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It has the word "heat" in its name, so.

What am I not understanding about my HVAC system? [more inside]
posted by emelenjr on Nov 10, 2014 - 10 answers

Nest/ecobee - do they actually work on SS systems w/o common wires?

We have a single stage HVAC system without a common wire. Reviews online suggest that the nest can be pretty unreliable with our kind of system. Anyone with experience who could provide their perspective? I also like the ecobee, but it appears to not work without a common wire. If neither is workable, is there a good alternative for a SS HVAC without a common wire, or should I wait for the technology to further mature? Thanks!
posted by arnicae on Oct 27, 2014 - 6 answers

Can you identify this noise?

I live in a small, 10-unit apartment and have an ongoing issue with noise. There is a constant humming sound around 375 hz that is particularly loud in our apartment and on our floor. [more inside]
posted by knilstad on Oct 24, 2014 - 4 answers

Ruud furnace clicks

We have a Ruud Achiever 90 Plus with variable speed motor. It works great heating up the house, but when it's trying to maintain the temperature (say it's set for 65 and it's currently 65), it constantly clicks. The sound is very annoying. Does anyone know what would cause this? [more inside]
posted by joebakes on Oct 21, 2014 - 5 answers

What is this phantom litter box smell?

How can I eliminate (or mask) a weird smell in my house's A/C? [more inside]
posted by justonegirl on Jul 18, 2014 - 6 answers

Air Conditioning Efficiency (Coefficient of Performance) Questions

I have come to understand that a typical modern window or residential-central air conditioner (which I believe is referred to in the industry as a "Direct Expansion" or DX unit) has a coefficient of performance which typically ranges between 3.0 and 3.5. That is to say, for every unit of energy consumed, the air conditioner removes between 3 and 3.5 units of heat from the conditioned space. I have a few questions regarding this, inside. [more inside]
posted by Juffo-Wup on Jun 21, 2014 - 3 answers

How to best cope without air conditioning?

I moved to the Pacific Northwest; absolutely none of the apartments I've toured feature air conditioning. How do I use the amenities I do have to improve comfort and quality of life? [more inside]
posted by pwnguin on Jun 9, 2014 - 31 answers

What's a reliable, powerful fan?

Who has had a powerful fan for longer than three years without it breaking or doing something irritating? What's the make and model? [more inside]
posted by ErikH2000 on May 14, 2014 - 21 answers

Why're the air conditioners in my apartment bldg running in a snowstorm?

HVAC question: I live on the top floor of a large apartment building that has all the air conditioning heat exchangers on the roof. It is currently snowstorming. Why can I hear multiple heat exchangers running right now? [more inside]
posted by wondercow on Feb 12, 2014 - 6 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

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

Things are getting steamy - boiler exhaust safety?

New high efficiency boilers installed - great! But what exactly is in the condensate? [more inside]
posted by analog on Dec 12, 2013 - 5 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

Help with Hydronic Heating

Our new-to-us-but-very-old home needs a new boiler (and water heater). What are our best options? [more inside]
posted by sportbucket on Nov 14, 2013 - 7 answers

Who can solve my home's moisture problem?

I have an unusual house, a winterized cabin that's fairly tightly sealed but with a crawl space beneath and no attic (cathedral ceilings). The whole space is heated with one propane stove, the kind with the fake logs and real flames, which is quite nice; a large ceiling fan on the second floor helps move the air around. I have had moisture problems -- condensation on all windows in the winter, mildew growing on certain furniture, books, shoes, etc. for the entire time I've lived here, but it seems like it's been getting slowly worse. Given my unusual HVAC set-up, what kind of specialist should I call to diagnose the problem? I know I could just buy a dehumidifier but I'd rather get to the heart of the problem.
posted by chowflap on Nov 3, 2013 - 19 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

Should I get a window a/c for the bedroom even if we have central air?

We have a 2000sqft house with central air. We are fine keeping it at 76 or warmer during the day, but like a cold bedroom at night. Surely getting a window unit for our bedroom and closing the door makes more sense than cooling down the whole house at night. Even if we did close all the nonbedroom registers every night--which would be a chore I'd rather avoid. Is there any downside to this I'm not appreciating? Ot would it make no difference to our bill? Woulf it put less wear and tear on our central unit?
posted by elizeh on Jul 17, 2013 - 10 answers

Turn It Up, Turn It Down

Extensive research into the state of the HVAC art has revealed more questions than it has answered. How do I set the thermostat in my new row house to maximize both comfort and efficiency? [more inside]
posted by fedward on Jul 14, 2013 - 10 answers

HVAC hacks for a VERY large space?

