Can Anyone Install a Furnace?
How do you find someone who will do a good job installing something dangerous like heating equipment without worrying that they’re just going to hook up your new dryer wrong? Well, there are three steps:
1) Recognize that quality furnace installation matters more than a brand name for some things.
2) Avoid being taken advantage of by hiring an expert.
3) Recognize that you can do some of the easy stuff yourself.
You may not install the whole furnace, but you probably know enough about electricity to screw in a light switch or install a new outlet. And if not, it’s time to learn! If you can handle simple home wiring, everything else is just details (and why electricians exist). I would instead learn how to safely wire my own house than hire someone who might cut corners anyway.
If this sounds like something worth learning about, go here for full instructions on installing your first electrical outlet! It’s an easy project, and most people will never need more help than what you’ll find there. After that, maybe you’ll be ready to install the wiring for a ceiling fan … but we recommend trying that on a weekend when you’ve got time to kill anyway.
If you’re looking at something more complicated, then here are some basic steps to hire an expert wisely:
1) Get referrals from friends and family members who have had similar work done recently. If they were happy with the results, the company probably is too! Ask around first, don’t just take their word for it.
2) Get at least three quotes for anything other than simple lighting or outlets. For anything more complicated, try to get five. It may not matter much if one guy charges $1000 while another charges $1100… so long as they both have good reviews and similar qualifications.
3) Make sure they understand what you need before signing any contract or paying more than 10 percent of the total bill as a down payment. It’s okay for this step to take multiple visits and phone calls, but don’t let them rush you into signing anything! If needed, try working with your family lawyer on essential paperwork (they’re likely to know something about local licenses and requirements).
4) Don’t make any assumptions about the price of the work! For instance, an HVAC technician may be planning to charge $150 per hour or $4500 for a whole heating unit (including installation and assembly).