Everyone knows that replacing a home heating system is a big job, but what most people aren’t aware of is that there is an entire manual dedicated to the numerous specifications that, by law, have to be followed to the letter. When it’s time to replace the old furnace in your home or office building, it will be important for you to make sure you have a detailed plan in place to ensure that the new heating system will meet all of these requirements. If you are located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia or the surrounding area, Shines Energy is at your service.
What Are Heating System Code Requirements?
If you are a homeowner and were involved in the building of your house, then you are already acquainted with the myriad requirements involved with installing a home heating system. The pages of regulations number in the hundreds. They cover everything from structural requirements, electrical wiring, plumbing specifications, and much more. Each one must be correct down to the smallest detail. These building code requirements involve every aspect of the process. Some of the main points covered include correct ductwork and ventilation, necessary permits, measurements of the furnace and other components of the HVAC system, etc.
Specifics can vary from one locality to the next, however, it is standard practice for the areas to closely follow one another’s regulations based on a manual called the Uniform Mechanical Code. This is compiled by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. The manual undergoes a review every three years with updates made as needed based on efficiency, new components, and safety information. This serves to guarantee that all standards are up to date and include the most recent safety measures.
Do These Building Codes Apply to All Furnaces?
Regardless of whether you are undertaking the replacement of an old HVAC system or performing a home extension or other renovations, all of these regulations will apply. They will need to be applied and then approved as fully compliant with all local building code requirements. These requirements are subject to change; therefore, no matter how much time you have previously invested in familiarizing yourself with them, by the time you are ready for another furnace replacement you will need to reacquaint yourself with the updated guide.
Can a New System Be a Do-It-Yourself Project?
Although it isn’t entirely unheard of for a person to perform the installation of a new heating system singlehandedly, completing the entire project correctly and successfully is next to impossible. The likelihood of the average person being able to meet every requirement as outlined in the Uniform Mechanical Code manual is far too low to take the risk. Before the process can even begin, there are a number of forms to be completed, paperwork to be submitted, and permits to be obtained. Considering that this is all in a day’s work for a professional HVAC technician, it is highly advisable that you allow an expert to do the job. Since this is something they handle all the time, they will also be aware of any possible ways to cut your costs for these services, keeping a few dollars in your pocket.
Further, a number of technical details must be seen to so that your new HVAC system is code compliant in more obscure areas. If even one of these is bypassed it can result in the entire project having to be scrapped and started from the beginning. By allowing a seasoned HVAC professional to handle the job, you will avoid these kinds of delays and causing unnecessary added costs. All code requirements will be met on the first try, keeping your installation on schedule.
The most important reason to leave this type of job to the professionals is to ensure that everything is done safely. After all, the codes and regulations exist for this very reason. Of course, no one mishandles a safety issue deliberately, but missteps are always possible. This is particularly true when a person is attempting a self-installation. Allowing a trained professional to do the job means that everything will be done safely, protecting you and your family and home from potential harm.
I’m Not in Compliance, What Can I Do?
Newly constructed dwellings are not the only buildings that can be non-compliant with the Uniform Mechanical Code. Many older structures fall out of line with compliance regulations with the passing of time. This can be a minor issue though since there is a grandfather clause that allows an exception for older homes with pre-existing HVAC systems. This prevents the necessity for inspection or updates every three years. It will change, however, should the structure be put up for sale. The HVAC system will have to be updated or replaced and meet full code compliance prior to a sale being permitted.
Another point to be aware of is the difficulty of obtaining homeowner’s insurance for a house containing a non-compliant HVAC system. Whether the dwelling is an older one or a more modern one, if the HVAC system is not fully code-compliant it is going to be hard to find an insurer who will cover it. If you are able to find a company willing to insure the house it is sure to be considered high risk and an insurance policy will come at an exorbitant rate.
The bottom line is that you will add to the value of your home, save money, and guarantee the safety of your home and family by updating your HVAC system. In the future, should you choose to undertake a home improvement or renovation project, or should your house be damaged and in need of repairs, an update will have to be made or a whole new HVAC system installed prior to the issuance of any permits necessary for the repairs or renovations to be done. Making these changes before such a time arises will prevent any additional costs from being heaped on top of the already existing ones.
Why Should I Hire a Professional?
There are an unlimited number of home improvement projects that a do-it-yourself aficionado can do. That being said, the installation of a new heating system is not something that falls under this category. Allowing a professional HVAC technician to handle this kind of job means that it will be done correctly from start to finish. Everything will be completed in a timely manner, and you can rest assured that you, your family, and your home are safe and secure.
Having the job professionally done will also likely save you money. Professional HVAC companies have contracts to purchase HVAC systems, accessories, parts, etc., from reputable suppliers, meaning that they are able to buy these things at a discount. When they save money, you will save money. Considering that doing the job yourself would mean paying full price for everything you would need, this is another good reason to hire a professional HVAC company.
Choosing the Best HVAC Company
How will you choose the best HVAC company for your job? The first order of business is to ask friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. Glowing reviews from happy customers are the best and most accurate way to choose a company whose work you will be pleased with.
The internet can also be an invaluable tool for finding a reputable HVAC company. Look for reviews of the various companies in your area, check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, and take a look at any local community Facebook pages for information on providers of the services you’re looking for. Once you have made your selection and the job has been completed, be sure to go back to your online source and leave a review of your own.
Let Us Make the Job Easy
If you are located in Dartmouth or the surrounding area, Shines Energy is ready to assist you in getting your HVAC system code compliant. We offer a number of services including:
- HVAC installation, repair, maintenance
- Water heater installation, repair, maintenance
- Indoor air quality solutions/air purification
- HVAC cleaning including air ducts
- HVAC zoning
Providing outstanding customer service is our number one priority. Our fully trained team of expert technicians is ready to go the extra mile to meet all your HVAC needs. Call us with any questions or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!