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Does a Furnace Need To Be Level? 6 Important Facts

Does a Furnace Need To Be Level? 6 Important Facts

Winter is here, and the last thing we want is to deal with a malfunctioning HVAC system. If you have a furnace in your home, now is the time to make sure it’s installed properly. One of the things you need to look out for is making sure that it is level. 

A furnace needs to be level to prevent any issues with the heat exchanger. If the furnace is on an uneven surface and not properly leveled, airflow may create a negative pressure that may damage the furnace. Always use leveling legs to keep your furnace working properly.

Keep reading this article to learn more about the dangers of not leveling your surface and tips on how to level yours. You won’t regret paying extra attention to ensuring that your furnace runs smoothly through the winter!

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Important Facts About Keeping Your Furnace Level and Safe

Furnaces are excellent ways to keep a home warm through harsh winters. They can be extremely energy-efficient, too. However, you always need to make sure that your furnace is properly installed to prevent any damages or incidents (source).

Here are six tips to making sure that your furnace is running smoothly.    

1. Your Furnace Needs To Be Level

If you plan on installing your furnace on an uneven surface, you are more than welcome to do so. However, you need to pay close attention to it and ensure it’s level. 

A furnace that isn’t level may cause damage to the heat exchanger. This can be easily prevented by ensuring that your furnace is not tilted, on its side, on its back, or on an uneven surface (source).

2. Do Not Use Cleats To Level Your Furnace

While you may think of cleats, like S or D cleats, as an easy way to level your furnace, you should avoid using anything that may become rusty or damaged by the furnace.

First of all, furnaces are extremely heavy and can weigh up to 250 pounds (113.4 kg). Mounting a furnace on materials that aren’t designed to support enough weight could result in your furnace toppling over, which could severely damage it.

Further, not using the right materials to support your furnace could result in rust. Rust could cause the cleats to break or compress, which could tip your furnace.

Instead, you should use sturdy legs to raise your furnace off the ground. The Rok Hardware Adjustable Leg Levelers and the POWERTEC Leveler Legs are great options, both available on Amazon.

3. Your Furnace Needs To Be Off the Ground

Unfortunately, you’re going to need to raise your furnace off the ground in one way or another. Even if you have a flat surface for your furnace, you cannot place the furnace directly on the floor. 

This is especially important if your furnace is located in your basement. If that’s the case, you’ll want to raise your furnace as much as 2-3 feet (0.61-0.91 m) in case of flooding. 

4. Your Furnace Size Is Very Important

Picking the right size is one of the most important parts of installing a furnace. If it’s too large, you’ll be wasting a lot of energy when heating your home. If it’s too small, you’ll struggle to get the indoor warmth that you need.

Additionally, if your furnace is too large and heavy, you may have a hard time mounting it on legs or elevated pads yourself. If you’re not using the help of a certified HVAC technician, you want to double-check that you’re getting the right size furnace for your home before you make the purchase.

5. Furnaces Are Complex Machines

If you’re installing your furnace yourself, you need to understand what you’re doing. Making sure that your furnace is level isn’t even half the battle, and a million things could go wrong during installation. 

A furnace is a very complex machine with plenty of ducts, cords, and important materials. You’ll often need to cut a custom hole into the furnace to make sure that the return air duct is connected properly. 

If you’re not familiar with HVAC systems, you should contact a licensed technician who can help you install a furnace. 

6. Furnaces Need To Be Properly Sealed

Once you’ve plugged in all the cords, secured all the hoses, and tightened all the screws, you need to also make sure your furnace is properly sealed. Ensuring that your ducts are sealed is just as important as ensuring that your furnace is level. 

To seal your ducts, all you need is a strong duct sealant, which you can find at any hardware store. You could also use a sturdy duct sealant tape, like this SUNLL Butyl Waterproof Tape (link to Amazon).

If you want more details about properly sealing your furnace ducts after installation, watch the 3-minute YouTube clip below:

How to Seal an HVAC Duct with Mastic - Duct Sealant

How To Make Sure That Your Furnace Is Level

Your furnace doesn’t need to be perfectly level to function properly. It’s okay if it’s at a very slight incline, so you don’t need to measure it to ensure it is 100% level. Just look at the furnace and readjust if you notice that it’s at an incline. 

If you’re a perfectionist and want to ensure your furnace is completely level, you can double-check easily with a level tool. This CRAFTSMAN Torpedo Level (link to Amazon) will allow you to verify that your furnace is indeed level.

Final Thoughts

You’re already ahead of the curve if you’re thinking about whether your furnace needs to be leveled. By ensuring that your furnace is level, you will prevent any potential issues with airflow that could damage your HVAC.

Be prepared for this winter season by ensuring that your furnace is level and running smoothly. Keep in mind the following furnace facts to ensure safety:

  • Your furnace needs to be level.
  • Your furnace needs to be off the ground and safely secured.
  • Find the right size furnace for your home.
  • Ensure that your furnace is properly sealed.

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