Dirty Furnace??

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  #1  
Old 01-31-03, 05:58 PM
talbers
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Question Dirty Furnace??

I was having some trouble with my gas furnace not working correctly so my wife called a furnace repairman to fix the problem, which he did, but he also had concerns as to the reliability of the unit. I live in central Missouri and the furnace is natural gas. The advice that was given is that the unit needs to be completely cleaned. I guess the blower has alot of dust and crud caked on it and the air conditioner coil is dirty. He led my wife to believe that the furnace, left in it's current state would not last more that 2 yrs. The 'repair' bill for doing the cleaning will be about $600. I don't claim to be any kind of expert but it sounds a little fishy to me. Any thoughts would be apreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-31-03, 06:05 PM
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thorough cleaning

get estimates from other companies, they probably will quote an hourly fee, cutting that estimate by 2/3. if you feel you can do this and have the skills, we will be glad to lead you through it. we need details such as location, position, make/model. sounds like the high limit tripped due to improper airflow, this will definately shorten the life of your unit.
 
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Old 01-31-03, 06:06 PM
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A dirty furnace is possible.

You've owned this unit since day one?

Keep the filter changed and fresh?

Useing the better filter?

$600 is kinda high I think! I'd call around and ask other dealers what they charge for a clean up. Also, ask the dealer who was pricing you $600 what is needed to be done for that high of a price.
 
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Old 01-31-03, 06:29 PM
talbers
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I have only lived in my current residence for 5 yrs and the house is 25 yrs old. It looks like the furnace was replaced in 1991, model # GMP100-3. I have not been very timely on changing the filter, usually about every 2 - 3 months. When we purchased the house the filter that was in the furnace looked like it had been there for years. The bill was for 3 things: cleaning the blower, cleaning the air conditioner coil and $175 to fabricate a new filter holder. The current filter holder does a very poor job of holding the filter, infact there is no way to get a new filter in the thing without breaking the paper band around the filter and then taping it back together after it is in. I have not problems doing the work myself, I am very good with working on machinery, I have just never tackled a furnace. Always felt they were taboo for whatever reason.
Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-31-03, 06:38 PM
talbers
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not fixed

Ok that was a good $85 down the drain, the furnace just did its littly jig again. The exhaust blower starts and runs, the igniter heats up the gas just gets turned on and then the unit shuts down. It will continue to do this untill if fires correctly, it usually doesn't take more than 2 try's. But the most annoying part of all this is the wife, it drives her nuts and then she drives me nuts: :-)
 
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Old 02-02-03, 10:16 AM
flamin
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1 call

Hey,

I was/am having furnace problems too. (flames come out past shield, gas smell, dirty chimney, ...) I called a company. They said it could be from a pluged heat exchanger. He said a cleaning was about $600. I did not ask what all that covered, and did not ask other companies. (My furnace is old and rusty. I figured now's the time to upgrade. I'll put that 600 down on the new model.) He also said I'm suppose to have it cleaned every 2 or 3 years! Oops! In 3 houses and 15yrs or so, I've had it done once ;( This is my 1st furnace problem.
 
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Old 02-02-03, 11:41 AM
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Smile

talbers:

Doing this type of work as a DIY project is not for everyone.
Here is some information to help make up your mind if you want to do it yourself.


How to clean your furnace:
http://www.growinglifestyle.com/article/s0/a111199.html


Troubleshooting intermittant ignition:
http://www.achrnews.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/features/BNP__Features__Item/0,1338,65283,00.html
 
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Old 02-02-03, 05:15 PM
busterm
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GregH, thanks for these fantastic resources!!!
 
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Old 02-04-03, 04:02 PM
talbers
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Thanks

I appreciate the advice given here. Since I put on the original post I have taken the blower assembly out and gave it a cleaning, it realy wasn't nearly as dirty I expected it to be. I also fabricated a new holder for the filter so it does a better job, the old one had large gaps all the way around it. I think I also fixed the problem with the cycling of the furnace, he replaced a vacumn switch but the hose going to the switch was soo brittle on one end that it broke when I took it off the fitting. The only thing left to do is clean the coil, and I am in no hurry to do that.
 
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Old 02-04-03, 04:52 PM
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good job!

you may have fixed your problem by repairing that hose to the psi switch. your description of the innefficient filter rack leads me to believe that dirt may in fact have imbedded itself into your coil.
 
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Old 02-04-03, 06:35 PM
talbers
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I really need to learn to keep my big mouth shut. The furnace did it's thing tonight where the exhause fan shuts off before the burn cycle starts. I will see what the coil looks like this weekend, there is a piece of sheet metal I believe I can get off to take a look at it. I have no idea how I am going to get the a/c coil out to clean it. There is no 'hatch' to pull it out the side of the ducting, I guess this means it has to come out the bottom. YUCK!
 
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Old 02-04-03, 08:40 PM
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talbers:

You may not have to remove the coil to clean it.

If you are able to remove a piece of sheet metal on the furnace at the front or back of the coil, there is usually a triangular shaped cover plate on the A coil that can be removed.
You can then use a brush to wipe along the length of the fins to first get the outer layer of dirt off.
 
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