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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    80

    Indoor coil in wrong place?

    I'm a newbie heat pump owner and will try my best to describe my concern.

    I have a split system Luxaire 92% efficient propane fired updraft furnace and outdoor 12 SEER York heat pump. The setup is such that the furnace is stacked on top of the indoor coil. The order is cold air return to indoor coil to furnace to plenum to trunk. I think it was setup out of laziness by the previous owner when he ripped out the older electric furnace and just stacked propane furnace instead of rearranging everything.

    I've had 4 different techs work on this system for periodic maintenance and other things. All have said the coil is in the wrong place, and should be above the furnace. That is it should go cold are return to furnace to indoor coil to plenum to trunk.

    The youngest tech, a pimple-popping fresh out school cocky teen, was appalled at this setup and gave other wrong information. I give his opinion the least weight. One older gray-haired tech who really seems to know his stuff from what I can tell, measured delta temperatures (inside the plenum to outside) in heat or cool mode at the plenum (just above the furnace) and said they were "textbook" (i.e. prefect).

    Still no one has explained why this setup is wrong. In fact, the older gray-haired tech said this setup might have the advantage of being able to run the HP and furnace in tandem, instead of exclusively.

    Can anyone tell me if this is wrong, and if so why? And how bad is it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,935
    The problem is that in the summer when the A/C is running. That the heat exchanger of the furnace can become cold enough that moisture condenses inside of it, and rust out the heat exchanger.

    There is no 100% yes it will rust out teh HX, but the chances are very good.

    Can you post the mod number of the furnace, and post pics of the indoor set up.

    Yours isn't the first one set up like this.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    southern mo.
    Posts
    323
    not just wrong,way wrong.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,970
    Freon leak in coil could result in phosgene gas poisoning.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by r22jjc View Post
    not just wrong,way wrong.
    r22jjc, I greatly appreciate your input, but could you elaborate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    The problem is that in the summer when the A/C is running. That the heat exchanger of the furnace can become cold enough that moisture condenses inside of it, and rust out the heat exchanger.

    There is no 100% yes it will rust out teh HX, but the chances are very good.

    Can you post the mod number of the furnace, and post pics of the indoor set up.

    Yours isn't the first one set up like this.
    Will post all model numbers tonight when home, but I should add we rarely ever use this system for A/C. With a whole-house fan, celing fans, pool and local temps avg 80s, and wifey likes it warm we just don't bother with the A/C.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    Freon leak in coil could result in phosgene gas poisoning.
    That sounds scarey. Are you saying my indoor coling placement has me at greater risk of a leak?

    Isn't anyone with a coil in their air stream at risk of this? Please elaborate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,970
    Quote Originally Posted by dac122 View Post
    That sounds scarey. Are you saying my indoor coling placement has me at greater risk of a leak?

    Isn't anyone with a coil in their air stream at risk of this? Please elaborate.
    No not coils "downstream" from the furnace.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    930
    Phosgene gas: If your coil is BEFORE the furnace, leaking refrigerant could pass through the furnace heat exchanger while the furnace is running. It might just be hot enough to break down the refrigerant, creating the dreaded phosgene gas.
    If the coil is AFTER the furnace, any leaking refrigerant would still end up in your house, but would remain as an inert gas.

    Unless you have a stainless steel heat exchanger, the coil before the furnace will rust out the heat exchanger during the a/c season, as been there posted above. Then you get to deal with the deadly CO gas. To me, this is a far greater danger.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    HOUSTON TX
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation wow

    hi im in houston and i got to say if we had a coil on the back side of a furnace youll have water everywere with the hummidity we have

    so you have an up flow coil and furnace the mfg will tell you this is a blow thru coil not a suck thru coil it would effect the the way the condinsation runs down in to the drain pan....

    and if you should have a freon leak it is oilbased and will stick to the heat exchanger and in heat mode will burn off a gas that can kill you.....

    get a pro and have it installed properly....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,935
    Quote Originally Posted by ARSHOUSTON View Post
    so you have an up flow coil and furnace the mfg will tell you this is a blow thru coil not a suck thru coil it would effect the the way the condinsation runs down in to the drain pan....

    Good chance its a multi position coil, so that doesn't neccessarily apply.

    and if you should have a freon leak it is oilbased and will stick to the heat exchanger and in heat mode will burn off a gas that can kill you.....

    Since when is R22 oil based.

    get a pro and have it installed properly....
    Oil travels with R22.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,876
    Quote Originally Posted by dac122 View Post
    r22jjc, I greatly appreciate your input, but could you elaborate.
    No he can't


    As beenthere and Mr Bill have stated there are many reasons how this kind of setup can not be good. Is it a sure thing that you are going to have a rusted heat exchanger or phosgene gas?? No it isn't. If you were my customer I would probably recommend you have it fixed. However, I would have to weigh that against it's age and efficiency and if putting more money into it woulf be worth it....might be better to let it go for a while and replace the entire system with something that will save you money down the road.
    I need a new signature.....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,935
    Quote Originally Posted by ARSHOUSTON View Post
    so you have an up flow coil and furnace the mfg will tell you this is a blow thru coil not a suck thru coil it would effect the the way the condinsation runs down in to the drain pan....

    Good chance its a multi position coil, so that doesn't neccessarily apply.

    and if you should have a freon leak it is oilbased and will stick to the heat exchanger and in heat mode will burn off a gas that can kill you.....

    Since when is R22 oil based.

    get a pro and have it installed properly....
    Oil travels with R22.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

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