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  • Need advice

    My daughter has a problem with her furnace--makes a chirping sound. It is a natural gas forced air furnace between 15 and 20 years old. The chirping sound is coming from the blower--probably the motor. I have two questions:
    1. Does it pay to just replace the motor in a furnace that age?
    2. If she has it replaced, what brands do you recommend or what ones should she not have installed?
    She has a furnace pro coming out on Monday, but I have no idea what he may be pushing. Her existing furnace, I believe is an Amana and it is some type of high efficiency--I think. The flue is plastic and goes out through the wall.
    Thanks for any insight.

    Jim

  • #2
    Re: Need advice

    I think this got lost in the "downtime". Anybody got any answers?

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    • #3
      Re: Need advice

      Which blower?
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Need advice

        Could be the combustion blower or the furnace blower. Chirping sounds like a blower wheel rubbing against the housing. Could be bearings, but i would put my money on the blower wheel. What would i do? Get a new blower assembly or a new blower motor - whatever is needed to cure the problem.
        Later, jonesy

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        • #5
          Re: Need advice

          If it was my own house, I would fix it. If it was my daughters house I would replace it.

          My mom had a similar situation and I opted to replace it due to its age and the peace of mind it gave her along with better efficiency.

          I have really been happy with Goodman furnaces lately. That being said, I put in a Trane XV90 in my house two years ago. I regret it. I am really going to pay if the motor or board goes in that baby.
          Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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          • #6
            Re: Need advice

            Dooooh.. See this is what happens when you don't read carefully. So sorry. Anyhoooo. Replace the blower motor, it's something you can do and the motor shouldn't cost more than a hundred bucks
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Need advice

              I don't think it is the combustion blower. It doesn't chirp unless the furnace blower is on and it chirps after the combustion area shuts down. At least, that is what she tells me. (I live 125 miles away) Thanks for the insight. I wanted her to have some idea when the guy comes out.

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              • #8
                Re: Need advice

                Has anyone tried oiling it?
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Need advice

                  Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                  Has anyone tried oiling it?
                  She looked, following my directions, but couldn't find any oil cups. Probably sealed bearings.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Need advice

                    Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
                    It is a natural gas forced air furnace between 15 and 20 years old
                    If you decide to replace the blower motor on the old furnace be sure to get a new capacitor. Clean + inspect the "cage" (wheel) which can be broken.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Need advice

                      I believe that you are asking if you should tell her to either have her blower motor replaced or have her furnace replaced by a HVAC contractor and not that she would be doing it herself. If that is the case then the replacement motor will cost a lot more than the $100 that was mentioned in the response above. If she lives in a northern state then the furnace may be nearing its life cycle design. If this is the case you may want to recommend that she have it replaced and for peace of mind not worry about future repair bills due to the long warranties on the new furnaces. I have found that furnaces have evolved over the years to a point now where the manufacturers are offering a high quality product that will last many years. When high efficiency furnaces first came out, each manufacturer had its own idea on how to build a furnace and by trial and error they slowly worked out the problems to where now they are all are building a good furnace.
                      The furnace manufacturers actually just build the heat exchanger, cabinet, housings etc. They buy the circuit boards, motors, burners, controls, limit switches, draft inducers, pressure controls, gas valves, ignition controls, and hot surface igniters from the companies that build them like GE, Honeywell, White Rodgers, Robertshaw, etc.

                      You generally read comments about furnace brands that have a negative slant. This is because people who have had a bad experience tend to have the drive to tell the world about it while the people who are satisfied are content to leave it at that. The truth is every brand has to be repaired now and then and since the manufacturers who build the main working parts of the furnaces build them for every furnace manufacturer, I do not see a big difference in number of repairs from one brand to the next.

                      Then how should you choose which furnace brand to buy? It is important to purchase your furnace from someone you can trust to install it properly and who will back up the warranty if something should go wrong later on. I recommend that you try to buy locally so you are important to the business that you are buying from and not just another anonymous customer who does not matter. The manufacturers warranty is a big factor to look at. If the furnace does break in the future, you don't want to be stuck with a large repair bill. Today you can find lifetime warranties on heat exchangers and 10 years on all other parts. If they don't offer this warranty, keep looking because some do and it is better to let the manufacturer pay for the repair instead of you. After all if they spend all of that money on advertising trying to convince you to buy their furnace let them back it up with a good warranty!

                      Don't pay for your furnace over and over again with high gas bills. There are two somewhat standard efficiency ratings on furnaces that are sold today, 80% and 95%. You can think of the difference as being this: for every dollar that you pay your utility company for natural gas for your furnace, with the 80% model, 80 cents out of every dollar heats the house and 20 cents is wasted up the chimney. While the 95% efficiency model only loses 5 cents out of every dollar out the vent. So can see over time the amount of money you can save by installing a 95% furnace will easily pay for the difference in price over the 80% model and save you money every year after that.

                      I have installed many brands of furnaces over the years and have narrowed my offerings down to one brand. I now only install Goodman furnaces and air conditioners because I have found no better unit on the market that offers the price and warranty that I believe my customers want. By the way, Goodman is the manufacturer of Amana.

                      All furnace manufacturers have websites that you can review their products.
                      The thing to watch out for while you look for a new furnace is not to be sucked in by a T.V. celebrity who is trying to convince you that one brand is better than the next without telling you the things that matter like warranty and price.
                      sigpichttp://woodburyfurnace.comhttp://www.heatpumpmn.com/

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                      • #12
                        Re: Need advice

                        I agree 100% with the heating expert about the Goodman systems. They've changed alot in recent years and if I'm not mistaken they're #1 in residential A/C systems in the world right now.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Need advice

                          Originally posted by romad55 View Post
                          I agree 100% with the heating expert about the Goodman systems. They've changed alot in recent years and if I'm not mistaken they're #1 in residential A/C systems in the world right now.
                          I'm gonna say that title belongs to Carrier or Trane possibly Chigo... But I will agree that Goodman is the most exposed / overexposed system right now ( You can buy Goodman equipment all over the web)

                          A few thoughts on Goodman...
                          -Goodman changed because they could not make a good unit until they bought Amana's facilities. ( The name Junkitrol was earned, why do you think they changed the name to Goodman)
                          -The "Goodman Warranty" Has a few strings attached such as the purchase of a service agreement "read the fine print".
                          - I change out more components (pressure switches, limits, blowers, HSI's) on newer Goodman equipment than should be reasonably be expected IMO.
                          -A company that will sell their equipment to anybody will not stand by you as a contractor IMO...

                          If cheap residential equipment is what you are after no problem but remember you still get what you pay for...

                          (Disclaimer: I'm a Carrier Dealer and am able to beat Goodmans prices and warrenties to include labor without "service agreements")

                          Okie
                          Last edited by OkieBill; 02-16-2009, 08:27 PM. Reason: I can't spell sometimes...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Need advice

                            The HVAC contractor/service guy was supposed to come out today. He is a local (to my daughter's area) who has been in business for many years and comes recommended buy locals. I am still waiting to hear what he had to say. Will update when I hear. Thanks for all the input.
                            P.S. Heating Expert: I see you are in my old stomping grounds. No. St. Paul grad and former Maplewood resident.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Need advice

                              Pipestone Kid

                              Hello old neighbor.
                              You know our winters here take a beating on our cars and furnaces. Best to play it safe and have her replace it.

                              Have you had to do much snow blowing where you live now?
                              sigpichttp://woodburyfurnace.comhttp://www.heatpumpmn.com/

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