HVAC- never heard of this type


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Old 11-10-10, 09:23 AM
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HVAC- never heard of this type

Hello, I have a question that I hope someone knows the answer to.

My son moved into a small home built in 1955, he also lives in GA. However the whole furnace and air conditioning system is outside his house. I have never seen anything like it. Its gas powered but sits outside. It was installed in 1994. He has a normal thermostat inside, with floor vents and a air intake vent.

However now the heat isn't working, he had a guy come out and he looked at several parts, took out and put in several parts, capacitors , etc..none of the parts made it work, so he took them out,.said it might be the circuit board and would have to be ordered and cost $400.

My son is working full time and going to school and doesn't have a lot of money for this right now, but has to do something.

Has anyone ever heard of this type of HVAC system and if so, what is it called? Also in your opinion how long should it last and what is a fair amount to pay out before it should just be replaced?
Thanks for any and all help and info. Catzcar
 
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Old 11-10-10, 09:35 AM
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Outdoor heating and air conditioning systems are very common roof top equipment in commercials spaces, and this is likely to be one of those systems used in a residential application.

Unfortunately, a repairman who swaps out multiple parts is likely to be a poorly skilled person who isn't competent to use good diagnostic methods.

It't very likely that this system doesn't date from when the house was built. If he wants to get the make, model and serial number of the equipment off the rating plate in the burner compartment of the furnace we might be able to tell him the date it was manufactured.

Swapping out a capacitor suggests that the fan motor isn't starting up. Is the unit getting hot when the thermostat calls for heat but not circulating air into the house?
I'd either be looking for a different repairman or be yipping to the owner of the service agency to send a competent person out to diagnose the problem, preferably at no additional charge.
 
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Old 11-10-10, 09:38 AM
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They're everywhere..especially in some older places. May have been a retrofit or may have been designed that way. Kinda like out here in AZ...many, many, homes have the units mounted on the roof even on newer places. Back in VA...lots of older homes had them installed when new owners wanted to replace their old heating source (often baseboard electrical) and add A/C.

I've heard them called gas-pacs...but I believe they are basically known as "packaged units". In a way it makes a lot of sense. Very easy to work on as a rule (easy access to all sides), easy to install and hook-up, no mixing and matching of components.

Doesn't sound like a very good tech to me......
 
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Old 11-10-10, 06:03 PM
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These packaged units outside are more common in the southern states. I am taking it you are from the northern states where they have basements, and these are almost are unheard of as you said so yourself.
 
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Old 11-10-10, 07:52 PM
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Thank you for the quick responses. We are from Ohio originally, but all live in GA now. We've lived here for the last 21 yrs and this is the first of this type of unit we had seen. Our furnace in located in the attic, which was new to us also, but at least it looks like a normal unit.
Our sons HVAC does seem to be heating up ok, but not blowing. He does say that the AC works fine, even blows the cool air out.
Is there 2 blowers on these types of units? One for the air conditioner and one for the heat?

We agree the first tech that came out didn't seem to know what he was doing. He called his boss after a while of changing out parts and his boss said it was probably the circut board and wanted to order one for the $400. So my son told him he'd have to think about it. Of course it cost my son $75 for the guy coming out. Thanks again!
 
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Old 11-10-10, 08:31 PM
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There is typically a fan that circulates air through the house and a fan that circulates air through the air conditioner condenser coil.

It sounds like the fan that circulates air throughy the house may not be turning on properly when heating, but is turning on when the air conditioner is working. But getting symptoms and such second or third hand isn't very reliable, frankly.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 04:09 AM
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Most system use two speed. 1-cooling, 2-heating.

When he calls for heat, and switch the fan switch at the stat to "ON", is he getting heat?

If we can get the make/model # of the system, we can see what he got.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 03:32 PM
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Sounds to me to just be a heating issue. But a person needs to go up there and see what all is or is not happening in the sequence when the stat is turned up for heat. For example - does even an ignition source come on, like a sparker, glow coil or a gas pilot? You need to check that out. Open the burner compartment door and look when you try to run it?

I am not familiar with any system using 2 blowers - specifically with some approach to isolate the a/c from the heat. Seems unnecessarily redundant if it had such a thing. Even on the massive commercial units I take care of, that has dual 2-stage gas burners (heat) and 4 a/c compressors and 4 condensor fans per unit, multiple staged - the same single blower sends heat through the a/c coils same way any other furnace does. And these units work just fine even in 30 below 0, or 100 degree heat.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post

I am not familiar with any system using 2 blowers - specifically with some approach to isolate the a/c from the heat. Seems unnecessarily redundant if it had such a thing. Even on the massive commercial units I take care of, that has dual 2-stage gas burners (heat) and 4 a/c compressors and 4 condensor fans per unit, multiple staged - the same single blower sends heat through the a/c coils same way any other furnace does. And these units work just fine even in 30 below 0, or 100 degree heat.

Ummmm. Take the typical home split system that has an AC evaporator coil above the furnace blower, and a separate fan outdoors in the condenser coil.

That's two fans for separate purposes.


Most package heating/AC systems have two fans as well for similar purposes is my experience.

That's what I was referring to anyway. Perhaps I wasn't clear?
 
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Old 11-11-10, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by catzcar View Post
Is there 2 blowers on these types of units? One for the air conditioner and one for the heat?
Sorry SP, if I gave wrong interpretation of your answer. Since the poster used the word "blower" in regard to each, instead of blower and fan, and then read your response, that was how I interpreted it. Sorry that I was mistaken in what you meant.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 10:57 PM
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No problem Ecman. It's pretty common here to have confusion over the terms people use. Sometimes you have to ask about that to clarify what's going on.
 
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Old 11-12-10, 06:49 AM
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I was a little confused myself. Then I re-read....and hey...lets not forget the inducer fan that many have...so now we're up to 3...lol.

catzcar...if you can get a brand and model number..that might help as well. Older units aren't very complicated really.
 
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Old 11-12-10, 11:39 AM
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the problem is simple i believe. i think its just the low speed on the motor stopped working(red wire). just find red wire coming from motor to the circuit board and place the yellow wire also coming from the motor to where the red wire was and problem solved.

My reasoning for this is because the system works on cool which tells me the motor does work. the author of this post mistaken, believing each speed of the motor comes from separate motors, when in fact it is one blower with different speeds. should i take a bow or wait for the applause
 
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Old 11-12-10, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ender2272 View Post
My reasoning for this is because the system works on cool which tells me the motor does work. the author of this post mistaken, believing each speed of the motor comes from separate motors, when in fact it is one blower with different speeds. should i take a bow or wait for the applause
That's why I was asking if there was heat if the fan was switched to "ON", and if that did work, I was going to suggest that.
 
 

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