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Ask me anything about HVAC heating air conditioning air quality control

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  • Nov 16th, 2017 9:28 pm
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Member
Dec 25, 2015
421 posts
39 upvotes
Toronto, ON
masterhapposai wrote:
Jun 29th, 2017 2:40 pm
All the arguments aside, who's the best installer and seller in the GTA?
looking my self,
found a couple who received decent reviews, most were commercial and not residential
Member
Dec 25, 2015
421 posts
39 upvotes
Toronto, ON
redkulat wrote:
Jun 29th, 2017 11:37 am
Hi guys,

I recently installed the Ecobee3 Lite and had everything setup the way it was instructed. Everything worked perfectly, it was working for the first 3 days I installed it. The A/C and fan were turning on correctly and it was all good.

However yesterday I turned on my HRV unit as I didn't test that to see if everything was working correctly. It was not…the HRV turned on, but the fan on the furnace did not. I checked, and my Ecobee was off. I took a look online and someone said to check if the furnace board fuse blew…and it did. There was a big black mark in the middle of the 3 amp fuse.

When I was first wiring the PEK from the Ecobee3, I did notice there was only one "G" wire to control the furnace fan which I found very odd.

The original HVAC company (Applewood) seems to have connected the fan wire running from the thermostat with the fan wire running from the HRV together and jumped it with another wire straight to the control board.

I called Ecobee support before installing and they said there should be no issues.

Well clearly something happened, because the fuse blew on the board. There are two things I think that may have caused the fuse the blow.


1) The HRV and PEK are both connected to the "R" terminal on the furnace control board. When I opened up to take a look, I noticed the HRV wire (in the "R" terminal) was a bit loose (seems like I didn't tighten it enough) so could that have short the fuse?

2) The inter-connected G wire isn't meant to be put into the PEK perhaps. I called Ecobee support again and they said the thermostat should only be connected to the PEK. I can then connect the PEK G wire and the HRV G wire separately into the G terminal. I don't know why there are wires interconnected with the thermostat. Is this normal? I am still not even sure if the two wires connected together with the thermostat and HRV are truly the "G" wire. All I know is they are connected and there was only one G wire prior to installing the Ecobee.

Here is a diagram I tried to put together to make sense:

Image

Side note: Is it okay to have 3 wires connected to the Comm/24V terminal? Currently I have the Ecobee3 PEK C-wire, my humidifier, and A/C. The PEK C-wire and humidifier are really close to each other in the terminal. This didn't cause the shortage as my humidifier is off and the Ecobee3 was working fine before, but just wanted to check for the winter.

I had an issue as well,. Only having 4 wires from the thermostat. the c wire to power the unit was my issue. connected it in january for heating only, now only for A/C but my unit is defective- so for now we ran a jumper to have ac/fan run at the same time.
My easiest solution is to pay someone to run the C-wire down from the thermostat to the HVAC- as this will not require the PEK extender.

install becomes more difficult when dealing with households not wired with the C-wire.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 1, 2009
2043 posts
795 upvotes
Toronto
azmazm wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 12:41 pm
I had an issue as well,. Only having 4 wires from the thermostat. the c wire to power the unit was my issue. connected it in january for heating only, now only for A/C but my unit is defective- so for now we ran a jumper to have ac/fan run at the same time.
My easiest solution is to pay someone to run the C-wire down from the thermostat to the HVAC- as this will not require the PEK extender.

install becomes more difficult when dealing with households not wired with the C-wire.
I actually solved the issue I was having. Do you have an HRV unit?

I was able to run everything successfully with the PEK.
Member
Dec 25, 2015
421 posts
39 upvotes
Toronto, ON
redkulat wrote:
Jul 17th, 2017 1:13 pm
I actually solved the issue I was having. Do you have an HRV unit?

I was able to run everything successfully with the PEK.
do not have HRV unit,.
mine is just running the c-wire directly, has m rC had a splice(2 diff colored wiring) so ecobee support says running the wire directly is most safe.
just now searching for someone reasonably priced to come do it.
Member
Nov 28, 2010
287 posts
65 upvotes
I've been reading through this forum and noticed that most of these questions are technical. I have few simpler ones for you. I just received a quote from my London Costco supplier but I feel that it might be kind of high. My house is around 2500 sqft. Here is the break down

Furnace Lennox 90,000 Btu SLP98UH090XV48C (60W26) - 6470$
Lennox A/C 2 Stage 3 Ton, 16 seer XC16-036 L13J41 - 6273$
5" Filter cabinet - 290$
Humidifier By-pass 17G/Day HCWB3-17K - 490$
iComfort thermostat included

Total Price including taxes 14,828$.

