I am a homeowner who had a Goodman combination (? air conditioning and heat) unit installed on my roof last month. An old furnace was removed from inside the house and an evaporative cooler was removed from the roof. Luckily, this is AZ, so it has not been too cold (except for a few nights) but the unit smokes something awful, and of course, smells as well.
The installer told us to "burn it off for a while and it will go away", which it never did. After many many tries (cranking it up, watching my home fill with smoke, airing my home out again...but the furniture still smells..) the installer finally (at my insistance) replaced first the heat exchanger (little bit "cracked"...but that didn't do the trick) and then the entire unit with an Amana (same thing I am told, just better warranty). Well, guess what? Smoking again.
Today (understand this is over 5 weeks now) he "cleaned" the unit, turned the gas pressure down, and although it smells, and is burning my eyes and giving me a headache, it no longer smokes. It does not however, get very warm very quickly. I am obviously not running it, but the fumes remain for quite a while.
I am the most patient person on the planet, but even I am at the end of my rope. I told him to turn the gas up again to a more reasonable level, and if it smells/smokes that I will either expect my money back and hire another company or he needs to give me another brand of furnace.
I feel for the guy, I don't think he likes this mess any more than I do (those cranes are not cheap I suppose) but I feel a bit taken advantage of.
Any ideas?? Should I give the guy another chance with a different brand of furnace? I am not reading wonderful things about Goodman.
There is absolutely, positively nothing even vaguely right about a furnace that fills a house with smoke. Eye irritation and headaches are a classic sign of low level carbon monoxide poisoning. Higher levels of carbon monoxide cause very bad things like dead people.
Suggestion #1 Call your local fire department and tell them that you suspect you may have a carbon monoxide issue inside your home. Most fire departments will come out immediately and test the air in your home at no charge to you. The air should be tested while the unit is running. If carbon monoxide is present then you need to cease operation of the unit at once.
Suggestion #2 If you have carbon monoxide present you should call the owner of the company that installed it and inform them of the situation. Demand immediate service. Crane costs? Big deal! Cost of a dead customer is much higher.
Suggestion #3 If the original installer is unresponsive then call the manufacturer's representative and describe your experiences. They should get a different (read this as "competent") company to take care of you at no expense to you.
Suggestion #4 Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Everyone that has fossil fuel burning appliances should have one.
Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, tasteless and, in high concentrations, absolutely lethal. It is responsible for around 200 deaths in the USA per year. For more information click on http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html and/or here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/466.html
But carbon monoxide or not, there is no reason to put up with a furnace that:
2) makes your furniture smell,
3) doesn't smoke so much when the gas pressure is dialed back,
4) doesn't heat properly because the gas pressure is dialed back [which it shouldn't be],
5) hurts your eyes and gives you headaches
If I (as an HVAC contractor) had a furnace that was doing this to one of my customers then I would personally pay to put them up in a hotel until it was fixed and pay to fumigate the house. This situation has "lawsuit" written all over it. Only an idiot would not take you seriously about this.
I can't say it any better than trapeze. I'd call the situation utterly laughable if it weren't so tragic. I've been a service man for over a decade. I've seen furnaces malfunction badly like that. But it was never a mystery as to why. Gross malfunction means gross and obvious failure. And the odds are 99% that it's the contractor's fault, not the machine's. (Kind of sounds like a grossly oversized unit and/or duct problem causing airflow problems which result in an overheated unit. But that's just a wild guess.)
You've got a hack. I'd document everything and demand he pull his machine and refund your money. I wouldn't trust him any farther than I could throw him.
Is your home gas by any chance LP? (Liquid Petroleum....Propane)?
Government is a disease...
...masquerading as its own cure
Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV
You have a very scary situation on your hands, but trapeze has given you very accurate and valuable information.
Have it checked out ASAP and don't use it, till it is checked out and corrected.
Your life may depend on it!!!
Thanks for all the replies. Of course now I am totally freaked out!
No, I don't have LP (just natural gas).
Too bad none of you who responded are in AZ, I'd hire you!!
Good to hear back from you - means you are still with us.
I echo the safety concerns raised by others - don't run that furnace until the CO / smoke is fixed. If the present clown actually manages to get it fixed have someone else double check it.
I don't want to worry you yet more but CO is very bad in quite low concentrations - we often measure it in parts per million.
Buy and install CO detectors - this is basic safety gear right up there with smoke detectors and are strongly recommended for any dwelling with any fuel burning appliances installed.
You can get CO detectors at Walmart for not much more money than smoke detectors.
I called the installer (owner of the company, mind you) and read him the riot act. No more Mrs. Nice Guy. By the way, he says he has tested for Carbon monoxide and has found none. (Although I let him know how much value his words currently have with me.)
Ironically, he has a good reputation and came well recommended. Lot of good that does....
He already called me back with a message that he will be there Monday with a completely different brand of unit (which will, I guess, force the issue of redoing the ductwork he did, which I suspect was the issue all along.) Hope he gets it right this time. If not, a call to my attorney is in order.
The people on this board are very nice...thank you for bolstering my suspicions (I think, although I must admit feeling like an idiot for putting up for so long).
Oh, and I will purchase CO detectors and install them immediately.
In your particular area, do you have such a thing as building and code enforcement? Give them a call. Unfortunately, there are contractors that are referred on a daily basis from one customer to the next, that don't bother to get the required permits or inspections. Make sure a permit was pulled, check to make sure it gets inspected, and if I thought my furnace wasn't safe, and the contractor would not respond appropriately, CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT! As advised earlier in this thread, don't mess around with your life or those of your loved ones.
Everyone has a purpose in life..........even if it's to be a bad example.
Seek first to understand, before seeking to be understood.
When everything is said and done... please let us know how things turn out.
And by all means, if you have further problems... come back for more advice!
No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast
The Surgeon General has determined that a smoking furnace is hazardous to your health.