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Gas, oil, electric? Which new furnace to get in Seattle

I live in a 1911 Craftsman in Seattle. The heating situation is... pretty weird. (See the "more inside".) My 42-year-old oil furnace still works like a champ, but the oil company folks say they won't service it any more and it has to be replaced. I have been searching and searching to try to figure out the best way to deal with this before it gets cold out, but I am not finding what I need. Should I change my heating method and can people recommend whom I might call for this? [more inside]
posted by litlnemo on Aug 28, 2014 - 19 answers

Can I Get My Furnace Fan to Function Independently of Heating/Cooling?

We have this furnace. In the summer it would be nice if we could run only the fan (We don't have central air), but according to the manual, Fan Only Mode requires the R and G thermostat contacts be wired. As you can see, only the RC/RH and W contacts are wired. Would simply swapping the orange wire from RC/RH to RH/G create the circuit needed for sweet, sweet fan action, or will it be necessary to run a new wire from G to the control board in the furnace, therefore requiring professional help? [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Aug 8, 2014 - 4 answers

Buying a scratch & dent furnace from Florida and finding installation?

I intend to buy a scratch & dent furnace from these guys, even after shipping (100 dollars) It will be much cheaper than buying a new one. I want to find some heating/cooling company to install it for me.. Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by crawltopslow on Jun 14, 2014 - 8 answers

Replace the furnace or fix the old one?

We had our furnace inspected yesterday. It's worked fine all winter. We were told we have a bad heat exchanger. We were encouraged to buy a whole, new furnace for $10K. Our preference is to ride it out with the old furnace for another few years and replace it when it is convenient for us. Does that make sense? [more inside]
posted by clarkstonian on Mar 7, 2014 - 16 answers

What can I safely cover my ugly wall furnace with?

My "Williams 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Direct-Vent Wall Furnace" is an eyesore and I'd love to build my own custom cover for it, but is that safe? Can I only use metal or can I use wood? I'd have a friend build it since I don't know much about it, but I'm wondering what I can do to hide or replace it. BTW I rent my apartment, so any changes I make should technically be reversible. Link for reference.
posted by qzar on Jan 25, 2014 - 5 answers

Is Serious Furnace Cleaning Necessary?

I have an old style furnace that has been cleaned (by vacuuming) on a mostly annual basis for about 20 years. Should I pay the big bucks to get it scraped out by a professional? [more inside]
posted by Kevin Street on Jan 21, 2014 - 9 answers

Cleaning a furnace flame sensor.

My furnace is cycling on and off continuously. I'm pretty sure I know why and think I can handle the repair (cleaning the flame sensor), but I want to be sure I'm doing it properly. [more inside]
posted by davebush on Jan 19, 2014 - 8 answers

How cold is it inside up North?

I live in the southern US and am curious about heating systems "up North". [more inside]
posted by dukes909 on Jan 3, 2014 - 85 answers

Weird fertilizer/gassy smell in the basement (from the water heater?)

I was away from the house last night when I got a text from my wife about a strange "fertilizer" smell coming from the basement of our house. I came home a few hours later and smelled it immediately - hard to describe, but a slightly acrid, recognizable chlorine-y scent reminiscent of a garden center. It was noticeable on the first floor but stronger in the basement. I sniffed around for a while but couldn't locate an obvious source. The only thing I could find that was awry was that the pilot light had gone out in the water heater (only time that's happened), which is suggestive of a chimney backdraft. I relit the pilot without issue and verified that the water heater was venting correctly with a stick of Nag Champa. Multiple C02 detectors in the house detected nothing. We'll have an HVAC guy come out ASAP, but I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this and whether I'm diagnosing the issue correctly. Is this what water heater fumes smell like? We've lived in the house for a year, and this is the first time it's happened. [more inside]
posted by ndg on Dec 30, 2013 - 15 answers

To BCC3 Control Board, or not to BCC3 Control Board

A question regarding an impending attempt to replace the control board in our furnace myself. Extenuating circumstances: Approaching Arctic Cold Front. [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Dec 3, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me find a all metal space heater with a high quality thermostat

I have found that space heater with plastic anywhere on it starts to smell like burning plastic if you run it alot. I have also found that the thermostats on a lot of space heaters do not work well. example you set it to 73 but it just runs and never turns off or turns off before reaching 73.
posted by john123357 on Nov 25, 2013 - 13 answers

What can I do to improve my old school gas-fired floor furnaces?

Are there improvements that can be done to them to improve their efficiency and safety? Are there retrofits? Would I be able to purchase something more modern that would directly replace the existing units? [more inside]
posted by rybreadmed on Nov 23, 2013 - 4 answers

Furnaces Suck!

