Can I Relocate My Furnace? - March 6th 2003

Question from Lyle in Airdrie, Alberta -----

Dear Shell,

Move or Replace Furnace for basement development? I'm looking at finishing my basement. I have 1160 sq. ft., Bi-level home, built in 1996. Only the outer walls are studded, insulated and the ceiling is wide open. The furnace is directly in-line, 18 ft., with my basement entrance. I want a large family room in by basement. The current layout would leave a very cut up basement, like an H shape!

The furnace is a 78% efficient Carrier. So, here is my question: Is it more cost efficient to relocate my current furnace with water tank or have a new High Efficiency furnace (direct vent) installed with a matching water tank in the preferred location? My budget is tight! What can I do with the old furnace i.e. trade it in, pay for it to be dismantled and taken away, leave it in the basement disconnected? Would this also be the best time to have a HRV installed or leave it for later? I've called a couple of contractors through the yellow pages and they werenít very helpful. Most likely because I don't know how to approach my problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Please help!

Thank you for your time.

Regards, Lyle


Dear Lyle,

Given that you haven't had much luck talking to some dealers, my suggestion would be to contact A Lennox Service Expert dealer in your area to come and give you a price on relocating your existing unit. This will be determined by addressing issues around the venting as well as the connection to your return air supply and your ducting.

The dealer should be able to give you the pros and cons of upgrading to a high efficiency furnace and an HRV system. Because most high effeciency furnaces can be direct vented through the wall, at least one of the problems (venting)will be taken care of. You'll still need to address the return air duct work as well as the connection from the furnace to the warm air plenum. Also, you can get a power vented hot water tank that can be vented through the wall.

Your old furnace may be worth something but I am sure the company will deal with that. There is usually a good market for good used furnaces, especially for workshops and garages, etc. Itís certainly not necessary to leave your old unit in the basement.

Good Luck with your project,