Furnaces – Introduction & Safety Suggestions

Furnaces are dangerous!! Some repairs can safely be done by a homeowner, but anything involving the gas lines or gas valve should be turned over to a professional!

Does your furnace look like this?

Dangerous old furnace

These old furnaces are still in use in some older mobile homes. However, after 30 or more years of service the fireboxes are frequently cracked. This can leak carbon monoxide into the home with fatal consequences.

It is not worth spending money trying to fix these; save your money to replace it!

Mobile home furnaces are not the same as those used in site built homes. They are zero clearance furnaces which means that are made to be installed with their outside in contact with flammable material. The owners manual that comes with the home should cover routine maintenance and cleaning of filters.

During setup of new homes there are sometimes problems with the interaction between the furnace and the air conditioning. The air conditioning unit is installed right into the furnace and uses the same ducts to move cold air. Installation mistakes sometimes produce conditions that put condensation water into the ducts or cause problems with the power. These need to be corrected immediately by the contractor that did the work.

{ 3 comments… read them below }
valerie arsenault
I am forced to move into a 1966 Holley park mobile home because my house burned down. athe propane furnace is old and I am afraid of fire or explosion. What is the safest heating system I can replace it with? The wiring is 60 amp fuse. I am freezing in the Ma. winter and am a senior citizen with health problems. Thanks for any advice. I am very afraid of another disaster. My house was destroyed by an electrical fire deemed accidental.
Paul
Problems which involve gas and electrical issues have the potential to be life threatening. That means they should only be answered by someone who knows what they are doing and has inspected the property in person.

Todd
I am remodeling a 77 doublewide that sits on a foundation with a half basement. I would like to know if there is any reason I can’t put the (new) furnace in the basement. If I do this, can I use the existing duct that runs down the middle of the house for warm air distribution? Also, would I need to run ductwork for air return? Can air return ductwork be as simple as a couple of floor registers in a few places? I realize I may need to get professional HVAC advice, but I thought I’d ask if you had seen this scenario before. Thanks.

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