Can I Install My Own Furnace? (Safety and Legality Issues – Do NOT Ignore!)

Home improvements or repairs are expensive; there is no doubt about that! Many of us often resort to DIY to save some pennies and get the job done.

Sure, it can sometimes take a little longer, and we may have an accident, but that is all part of the fun, right?

However, when it comes to furnaces, they usually require a bit more attention than a flatpack from IKEA.

But if you're having to ask...

"Can I install my own furnace?"

Then I think you already know the answer, no! Clearly by having to ask you're not qualified to do so.

If you make a mistake you can cause a gas leak and risk yourself and your families lives potentially, it's dangerous!

It may even be illegal where you live and there's a reason people train and need qualifications to fit furnaces!

So clearly It is NOT recommended and here's why in more depth...

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Can I install my own furnace? No...!!

So, can I install my own furnace? We aren’t ones for breaking hearts and letting dreams die here, but you probably should not install your own furnace. 

Furnaces are tricky beasts. You often need a good understanding of sheet metal work, electrical, and some plumbing skills to successfully install a furnace. 

Furnace installation can become more complicated when your furnace burns gas or oil. It can become dangerous work if your furnace exhaust is not tuned correctly. 

It is best to leave it to a licensed HVAC professional to ensure your furnace is installed safely and correctly.

HVAC specialists have to undergo rigorous training to prepare for these installations and usually require a license to work depending on the state you are in. 

Leave it to a professional and don't risk it. 

But here's the process an expert will go through which is clearly not for the average person to attempt...

A man installing a furnance

How An Expert Installs A Furnace

All gas and electrical lines need turned off. It is very dangerous to have any power running to the furnace unit while uninstalling your old furnace.

This is NOT something you should be attempting yourself!

Once the lines are powered off, all gas supplies and wires are disconnected and any ductwork and vent pipes also. If your furnace is also connected to an AC unit, the professional will need to disconnect that too.

An HVAC professional will also need experience with refrigeration units to complete this work, so be sure to mention it to professionals when seeking help! 

Ensure that the unit has been entirely disassembled, with all screws removed from the base, before the furnace is discarded.  

You may need to contact a removal company to ensure it is disposed of correctly. 

Now that the furnace is removed, the area will need to be thoroughly cleaned before the new furnace can be installed.

As dust and dirt can contaminate a furnace thoroughly vacuum the area to remove the remaining debris. 

Once the area is clean, step back ahain and let the experts get to work.

They will connect the wires, ductwork, and pipes to your new furnace. A  thermostat will be connected, and the power and gas supplies turned back on.

Before the technician leaves, they will also test the system and check for any possible leaks. Any leaks are usually spotted in the ductwork and can be repaired easily. 

If it is a gas furnace installed, the gas supply lines will also be checked for leaks, along with all other connections to ensure your furnace has been installed correctly. 

Another vital inspection that must take place is a carbon monoxide inspection. Your furnace and lines will be checked for any carbon monoxide or other gas emissions that could be leaking.

This test is best left to the professionals, who know they will be able to spot any gas leaks and have the correct equipment to carry out repairs. 

4 Reasons A Professional Should Install Your Furnace And Not You

We’ve covered how a furnace can be installed, and as we have said before, it should be left to the professionals to ensure your safety and a correct installation.

We’ll now take a look at 4 of the reasons why it should be left to an HVAC expert to install your new furnace. 

1. A Professional Permit Is Needed

One crucial factor is that in most states, it is the law.  You will need a furnace or mechanic permit to replace a furnace. Please make sure that the professional you hire has this permit before the work begins.

2. Your Home Insurance Won't Cover You Otherwise

If you hire someone who does not have a furnace permit, there is a good chance your home insurance will not cover you if you experience any issues later down the line. 

A permit also offers a 3rd party inspection of your furnace, so you can rest easy knowing the installation has met the manufacturer requirements and guidelines for a safe installation! 

3. You Are Risking Your Life Otherwise

As we have said earlier, installing a furnace can be dangerous, mostly if you have never done it before. There can be quite severe complications due to improperly installed furnaces. 

4. Gas Leaks Could Occur Otherwise

Gas leaks are the most common complication. Although gas cannot be seen, the smell should alert you quickly to signs of a leak.

It can be challenging to pinpoint the exact location of the leak based on smell alone, so it is best to contact a professional. They will be able to identify the leak and have the proper tools to rectify it. 

You must contact a professional as soon as the gas is smelled. Left unchecked, gas can cause explosions from the smallest spark or flick of a lighter or even the spark of an exploding lightbulb. 

It is best to have a professional install your furnace for your peace of mind and safety. 

Final word

As you can see, while you could install your own furnace, it is strongly recommended that you don’t and leave it to the professionals.

Choosing your new furnace can be a fun task, but let the party end there and pass the baton to the experts!