Installing a Central Heating System

Installing a central heating system is a big job. You'll be putting in an entire system and it’s going to be especially big if there’s no existing system to replace. However, although many people would call an HVAC engineer to do the work, it is something you can undertake yourself.

Tools and Materials Needed:
  • Saw
  • Sheet metal ductwork and hangers
  • Furnace
  • Duct covers
  • Wrenches
  • Thermostat
Step 1 - Ducts

Determine in your central heating system is where the ducts will be in each room, as well as the cold air return. Mark these, then go under the house to determine access. In an ideal situation, this will not be a problem. You’ll need to cut the holes in the floor and install the ductwork that leads to the area where you’ll locate your furnace.

You’ll need to attach the ductwork to the underside of the floors and run it along, using hangers to keep it in place. The hangers should be located every 12 inches to keep the ductwork firm. The cold air return will be wider than the other ducts, and the hole in the floor will be larger. Cover the cold air return with a grille and put duct covers on the ducts in each room. You will also need to install the thermostat and run the wires to the furnace area.

Step 2 - Furnace

You’ll need help to move the furnace. It has to stand perfectly even on the floor, but should be located close to electricity and to the gas pipe. Use a level on all sides on the furnace and shim as necessary until it’s level.

Start by hooking up the black pipes, which are the outlets to different areas of the house. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction and put them together with a wrench. From here attach the ductwork to the pipes that go up from the outlet. You will also need to hook up the air return to the furnace.

Step 3 - Gas

Hooking up the gas line can be the trickiest part of installing a central heating system. If you don’t feel confident or don’t have experience, then it’s best to bring in a professional for this part as doing it wrong can be dangerous. You need a secure connection from the gas pipe to the house to the furnace. You’ll need to turn off the gas and create that connection with iron pipe.

Step 4 - Electricity

Wiring the furnace into the electricity, which will operate the blower fan, is a simpler part of central heating installation. Turn off the electricity to the house. Install the thermostat on the furnace. After that, put the wires onto the furnace according to the instruction and then run to the junction box. Connect the wires, close the junction box and turn the electricity back on.

Step 5 - Operation

Turn the furnace on and light the pilot light. Set the temperature you want in the house. The furnace should ignite, and shortly the blower will begin to operate to complete your central heating installation.