC contractor will guide you in choosing the gas furnace that is right for your home while still meeting any budget restraints you may have. In general, you want the most expensive furnace you can afford as this is what will be the most efficient.
Prepare For Installation
Your job is to clear any clutter out of the area(s) the HVAC contractor crew will be working in. This is typically the basement in northern homes. The contractor will likely require access to the rest of the house so they can assess performance once the new unit is installed.
After the contractor develops a plan with their crew, they will remove the old furnace, install the new one, start the system, and ensure everything is working as it should be. Most heating installations take only a few hours or less.