The organization I run rents a large, old theater for once-a-week film screenings. Problem: the air conditioning is broken, and the theater doesn't have the capital to fix it before the summer ends. But we have screenings scheduled weekly through the end of August. Are there any good ways to keep a large space cool without a working AC system? (How did people keep cool in indoor spaces historically, pre-AC?) [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on Jun 28, 2013 - 22 answers

Why does a low refrigerant charge cause an evaporator to ice up?

I have read that a low refrigerant charge in a refrigeration system can cause the system's evaporator to ice up. I happen to have a dehumidifier which is exhibiting this symptom. I do not expect to be able to repair the dehumidifier but, as something of an HVAC enthusiast, I am curious as to why and how this happens. [more inside]
posted by Juffo-Wup on Jun 22, 2013 - 6 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

electrician / HVAC recommendation for Derby, CT?

Hi there, My mom needs a new furnace & hot water heater. Both are super old and and need to be replaced. Both will be electric, she lives in a condo and doesn't have gas or propane. Can anyone recommend an electrician or HVAC company in the area? I'm checking our Sears and have a recommendation for Aire Serve from an acquaintance. Thanks!
posted by reddot on Feb 24, 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

Germs germs germs

Is there a pediatrician in the house? Questions about whole house air filtration and infants. [more inside]
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér on Oct 5, 2012 - 6 answers

Grating grates!

I recently had the hardwood floors redone. The floor guy did a great job, except dropped the ball in the floor registers, now what? [more inside]
posted by silsurf on Aug 18, 2012 - 8 answers

Which brand of HVAC?

Different Central air conditioner and furnace brands? When it comes to HVAC, should we go with Carrier, Goodman, York, or Lennox? [more inside]
posted by exhilaration on Jun 7, 2012 - 15 answers

Why is my home A/C suddenly weak?

I bought a new (to us) house; the 2-zoned A/C worked very well for a week of very hot weather. Starting this weekend, it was having trouble cooling. The evaporator is not iced; the thermostat seems okay. What to look for? [more inside]
posted by ftm on May 29, 2012 - 7 answers

My kingdom for a fuse puller.

Think my central AC has blown a fuse but I have no fuse puller--hardware store out. Is there some other tool I could use or should I wait til I can get one? It is New Orleans and real hot.
posted by liketitanic on May 5, 2012 - 6 answers

Why, oh why, can't this just fit together like Legos?!

Plumbing/Science Equipmentfilter: I have a process air heater that I bought from Omega but I have no idea how to connect the 4in non-threaded duct and the 1in threaded pipe outlet from my blower. Help please! [more inside]
posted by wuzandfuzz on Feb 22, 2012 - 8 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

Therm-o-STAT!

What are the major benefits of a programmable thermostat, how big a deal is the new Nest thermostat, and how much might I expect to save with either one over a non-programmable digital thermostat? [more inside]
posted by brentajones on Oct 26, 2011 - 21 answers

Gotta figure this out or I'm duct.

How do I calculate the static pressure resulting from the transition of a 12" air duct to an 8" duct, given a target CFM of 2,000 CFM? [more inside]
posted by buzzv on Oct 16, 2011 - 14 answers

How do you determine how much HVAC capacity a building needs if your going to run a lab with fume hoods.

We're looking for a new building to lease for our growing cleantech business. If we're lucky we'll find something that already has a lab complete with working fume hoods. But right now it looks more likely that we'll have to construct the lab ourselves. One huge potential expense is installing the extra HVAC capacity needed when you operate fume hoods (because they suck all the conditioned air out of the building). When we're talking with rental agents they tell us this building has X tons of HVAC, but we have no idea if that's even close to our requirements. So specifically how much HVAC capacity would be needed to run two 4' fume hoods. Or is there an easy method/rule of thumb for estimating what's needed.
posted by Long Way To Go on Aug 3, 2011 - 9 answers

HVAC experts! I want a cool, dry basement home theater / jam room!

HVAC experts! I want a cool, dry basement home theater / jam room! [more inside]
posted by bradn on Aug 1, 2011 - 6 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

Need advice to best approach ridiculous electric bill.

