Winchester-brand Furnaces


Old 08-05-13, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
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Winchester-brand Furnaces

I noticed that Home Depot sells Winchester furnaces. Anyone know who makes them? Are they reliable?

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Old 08-05-13, 04:17 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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I did a little more digging (searching) and it looks like the Hamilton company makes the Winchester furnace:

Hamilton Home Products, Inc. | Heating System for Residential - Gas Furnace, Electric Air Handle

Not being real familiar with furnace brands, I'm wondering how the Winchester furnace measures up out in the field?
Old 08-05-13, 04:39 PM
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Most winchester and Hamilton home products that I have seen in the field are low end york units. Installing a furnace is not a DIY project, IMO.
Old 08-05-13, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Most winchester and Hamilton home products that I have seen in the field are low end york units.
Thanks for the info. I wonder why Hamilton feels the need to further change the name to Winchester?

Installing a furnace is not a DIY project, IMO.
I understand your concern. In my case, when the time comes, I won't be installing anything by myself. The project will be under the supervision of a licensed HVAC guy who just happens to be a close friend. My expectation is that I will be acquiring the unit (brand still to be determined) through him, as well.

The thing is, I recently saw an advertisement in a Home Depot regarding furnaces that they offer, and it just got me wondering whether they are any good.
Old 05-28-14, 09:11 AM
Join Date: May 2014
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I installed my Own Hamilton Furnace.

May 2014
Many years ago, (maybe 2001, bought house 2000), I needed to replaced the Blast-Furnace in my 1930's house basement. It was maybe a 25 yr old Gas model that used House Air causing Drafts. I needed to keep my cost down and wanted to upgrade the House to Central Air. I grew up learning Electrical wiring, Learned sheet Metal helping the "Aircraft Tin Benders", Had a Natural Mechanical Ability, Knew Jet Engines / Air Duct Flow and respected Gas / Fuels of any kind along with the delivery systems.
CARTER LUMBER advertised a DIY system by Hamilton, the Price was right and I got a $3000 Loan against my Life Policy. It was Nov and the Night temps were 40s. The Winchester Model fit my needs and the Hamilton Tech Line was Very Helpful, They told me that I needed to add another 8" duct to the Plenum stack for proper air flow balance.
After Capping the gas line (family wanted Hot water back), the Old furnace parts took 1 1/2 day to dismantle / remove and plug the chimney hole. I then prepped the area and made a Mortar/Patio block Pad for the furnace (I wanted the base off the floor), and put in a new breaker.
Easy Part:
The Instructions were very good and the pieces/sections fit as directed (Intake-Filter duct, updraft unit, "A-coil") and I was then looking at a stand alone System.
Hard Part: It took another day to Plan / Cut / Modify the OLD Cold Return Air Drop and reattach cold duct work {I also metal taped all inside seams/joints}. The Hot Air Plenum was easier but since I only raised it a few inches to disconnect it, I did not have much room to work (but still more room than Navy Aircraft). I wanted smooth airflow thru the system since any bumps or protrusions will disrupt jet airflow. Once the Plenum was lowered, I had a nice tight fit with a new 8" hole and another small hole for the Humidifier duct as directed. The 8" duct was to be heat for the Basement which had none before.
The next job was to run the PVC for my Intake and Exhaust pipes. Intake air, I stopped at the screened porch, but ran the Exhaust PVC thru the porch roof using a "Stink Stack" roof flashing and 180 deg elbow with some screen mesh to keep rain / bugs out.
One thing I would change is that the directions call for a 3/4" drain in the Exhaust PVC Pipe, I found that the condensate would run past the drain and pool at the furnace. The change I would make is with a larger dia. drain pipe reducing it to 3/4" after 18". This would allow a collection section and then run the Clear tubing to the drain stack near the furnace (a loop in the tubing acts like a "P"-trap and keeps Exhaust air in the Pipe. Clear tubing lets me see the water).
After mounting the Humidifier to the Cold Return Air Drop, I ran the new duct from the Plenum to Humidifier. I now made a copper pipe 'water manifold / shut off valves' with filter for the Humidifier and Refrigerator upstairs. Then ran 1" PVC from the furnace unit to a floor drain. This drain will provide overflow for the Humidifier / Exhaust Pipe / "A-coil" drain P-trap.
I replaced the old 14 ga wiring with 12 ga from the breaker box to a box on the main furnace unit. In that box went a local shutoff switch and a duplex outlet. This outlet would power the Humidifier and provide a nearby power source for any unit work.
Last but not least, I removed the Old Gas line almost back to the meter and rerouted in a more direct feed with fewer joints {70 years of add-ons}. This also put the Larger Gas Feed split closer to the branch units. I will go back and put in capped off feeds for a stove and dryer, but for now, just Hot Water heater and Furnace. Black pipe is not hard to work with as long as you measure and plan the routing. (ALL JOINTS WERE DOPED AND SOAP LEAK CHECKED)
After running new wire to the thermostat, I installed a new Heat / AC Programmable unit. The old ducts were left in place, and followed the start up directions. The A C parts other than the "A-coil" were left for a Spring Install.
Spring Time:
I wanted the Outside unit on a concrete pad and followed all directions. At that time in my life, I was working as a Industrial / Electrical Mechanic and decided to use metal conduit from the Breaker to the outside fuse box, with flexible, to the Condenser.
Now for the parts that I had NO experience with, (R22 Freon lines). Hamilton ships the Units and Lines with sealed / pre-charged Freon. All I needed to do was route and connect 2 lines from the "A-coil" to the Outside Condenser. One mistake was the control wire was cut 'Just' long enough and I could not route it as well as I had planned.

Hindsight: I should have cleaned all the Cold Air Duct-work, 2 yrs ago, water was dripping from the Furnace in Aug.
Cause: "A-coil" had collected lint / dirt in the fins blocking airflow and the Condensate was blown past the drip pan. The "A-coil" unit had no inspection panel and I had to pull half the coil out for Access to clean to fins. I will Not blame my then Fiancee' for not changing the filters monthly. [I am gone alot.] I have cleaned / vacuumed the ducts. Then, in Nov, I found that the water had shorted out the Heater Control Board. Carter carries replacement boards for about $115. Now after what 13 /14 years, the A C is blowing Hot. Guess the Freon is low. Will soon find out if a License Repairer can recharge the system.
Annual Service maybe a good investment in the future. Especially since my knees are almost gone and I can't do the work like I used to.
Hope this helps,

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