The Possibility Of Furnace Installation In An Older Home With No Basement

3 March 2021
 Categories: , Blog

Heating contractors perform forced-air furnace installation under a few different circumstances. They install furnaces in homes under construction. In older houses, they replace those appliances with new ones. They also sometimes are hired to complete installation in a house that does not have this equipment. Doing so is a labor-intensive project since there is little or no ductwork.

A complicating factor might be a house without a basement. Now the contractor must determine where to install this appliance.

Replacing Other Systems

What did the previous owners rely on for heat? The most common alternative setup would be electric baseboards. However, heating with electricity is expensive compared with natural gas or liquid propane. Electric heat drives up that utility bill substantially.

The average monthly cost for heating a 1,200 sq. ft. home this way is $400. It can be double that during bitterly cold weather. The new homeowners realize they can recoup the price for furnace installation within just a few years.

Some older homes have always used a heating oil stove in a central location. Another type of equipment found in old houses is the floor furnace. The device is located in the floor and radiates warmth into the building through a grate.

Installation Location

First, the contractor must determine whether the home has a suitable place for furnace installation. Without a basement, this becomes more difficult.

Laundry or Utility Room

If there is enough space, the furnace might be installed in the laundry area. It also might fit within a utility room that holds the water heater. These are usually the two best options.


It's possible to install the equipment in an attic. However, efficiency is reduced because the warm air must be sent down to the lower levels. Normally, furnaces use the natural quality of heat rising for better efficiency.

Problems With Garages

For two reasons, contractors typically will not place a furnace in a garage.

First, toxins in the air could be pulled into the home. The main concern is carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust. There also could be gasoline fumes and substances like pesticide.

Second, gasoline fumes can become an explosion hazard in a room with open flames. The exception is a ceiling heater intended to heat the garage only. Since gasoline fumes are heavier than oxygen, they sink down instead of rising. 

Having a heating contractor come to the home and evaluate the situation is the first step toward learning whether furnace installation is feasible.