Ridiculous electricity bills: what is our best next step? [more inside]
posted by CharlieSue on Feb 21, 2011 - 27 answers

Pilot light help?

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

Outside unit not running in the winter

[HVAC Filter]Is there a way to harness the power of my outside unit to force more and faster air through my gas furnace? [more inside]
posted by kuanes on Jan 15, 2011 - 8 answers

I suspect my thermostat is a dirty, no-good, cheatin' liar (who may have shot my Pa)

My house is cold, and I suspect something's wrong with the thermostat. But I know next to nothing about how home HVAC systems work. Other weird stuff inside... [more inside]
posted by ChrisLSU on Jan 12, 2011 - 21 answers

I don't have steam heat.

When giving home-buying advice, I regularly point out that there's likely going to be at least one Major Traumatic and Unexpected Expense. And now, I have mine! Specifically: I need a new gas boiler. Current boiler is approaching 3 decades and would cost approx. $2000 to repair, thanks to everything wrong with it. The salesman comes Thursday. Any advice about brands? What burning (no pun intended) questions do I need to ask? I'm in upstate NY, and the house is just under 2200 sq. ft. with three zones.
posted by thomas j wise on Dec 7, 2010 - 2 answers

Do we have a broken heat pump, or are they really this mediocre when they're working right?

Apparently, the warm air from a heat pump is less warm than the hot air from a gas or oil furnace. But how much less warm? Help this clueless transplant from the frozen north tell if his heat pump is broken, or just limping along in the lukewarm way it's apparently supposed to? [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone on Nov 13, 2010 - 6 answers

Doing the Frequent Repair Dance with my HVAC.

I have to keep calling my apartment manager in to repair the HVAC (heating and air conditioning) unit every few months. This can't be right. I know YANMRP (you are not my repair-person) but I wonder what could be going on and what I can do about it. [more inside]
posted by Rosie M. Banks on Sep 1, 2010 - 12 answers

When is it more efficient to open your house's windows than to use the A/C?

What is the summertime temp/humidity differential that makes it more efficient to open the windows and turn off the A/C in one's house than it is to keep the house closed up? [more inside]
posted by fishpatrol on Jul 6, 2010 - 13 answers

Home AC - Is my condensate pump broken?

So yesterday I heard this noise coming from the basement all day. It turns out the condensate pump on my AC (water goes from AC to some tank in the floor and the pump pumps it outside AFAIK) was continually running all day. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, and it hasn't run since. How can I tell if the pump is working properly or not? [more inside]
posted by GregX3 on Jun 25, 2010 - 5 answers

I'm thinking Dead Kennedys had the right idea...

Is it within bounds to ask a landlord to waive a month's rent if we've been without AC for weeks due to poor decisions he's made? (extensive details inside) [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on Jun 15, 2010 - 6 answers

No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater... than central air

My air conditioner has stopped...conditioning. I live in a condo on the north side of Chicago in an old conversion building. The furnace in my mechanical closet hooks to a AC unit on the roof, and for the last few days, it's been running full blast and can barely keep my unit below 80 degrees. I checked on the roof unit, and the fan is blowing cool air out. At this point, I'm pretty sure I need to call in a HVAC guy, but even the best reviewed places on Yelp are combinations of THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE and OMG SO OVERCHARGED. So, mefi, what do you recommend? If anyone here has any expertise in the field, I'd love to know whether you think this is something simple like a coolant recharge, or I'm looking at a new AC unit. My best guess is that the AC is about 5 years old, give or take.
posted by Oktober on Jun 1, 2010 - 14 answers

Tri-Level HVAC

My part of the house is never comfortable! Help us with our tri-level home heating/cooling issues. [more inside]
posted by thorny on May 25, 2010 - 5 answers

Cooling a large room

What are some ways, other than air conditioning, to cool a large room (~6,000 square feet)? [more inside]
posted by yerfatma on May 25, 2010 - 16 answers

Rusty? This ain't no love shack!

HVAC Advice. I have a six year old house with a Goodman AC system. Three years ago the evaporator coils rusted like crazy and leaked out -- replaced under warranty. Three years later, low and behold, the coils have started to rust up like crazy. Techs and I are stumped -- "This shouldn't happen." Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by cavalier on May 18, 2010 - 13 answers

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