Now I do get a 1500$ Costco Card and From what I gather I am eligible for 1800$ from Union Gas

So total if I factor those two in is 10,700 ish$


Here are some of my questions:
1. Is a two stage A/C that much better than a single stage?
2. Is the humidifier worth it to have?
3. Finally am I playing too much?

Thanks
2015 - Time to get started
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
1365 posts
244 upvotes
I am not sure about prices in London but certainly as comparing to GTA you are paying almost 30 to 50 % more. Humidifier is well worth of investment.
Handz wrote:
Jul 21st, 2017 10:03 am
I've been reading through this forum and noticed that most of these questions are technical. I have few simpler ones for you. I just received a quote from my London Costco supplier but I feel that it might be kind of high. My house is around 2500 sqft. Here is the break down

Furnace Lennox 90,000 Btu SLP98UH090XV48C (60W26) - 6470$
Lennox A/C 2 Stage 3 Ton, 16 seer XC16-036 L13J41 - 6273$
5" Filter cabinet - 290$
Humidifier By-pass 17G/Day HCWB3-17K - 490$
iComfort thermostat included

Total Price including taxes 14,828$.

Now I do get a 1500$ Costco Card and From what I gather I am eligible for 1800$ from Union Gas

So total if I factor those two in is 10,700 ish$


Here are some of my questions:
1. Is a two stage A/C that much better than a single stage?
2. Is the humidifier worth it to have?
3. Finally am I playing too much?

Thanks
A fine is a tax for doing wrong .
A tax is a fine for doing right .
Deal Addict
Dec 15, 2006
1866 posts
138 upvotes
boomer777 wrote:
Jul 11th, 2017 8:55 pm
Hi,

I recently had water leaking onto my furnace room floor. After a few visits from a tech, he found the drainage to be working fine and he thinks the condensate pan is cracked and water is leaking from it. I was wondering if it would be possible to replace the condensate pan without having to replace the A-Coil along with it? If not can the condensate pan be repaired? The unit is over 15 years old and I don't know if its even worth sinking money into this repair?

Short answer is no. Don't fix it.

Not even sure if a pan can be repaired, but the bigger issue is at 15 years, it's going to be R22 Freon. You have to evacuate the system which is not going to be cheap, and then even worse to recharge it with freon. Beyond that, how can he THINK the pan is leaking, but can't say for sure? It either is or it's not. Did they do a pressure test on the system? Are you sure there is not a leak somewhere that is causing the coil to freeze, and then when thawing, pooling water?
boomer777
Deal Addict
Oct 4, 2006
1308 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto
I live in an old 100 year old semi-detached duplexed home in Toronto.
About 15 years ago, I installed a 2-tonne central AC.
It has never really cooled the home properly. On those hot humid nights, it can barely keep the house at 75 degrees celsius.

I've heard some contractors say it's due to poor layout of return system, to poor insulation, to needing a larger compressor.

I'm not sure who to believe. Changing the compressor is probably the simplest, but I've heard great things about the cooling efficiency of ductless units.
I just want the home to be actually cold for a change.
Any ideas?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
13470 posts
3358 upvotes
Toronto
I'd have to see the place to give a real opinion (keeping in mind i'm not an HVAC tech but i've been around the block).
How large is the house?
It could be the piping (layout, size, leakiness, blockage, disconnection etc), poor insulation is possible but 2 tonnes is a fair amount and central airs are often oversized. On a hot day that it can't keep up try checking the indoor humidity. Compare to days you don't need the central air, days that are just cool enough to do without it. You may also have high air leakage which could be adding a huge load.
IMO its almost impossible to diagnose without inspection of the house, but many people will just say upsize the AC till your comfortable, its a simple answer but you pay the cost in hard cash in parts/installation/lifetime inefficiency.
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts
Deal Addict
Oct 4, 2006
1308 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto
Quentin5 wrote:
Jul 26th, 2017 11:52 am
I'd have to see the place to give a real opinion (keeping in mind i'm not an HVAC tech but i've been around the block).
How large is the house?
It could be the piping (layout, size, leakiness, blockage, disconnection etc), poor insulation is possible but 2 tonnes is a fair amount and central airs are often oversized. On a hot day that it can't keep up try checking the indoor humidity. Compare to days you don't need the central air, days that are just cool enough to do without it. You may also have high air leakage which could be adding a huge load.
IMO its almost impossible to diagnose without inspection of the house, but many people will just say upsize the AC till your comfortable, its a simple answer but you pay the cost in hard cash in parts/installation/lifetime inefficiency.
It's not a very large home. Perhaps 1500-1800 square feet.
Not sure how to check humidity, but I know once, it's in the home, it's difficult to remove.
Which leads me to think it has to do with poor insulation.
It just doesn't ever feel cold at any point...even on non-humid days. So cool air leaking out or heat coming in.
Deal Guru
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Feb 8, 2014
13470 posts
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Toronto
blindemboss wrote:
Jul 26th, 2017 12:15 pm
It's not a very large home. Perhaps 1500-1800 square feet.
Not sure how to check humidity, but I know once, it's in the home, it's difficult to remove.
Which leads me to think it has to do with poor insulation.
It just doesn't ever feel cold at any point...even on non-humid days. So cool air leaking out or heat coming in.
I forget what the rule of thumb is but in the building science world a cooling load calculation would give your the CSA recommended size. This costs money.
Humidity can be measured with a humidity meter, a few dollars. Not insanely accurate but can be used to compare before and afters
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.humi ... 82483.html
You must have days you don't need central air, or else you would need no heat in winter. That said you might not have any the last few months depending on your house.

