Furnaces have come a long way in recent years in terms of both efficiency and safety. High-efficiency furnaces are one of the most popular options for homeowners today. These types of furnaces run efficiently and require less maintenance. However, they also cause some concern among homeowners due to their venting system. An improperly vented furnace can result in carbon monoxide poisoning that puts you and your family at risk. In this article, we’re going to put your mind at ease by providing some installation and maintenance tips. These tips will help you determine if your high-efficiency furnace is running as it should while keeping your family safe and warm.
Ensuring your high-efficiency furnace is properly installed is one of the most important safety aspects to consider. Depending on the size, make and model of your unit there are specific installation requirements. Therefore, only a qualified HVAC professional will know the furnace vent requirements, including the appropriate furnace vent pipe size and the high efficiency furnace venting distance necessary for your particular furnace. Poor or improper installation could cause damage to your furnace, void any warranty and create a dangerous situation for you and your family.
A trained and certified HVAC professional will ensure your furnace is installed correctly and all components are working properly. Here are some other things the HVAC pro should discuss and review during installation.
Ensure Easy Access to Furnace and Pipes
Prior to your furnace installation it’s important that you and the service technician review and confirm the location of the new furnace. Even high-efficiency furnaces require maintenance. This means anyone who is going to service the unit should have relatively easy access to the furnace and other components once it’s installed. So, make sure your furnace is placed in a location that allows access to both the main unit and pipes after installation.
Confirm Airtight Pipes
The process your furnace goes through to keep you and your family warm throughout the winter also produces potentially harmful fumes. Therefore, having airtight seals for all pipes, especially vent pipes, is extremely important. A skilled HVAC professional should use only approved adhesives and cleaner to ensure all piping has airtight connections. Even the smallest leak is enough to release deadly amounts of carbon monoxide into your home. So once your furnace is up and running your technician should check all the connections to ensure they are properly sealed, with no leaks.
It is possible for pipes to become unsealed if they weren’t properly installed. You can do a quick check by placing your hand on the outside of the furnace vents to see if you feel cold air. If you feel cold air coming through furnace vents when the furnace is off, this is a good indicator that your pipes are properly sealed.
Never Exhaust through a Chimney
Although this may seem like a logical option based on accessibility and convenience, venting a high-efficiency furnace through a chimney should never be done. If you notice your furnace installer doing this, stop them immediately and consider hiring someone else to do your installation. While venting through a chimney is not recommended, high efficiency furnace venting through the roof is an acceptable option.
As mentioned earlier, the location of your furnace is important because it can make maintenance and repairs easier. Since all HVAC systems require some form of maintenance throughout the year it is important to discuss a maintenance plan based on your specific unit. Regular maintenance will ensure your unit is running efficiently and can help identify an issue before it becomes a major problem.
Check Internal and External Pipes
It is a good practice that on a monthly basis or whenever you change the filter of your furnace, to check the venting pipes. Check both the inside and the outside for any irregularities, leaks or damage. Take note of any bad or burning smell coming from the furnace vents. Both of these could be a sign that something is wrong, in which case you should contact an HVAC professional to investigate further.
If you live in an area that receives moderate to heavy snow fall each winter, it’s possible for snow to block your furnace vent. Therefore, it’s important to have the vent installed high enough off the ground, to prevent this from happening. Even though a high-efficiency direct vent furnace requires less maintenance than a standard furnace, you’ll still need to keep checking your system periodically.
One of the most important things to remember about furnace maintenance is to change your filter on a regular basis. Your furnace filter is extremely important for maintaining good indoor air quality and to keep your home clean and safe. If you have trouble remembering when you should change out your filter, it might be best to schedule regular furnace maintenance with a local HVAC professional.
Hire a Trusted Professional
There are many benefits to owning a high-efficiency furnace. But there is also a lot to take into consideration when it comes to having one installed in your home. If you are considering installing a high-efficiency furnace but have concerns, questions, or just want more information, contact your local HVAC pros at Aire Serv. We can answer all your questions and discuss options like a high-efficiency electric furnace that might work better for you.
Our team of trained and experienced technicians are ready to assist you with installation and maintenance. To learn more call 855-679-0011 or visit us online to make an appointment.