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Ask me anything about HVAC heating air conditioning air quality control

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  • Sep 29th, 2018 10:40 pm
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Newbie
Jul 9, 2006
18 posts
Markham
the green on people installed the ecobee thermostat at my place 3 weeks ago. we left the house for a vacation two weeks ago. unbeknownst to me, my mom turned down the thermostat from 24 to 20c. when we returned, the house was freezing and the temp dropped to 15c. i called the hvac tech from highlife and he said there wasn't anything wrong with the furnace. just before he came by, the temperature increased to 21c.

now the temperature in the house has dropped to 16c this morning. i called ecobee, and they noticed the house temperature drops whenever the temperature outside is -20c or higher. they believe there's something wrong with the furnace. the hvac company told me this morning they'll bring someone over here this afternoon, but they noticed an increase of service calls after people had the smart thermostat installed through the greenon program. which party is right here?
Newbie
Dec 9, 2009
19 posts
1 upvote
canada
Hello there looking for helps in troubleshooting my gas furnace intermittent issue.
We moved in our current house last winter. The house is a 1700sqft bungalow built in 70s the furnace was replaced by previous owner in 2004. It is a high efficiency furnace made by Lennox with 110k Btu. Soon after moved in I noticed the furnace restarts a couple of seconds after a previous cycle finished. Say the furnace starts and runs normally for 5 or 6 minutes. Then it is going to stop and the fan slows down. But 3 seconds later it re-starts to run another 3 or 4 minutes, slow down to stop. Sometimes it repeats this for one more shorter cycle(less than one minute most of the time). And sometime(mostly in day time) it runs quite normal with just one cycle only and totally stopped.
I have done a lot of online research haven’t had any clue why. The thermostat was replaced with a new Honeywell mode it does fix it. I suspected return air restriction may trigger high limit switch so I replaced air filter with less dense one no change. I even removed air filter it doesn’t help.
I watched the thermostats closely. I can hear it clicks inside near the end of the first cycle, which means room temp reached setting temp and it sent command to furnace to stop. The furnace did stop but restarted after a couple of seconds.
The supply plenum doesn’t feel hot so I ruled out the high limit switches.
Anything else I missed/need to check? Thanks.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
8538 posts
1016 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
almost sounds like when the furnace cuts the heat the fan continues to run in the home and as the air cools down the temp drops and the thermostat sends out signal that the temp dropped and to turn on the heat again.

Do you happen to have a heat register right beside the thermostat? That could be your issue, its blowing the cooler air (after the heat is off) on or really close to the thermostat to trigger it right away?

Just an idea.
LNA wrote:
Jan 5th, 2018 4:50 pm
Hello there looking for helps in troubleshooting my gas furnace intermittent issue.
We moved in our current house last winter. The house is a 1700sqft bungalow built in 70s the furnace was replaced by previous owner in 2004. It is a high efficiency furnace made by Lennox with 110k Btu. Soon after moved in I noticed the furnace restarts a couple of seconds after a previous cycle finished. Say the furnace starts and runs normally for 5 or 6 minutes. Then it is going to stop and the fan slows down. But 3 seconds later it re-starts to run another 3 or 4 minutes, slow down to stop. Sometimes it repeats this for one more shorter cycle(less than one minute most of the time). And sometime(mostly in day time) it runs quite normal with just one cycle only and totally stopped.
I have done a lot of online research haven’t had any clue why. The thermostat was replaced with a new Honeywell mode it does fix it. I suspected return air restriction may trigger high limit switch so I replaced air filter with less dense one no change. I even removed air filter it doesn’t help.
I watched the thermostats closely. I can hear it clicks inside near the end of the first cycle, which means room temp reached setting temp and it sent command to furnace to stop. The furnace did stop but restarted after a couple of seconds.
The supply plenum doesn’t feel hot so I ruled out the high limit switches.
Anything else I missed/need to check? Thanks.
0_o
<_<
>_>
Newbie
Sep 26, 2015
5 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto, ON
vedder311 wrote:
Jan 4th, 2018 10:25 am
Does anybody have any idea what I can check or do to fix this issue with the fan. I replace the thermostat, but that did not fix it, so I assume it is at the furnace level.
Sounds like your green wire is not connected properly. Check if the Green wire from your thermostat is connected to the furnace properly. Green wire controls the fan.
Sr. Member
Oct 9, 2011
502 posts
193 upvotes
GTA
rts wrote:
Jan 5th, 2018 9:41 am
the green on people installed the ecobee thermostat at my place 3 weeks ago. we left the house for a vacation two weeks ago. unbeknownst to me, my mom turned down the thermostat from 24 to 20c. when we returned, the house was freezing and the temp dropped to 15c. i called the hvac tech from highlife and he said there wasn't anything wrong with the furnace. just before he came by, the temperature increased to 21c.