Whenever I change my furnace filter (approx every 60-90 days), it's always bent inwards towards the furnace fan. It's gotten significantly worse this year, and tonight when I tried to replace it, the filter was nearly sucked into the furnace. What causes this? Do I need to call for service? [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Nov 14, 2013 - 8 answers

Heating contractor in the Twin Cities

Who is the absolute best heating contractor in the Twin Cities? [more inside]
posted by miyabo on Oct 16, 2013 - 7 answers

Natural Gas Furnace Producing a Whole Lotta Gas Smell

Last night around 5 in the morning, we woke up because it smelled like natural gas--hard. After determining it wasn't coming from the oven, I remembered groggily to check the maintenance closet in our hallway, which contains two water heaters--one for our apartment, one for the apartment next door--and the natural gas furnace that heats our apartment through vents. I think something is happening to our furnace that causes it to do this, but I don't know what; I managed to stop it, but I'm not sure how. [more inside]
posted by stresstwig on Sep 28, 2013 - 13 answers

Seven degrees up, please

On the book of Daniel chapter 3 -- when his friends were to be burnt on the fiery furnace -- Nabuchadnezzar commanded to have the furnace heated seven times hotter. Since at the time they didn't have a convenient dial to turn seven degrees up, what did they do to raise the temperature? [more inside]
posted by jgwong on Jul 1, 2013 - 12 answers

Dead furnace, need help!

Our furnace died. Help us not get overcharged. Other questions inside. [more inside]
posted by markblasco on Mar 27, 2013 - 13 answers

"Calibrated draft control" = Emergency?

Something called a "calibrated draft control" has fallen off the main pipe of my oil-fired hot water baseboard furnace. Is this something I need to panic about, or can I leave it on the floor and use the furnace until I can call the oil company tomorrow morning?
posted by JanetLand on Mar 6, 2013 - 4 answers

Help keep me warm, mkay?

My electric heat pump is icing over something fierce, and the technicians don't really have a clue what's going on. There is one theory I'd like you to comment on, and if it makes no sense, I'd appreciate alternate theories. [more inside]
posted by Stewriffic on Jan 26, 2013 - 13 answers

1989 Wasn't That Long Ago...

Buying a furnace for just one floor of a house - help! [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Jan 17, 2013 - 6 answers

What would you do?

Is a heat pump worth it? Online calculators are a hugely mixed bag with obvious biases on many of them, and installers all want to sell their favorite gizmos so it's hard to get a straight answer from them. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton on Dec 8, 2012 - 10 answers

I Want a Hot Shower

When my furnace is running, I don't get hot water in my shower. What's going on? [more inside]
posted by backwords on Dec 3, 2012 - 25 answers

If there's a furnace old in your home sweet home, who you gonna call?

It's fall and I should have my furnace serviced. It's a 1991 furnace that has kept chugging along just fine so far (touch wood) but that I hope to be replacing in 2013, so I don't want to pay for more than a basic servicing/cleaning job now. I live in Toronto. Does anyone have recommendations as to whom I should hire for the job?
posted by orange swan on Nov 20, 2012 - 7 answers

Is a hybrid water heater more efficient than oil?

Help me analytical-types! Do I upgrade my current water heater to the GE Geospring Hybrid for practically free?? [more inside]
posted by Thrillhouse on Oct 11, 2012 - 8 answers

DIY asbestos abatement for fun and profit

Best practices for DIY asbestos-wrapped duct removal? [more inside]
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl on Sep 26, 2012 - 19 answers

How much gas can a furnace use when it's 85F outside?

I haven't even turned the heat on yet and my gas bill is already as high as it was last winter. WTF? [more inside]
posted by mskyle on Aug 22, 2012 - 13 answers

Do I need to have my furnace and AC inspected once a year?

Do I really need to have my furnace and AC inspected once a year? [more inside]
posted by feelinggood on Feb 13, 2012 - 12 answers

Help hide these vents!

Ugly furnace installation. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Marky on Jan 31, 2012 - 3 answers

Slowpoke Furnace?

Is my natural gas furnace acting normal or do I need to call out the repair guys? [more inside]
posted by Zoyashka on Jan 25, 2012 - 6 answers

BRRRRRRRR Momma, why ain't the heat on yet!?

What are the advantages to a newer modern gas furnace heating system vs. a 35~ year oldish pilot-light gas system? [more inside]
posted by Bodrik on Jan 11, 2012 - 9 answers

troubleshooting furnace

The house I rent has forced hot air. There is a broken register on the side of the furnace which is stuck open, blowing hot air into my basement which I barely use. Can I tape this closed w/ some foil tape or do I need to replace the register? Or should I leave it open for some reason?
posted by pilibeen on Dec 14, 2011 - 15 answers

Looking for a temporary heating solution for workshop/garage.

