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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    101
    Space heaters? I live in a house, not a tenement.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    Originally posted by Tony0945
    Had -9 at 8:00AM here yesterday, about sixty miles south of Milwaukee, so I took it literally, figuring it to be a lot colder there.

    Average low for Chicago in jan is 10. Record low is -27.

    Chicago is colder than Milwaukee? Wow!


    BTW, I used HVAC CALC before buying my latest furnace (2 stage VS unit). I used -20 instead of 10 for design temp and still got a smaller unit than the developer put in. Salesman wanted to sell me one bigger than the developer put in. I'm glad I did the load calc both ways or I may have given in. Not knocking load calculation. Using average temp may be good for somewhere like San Diego with little variation, but we have radical changes here. If your furnace runs 100% at 10 degrees, as some on this forum have suggested for maximum efficiency, I guarantee that you will be shivering a lot in Northern Illinois.
    There is some conservatism built into the load calcs. You just have to know what you are doing. Construction qulaity has a lot to do with it as well. Something loose and drafty will be prone to high winds. That cold air will short circuit the insulation

    [Edited by Carnak on 02-19-2006 at 12:55 PM]
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

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  3. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    101
    Also, temps are not below 10 just one or two days. We often have one or two weeks of below zero. Notice that I finally picked -20 instead of the record -27 (-30 actually, here in the Western suburbs) as a design point. I agree that I use more energy, but I could save even more by just turning the thermostat down to 60. It's a choice between comfort and dollars.


  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    648
    Originally posted by Tony0945
    Space heaters? I live in a house, not a tenement.
    61 degrees is by no means unbearable. I would first ask how many days out of the year the funace can't keep up and go from there. If it's more than a couple weeks, than yes I would say either there is something wrong with the system or it's undersized. And by the way, some people aren't above using space heaters in their home for a couple nights when the temp goes below design.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    RedWing MN
    Posts
    110
    From what I have read, the black sludge you wrote about is soot filling up the secondary hx and acting as insulation reducing the amount of heat you get from the furnace. It will not just go away, just get worse. This comes from incomplete combustion. Most of the time we changed the hx and did a check on venting, gas pressures etc.,things a good tech wood do. Its needs to be checked by some one qualified.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    Originally posted by Tony0945
    Also, temps are not below 10 just one or two days. We often have one or two weeks of below zero. Notice that I finally picked -20 instead of the record -27 (-30 actually, here in the Western suburbs) as a design point. I agree that I use more energy, but I could save even more by just turning the thermostat down to 60. It's a choice between comfort and dollars.

    For all you know, the lower design ambient covered you for some other input error into the program. Perhaps infiltration rate.
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    Have had stuff sized right on the money for -26F, then get a week of -40. No complaints, conservatism built into the calcs
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,777
    Too many times a house is rated (or the HO will claim) as tighter construction then it is. That will throw off the calc by alot.

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  9. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    I guess it depends on where you are and how building codes are enforced. Most common size furnaces I sold for ambients -24F and colder were 60 & 75 MBH on new construction.


    What does manual J give you guys for air tightness, something like "poor", "average" and "tight"


    [Edited by Carnak on 02-19-2006 at 11:52 PM]
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Your furnace may be sized properly and just needs to be checked to make sure it's running at 100%.

    If its -20 out, you might just have to dawn a sweater for a couple days.

    Get it checked but if you can wait a couple days that would be appriceated. If its -20, the techs are working around the clock for people with NO heat. Surely you wouldnt want to have one drive over and play with yours when someone's grandma is sitting without any.

  11. #24

    Talking Update, Back with more info,

    First thanks for the feedback. Second I am defiantly getting a HVAC Pro in to look at this furnace. I know my limits being a electronic tech and this is beyond my experience and background. I just like to get an idea of what I'm looking at before I start shelling out cash.

    It got up to 26 degrees this afternoon and there was no change in the conditions I originally posted. So something is really wrong with this furnace. By the way it is a 1983 Heil and is undersized for this house. When we bought the home they had put one of those "in wall type gas fired heaters" that you find in older cabin type hotel rooms to heat the basement.

    The first thing I did after we got the house was disconnect this piece of junk. Safety first. The installation of this thing was terrible. No sealer around the vent pipe where it entered the chimney. Half inch opening around the entire vent. Why someone didn't die from carbon monoxide poisoning is a mystery.

    About five years ago we had the siding and all the windows and entrance doors replaced. This house we got a real good deal on because it was in such poor condition. I had to replace 150 sq. ft. of the red oak flooring because whoever installed the shower and tub fixtures never caulked around them.

    That's when I found out the guy who nailed the sub-floor to the joist only got 1 out of every three nails in the joist. So I figure the crew that built this house in 1953 must have started the work day with a donut and six pack and had a lunch of three pickled eggs and 4 or 5 boilermakers.

    I also had to tear out all the interior molding and doors because it looked like someone went at them with a chain or something. Even the molding above the windows was damaged badly. The house structure is for the most part sound. I had a Master Electrician replace the service from the pole to the breaker box.

    I had him put in a 200 amp industrial box with 2 fifteen foot solid copper rods spaced 10 feet apart (25 mile ground plane). He thought I was crazy for insisting on this type of installation instead of the usual 150 amp box and service.

