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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Cedar Rapids, IA
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    Confused My parents' house

    Sorry, don't own a camera so will have to mostly list things off.

    The background:
    Parents' home, ~3600sf, filters changed regularly, clean unit (20 years old, though), but cold/hot in the kitchen (depending on the season). Was asked to house-sit while they were away, and went to check on their HVAC. Here's what I found:

    High-amperage (>20) breaker feeds furnace (100k GAS, w/ 25A fuse), foyer receptacles (WTF?), and I can't remember what else.
    Duct never connected to register in den.
    No balancing dampers anywhere (helpful for the 5' run to the nearest versus 50' to the furthest).
    With above, badly designed ducts (no use of Manual D).
    Vent too close to elbow, recieves no air when fan runs.
    Return in dining room never connected, 12x12 ends (open) in furnace room and grille goes nowhere from dining room.
    Another return duct (joist panning) never capped at end of panning.
    Almost no airflow to kitchen, forcing use of space heater.

    I work maintenance, not HVAC, but I knew I had to do something. Until I can get someone with more experience, and a license, in here I made a few changes.

    Using "available materials" (interpret at will) I capped both open return ducts (and sealed a supply duct I found blowing air at me in the process), shut down the 5' supply vent, capped the useless vent in the elbow, tweaked the airflow from another vent, and installed a new programmable t-stat.
    After all was said and done my parents will no longer need to use a space heater in the kitchen. Funny what happens when you finish your work.

    Now I just need to get someone more qualified in here to make permanent repairs.
    Last edited by tjrobb; 01-13-2010 at 06:18 PM. Reason: details

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Cedar Rapids, IA
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    Thread Starter
    New information:
    The furnace is a Heil NUGK... condenser, and yes it is 20 years old.
    The burners and HX have a TON of rust (see below) but as far as I can tell are not cracked or damaged.
    The A-coil cannot be accessed, as it is "locked" behind the supply plenum by the lineset.
    The condensate drain line was moved a year or two ago by me, before that it was backing up into the plenum, causing the aforementioned rust.
    In addition to the rust on the burners and HX, the water leaked down onto the control panel and made some nice rust patterns.
    The only things NOT wrong (or at least needing attention) is all capacitors appear to be fine, the blower & blower motor are clean, and the burner tubes themselves are clear of obstructions.

    Even though the unit is chugging along just fine, with all that rust I worry about when it is going to crack or at least gain a hole. I think I need to talk to them about getting a new unit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Yes you do! That sounds awful. (set up a good contractor, and hint at a camera for a comish!)

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