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Recently demo-ed hallway desk revealed abandoned 1950s floor heater. Living room side had been patched over, hallway side has floor heater exposed. Is it possible to remove the furnace from below in the crawl space? Or will I need to rip out the living room side to get it out from above? photo

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    I believe this might be why the official name of the Sawzall is actually 'the problem solver'.
    – KMJ
    Feb 13 at 7:37
  • "Floor furnace"? What's that? Is this an actual stand-alone heater or is it tied, somehow into the houses central HVAC? What's it made of? How far under that wall does it go? What's below it? Not nearly enough info here to be able to answer your question. Please edit with more details.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 13 at 12:44
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    How would we know? Look, measure, think it through. No need to ask the internet.
    – isherwood
    Feb 13 at 15:27

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Given that the furnace is abandoned there's no need to remove it in an intact or functional condition! Feel free to disassemble it.

A quick way to partially collapse a furnace which has a side-entry air return and a blower compartment in the bottom is to remove the blower and then cut the furnace cabinet. Cut horizontally the entire side opposite the return, then cut out the "post" between the return opening and the front cover. The whole furnace will collapse down into itself. You can then put a sheet metal screw into each side to hold it that way so that it can be wrestled, hand trucked, lifted, dragged, etc without those bits of lower cabinet splaying out and catching on things (such as your calves! ouch!).

A more careful and complete disassembly is sometimes called for. Being as old as it is the heat exchanger may be quite heavy. You could remove every screw in sight until the burners, heat exchanger, and whatever else can be removed from the cabinet. This makes for more parts to handle but they're smaller and lighter and perhaps easier to extract from the crawlspace.

For cutting the furnace cabinet use whatever you have at hand. Tin snips work fine on the straight parts; a recip saw or angle grinder is much better for cutting the folded metal around the furnace doors. Even a hack saw will do.

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  • Just make sure before starting demolition that the furnace has been completely safely disconnected from electrical power and any fuel connections (whether oil, natural gas, or propane). It's possible they just turned it off without disconnecting anything.
    – Milwrdfan
    Feb 13 at 16:40

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