Author Topic: New HVAC, discovered a problem  (Read 2147 times)

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Offline Deke

  • Posts: 236
New HVAC, discovered a problem
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:54 AM »
Of all the forums out there, you guys are always the smartest for home issues. So, I hope this is okay (of course I own lots of Festool stuff).

Last week in the "bomb cyclone" our 3 month old furnace stopped. What fun. Turned out ice/snow blocked the air intake (neighbor with snow blower - he felt awful and won't do it again). However when the tech arrived, I asked a lot of questions including "when does the furnace run on it's "higher" stage. He proceeded to show me by turning the thermostat way up, but nothing happened. Turned out the installers did not code the system correctly. This tech did and ever since the furnace has been running 10 times better than it did before and the house is well heated and comfortable. We foolishly assumed old house + old ducts + really poor insulation was the problem (we moved in this year). They all still are things that need to be addressed, but this furnace programming was a huge problem, maybe the biggest for sure. What makes me so frustrated is this could have gone on for years and I never would have known. In fact a friend at work had the same experience with an AC that was not configured properly for ten years. To say he was mad is an understatement.

I'm going to make sure they come out and really give this the once over. They do appear to be a good company and this may have been a slip, but gees Louise, a five digit investment wasting away for pressing a few buttons?

Maybe you are all smarter than I am about this, but if things don't seem right, ask questions and make sure your HVAC people do their jobs.

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 62
Re: New HVAC, discovered a problem
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 03:18 PM »
Was the tech that discovered the issue from the same HVAC company or you decided to call somebody else?

The "old house + old ducts + really poor insulation" problem is exactly what my parents are experiencing, but your post got me thinking that I should call a reputable HVAC company and let them inspect how the furnace was configured...

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 785
Re: New HVAC, discovered a problem
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 03:42 PM »
I'm sure there are many awesome HVAC people out there.  Unfortunately, I didn't hire one of them when I got a new furnace installed a few years ago.  I caught the guy trying to install a single-stage unit when a two-stage had been agreed upon.  His assistant had left the unit (and its manual) at our place overnight mid-install - without the manual, it would have been difficult for me to ascertain easily exactly which model was going in.  Next day, after I had pointed out the "error," I overheard the guy whisper-screaming at his assistant for leaving the documentation around overnight.  And he was really pissy at me for the rest of the job.  Just wanted him off my property by the end of it, even if it meant I had to wire up the new thermostat myself, which I did.
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Online estley

  • Posts: 112
Re: New HVAC, discovered a problem
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 06:14 PM »
Something similar happened to us, when we moved into our current house (built in 1950), it had baseboard radiators and a very inefficient boiler, sucked oil like crazy and there was no AC, so one of the first things we did was to install central heat/air. It was a whole thing that started with upgrading the panel in the house from 100 to 200 Amps; they had to tear down a ceiling to put in the ductwork etc etc...

Our first mistake, was to do the whole thing thru Sears, so we could finance, it was a significant chunk of change. Of course, the whole thing was outsourced to a HVAC company. Ever since it was installed, it gave us occasional problems, there was one transformer that kept crapping out. The company that installed it was the one we kept calling for service, and they were "ok". Eventually I got frustrated with them because every time they sent someone, they were in a rush to get out, so it was patch job over patch job, to the point I called the owners to complain about their shoddy service, all they said was "we can offer you a free visit".

So, I looked for another company, this one came recommended by the contractor that usually works on our house. I called the company with no particular problem, and asked them to come and inspect the system, per the contractor's recommendation I asked for the owner of the company. He came in, spent a couple of hours looking at the system, testing it etc... Turns out, the genius installers installed the burner sideways; they replaced the transformer so many times that they stopped using wire nuts; or all the screws in the cover, just bad workmanship all around. Again, I called the installers just to yell at them really, the service manager heard all my complaints and all the problems I described and said "well, I mean, missing wirenuts and screws, is not that big of deal, and if they already fixed the burner, what's the big problem?.. I don't get it"

Anyways, I've since been extrememly happy with the new company, very responsive, and I even had them install a HRV.

Offline bkharman

  • Posts: 1983
Re: New HVAC, discovered a problem
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 08:48 PM »
When we built our new house, I hired an expert to come assess my needs, educate me on geothermal and he took my house plans and did a BIM run to figure everything out. It was very impressive!

Fast forward to a year after we moved in and the polar freeze had our temps at under 30 def for over two weeks. Our blackout temp is 10deg so we had auxiliary heat kick in a lot during that time but other than adjusting for winter/summer and changing filters, it has been a peach to own. Quiet, comfortable and my bills in the summer are very low for the effort. Winter, ground recovery needs some help so the bills are a bit higher but over the year we are looking at about .03 cents per square foot.

If you can afford the cost of geo and plan on being there for many years, highly recommend it!

Cheers. Bryan.


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People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 122
Re: New HVAC, discovered a problem
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 09:46 PM »
Overall, our experiences with HVAC repair folks as not been positive. So much so that currently we are heating with wood (by choice). Simple, very reliable, no computers involved anywhere, and it provides aerobic exercise.