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Your New Condensing Gas Furnace: Key Installation Factors

Posted on December 5, 2013

When purchasing a new condensing furnace for your Wichita-area home, it’s not enough to buy quality equipment. To maximize the energy efficiency, comfort and long-term performance of your new heating system, it must be installed to exacting standards. Here are some important details that your HVAC contractor should discuss with you when planning condensing gas furnace installation:

Determine heating load and get the right size furnace. Oversizing leads to short firing cycles and condensate buildup causing corrosion, causes uncomfortable temperature swings and too-strong air flow out of the registers.

Evaluate existing ductwork for adequacy and suitability for the new furnace equipment.

Ensure that your new furnace accesses outdoor air. Indoor air often contains trace household chemicals, which may corrode furnace components and void warranty.

Installation should follow manufacturer’s instruction manual. An experienced furnace installer will ensure that gas pressure and input are correct and that electrical grounding includes manual disconnect and fuse.

Exhaust pipe must be sized according to manufacturers’ maximum length and number of elbows. Piping must be pitched at least 1/4-inch per foot to allow condensate drainage back through the furnace. Adequate support must be provided since sagging pipes allow condensate to pool, blocking the vent and triggering shutdown.

Intake pipes should be located on the same side of the house as exhaust, so wind pressures on pipes are equal.

A chimney liner should be added so that water heater gasses won’t linger, corroding the chimney. Masonry chimneys in exterior walls may need an insulating sleeve to prevent liner condensation. Alternatives include: replacing or retrofitting the water heater and capping the chimney. Discuss trade-offs with your contractor.

Potential freezing damage warning. Inform homeowners about proper shutdown/drainage procedures to follow before leaving their home unheated.

Place bricks under the furnace to prevent water damage during basement floods.

An external filter rack makes replacing filters easier.

Use pleated media filters and/or consider an electronic air cleaner: it’s more expensive upfront, but eliminates the need for replacement filters.

Seal ductwork and the return duct grille near the furnace.

Questions about condensing gas furnace installation? Contact Comfort Systems for expert advice.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about gas furnace installation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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