Poor insulation does and does not have to do with solar gain. Solar gain comes from roof, walls, windows and air exchange. Roof can be insulated, walls can be insulated (though often harder) and windows can have low solar heat gain coatings but its pricey to replace and the payback period can be 75-300 years. Also is your house brick? Air leakage can be a huge factor (robber of hot and cold), but the only way to measure it is a blower door test, also costs money.

You may want to consider an energy audit, $500+ but they would do a blower door test and determine the energy efficiency of your house, insulation, windows, air leakage and they would calculate the heat and cooling loads. However this is a complex road to go down, one you have the info you will want to fix it, and depending on the structure of your house that can be tricky or pricey. Also if this is a duct problem then you don't need energy audits and air sealing and insulation.

You really need someone who knows what they are doing to figure out causation before you chase treatment.
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts
Moderator
Jun 9, 2005
7155 posts
282 upvotes
Scarborough
Heard a pretty loud screeching noise coming from my central air conditioning unit last night. First time I've heard it, it wasn't constant, but volume level would fluctuate. Turned off the AC and was quiet rest of the night.

Was curious to see if there's a FAQ of sorts to see what I can check for before bringing a technician in to look at it if it persists.
Jr. Member
Jan 19, 2013
161 posts
52 upvotes
613
blindemboss wrote:
Jul 26th, 2017 11:43 am
I live in an old 100 year old semi-detached duplexed home in Toronto.
About 15 years ago, I installed a 2-tonne central AC.
It has never really cooled the home properly. On those hot humid nights, it can barely keep the house at 75 degrees celsius.

I've heard some contractors say it's due to poor layout of return system, to poor insulation, to needing a larger compressor.

I'm not sure who to believe. Changing the compressor is probably the simplest, but I've heard great things about the cooling efficiency of ductless units.
I just want the home to be actually cold for a change.
Any ideas?
First of all if you haven't already is to get a reputable technician to look over your current system to make sure its running 100%
At 15 years, your central ac is coming close to end of life btw
As quetin mentioned need load calc done to know what size a/c to have, but a knowable person should be able to get it close by looking at your place
Alternatively get a ductless installed in you masterbedroom to keep it an icebox(if thats what you want)and let the cool air flow downstairs naturally by gravity,
Hard to push cold air up.
this will supplement your central a/c if indeed it is undersized. best of both worlds.
Member
User avatar
Mar 20, 2006
240 posts
46 upvotes
Kamloops
So it looks like my 12 year old Kenmore AC has an issue with the valve that regulates cool air, it is really struggling to keep the house cool this year. Had a tech out and was quoted $1200 for the repair, and it will be about a month on the part. As it sits right now, the ac is able to keep the house at 25c, but not any lower than that and the current outside temp is around 32c. The tech suggested I look at a new unit (of course he did) as he is of the opinion that a 12 year old AC unit has potential for coil or condenser failure in the not too distant future.

I am not sure if I should bite the bullet and buy a new unit, and if I do, should I do the furnace at the same time? The current furnace is a 70% efficiency 100k btu. When I asked about a new furnace was suggested a 98% furnace at 60k btu. For reference, the house is a rancher, 1650 sqft on the main floor and about 1250 sqft on the lower level.

Cost for both new furnace and AC would be close to 10k through this company. I have not yet considered anyone else. Both Units he suggested are York, furnace being a YP9C060B12MP12C and AC YCD30B21S.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
13470 posts
3358 upvotes
Toronto
Short suggestion replace both, get more quotes, hard to say if you should go with 60k or 80k. Your current puts out 70K output BTW but over sizing is common.

More complicated suggestion get an energy audit done, insulate/air seal to bring load down then go with 40-60K furnace based on audit. Look up the repair yourself, see if you can DIY or if you know anyone who does HVAC and see if you can get done cheaper, though it is likely past midlife but could still work for years. If you do replace then energy audit will also have cooling load calculation for sizing.
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts

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