Special Considerations When Replacing An Old Furnace

26 October 2020
 Categories: , Blog


The average home furnace may last about fifteen years, but these appliances can sometimes go for much, much longer. While keeping your furnace alive can give you plenty of bang for your buck, it also means that the world of HVAC has left you behind. Modern furnaces are vastly more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than units produced only a decade ago. If you're replacing a furnace that's watched decades pass it by, then there may be some special considerations to keep in mind when choosing and installing your new one.

Local Building Codes

Many municipalities have local regulations for the installation of gas appliances or furnaces in particular. If your current furnace is twenty or more years old, then there's a reasonable chance that building codes have changed in the intervening years. Most areas will grandfather in existing hardware, but your new furnace may have to meet more stringent building codes.

To ensure that you don't face any permit issues, always hire a licensed HVAC contractor with experience in your area. Not only will a skilled technician guarantee that your install goes over well, but they will also help you to identify any code violations with your old installation. Spotting these problems early will allow you to correct them before they impact your new furnace installation.

Old Vents or Gas Lines

Just because you haven't yet experienced any problems doesn't mean that issues don't exist with your exhaust vents, chimney stack, or gas lines. If you don't have these items regularly inspected, then you'll need to have your contractor carefully examine them before installing new equipment. Since these components can significantly impact your safety, you should replace any suspect sections.

Note that newer furnaces have specific requirements for their flue pipe design, so your old vent pipes may be insufficient even if they are in good condition. This situation often comes up where an old furnace vents through a chimney or metal flue pipes. You'll need new PVC flue piping to accommodate the corrosive condensate produced by high-efficiency units.

Other Failing Equipment

If you're working with a genuinely ancient furnace, then you likely have other HVAC equipment that requires replacement as well. It's often a good idea to replace your furnace and air conditioner together, for example. Not only will you see drastically increased efficiency gains from both systems, but the labor overlap means your total cost should be lower than replacing each one individually.

Old furnaces are inefficient and may even contain safety hazards. Although you may need to take a few extra details into account, installing a new furnace now is almost always a better option than waiting for your old one to fail. Reach out to a professional who provides heating installation services to learn more.