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Furnace repair

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Furnace repair

Postby Stebben84 » Sun May 27, 2012 9:25 pm

In the heat of the summer I decided to turn my central air on. My furnace went crazy. It made scary loud sounds and I had to turn it off.

With that, does anyone have repair recommendations for furnaces. It may have to be replaced cause it's from 1985 so I'll take that into account as well. Ya for home ownership.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby bdog » Sun May 27, 2012 9:29 pm

It seems to be that today's high-efficiency ac's are meant to be left on all the time.

You seem to be a turn it on when it gets hot kind of guy.

I would ask your contractor about this.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby snoqueen » Sun May 27, 2012 9:33 pm

Norstar Heating and Cooling.

If you decide to replace a 1985 furnace you will probably see an improvement in your heat bill next winter and not feel so bad. Furnaces really have gotten more efficient.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby Stebben84 » Sun May 27, 2012 9:47 pm

I am a turn it on hot guy(hmmm that sounds weird) but this is a furnace problem and not a AC problem.

I've known since I purchased the house that I had an old furnace. I guess buying a new furnace will pay off in the end, but I don't have a lot of expendable money. I'm hoping for a fix for the short term and then look into a new furnace. Maybe I should look towards the latter and be even more house poor. :D Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby fennel » Sun May 27, 2012 10:31 pm

It could be your blower motor has gone wonky. This powers the air flow for both hot and cold. You might try sliding out the motor and cleaning it well, with a combination of vacuuming and pressurized air. If there's an accumulation of schmutz on the blower blades, the lopsided distribution of weight can make things run poorly (similar to an out-of-balance laundry machine).
Clean out all that cruft, then lightly lubricate with a lightweight oil or something like Boeshield. Older motors usually have a designated oil orifice of some sort. Newer ones assume lifespan-appropriate lubrication but can be persuaded to live a bit longer with a good penetrating lubricant.

I gave myself two years of leeway by doing the above on an early 90s furnace.

Failing that:
http://www.cpheatingandcooling.com
Good work.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby Dairylander » Mon May 28, 2012 3:23 am

Stebben84 wrote:...this is a furnace problem and not a AC problem.

Turn the heat on to see if it makes the same crazy noise. If it sounds normal, then it's probably your A/C compressor.
If you want to test fennel's "schmutz" theory, I'd suggest looking in the ad circulars for a $99 furnace cleaning checkup. This is not a DIY project.
Average lifespan of a furnace is 20 years, you've done well.
Most HVAC contractors will probably suggest you replace your whole system, as the A/C refrigerant has changed in recent years to reduce ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
New system - $6K to $8K.
It will be worth it if you're in this house for the long haul.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby msnflyer » Mon May 28, 2012 6:48 am

Easy answer, don't use the a/c. Put aside the $$ you save on the electric bill toward the new system, schedule installation for Sept., the contractors get swamped after the first cold snap.

I had Bethke Htg clean & inspect our system last fall. They added a bit of freon to the 11 year old Goodman system, something that can only be done once.

Look for rebates, Focus on Energy, etc. if you're going to replace, do some research. Goodman is cheaper, life span of about 10-12 years. Payne is another less expensive brand. Like appliances, different brands are made by the same big companies, Carrier, Bryant, Trane, etc. DON'T let them talk u into a heat pump, they're not very efficient in WI climate. New systems are much more efficient than old but there haven't been any huge technology advances in the past few years so comparable brands won't vary much in efficiency.

Good luck!
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby Shorty » Mon May 28, 2012 7:11 am

I had good luck with R & A and Harker. R & A is usually cheaper. If your A/C is old it may be best to replace both the furnace and AC.

When I shopped around a few years ago most dealers told me Carrier is best so I have a new Carrier furnace and A/C that work well. My neighbor got a Trane A/C about the same time and had hers repaired recently for the second time since she got it. My Carrier hasn't needed any repairs.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby Stebben84 » Mon May 28, 2012 3:25 pm

fennel wrote:It could be your blower motor has gone wonky.


Indeed. I decided the thing was already messed up so I took the blower motor out as suggested. Kind of a pain, but it went ok. Turns out the bearing on the blower wheel is loose and causes the wheel to wobble. Found a replacement blower wheel online and I'm gonna try and fix it myself. If it works, I've saved myself a few hundred bucks in labor. Or I'm just gonna fuck it up even more :D
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby jonnygothispen » Thu May 31, 2012 2:13 pm

My house has 2 furnaces, an 89 Magic Chef (Yes, really), and a 2010 Payne. According to exhaust readings, the Magic Chef burns more efficiently than the Payne. The furnace guys said that the main difference in efficiency since then is in the blower motor itself.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby snoqueen » Thu May 31, 2012 4:37 pm

My monthly promo email from MG&E says there's a rebate right now for high-efficiency replacement furnaces and water heaters through the Focus on Energy program.

http://www.mge.com/home/energywise/summ ... 65728&jb=0
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby Stebben84 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:43 pm

For what it's worth, I just installed a new blower wheel and my furnace purrs like a kitten. It's quieter than it's ever been. Fennel, thanks for the tip on checking out the blower motor. I just saved myself a bunch of cash.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby gargantua » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:48 pm

That's great. I suggest you put some of that cash you saved in the bank for when it does die. At 28 years old, for a furnace that's like 98 in human years. Maybe you can go for some kind of oldest furnace record though.
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Re: Furnace repair

Postby jonnygothispen » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:07 pm

My house had a 5 foot wide, 4 foot tall "Muller Climate Control" from the 50s, thought the home inspector. The serial number on it was 1G. :)
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