I am an owner of a home in the NJ area and have a problem with the plenum in an oil furnace which appears to be cracked. There is a little residue on the wall near the heating vent and a slight oil smell. What would cause that to happen in a furnace from Inter-City Products that is about 12 years old? The basement air intake vents have been sealed because the basement is used for antique refinishing, sanding a painting. There is another air intake vent upstairs. Could this cause the problem?
How much should the replacement of the phlenum cost or is it just as expensive to replace to whole furnace?
you mean heat exchanger?
I doubt you mean plenum. Maybe a cracked heat exchanger. It can happen and if it did on a 12 yr old furnace yes it is recommended by most contractors to replace the furnace rather than replace heat exchanger.
blocking off the return air cause the problem?
Yes, most definately.
Try a little experment my partner recommends.
Cover your mouth with duct tape, and stick a finger up one nostril, now run around the block and see if the lack of intake air has any affect on you.
Hahah j/k but yes lack of airflow will kill a furnace.
there should not have been return air ducts in the basement anyway if the furnace is there (unless the furnace sets in a room be its self). never draw air from the room the unit is in.. oil smell could be a dirty nozzel. have a serviceman ck for a dirty nozzel or replace it your self if you know how and go from there if you don't have the proper equipment.
[Edited by oilie hands on 03-29-2005 at 08:52 AM]