How to move a furnace- Things you should know in 2022
There’s really no easy way to put this. But you shouldn’t even think of removing a furnace from its original space. The hassle isn’t worth it if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s just break it down from the start.
If you’re living in a chilly part of the country, then it’s probably not right to argue about the need for having a furnace. You simply just can’t make do without it. Placing the furnace in the right spot is as important as having a furnace in the first place.
But dealing with stuff like how to move a furnace isn’t something you take lightly. As a matter of fact, it’s a task you should assign to a professional. Who is probably more qualified than you and us combined.
So, we will not try to tell you how you should move a furnace on your own. But we would rather talk about the things that you need to consider before even planning something like this. Now, there’s really no point in pushing this intro any further. Let’s just get on with it.
What is a furnace
A furnace is a heating system with a thermostat. The thermostat detects the rise or fall of the temperature of a room. The system then sucks up cold air. Heats the air using electricity, natural gas, or any other fuel. Then regulates the warm air in the room. This is the basic function of a furnace. In a sense, air conditioner and furnaces are sides of a coin.
Newer furnaces or modern furnace has some extra features. Some have an air filter, some can maintain indoor air quality. Some come with a furnace filter. If you have a furnace problem or furnace issue, then you can go through the furnace tune up process. You can also think about furnace repair.
Furnace vs HVAC
Some people mix up HVAC system with furnaces. An HVAC unit is different from a furnace. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. HVAC is a complex system of three processes. An HVAC uses a smart thermostat. But instead of just heating, it can also lower the temperature of the air.
An HVAC sucks up air and reads the temperature. If the air is cold and needs heating, the heater heats the air. Then sends out hot air. If the sucked-up air is warm, then the ac unit cools it. Then sends out cool air. HVAC can also monitor air quality.
Some HVAC comes with sensors to monitor the quality of air. You can also install an extra filter on your HVAC. Basically, an HVAC system is an air conditioner, air heating, and ventilator system. So buying an HVAC system is buying all these three. You can buy an air conditioner and air heating machine at the same time!
Some compare HVAC with air furnaces. But in reality, HVAC does 3 jobs. Whereas a furnace does only one job of heating the air. Also, a new furnace costs significantly less than a new HVAC.
Furnace Placement: The ‘What’
Before we get on to moving a furnace, it’s probably best to know where the furnace installation should have been in the first place! (pun intended!) Let’s start with how a furnace actually works.
How does a Furnace Work
It’s really simple to understand. You basically have a heating system that takes care of the main task of getting the temperatures higher. The principle is the same as a water heater. You turn on the heat pump by turning on the furnace. It takes air into its system.
The heat exchanger then transfers its heat to the air. After that, it is circulated into space (your home, of course).
The principle is pretty much the same for an electric furnace. But it’s got electrical coils as the heating element. The function of it is a bit different than the heating elements of gas furnaces.
Where would you want to put your furnace?
There are certain predetermined places where the furnace should be placed:
Basements are the first choice to allocate furnace space. If you haven’t already put it there, then moving furnace to basement is a good idea. These are pretty much empty spaces where you have good airflow and ventilation.
Garage and utility rooms
Garage and utility rooms come as second choices. But only if there are specific infrastructures to house them in. If you have sufficient space in garage, you may consider moving furnace to garage. There may be an additional cost involved if you are thinking of using one of these places as a home for your furnace.
This is not a very suitable location for putting your furnace. Some even ask if furnace in attic good or bad. But if there isn’t any suitable space, then you can consider moving furnace to attic.
However, the issue here is the increase in overall energy use, which will go up to around 30% in cold weather. It will add more money to your energy bill. Moreover, attic furnace maintenance can be challenging regardless of having the best attic furnace. So, you may want to gather some more professional intelligence before moving on with this project.
What things matter for furnace placement?
There are a couple of things here that need considering:
The air and energy flow
Airflow is of the utmost importance when it comes to furnace location. If the airflow is prohibited by any means, it can meddle with the overall usability of the furnace.
As for the airflow, you should never consider putting a furnace where you need to stretch the connections. It’s a bad practice that will lead to potential mishaps in the future.
Empty space and adequate ventilation
Even in 2022, furnaces need a substantial amount of space for installation. It’s just how it is, unfortunately.
So, not only will you need proper spacing, the ventilation has to be proper as well. You can’t just put your furnace in a confined space and hope for miraculous results. Confined places will give you trouble in furnace maintenance.
Two things can happen if the ventilation and spacing are insufficient:
You may have to deal with a potential carbon monoxide gas and some flue gases. Which is a result of inadequate combustion. If the furnace is a gas burner or gas furnace, then the problem is more complex. Oil furnace also creates gas. Gas back-drafting to your living space is also a potential issue.
Furnace Placement: The ‘Why’
Now we will talk about why you want to move your furnace.
You need more room
The first obvious reason for furnace relocation is the need for more room. Maybe you have the furnace located in a nearby utility room. If you move it someplace else, there will be more space for a new closet or something like that.
Heat distribution and noise levels
This is actually a valid reason for moving your furnace.
Some think the use of furnaces is for the heating season. So noise won’t be that of an issue. If you are dealing with a noise issue, then you may want to consider moving the furnace to a more suitable location.
But, if proper ventilation is also an issue along with the noise problems, then we would recommend you call a professional and get on with the moving process.
It’s like killing two birds with one stone!
Maintenance is a substantial issue that no one should overlook. And if the maintenance space is somehow restricting, then you should probably think about moving the furnace to a suitable location.
The problems with furnace relocation
Furnace transfer isn’t just a ‘move and forget’ type of situation. There is a potential furnace issue that may persist even after you’ve moved the furnace to a location suitable to you.
Problems with piping
Once moved to a secondary location, the chimney piping can feel pressurized. As a matter of fact, there can be a loss in the overall performance of the furnace because of the location change. Energy efficiency will also be a problem if not handled. Your heating bill may increase for energy loss.
Duct and feed lines
The ducting and feed lines aren’t very prone to change. You may need to chalk out a strategy before you think of moving the furnace. Otherwise, you will end up losing a lot of cash. You may have to go through the furnace replacement process.
You may want to treat today’s discussion of ‘how to move a furnace’ like a precautionary note. Because what you can do shouldn’t always bear good results.
It is especially true for relocating furnaces. Because if you don’t plan ahead, there’s a chance that you need to shed more cash than you initially intended.
So, before doing anything, you may want to consult with professionals and other users who have undergone such a process countless times. It will allow you to understand the depth of your situation.
And the things we said earlier should also make your life easier. Good luck.