    We took a direct lighting hit this last summer on the pole in our backyard that tripped the main breaker on the box. Not one piece of electronics gear in the house was destroyed. The EMP however trashed the security light electronics board. Replacement cost $19.95 for a new one.

    Had I went with a typical 150 amp service and residential box I would have had to eat about $20,000 in blown home entertainment, computer and professional music equipment.

    One of the things I've learned over the years is never go with a typical or standard installation. Always plan for the worst case if you want to get the biggest bang for the buck. Buy the best and it always works and cost less over the long haul. Do the cheap thing and you will always end up paying for it over and over again.

    Anyways back to the HVAC stuff. This furnace is a piece of cheap junk that somebody who did not know what the hell they were doing installed incorrectly. I got expose to a toxic chemical at work and lost my job right about the time we were going to finish remodeling the house. So instead the house has had to wait to see if I was going to survive and get well enough to return to fixing things around the house.

    This put our original plans in the trash since I've been out of work for the last 10 years. Had I not been poisoned all this stuff would have been fixed or replaced years ago. The whole house could be remodeled by contractors in maybe 4 weeks tops but our finances until recently put this option as the last resort.

    I was hoping we could take more time on the furnace replacement issues but fate has a really twisted sense of humor. Right at this point we are only going to look at about 3 or 4 manufacturers to do a full system replacement.

    My first preference is going to be a Rheem system including an air exchanger. I like the all in one outdoor unit idea they have on their site but I not sure if this type of unit is a good unit to buy in our area due to the extreme temp. conditions.

    My second preference is the Trane system. I like their setup in the up flow models and the full range air cleaners.

    My third preference is Carrier since it is the most installed brand. The system is nice but their are a few things that I want that they might not have available in a matching unit.

    Reading the rely post about getting a system that is overpowered for typical conditions is where I most likely to end up. -30 degrees at least as the assumed lower extreme and 101 degrees heat index on the AC. Why you might ask? I recently read the DOD report on the effects of global warming over the next 40 years.

    This was a very good realistic report on what to expect in the Midwest. Estimates include days in the winter that might hit -70 with wind chill and summer days where the heat index top out at 105 to 115 degrees. In essence the Midwest is going see more extreme conditions over the next 20 to 30 years.

    Those who don't factor this in to a HVAC investment over time are living in la-la land. This winter so far has been one the weirdest winters ever. 50 plus days above 30 degrees and then a sudden shift to -35 to -40 with the wind chill. When it got cold it got really cold.

    So everyone who is selling HVAC had better bone up on what global warming is going to bring to the area's your selling this stuff in. Denial is no longer possible after this last hurricane season ended. So bone up on the future predictions and not what the averages of the past 200 year quiet period had been. The golden era is over.

    Sorry this is so long but given the responses to the original post I thought I would give everyone a little more info on the house and where my head is at with this HVAC problem.

    Tomorrows Monday so I'll be making a bunch of calls to set up appointments with dealers and one call to get a tech out to look at this piece of junk in the basement. This furnace has lasted about as long as it could and it's time to replace it.

    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll let you know how it all works out and maybe even take some pictures of this nightmare installation if I can figure out how to post them here.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,777
    Originally posted by Carnak
    I guess it depends on where you are and how building codes are enforced. Most common size furnaces I sold for ambients -24F and colder were 60 & 75 MBH on new construction.


    What does manual J give you guys for air tightness, something like "poor", "average" and "tight"


    [Edited by Carnak on 02-19-2006 at 11:52 PM]
    Air change per hour.

    .2, .4 etc,etc,etc.
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  13. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,429

    Thumbs up Realistic Planning & Back up with more info,

    Originally posted by sndtechie
    One of the things I've learned over the years is never go with a typical or standard installation. Always plan for the worst case if you want to get the biggest bang for the buck. Buy the best and it always works and cost less over the long haul. Do the cheap thing and you will always end up paying for it over and over again.
    I was hoping we could take more time on the furnace replacement issues but fate has a really twisted sense of humor. Right at this point we are only going to look at about 3 or 4 manufacturers to do a full system replacement.


    Reading the rely post about getting a system that is overpowered for typical conditions is where I most likely to end up. -30 degrees at least as the assumed lower extreme and 101 degrees heat index on the AC. Why you might ask? I recently read the DOD report on the effects of global warming over the next 40 years.

    This was a very good realistic report on what to expect in the Midwest. Estimates include days in the winter that might hit -70 with wind chill and summer days where the heat index top out at 105 to 115 degrees. In essence the Midwest is going see more extreme conditions over the next 20 to 30 years.

    Those who don't factor this in to a HVAC investment over time are living in la-la land. This winter so far has been one the weirdest winters ever. 50 plus days above 30 degrees and then a sudden shift to -35 to -40 with the wind chill. When it got cold it got really cold.

    So everyone who is selling HVAC had better bone up on what global warming is going to bring to the area's your selling this stuff in. Denial is no longer possible after this last hurricane season ended. So bone up on the future predictions and not what the averages of the past 200 year quiet period had been. The golden era is over.
    " I recently read the DOD report on the effects of global warming over the next 40 years. "

    Can you provide link to DOD report?
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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