now the temperature in the house has dropped to 16c this morning. i called ecobee, and they noticed the house temperature drops whenever the temperature outside is -20c or higher. they believe there's something wrong with the furnace. the hvac company told me this morning they'll bring someone over here this afternoon, but they noticed an increase of service calls after people had the smart thermostat installed through the greenon program. which party is right here?
Is your Ecobee set up to automatically go into Away mode when no one is at home?
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Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2015
3502 posts
786 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
scotty01 wrote:
Jan 5th, 2018 2:49 am
Hello

Long time member of RFD. Need some home advice.

My wife and I built our 1800 sq foot bungalow 10 years ago. We just finished our basement about 1 year ago. We finished off almost 1,000 sq ft of the basement including a home theatre area, a bedroom and a bathroom. My uncle who is a general contractor did the basement. It turned out spectacular but we have one concern. In the summer months it was absolutely freezing down here. To the point where my wife wouldn't even come down to the basement with our baby due to discomfort. Probably a 5 degree different in temp from the main level to the basement. I even found it too cold to want to go in the basement. Before we go any further, yes the central air was on throughout these summer months, but all basement vents were completely closed. My uncle installed only 1 cold air return in the main section of the basement. When we complained to him about the difference in temp from the main floor to the basement he said its because of the ground temp coming up. He said that the home is so well insulated that none of the warm air from outside is getting in, and we are just getting the cold air coming up from the ground. We do have a subfloor with the water barrier and it has minor R value insulation. It's nice and warm now in the basement in the winter months with the furnace on and all the basement vents open, but I know it's going to be an ice rink again come summer time once the furnace is off.

Can anything be done to correct this? Our home does have a HRV system.
Believe you need same area of cold returns in basement as area of supply returns so if only one small return then not enough and ideally have returns near floor as cold air settles.
Newbie
Dec 9, 2009
19 posts
1 upvote
canada
sickcars wrote:
Jan 5th, 2018 5:35 pm
almost sounds like when the furnace cuts the heat the fan continues to run in the home and as the air cools down the temp drops and the thermostat sends out signal that the temp dropped and to turn on the heat again.

Do you happen to have a heat register right beside the thermostat? That could be your issue, its blowing the cooler air (after the heat is off) on or really close to the thermostat to trigger it right away?

Just an idea.
The nearest register is 3 meters away from thermostat. And I hear thermostat click to shut down furnace, but don't hear click to restart furnace. It seems the furnace repeats cycles by itself.

Maybe it's better to open a new thread.
Newbie
Jul 9, 2006
18 posts
Markham
dpw198 wrote:
Jan 5th, 2018 6:38 pm
Is your Ecobee set up to automatically go into Away mode when no one is at home?
yes, it is.
Newbie
Oct 8, 2011
16 posts
8 upvotes
NORTH YORK
A question

My Aprilaire 600 pass-through humidifier isn’t able to raise the house humidity above 30% no matter how high I turn the manual knob

My house is about 2000 sqft and I have a single stage gas furnace.

The humidifier is installed on the return duct and is fed cold water. I checked the solenoid and it works and the water is runnying when the hot air is circulating.

Should I upgrade to Aprilaire 800 series with build in fan and is mounted on the output duct?

I’m super confused so hoping for help from knowledgeable forum members

Ps. I have Ecobee 3 but it isn’t connected to the humidifier I’m not certain on how to do it.
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2005
1194 posts
78 upvotes
Brantford
Quentin5 wrote:
Jan 5th, 2018 3:07 am
If its warm in winter then you have heat from the furnace getting to it, meaning you have central air getting to it in the summer.
The cold air return means assuming the house is relatively airtight cold air will get pulled from upstairs to downstairs in the summer, pressure differences always equalize (though the source depends on the situation).
Low R value in the floor will mean about 10C at the floor (plus or minus changes caused by the environment) but if its warm in winter then its not the predominating source of cold. Also your furnace leaks hot/cold when its operating and its likely your ducts are not airtight either.