Looking for a temporary heating solution for workshop/garage. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee on Nov 16, 2011 - 6 answers

How to fix a noisy gas furnace?

Safe, effective sound dampening options for a noisy gas furnace? [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 1, 2011 - 12 answers

Replacing a gas furnace and adding AC to a forced air heating system

We have an oldish (~90 years or so) house with a gas furnace and forced air heating. We're thinking of replacing the furnace and adding an AC compressor for cooling. I'm looking for recommendations for specific furnaces and compressors (brands or models), especially ones that are long lasting and/or energy efficient. We'd also like to hear stories and or warnings about setting this up in an old house. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on May 26, 2011 - 7 answers

Is my furnace air return efficient?

In the name of frugality, is this air return on my furnace efficient, or should I cut out the wood and replace with something allowing more air flow? ~650 sq. ft. 2 floor apartment (built ca. 1920s). [more inside]
posted by lowdirt on May 22, 2011 - 5 answers

Help me control my furnace's blower

How can I reconfigure my Goodman GmH950703Bx furnace so that it doesn't blow all the time? [more inside]
posted by ChrisR on Feb 23, 2011 - 3 answers

Thermostat for new Lennox gas furnace

This is pretty specific, but we have a new Lennox G61-MPP gas furnace and aren't all that happy with the thermostat the contractor installed for it (Pro1 IAQ). Does anyone have any experience with other thermostats compatible with this furnace? Should be able to provide 7 day schedule, advance recovery, and multi-stage heat calls. Thanks!
posted by aught on Feb 23, 2011 - 5 answers

Something stoped these Tranes

I have 2 Trane XV 90 furnaces in my house the upstairs one has been unused for the season and is now not igniting. The downstairs unit has been running fine but it appears the blower motor is not coming on. [more inside]
posted by jmsta on Feb 12, 2011 - 2 answers

Pilot light help?

Pilot light help. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear on Jan 29, 2011 - 11 answers

What is this pile of black ash in my furnace? I don't smell gas - can I re-light it?

What is this pile of black ash in my furnace? I don't smell gas - can I re-light it? [more inside]
posted by Toto_tot on Jan 2, 2011 - 4 answers

A home without water: aka camping.

Is it possible to set up a lightly-used house so that it's still usable in wintertime without keeping the heat on all the time? [more inside]
posted by swngnmonk on Nov 23, 2010 - 12 answers

DIY solution to stay warm this winter and watch TV

My gas furnace air intake is too loud. Am I doomed to adjusting my TV volume every 15 minutes for the rest of the winter? [more inside]
posted by Bunglegirl on Nov 7, 2010 - 21 answers

That's not a toilet, it's a floor register.

My dog relieved herself (both, I think!) in the cold-air return for the furnace. Help? [more inside]
posted by Buffaload on Oct 4, 2010 - 1 answer

Warrenty Gas Furnace Worthwhile

anybody have experience with the gas company, National Grid, warranty/sevice plan for home heat? [more inside]
posted by daveo'h on Sep 21, 2010 - 0 answers

YAFQ (yet another furnace question).

Yet another question on furnaces (actually, boilers)--this time, propane versus oil. Does it make sense to replace my oil boiler with propane? [more inside]
posted by Gordion Knott on Sep 17, 2010 - 5 answers

Get my ducts in a row, please.

Old frame farmhouse, may or may not have firestops. Old octopus-style gravity furnace has ductwork to first floor only (but has floor registers in upstairs rooms). When installing a new furnace and ductwork in this situation, if upstairs ductwork is desired, where/how does it typically get routed?
posted by bricoleur on May 18, 2010 - 5 answers

A thrilling question about furnace and ductwork replacement

Getting a new furnace with a side order of asbestos abatement funtimes! Do we need new ductwork too? [more inside]
posted by clavicle on Mar 31, 2010 - 3 answers

Best way to replace a central air conditioning system?

How do I get the best out of a new central air conditioning system? [more inside]
posted by the matching mole on Feb 17, 2010 - 12 answers

Objective info on HVAC brands?

I'm looking for objective, research-based rankings on household heat pumps/AC and gas furnace brands. I'm not looking for individual testimonials. But I can't seem to Google up anything but company-based advertising and the ranting 'XYZ Heat Pumps Suck!' sites. Consumer Reports is quite silent on what is a major consumer investment, unfortunately. Any leads on objective information?
posted by eaglehound on Feb 12, 2010 - 5 answers

How do I properly match a new gas furnace to an existing A/C unit?

HVAC befuddlement - Does anyone understand the consequences of having a blower on your furnace that is undersized for the A/C unit you have? [more inside]
posted by chinston on Jan 17, 2010 - 12 answers

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