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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Smoke/Dust in house after new furnace/coil install

    I'd like to start by apologizing that I might be off on some of the terminology here. I'm a new home owner as of April 2019, and just had a new furnace installed 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have had 4 different HVAC professionals out to the house and nobody has been able to identify the issue.

    I live in Chicago, so it has been around 30-40 degrees since the install. My old unit was a 17 year old, 80% efficient furnace that was 125K BTU. This new model is a Goodman that is 90% efficient and 120K BTU. My home is 2 stories with an unfinished basement, and around 1300 sq ft (or 1800 sq ft if the basement is included). I asked the previous home owner that lived here for 17 years and they stated that they did not have any of the ducts cleaned in the time that they lived here.

    On the night the furnace was installed, there was smoke visibly coming out of one of the vents, so I called the installer and was told this was normal and that the oil on the coil had to burn off. I was told the smell should be like a maple burning smell, but it was definitely soot-y and smokey. Since then, I have only run the furnace at night around 8 times, and 5 of those times we were woken up by a burning smell. One night, even the smoke detectors went off and there was a lot of visible smoke in the house. Last night, the smell was only on the upper level, so I took a look in the attic and found what looks to be some burnt insulation. The weird thing is, besides the first time, this only happens at night and the furnace runs fine during the day.

    I've been told the issue could be one of the following:

    - The furnace is too big for the house, and the temperature delta on the vents is much higher than it should be.
    - All of the dust and dirt in the ductwork is being moved around by the new, stronger blower, and it is coming out of the vents.
    - There was an issue during installation and somehow the coil was contaminated, and this issue is the result of that slowly burning off.

    Please let me know any more information needed to help troubleshoot a bit.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Fairfield and NewHaven Counties in Commecticut
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    I think the installer needs to come back and look at the heat exchanger or test the temperature rise. Why such a big furnace?

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Thread Starter
    I'm not sure about why such a big furnace was installed - he claimed he was keeping it consistent with the old furnace. I know the math doesn't check out, and I'm not sure why such a big furnace was installed 17 years ago.

    I'm going to have somebody out today to check everything out, was just hoping somebody encountered something like this and could point me in a direction I'm not thinking of.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    Certainly is a B I G furnace for the house. We would be more like a 70,000 BTU 95% on that house.

    The math doesn't check out. We won a court case along these lines and that was so funny. The old furnace put out 100,000 BTU, the new one around 114,000 BTU. So he went BIGGER.

    When first fired, furnaces will burn the oil off the HX from manufacture. Rheems actually put blue smoke in the house. But that ends after a few minutes. And it wouldn't cause burnt insulation. Could have a wiring issue in the attic not related to the furnace.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    State College, PA
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    Normally the oil on the coil will burn off within 10 or 15 minutes.

    Someone needs to do more extensive research as to what is causing this.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Athens, Ohio
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    Another possibility is ducts outside the conditioned area pulling in dust from an attic or crawlspace.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Gladstone, Oregon (Portland)
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    Quote Originally Posted by joemach View Post
    Normally the oil on the coil will burn off within 10 or 15 minutes.

    Someone needs to do more extensive research as to what is causing this.

    Some. Let us not give him misinformation. Some furnaces take a while; some are quick and some can take a good day to burn off.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adlerberts-Protege View Post
    Some. Let us not give him misinformation. Some furnaces take a while; some are quick and some can take a good day to burn off.
    Never say one that took more than a few minutes.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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