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gas furnace seems to draw power when not in use.

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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
    Last edited by pohlarcg; 10-14-2009, 01:23 PM.

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

    The unit will draw power when not in use but we are talking less then an amp of draw (control voltage transformer and LED board lights).

    For the electric bill to be doubled and everything else being equal like you say I would say the culprit is not the HVAC system.

    Take a look at the bill and see if the usage is higher (more kilowatt hours used), See if the bill happens to be averaged through your provider, If none of these pan out it may be a case of mixed up circuits (could some of the circuits in your apartment be tied into the apartment with the high bill?) You may need to get an electrician in there and trace the circuits to be sure.

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

      The electrician in me tells me to side with Okie. My guess is somehow, someway there might be a circuit or two that's on your panel but feeding someone elses apartment. Is there a "Landlords" panel there should be, maybe something like hall lights outside lights might be on there. Maybe a hi wattage appliance like a dryer or stove or a strip of electric heat, or electric water heater might be wired to your panel by mistake. I would start there and work your way back.

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