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  • gas furnace seems to draw power when not in use

    I believe my gas furnace may be drawing power when it is not running. I own a 6 unit apartment building and currently live in one of the units. They are all outfitted with newer high efficiency Goodman (GMNT) condensing gas furnaces. The previous tennant that lived in the unit in question always complained of high utility bills. I had attributed it to his many extra and inefficient appliances i.e., very large screen tv, water cooler w/hot water tap, extra fridge and freezer, and electric washer and dryer. He also kept the thermostat in the upper 70's to 80 degree range during the winter. He moved out this summer which gave me a chance to renovate/update the apartment, but when I got the utility bill, it was more than double the amount of my bill for the exact same type of apartment, except the apartment in question had no appliances(I unplugged the fridge during renovation). I was running a floor sander for a few days and some work lights, but this couldn't have amounted to the high bill. I suspected the furnace. The furnace is wired to a light switch so power can be easily shut off. I flipped the switch a few times and noticed that when the power was on, I could hear a very slight buzzing noise coming from the furnace. I then turned the thermostat up and the furnace seemed to function properly. Could the unit be drawing power? If so, what would cause this? Thanks, Chris

  • #2
    Re: gas furnace seems to draw power when not in use

    It certainly could, and probably is drawing some power. Enough to show on a bill? HIGHLY unlikely.

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    • #3
      Re: gas furnace seems to draw power when not in use

      Is it possible that this unit's electrical is tied in with another unit, or with lighting/outlets that should be on the owners meter? Perhaps hallway lights that are always on, or exterior lights? Have you compared the bill from this apartment to that of other tenants? Maybe shut everything off in the unit and check the meter, if it's the old dial type you can see it moving. If all the lights are off, funace is off, and it's still moving, then something else is being powered from that unit.

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      • #4
        Re: gas furnace seems to draw power when not in use

        I would have an electrician with an amprobe check your breaker panel and see if any are drawing amperage. Furnace should only be pulling a very negligable amount (less than an amp) for the transformer/computer board in the furnace. Heaters in compressor could be pulling some amps. In any case, all amperage should be identifiable and logical. If you have an amperage draw when the appliance is off, call the appropriate technician to find out why. Circuits that cannot be identified may be going to another apartment or utility room.....and may be reason for tenants leaving.

        Ron

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