Air Force Heating Blog

7 Steps to installing a new furnace. What to avoid.

When installers first arrive they should always review your work order and confirm the details with you.

Laying drop clothes and moving small items from the work area and pathway is an industry standard.

A quality installation averages six to eight hours with two technicians.

Step #1 Remove and dispose of the old furnace.

You want a reputable contractor with insurance and guarantees. Walls and floors are commonly damaged when dealing with mediocre installers.

WCB is important too! Carrying heavy objects, walking on ice and snow, climbing onto roofs and handling sharp materials are all part of your installation.

Step #2 Core holes in the side of the home for the intake and exhaust.

Mediocre installers can make a mess of your home.

Coring holes in the wrong position and damaging water or electrical lines happen in our trade more often than you want to know. Protect yourself and your home.

Step #3 Resize existing chimney.

Some chimneys have offsets or were installed improperly from day one.

If not caught during the consulting stage, be prepared for access holes to be cut in walls or ceilings. Even worse, you could be forced to purchase more expensive equipment once the installation has begun.

Step #4 Placement of new furnace & base…

Also, install carbon monoxide detectors, basement return air, sheet metal adapter, filter rack, drain, horizontal PVC venting, and the hot water tank venting. Reconnect the gas line, electrical circuit and thermostat control.

No matter what equipment you buy, it’s performance and longevity are affected by the quality of the installation. Understand, the end of the assembly line is your mechanical room.

We all hear the stories where people curse the day they installed a new high-efficiency furnace. Upon closer inspection, poor installation(s) and not the equipment itself is to blame.

Step #5 Commissioning the new unit. 

Test fire unit and calibrate the gas pressure and air flow. In most instances, check and adjust all the home supply vents too. 

Don’t be alarmed when the smoke detectors go off, and you smell the weird smell. The furnace is test fired and the oils and chemicals on the heat exchanger getting burned off.

Furnaces require tuning to match your home. Heaters have control boards with dip switches, and they are used to calibrate the unit to your home.

If done improperly or left at default, you’re guaranteed a miserable experience. Sadly, this is the case with far too many installations.

Step #6 Complete checklists, client quality assurance walk-through and explain products.

A reputable contractor will perform a walkthrough with you, ensuring you’re satisfied with the installation and explain how your new equipment operates.

If your sales rep or estimator doesn’t pay attention to detail or whips in and out of your home like a Tasmanian devil, you can bet it’s company culture and the same will be for the installers. Be aware!

Step #7 Collect payment or finalize financing.

Never pay in full upfront.

Some companies will require 10%, 25% or even 50% down to secure the day and equipment. If that is the case, as the homeowner I would offer the same terms to the contractor. You should consider holding the equal amount back until seven days after the installation. To ensure your 100% SATISFIED with the quality and products performance.

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Final comments.

Newly installed equipment may require tweaking, it’s not uncommon to need your contractor to return within a few days or weeks to adjust a few things (new equipment operates differently than old).

Usually minor issues like balancing airflow to specific rooms, addressing some noisy ductwork or answering a few questions you didn’t ask during the walkthrough.

And lastly, be careful of tailgate warranties! (warranties that only last as long as the tailgate of their truck is still in sight).