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The Most Complicated Heating Conversion Installations & Why

by Feride Halma

Having one type of heating appliance and choosing to convert to another type of heating appliance may benefit you in the long run. If you are not choosing to convert, but you are forced to convert because your current furnace or boiler has kicked the bucket, then that is likely a good thing, too. However, you should be aware of some of the most complicated heating installation conversions and why they are complicated. It will help you decide what your next heating appliance will be. 

Oil Furnace to Any Other Type (or Vice Versa)

Oil furnaces are unique beasts. You have a separate fuel tank that has to be installed or removed, depending on your situation, along with the feed lines, ignition switch, burner controls, and then the oil burning furnace itself. It is more complicated to put in than to take it out, but there is still a lot to consider in terms of removal and installation. If you are having an oil furnace removed, the process takes a day or two, since all of the leading lines and parts have to be disassembled, bled dry, and taken out to a waiting truck to be hauled off as scrap. It is definitely a two-person job, and do not be too surprised if you see three or four people working to remove the oil furnace prior to installing any other appliance. 

Boiler to Gas/Propane

A boiler is closer to an electric furnace, making that conversion a little easier. However, most people prefer not to go with the electric furnace because it is often less efficient than natural gas or propane. If you are going to convert from boiler to natural gas or propane, this is another complicated conversion because you have to remove all of the plumbing and wiring for the boiler to install plumbing for the gas/propane furnace. Additionally, if you opt for propane, then you have to install propane tanks that have to be refilled frequently. It is something to consider if you want to convert to some sort of gas furnace and remove the boiler. 

The Easiest Conversion of All

The easiest conversion of all is boiler to electric. Everything electrical that you need is already there, right in your home, with the boiler furnace. There is not a lot of plumbing involved with a boiler, and that is easily removed or sealed off. You can actually get a very efficient electric furnace about the same size as your boiler, and it will fit in the same location as the boiler too. If you do not have a boiler, or you do not have an electric furnace, ask your HVAC technician what your easiest and least expensive options are.

For more information about heating installation, contact local HVAC contractors.