39 votes

How can I protect a frozen heat pump in cold weather while waiting for service?

Running AUX heat continuously is fine. It's just expensive, compared to your heat pump. You likely have one of these problems: Low refrigerant: You should not be losing refrigerant. The refrigerant ...
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  • 19k
28 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Passive solar design before you build On a new build, your very first stop is passive solar design. Strutting forward and designing a bad old stickhouse, and then bolting on solar as an afterthought,...
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18 votes
Accepted

Does my furnace suck air from outside?

I think some of the answers here are confusing because they don't really address that your furnace has two different air intake/outlets. One is for the combustion system. Air is pulled in from ...
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17 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Assuming that you are (a) on the regular electric utility grid and (b) are on the regular natural gas delivery system (i.e., don't require propane deliveries), as a general rule, natural gas heating ...
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15 votes

Does my furnace suck air from outside?

The answer is that it should have a fresh air source! This is an absolute for gas furnaces. Some systems use the “leaks throughout the house” to get the air. The filter in the furnace is for dust to ...
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  • 98.4k
14 votes

Why does my furnace only work after power reset?

Your furnace controller board is very likely indicating a trouble situation and shutting itself down. This is the equivalent of a car turning on its check engine light and not wanting to move. ...
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  • 744
12 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

If you design the solar thermal correctly, then given the annual solar insolation ( higher than my location in EU by about a factor of 2) then with good insulation you can avoid heating at all. But ...
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  • 21.4k
10 votes

How can I stop our duct work "pinging" at night?

Sometimes ductwork under pressure and heat can experience a sudden deformation commonly referred to as oil-canning. This is where large rectangular pieces of box ducts have stiffening ribs formed ...
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10 votes

Should I add air ducts when finishing my basement or rely on space heaters?

Summary... 100% add the duct work. It will be cheaper in long run, look better, and will increase resale value of the home. Few things here: Once you add those walls/ceilings (given it is not a ...
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  • 46.2k
9 votes
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Does using central heating increase water usage?

Only if you have a humidifier installed, and in that case it would be a very small quantity. To determine whether your system has a humidifier, examine the primary ducts near the furnace unit. Look ...
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  • 106k
9 votes
Accepted

Can I just cut power to a central air and heating system, or should I follow a shutdown procedure?

Very few HVAC systems aren't able to handle abrupt power loss. I've flipped the switches on dozens of systems hundreds of times to change filters and perform other service. The gas valve will close ...
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  • 106k
8 votes

How can I stop our duct work "pinging" at night?

I'm dealing with the same problem in our "new" (1992 vintage) home. Long duct runs expand and contract with conditioning cycles. In places where the duct is held tightly against the home's ...
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  • 106k
8 votes

Why does the blower on my furnace run after the burner turns off?

The furnace control board will run the blower for a period of time after the heating cycle ends in order to cool the exchanger and push the latent heat into the space. The time it runs is usually ...
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  • 493
7 votes

Does my furnace suck air from outside?

Your furnace probably exhausts more air than it intakes, creating negative pressure in the house which will draw air in. You can try to control is by "encouraging" the makeup air to come in ...
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  • 501
7 votes
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Should I add air ducts when finishing my basement or rely on space heaters?

TL;DR Space heating doesn't make sense in a typical US house that already has duct work in place. There are, broadly speaking, 3 types of home heating in general use in the US: Fossil fuels - Natural ...
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6 votes

Can I just cut power to a central air and heating system, or should I follow a shutdown procedure?

I would start by turning the thermostat off, including the fan setting to "off" and not "auto". The HVAC breaker should be a 240v double pole breaker. Most homes have four of those. One for the water ...
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5 votes

How to Lower the Ouptut of Oversized Furnace

If partially closing a single supply vent caused your high limit to trip you probably have an restriction problem. I would recommend investigating a bypass damper with a return and supply temp. ...
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  • 516
5 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Start with efficiency Harper's overall point about starting with an efficient envelope is dead-on; managing solar gains is going to be a huge part of it down in Texas, and you'll also need to be ...
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5 votes

HVAC Heat only comes on when Fan is set to "ON" (not Auto)

The zone board's gone bad Since upstairs is broken, yet downstairs is fine, and it's not a thermostat issue, I'd point the finger at the zone board having something wrong with it. Just to make sure, ...
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5 votes

Should I add air ducts when finishing my basement or rely on space heaters?

One thing you could consider would be to install dampers in the duct work to close off various legs of duct. This would allow you to have heat available anywhere in the house you want, but to close ...
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  • 30.3k
5 votes

How can I protect a frozen heat pump in cold weather while waiting for service?

One more place the problem may be, besides those already mentioned. The outside unit's fan has a relay that is supposed to de-energize the fan during the defrost cycle. If this relay sticks closed, ...
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  • 4,079
4 votes

What could cause my boiler to provide hot water, but not heating?

The room thermostat does not control the boiler directly. Instead, it controls a circulating pump that draws heat from the boiler and delivers it to the radiator(s) in the room. It is the removal of ...
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  • 1,295
4 votes
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How to Lower the Ouptut of Oversized Furnace

Cut the gas back some by slightly closing the gas valve (the one on the pipe, not in the unit), however be prepared to have to reset the furnace occasionally if your local gas pressure drops ...
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  • 12.8k
4 votes

Does using central heating increase water usage?

Central heating should not significantly increase your water usage. Though depending on what type of central heating you're talking about, it may consume some water. Forced Air Typically forced air ...
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  • 128k
4 votes
Accepted

Can I install A/C in a home built in 1924 which has round heat ducts in the ceiling?

Sure -- or at least, there's nothing about having round ducts in the attic that would make A/C installation more difficult. In fact, because cold air is more dense than warm air, ceiling vents are ...
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  • 8,017
4 votes
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HVAC supply and return preferred locations

Home heating and a/c duct systems have changed over the years. The best systems and the most versatile were installed with both high and low returns and supplies. For heating the low registers were ...
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  • 12.1k
4 votes

Why is there a vent on the ductwork coming right from the furnace?

Furnace installers and/or home owners will put a register in the duct work to provide some heat in the winter to that area. The number of these supply registers is determined by the typical use and ...
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  • 12.1k
4 votes
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Is the ventilation in my utility closet a construction mistake?

The furnace has the intake and exhaust of a sealed unit but the water heater is an old style open burner. The water heater requires the outside vent. The size of the vent is based on the BTU rating of ...
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  • 98.4k
4 votes

Flex-duct as a Trunk?

There may be some opinion on top of what I believe to be true. There are some large flex duct sizes but the ribs are horribly inefficient. Metal trunk is also better suited when going vertical it is ...
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  • 98.4k
4 votes

Why are their no cheap wifi thermostats?

Simple programmable thermostats use so little energy that they can run a meaningful amount of time on batteries. WiFi requires a considerable energy budget. That characteristic of WiFi is why ...
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