Have you idly browsed through the furnaces at your local home improvement store while thinking, "I could probably do that?" Every homeowner wants to save a few bucks on home maintenance, and do-it-yourself projects are an excellent option for keeping your annual ownership costs low. While there are many projects around the house that you can tackle yourself, there are some jobs that you should generally leave to a professional. While heating installation may seem relatively straightforward on the surface, this is a job that has the potential to go awry in a variety of ways. If a do-it-yourself furnace installation is on your radar, these challenges might convince you to hire an installer instead.
Furnace Installation Is a Lengthy Process
Are you expecting to bring your furnace home, hook up a few pipes, and be done with your project by dinner? Installing a furnace is a long job, even for professionals who may install several units every month. A typical professional installation requires between eight and ten hours of work, and that's assuming that nothing goes wrong along the way. If you have little or no experience working with furnaces, then you can potentially be facing a project that can extend through several weekends. Since disconnecting your old furnace is the first part of the process, this is time that your home will be without heat.
There Are Potential Dangers
Depending on the fuel source for your furnace, there are some potential dangers that you may be facing. If using a gas furnace, you will need to connect both the fuel line and the exhaust vent. Both of these connections are essential to the safe operation of your furnace, and both pose significant hazards if installed incorrectly. These elements of your furnace installation are so dangerous that permits and city inspections for your new furnace will almost always be required. In other words, doing this job incorrectly means that you may not be able to use your furnace at all.
It's More Complicated Than It Looks
You've got more than time and inspections to worry about when you're putting in your new furnace. Dealing with all of the vent work, gas plumbing, condensate removal, and electrical connections is more challenging than it may appear at first glance. After all, there's a reason that even professionals need an entire day to get the job done right. Most furnaces come with detailed instructions, but fitting a new unit often means knowing how to overcome unexpected hurdles and challenges.
When most homeowners think about installing a furnace themselves, the question they ask is, "Can I do this?" While it's certainly possible to complete a furnace installation on your own, the real question you should be asking is, "Should I do this?" You might save a few dollars on installation, but you will make up for that cost in time and frustration. Even worse, if you get it wrong, you may fail your inspection and be forced to call in a professional anyway. With tough jobs like this, working with a qualified and experienced contractor is usually the right move.