The sum of all forces (and more not described here) means the basement is warm in winter and cold in summer.
Its a very good bet insulating the floor will not give you summertime relief.
It can certainly be fixed but proper identification of the cause(s) is required to avoid throwing away money and effort.
Thanks for the prompt reply. When you said that warm air is getting to the basement in the winter thats because we open all of the basement vents when we turn on the furnace for the season. Once spring arrives and we turn off the furnace and eventually turn on the A/C, we close all of the basement vents. I to understand though that there is still airflow pushing through these vents despite them being closed.

We purchased a Dyson portable heater in the meantime to give us additional heat in the basement in the summer months, however that comes with a cost of about $300 - $400 for the unit I believe we paid, plus the cost of electricity to run this device non-stop.

Wish I knew what else could be done.
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
1668 posts
673 upvotes
Alliston, ON
Ruthless13 wrote:
Jan 6th, 2018 11:41 am
A question

My Aprilaire 600 pass-through humidifier isn’t able to raise the house humidity above 30% no matter how high I turn the manual knob

My house is about 2000 sqft and I have a single stage gas furnace.

The humidifier is installed on the return duct and is fed cold water. I checked the solenoid and it works and the water is runnying when the hot air is circulating.

Should I upgrade to Aprilaire 800 series with build in fan and is mounted on the output duct?

I’m super confused so hoping for help from knowledgeable forum members

Ps. I have Ecobee 3 but it isn’t connected to the humidifier I’m not certain on how to do it.
I have the same humidifier and roughly the same size house. My humidifier works perfectly but is installed a bit different. I have it supplied with hot water, and it is installed on the supply duct.
With yours installed on the return duct and supplied with cold water, it's much harder for the water to evaporate having cooler air and cold water.
Newbie
Oct 8, 2011
16 posts
8 upvotes
NORTH YORK
schade wrote:
Jan 6th, 2018 3:10 pm
I have the same humidifier and roughly the same size house. My humidifier works perfectly but is installed a bit different. I have it supplied with hot water, and it is installed on the supply duct.
With yours installed on the return duct and supplied with cold water, it's much harder for the water to evaporate having cooler air and cold water.

I can run a copper line to it with hot water and see if that helps
Also thinking whether an electronic dial could be easier to adjust and setup
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
14837 posts
4199 upvotes
scotty01 wrote:
Jan 6th, 2018 2:29 pm
Thanks for the prompt reply. When you said that warm air is getting to the basement in the winter thats because we open all of the basement vents when we turn on the furnace for the season. Once spring arrives and we turn off the furnace and eventually turn on the A/C, we close all of the basement vents. I to understand though that there is still airflow pushing through these vents despite them being closed.
I see, that changes the equation a bit.
We purchased a Dyson portable heater in the meantime to give us additional heat in the basement in the summer months, however that comes with a cost of about $300 - $400 for the unit I believe we paid, plus the cost of electricity to run this device non-stop.
This is a very bad thing to do, your using loads of electricity to cool your basement then spending 3-4x more heating it up again. Face Screaming In Fear
Wish I knew what else could be done.
I'm sure its solvable, i would start with closing that intake in the basement in summer, if its causing upstairs cold air to come downstairs it may reduce the coldness. Are your duct dampers properly balanced, are your ducts airtight, have any separated, what is the leakage rate of your plenum, there are many possible causes here.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 24, 2005
9113 posts
72 upvotes
GTA
i've had the ecobee for the last 1.5 year...a few days ago when it was really cold out in the GTA, the temp. kept dropping overnight to 19 and it was set for 22 throughout the house.
I keep on getting a message from ecobee "been trying to get call for heat in the last 2 hours but no response..."

new home 2 yrs old, I installed the ecobee 3 myself with the PEK

could a brand new furnace that is 2 years old really be the issue?
Newbie
Jul 9, 2006
18 posts
Markham
mcbain27 wrote:
Jan 6th, 2018 11:42 pm
i've had the ecobee for the last 1.5 year...a few days ago when it was really cold out in the GTA, the temp. kept dropping overnight to 19 and it was set for 22 throughout the house.
I keep on getting a message from ecobee "been trying to get call for heat in the last 2 hours but no response..."

new home 2 yrs old, I installed the ecobee 3 myself with the PEK

could a brand new furnace that is 2 years old really be the issue?
Yeah, I've had the same problem. If you look on reddit, several people have the same problem we do.

I had a hvac repair man come from the company that we bought our furnace from, and the greenon people come to my place. The hvac repairman said it was a problem with the thermostat wiring, while the greenon tech said it was a problem with the motor (which is true because the error code says that's the problem).

Somebody please recommend me a hvac repairman in Scarborough/Markham. I called Highlife 4 times, they visited me 4 times and each time they haven't fixed anything or answered any of my questions.

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