Home & Garden

Purchasing a furnace

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 9th, 2017 4:46 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 14, 2009
169 posts
46 upvotes

Purchasing a furnace

Hi all,
Has anybody tried to purchase a furnace in the us and do a self install? Could you save alot of money doing this?
17 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25891 posts
2887 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
The only practical way to do this is to get a pick up truck, drive to Buffalo and buy one. Not sure what the duty is on a furnace, but I don't imagine you would save much.

It may fit in a mini van.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2307 posts
502 upvotes
I am a pretty accomplished handy person, and I am quite able to do just about anything (check out the bathroom I did posted somewhere on this forum and on my blog) but self installing a furnace is just not one of them. If you call three or four companies, you should find a couple that offer no mess about competitive pricing, and go with them.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
2979 posts
821 upvotes
Paris
fieldhousehandyman wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 9:47 pm
I am a pretty accomplished handy person, and I am quite able to do just about anything (check out the bathroom I did posted somewhere on this forum and on my blog) but self installing a furnace is just not one of them. If you call three or four companies, you should find a couple that offer no mess about competitive pricing, and go with them.
I agree. There are some things you CAN do but are better off with a pro. Our cottage furnace is being replaced and the duct work during an extension was put in by the GC and after research and such we now realize what a disaster it was. So its not just the furnace but all the fancy calculations and such that need to be done.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Sr. Member
Mar 23, 2006
774 posts
124 upvotes
cybernation wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 7:22 pm
Hi all,
Has anybody tried to purchase a furnace in the us and do a self install? Could you save alot of money doing this?
I heard some people talk about it before, but in this situation they bought the furnace from a Canadian HVAC at wholesale price and then hired someone with a license to work with natural gas for install.

In your scenario it sounds way too risky in terms of losing money. Going across the border and coming back will likely result in getting charged with duties. The worst part is you have no warranty. Imagine if it breaks down and/or if you get a lemon ?
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User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
1828 posts
757 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
cybernation wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 7:22 pm
Hi all,
Has anybody tried to purchase a furnace in the us and do a self install? Could you save alot of money doing this?
You could save a lot of time, money and tears just hiring a HVAC company to install it.
Like fieldhousehandyman , I've done just about everything imaginable in, and to, a residential house. Yet I wouldn't even bother trying to swap out a furnace in my home. Furnaces are not 'Plug and Play' devices. You have gas supply lines and sheet metal work that will most likely need to be changed, as well as exhaust.
You really don't want to go there...
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
4697 posts
3241 upvotes
GTA
fastmiele wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 10:41 pm
I heard some people talk about it before, but in this situation they bought the furnace from a Canadian HVAC at wholesale price and then hired someone with a license to work with natural gas for install.

In your scenario it sounds way too risky in terms of losing money. Going across the border and coming back will likely result in getting charged with duties. The worst part is you have no warranty. Imagine if it breaks down and/or if you get a lemon ?
If it's made in the USA you wouldn't have duties, only 13% tax. Still, it's too much trouble for the other reasons you mentioned, plus you need at least 2 people to work on it, then hire a licensed gas fitter. I'm also a DIY almost everything guy.
Newbie
Mar 4, 2014
75 posts
10 upvotes
My bro is an HVAC technician, I've gone to jobs with him and it's not something I would take lightly, lots of planning involved including removal of old equipment, he has invested in the proper tools for the job and is license to work on gas fittings, so the short answer is no.

At the very least if you did do the job yourself you would need someone to sign off it otherwise if something happens like a gas leak or explosion pretty sure your house insurance would not be happy or your neighbours for that matter.
Deal Addict
Nov 2, 2005
2875 posts
550 upvotes
Ottawa
If you're asking the question it's probably not something you should be considering.

You'll save about $1k. The installation manuals are generally pretty detailed but during the installation you'll come across challenges you don't immediately have the answer to which will set you back when you come back here searching for the answers. I certainly wouldn't consider it in the winter when you need to get it up and running in hours.

When you go to sell your home it will likely be picked up that it's not properly tagged and you'll have to deal with it at that point.
Sr. Member
Sep 17, 2002
768 posts
181 upvotes
Try Tradeia....never used them but they sell directly to user....They advertise on kijiji alot.

I believe the sell all kinds of stuff : HVAC, fireplaces, etc

You'll still need a qualified installer....They can recommend someone...

Gonna use them for our fireplace and they are cheaper than anyone else so far.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1895 posts
39 upvotes
like others have say, lots of DIY in your house, but something with gas can cause explosion should be left to the pros
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 14, 2009
169 posts
46 upvotes
Hmm, alot of you are saying don't do it.. a few years back I asked for help replacing a induction blower in the same furnace and 90% of you said it couldn't be done.. well I replaced it and it's been running perfect ever since. I mean if there is no ducting to be done, and if it is a drop in replacement, how hard can it be connecting the gas line? No bubbles no troubles?
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User avatar
Dec 8, 2007
4478 posts
760 upvotes
Loving OPs enthusiam for self install. True RFD spirit.

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Jr. Member
Jan 19, 2013
168 posts
56 upvotes
613
cybernation wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 10:11 am
Hmm, alot of you are saying don't do it.. a few years back I asked for help replacing a induction blower in the same furnace and 90% of you said it couldn't be done.. well I replaced it and it's been running perfect ever since. I mean if there is no ducting to be done, and if it is a drop in replacement, how hard can it be connecting the gas line? No bubbles no troubles?
Inducer motor is plug and play motor totally different.
Likely will have to do ductwork, most furnaces are shorter these days 33 or 34" tall. Doubt will be drop in replacement.
Do you have necessary tool for commissioning of unit? Checking gas pressure, static pressure, combustion analysis.
No warranty on unit if isn't installed by qualified tech.
Furnace bought in states may be not Csa approved for use in Canada.
Approved venting for high eff need certain solvent for different type of vent materials. Different brands are not allowed. Do you know what you have existing?
Member
Jul 14, 2012
254 posts
67 upvotes
Hamilton
Lets put it this way OP, I have my gas license (since 2010)....but I spend my days installing water heaters for one of the rental companies (don't judge, it's a union job that pays the bills). Now I've installed literally 1000's of water heaters over the years, but I've never installed a furnace. So when it came time to replace my own furnace, I knew I could do 90-95% (maybe 80% for the average DIY'er) of it very easily. It was the last 5-10% that I was concerned about...In my case modifying the duct work, and all the tiny crap involved with wiring up the circuit board. Could I have figured it out...probably, but it wouldn't have looked anywhere near as good as it does (got a co-worker who installs furnaces everyday to do it on the cheap).

I'm not saying you couldn't do it, but the end result will be significantly better/safer/more reliable/less stressful, if it's done by someone who does it day in and day out.

The last thing you want is trying to sell the house and someone questioning your hackjob DIY install...or worse yet, you miss something and end up killing everyone in your house so you could save a few bucks.

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