How to Ensure Your Furnace Is Up to Code Standards
Whether you intend to build a new home or put in a new HVAC system, there are certain standards that are established by local governments that must be followed. These codes are to ensure the safety of all of the people and pets in your home. If you’re not sure if your furnace is up to code, here are some helpful tips to find out.
Understanding Code Standards
Each local area will establish a code that must be followed within its jurisdiction. While local communities can create their own unique code, most will fall back to relying on the same one, the Uniform Mechanical Code, which was established by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.
It’s crucial to note that this code is regularly updated every three years. This means that your furnace could’ve been up to code standards when it was first installed but may now be below current standards.
In most places, you’ll find that your outdated furnace is grandfathered in under the standards of when it was installed. However, if you plan on doing any major renovations to your home that require permitting or if you’re replacing your existing furnace, you’ll likely need to ensure that it’s up to current code standards.
Determining If Your Furnace Meets Code Standards
By far, the easiest way to discover if your furnace meets current code standards is to call in a professional. Ask for a furnace evaluation to determine where your furnace stands. Technicians who install, repair, and perform maintenance on furnaces will have the proper knowledge of code standards in your area. They’ll be easily able to evaluate your furnace and determine if there are any updates that need to be made.
If you would rather read through the code standards, you’ll need to start by contacting your local code office. They will be able to instruct you on whether or not they have a specialized code or if they simply follow the code standards set by the Uniform Mechanical Code. If you find out that the code standards in your area are the latter, then you can read through the current code online.
What to Do If Your Furnace Isn’t Compliant
Unfortunately, there are some homeowners who discover that their HVAC systems are not up to code standards in their area. The most common mistakes that are made with HVAC systems are that their ductwork is improperly placed, the unit is inadequately sized, it provides insufficient ventilation for harmful fumes, and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are placed too close to the HVAC vents.
If your furnace isn’t compliant with current code standards, you may be wondering what you should do. Most towns won’t require you to keep your furnace up-to-date with current code standards as they change every three years unless you’re selling your home or doing major upgrades. In these cases, you’ll be expected to bring your existing furnace up to current code standards.
Just because you may not have to upgrade your furnace to meet current code standards doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Updates to code are done with everyone’s safety in mind. Sure, it’s going to cost you some money to upgrade your existing furnace that is not compliant with current code standards. However, doing so can make your furnace safer for your family and your home.
A Note on Furnace Replacement
Whenever you decide to undergo a furnace replacement, you must ensure that your new replacement meets the code standards in your area. If you hire a licensed technician to install your new system, they can ensure that your replacement is code-approved.
In many major cities, you’ll find that you need to submit a plan and get a permit for your HVAC replacement unit. Part of this permitting process requires a city-approved inspector to assess your setup and new system plans to ensure that they meet code standards. If your existing furnace is reaching the end of its lifespan, you may want to consider a full-blown replacement to ensure that your heating system is up to code standards in your area.
Helpful Heating Services
Home Heating Service, Inc. provides helpful heating services for the entire Colorado Springs area. We also offer quality cooling, water heater, water quality, indoor air quality, insulation, home energy audit, and green comfort services. Call us today to get the professional help that you need to ensure that your furnace is safe for your home and family.