The first question that comes to mind when considering the idea of installing a gas furnace is, “Is it safe?” It would be wise to have a licensed contractor inspect your home for potential problems with this equipment. He or she will be able to let you know if there are any electrical problems that may occur and the amount of current that can be used before it becomes hazardous. He or she will also be able to tell you if there are any moving parts in the furnace. Finally, they can determine whether or not your gas furnace can be installed outside.
In many areas, home inspectors warns homeowners that an outdoor gas furnace can be dangerous. Another concern about outdoor use of a furnace is that the pilot light is exposed to the elements. Can a gas furnace to be installed outside? In most cases, the furnace pilot light can be housed inside the furnace itself. However, the unit does have an external switch that can be turned on if desired. It would be prudent to have this switch inspected by a licensed technician before putting it outdoors.
Can a gas furnace to be installed indoors? It depends on the model of the furnace. Indoor models still need some type of venting, but not as much as those used in outdoor units. You can install a gas furnace right inside your existing heating system.
Can a gas furnace to be installed inside of a traditional wood-burning fireplace? Yes, if you follow the manufacturers’ instructions. When you install a gas model inside a wood-burning fireplace, the combustion products are exhausted through an exhaust system that includes a gas log set up for combustion. The gas goes up through the vent system and escapes into a separate holding tank. This second tank is not usually vented outside.
If you want to have your wood furnace installed outdoors, you have a few more options. You can opt for a “real” wood-burning furnace. These units have a wood logs set up inside and employ a wood burning firebox. They do require a large investment upfront and may not be appropriate for all spaces. They also use natural gas and have a limited lifespan. If you have a space that can accommodate them, they can be an option.
How do you know which furnace model will work best for you? You need to know the BTUs of the furnace’s combustion products. They vary according to what the product is made from. They range from three thousand btu’s (abundant) to twenty thousand you’s. Be aware of products that advertise higher BTU values, because these may only burn one-third as hot as their advertised value. These furnaces require a separate gas fitting outside the house and may not be appropriate for some areas or rooms.
As with any type of appliance, you should consider your homeowner’s association rules before beginning your project. Most associations don’t allow gas models. Some associations may allow a pilot light to be used during the installation process; these models may not function well outside. Before you begin your project, it’s a good idea to contact your local HVAC association and get permission and guidelines for using gas in your outdoor heating system. As always, we recommend that you leave gas furnace installation to the experts as the best way to avoid any potential risks.