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Gas Furnace Replacement

Installed correctly, a new gas furnace can cut utility expenses while improving comfort.

Preparation
All exposed ducts (e.g., attic, basement, and crawlspace) shall be inspected; all damaged or disconnected ducts shall be repaired or replaced and all visible leaks shall be sealed with UL 181 tape and/or mastic.
A room-by-room load calculation shall be performed as described in the Air-Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J.
The gas furnace selected shall be ENERGY STAR certified and sized in accordance with ACCA Manual S based on ACCA Manual J load calculation results.
The system shall be evaluated to determine if the supply and return air flows are balanced and if ducts are properly sized. Recommendations shall be made to the homeowner if the ducts are not the right size.
Installation
All equipment shall be installed in accordance with ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 HVAC Quality Installation Specifications.
Proper (design) air flow through the furnace shall be verified; then the firing rate and temperature rise within the nameplate limits shall be verified.
The air filter shall be replaced with a MERV 8 or higher filter. Air flow across the coil shall be measured using a test method approved by the air conditioner manufacturer and verified to be within 15% of design air flow.
If the air filter is installed in a filter media box attached to the air handlers, the access panel for the filter should be fitted with a flexible, air-tight gasket to prevent air leakage.
The thermostat shall be located be on an interior wall away from heating or cooling registers, appliances, lighting fixtures, exterior doors, skylights, windows, and areas that receive direct sunlight or drafts.
The home shall be inspected for the presence of a whole-house ventilation system. If one is present, the actual air flow shall be tested and verified to meet ASHRAE 62.2-2013. Recommendations shall be made to the homeowner for either installing a new ASHRAE 62.2-2013 compliant system if one is not present, or repairing an existing system to be ASHRAE 62.2-2013 compliant if airflow is not adequate.
Pressure balance testing (pressure pan and/or flow hood) for proper room-to-room air flow shall be performed and adjustments shall be made to address any imbalances.
Where natural draft combustion equipment is present, a combustion appliance zone safety test shall be performed after installation to ensure there is no back-drafting or spillage of combustion emissions. The test shall be in accordance with ANSI/ACCA 12 QH Appendix A or RESNET Chapter 8.
If installing a direct-vent gas furnace results in an orphaned gas water heater still connected to an existing chimney that may now have inadequate draft to remove the water heater combustion emissions, the contractor shall inform the homeowner of necessary remediation steps (e.g., installing a chimney liner) to provide proper venting and code compliance.
If installation of a new furnace results in a vacated entry point in the chimney, the hole in the chimney wall shall be sealed.

BASC Guides

Retrofit guide describing how to assess harmful gasses such as carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and soot from existing combustion appliances.

Guide describing combustion furnaces with compliance and installation guidance.

This guide describes proper installation of high-MERV furnace and air-handler filters.

Guide describing how to upgrade or expand an existing HVAC system.

Tips to Sell Quality Installed Home Improvements

Home Improvement Expert (HIE) is a valuable tool for organizations committed to quality installed work. The following tips help optimize the value of this tool when selling home improvements:

  • Be the Expert: Take advantage of Building America Solution Center comprehensive guidance on ‘Existing Home’ retrofits.
  • Earn Trust: Inform homeowners how your work conforms to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) world-class expert guidance and recommend homeowners visit the DOE website as evidence these are indeed official best practices.
  • Clarity with Contrast: Tell prospective homeowner clients to compare your expert recommended best practices with other contractors.
  • Ensure Equivalent Pricing: Tell prospective homeowner clients to insist other bids also include DOE checklists to ensure equivalent quality work.
  • Translate Value: Note your company uses DOE HIE Checklists based on world-class expert recommendations for home improvements on all your public-facing communication including websites, advertising, and signage.
  • Create Emotional Experiences: Provide visual evidence contrasting the difference between poor and high quality work such as infrared images for good and bad insulation and air sealing; pre- and post-energy bills following quality installed work; short and long warranties for standard and high-efficiency equipment; and charts showing amounts of contaminants in homes that can be reduced with effective fresh air systems.

Gas Furnace Replacement Background

New gas furnace

Systems for heating and cooling your home cost more money and use more energy than any other system in your home – typically over 50% of your utility bill. High-efficiency gas furnaces such as two-stage and modulating systems save energy and last longer. However, a quality installation is integral to a well-performing system. Nearly half of all heating and cooling systems in U.S. homes are not installed to manufacturer’s instructions and therefore perform below rated capacity and efficiency.