Texas is no doubt known for its extreme heat, but it’s been seeing more days with Arctic temperatures.
Now, keep in mind that cold weather can cause illnesses just like extreme heat. From the flu to hypothermia, all these can happen to people who get exposed to cold conditions. Scientists even link cold weather in the Lone Star State to higher mortality risks.
That should be enough reason to get a furnace replacement if your old one no longer works. This way, you can keep your home all warm and comfy throughout the winter or during an ice storm.
To that end, we created this guide on the most important facts you need to know about replacing a furnace. Read on to learn when you need a replacement and what to expect before, during, and after replacing it.
When To Get a New Furnace
Just because your heater broke down doesn’t mean you need to replace it on the spot. You may only need emergency heating repairs if it has a weak airflow or makes a lot of noise. Repairing makes more sense if the cost to do so is less than 50% of the cost to get a new heater.
If the repairs cost at least half of what you’d pay for a new unit, go with a replacement. Do the same if your existing furnace has been around for 15 years or more. It’s best to go with an Energy Star furnace, which can be 15% more energy efficient than traditional units.
Who Can Perform Furnace Replacement in Texas?
Texas residents can install an HVAC system on properties they own and live in. However, all HVAC installations, including a furnace replacement, require a permit. The installation must also comply with all applicable building codes and ordinances.
If you’re doing work on a rental property, you must hire a licensed and insured HVAC contractor.
Inspections by an authorized inspector after HVAC-related work may also be mandatory. If so, the inspector must confirm that the job satisfies all building and safety codes. If not, you won’t be able to use the equipment until you get all those issues addressed.
A re-inspection may also be a requirement, such as if the initial one fails.
As tedious as these processes are, they’re necessary for everyone’s safety. After all, improper furnace installation can pose electrical, explosion, and fire hazards. Experts also say that poor HVAC installations can increase energy use by at least 30%.
So, it’s always best to go with professionals who will ace the installation and inspection. They’ll ensure you get the most out of your new furnace by installing it up to code. Most importantly, they’ll make certain that your replacement furnace is safe to use.
How To Prepare for Furnace Replacement
Let’s say you made the wise decision of hiring a reputable, licensed HVAC contractor. All that’s left for you to do is prep the installation site a few days before your service schedule. You can do this by clearing the way to the workspace and the work area itself.
For example, you can relocate some of your stuff near the old furnace to another area of the room. Doing so will give the furnace installers more room to work. Clearing the area also helps ensure there’s enough clearance for the new furnace.
What Happens During Furnace Replacement
Reputable HVAC specialists are always on time, so if the appointment is at 10 AM, expect them to be there. They will show their company IDs without you having to ask. This is crucial, as there have been cases of criminals posing as utility workers in Texas.
You can also expect the furnace installers to don proper personal protective equipment. These include safety glasses, face shield, face mask, protective coveralls, gloves, and booties.
Once the techs are all geared up, they’ll carry out the following steps to install your new furnace.
Furnace installers always shut off electrical breakers that supply power to existing furnaces. This is a safety protocol since up to 30,000 nonfatal electrical shock incidents occur in the US each year.
The techs will also close gas valves or fuel lines connected to the old furnace. If there’s any risky or hazardous material nearby, they’ll ask for your permission to move it. They’ll also place protective covers on the areas of your floor where they need to walk.
Removal of the Old Furnace
The furnace replacement techs will then disconnect all components of your old unit. These include vents, electrical wires, gas lines, and connected ducts. They will unfasten the existing heating equipment from its location.
After the old unit’s removal, the techs will clean the area to prepare it for the new heater.
Installation of the Replacement Furnace
The furnace installers will then place and secure your replacement furnace. They’ll fasten all connections, from the ductwork to the vents and down to the smallest nut and bolt. They’ll make sure all wires, lines, and cords are tightly in place.
How About After the Replacement?
All HVAC techs worth their salt will never leave your home without testing the new furnace. They do this to ensure that the new heater works right and is producing adequate heat. They may also make final adjustments on pressure and airflow.
If everything is in perfect condition, the techs will then review everything with you. For starters, they’ll walk you through your new unit’s functions and features. At the very least, they’ll educate you on how to adjust the thermostat and replace the filter.
Reliable HVAC techs always finish their work with a thorough clean-up of the work area. Most reputable heating contractors also handle the disposal of old heating units. If this is part of your contract, the techs should collect and haul away your old furnace.
Don’t Let Your Old Furnace Keep Making You Cold
As you can see, a furnace replacement is a complex, arduous, and multi-step job. It requires specialized knowledge not only of HVAC units but wirings and gas lines, too. That’s why it’s a job best left in the hands of licensed HVAC professionals.
That’s where our team here at Guy’s come into play. We’re a fully-licensed HVAC company servicing New Caney, The Woodlands, and nearby areas. Get in touch with us now so we can help you get that old furnace replaced with a more energy-efficient unit!