Gravity furnaces, also known as octopus furnaces, are furnaces that do not have a blower motor to move the air, instead the air moves by gravity. These furnaces are usually original to older homes and at one point were converted from coal or oil to natural gas.
Gravity furnaces are very simple, just a gas valve and a burner, but because of this they are not very efficient.
Replacing a gravity furnace
When we replace a gravity furnace most of the work can be done from the basement, sometimes we have rooms that never had a supply duct ran to them and this will need to be addressed when we update the system. Below is an outline of the process of replacing a gravity furnace.
- Pulling the proper permits, the licensed abatement company will pull a separate permit for the removal of any asbestos present.
- The licensed abatement company will come in and safely remove any asbestos that is present and also remove the gravity furnace and all the old ductwork.
- Our licensed installers will start installing the furnace right after the abatement company is done so we can get heat back in your home during the winter months.
- We will install new ductwork throughout the basement, the new modern duct work systems takes up less space than your old gravity ducts.
- We will make all the finial ductwork connections with your new furnace and air conditioner, install your new thermostat and humidifier if purchased.
- At the final walkthrough we will show you how to operate and maintain your new system, we will also balance the air flow to all the rooms and make sure your new system is operating correctly.
Quality practices of a gravity furnace replacement
Not all heating companies are comfortable replacing gravity furnaces, they are only found in older homes and can be intimidating to some companies. Make sure the heating contractor you choose is going to remove ALL the old ductwork, it is common for them to leave parts of the old gravity system and just hook up to it. When companies leave old parts of the gravity ductwork, balancing the air flow to each room is very difficult, you will end up with some rooms very warm and some rooms freezing cold.
Also consider having a zone system installed with your new system, a zone system will have a separate thermostat for each level of the home. If you want to hold off on the zone system, ask them to build the new ductwork “zone ready”, when this is done a zone system can easily be installed at a later date with no modifications needed to the ductwork.
If you choose not to have a central air conditioner installed at the time of the furnace replacement, ask them to leave the new system “air conditioner ready”, this makes installing an air conditioner down the road much easier and affordable.
Lastly, tell your contractor about any plans you have for the basement, with all the extra room gained by the new system many customers have enough room to build a family room or spare bedroom, a good contractor with listen to your needs and work with you, not against you.
Do you need your furnace replaced? Contact Aabbott Ferraro today by calling (651) 776-7214 or Contact us here.