If you’ve considered installing a furnace in your home, you may have heard conflicting opinions about whether or not it’s a good idea to put it in your crawl space.
So, is it bad to put a furnace in a crawl space?
It depends on various factors. The environmental condition of your space, the insulation, its ventilation, and other aspects will determine if your crawl space is the perfect location for your furnace.
Read our guide below to find out why.
Can You Put a Furnace in a Crawl Space?
Yes, you can. Many homeowners do so.
However, it’s crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages of this option. It’s essential to understand how a heating system and the natural environment of your crawl space will affect each other.
Unmaintained crawl spaces are often damp, poorly ventilated, and prone to mold and mildew. This environment won’t be healthy for encasing HVAC systems and heating equipment.
Consider developing a well-maintained crawl space first before any HVAC installation. This ensures the safety of your home and its inhabitants.
On top of that, it also optimizes the performance and lifespan of your furnace. For best results, you might want to invest in a crawl space encapsulation.
Benefits of Installing a Furnace in a Maintained Crawl Space
Here are some of the greatest things about having a furnace in a crawl space:
- A well-insulated crawl space reduces heat loss, which helps a furnace run more efficiently, lessening your energy consumption.
- Installing a space-consuming machine, like a furnace, in your crawl space saves you valuable living space in the house.
- Allocating a whole crawl space for your furnace eases access for maintenance and repairs.
- A maintained crawl space protects the machines and ducts from extreme outdoor temperatures, keeping them from freezing or overheating.
- Having the furnace in a well-kept crawl space keeps the air in your living areas cleaner and purer.
Risks of Installing a Furnace in an Unmaintained Crawl Space
Here are a few downsides of keeping a furnace in an unmaintained crawl space:
- Poorly maintained crawl spaces are prone to moisture, which causes condensation, rust, and damage to the metal parts of the machine and ductwork.
- Pollutants such as dirt, mold, and harmful gasses may enter a furnace’s ducts, contaminating the air blown into the living space of your house.
- If left unattended, damages caused by moisture buildup may cause fire hazards, gas leaks, or electric hazards.
- Unmaintained crawl spaces invite pests and rodents to enter and cause damage to the system and the environment surrounding the unit.
- Unmaintained crawl spaces are often cramped and wet, making it challenging to install and perform maintenance on the system.
Furnace Installation in a Crawl Space: Do’s and Don’ts
Furnace installation in a crawl space requires careful consideration and proper planning. Now, let’s explore the do’s and don’ts of installing a furnace as a guide for your next home project.
What to Do
Here are some of the best practices you should note down upon installing a furnace.
1 – Choose the Right Furnace
Select a furnace that’ll fit your needs and match your crawl space size.
Consult with a professional to determine the best furnace for your home.
2 – Ensure Proper Ventilation
Crawl spaces have poor air circulation. To prevent carbon monoxide buildup, it’s essential to install a ventilation system upon installing a furnace.
3 – Protect Heating Elements
Crawl spaces are prone to excessive humidity, which can induce condensation inside the system.
This is why proper sealing and insulation are crucial for machines and ductwork to prevent damage and hazards.
4 – Follow Local Building Codes and Regulations
Ensure the installation meets local building codes and regulations, including electrical, plumbing, and ventilation requirements.
What Not to Do
Conversely, take note of these pitfalls that you must avoid.
1 – Don’t Use a Furnace That’s Too Small
Furnaces that are too small won’t heat your crawl space effectively, which could result in increased energy costs.
2 – Don’t Install It in a Poorly Maintained Space
Unmaintained crawl spaces are cluttered, damp, and moldy.
This environment creates safety hazards and risks for any HVAC system installation.
3 – Don’t Ignore Ventilation Requirements
Neglecting proper ventilation could result in the buildup of carbon monoxide, which may cause a number of health hazards and risks.
4 – Don’t DIY
Installing a furnace in a crawl space requires specialized knowledge and skills.
It’s best to consult with a professional to avoid any unwanted incidents.
FAQs About Installing Furnaces at Home
What’s the Difference Between a Furnace and a Heater?
Typically, a furnace is considered a type of heater. However, the term “heater” also pertains to a portable device that provides heat to a single room or area.
On the other hand, a furnace is a central heating system that uses ducts to distribute warm air throughout a structure.
Can You Put a Heater in a Crawl Space?
Yes, you can. However, you have to make sure that the heater is appropriate for the size of the space. Proper ventilation is also important to prevent any buildup of dangerous gasses.
It’s best to consult a professional to ensure safety and determine the best placement and ventilation options.
Do I Need a Permit to Install a Furnace in a Crawl Space?
In most cases, you’ll need one.
Building and safety codes vary by jurisdiction, but permits are generally required for all major home improvements, including this project.
In essence, it’s generally acceptable to install a furnace in a crawl space. However, it’s important to consider many factors to make this home upgrade worth it.
Keep in mind that contributors such as moisture, ventilation, and the overall condition of your crawl space will determine the safety, lifespan, and performance of your household’s heating system.
Above all, the help of professionals in this major home improvement is pivotal. This way, you can make an informed decision about whether or not a furnace is best placed in your crawl space.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.