Malfunctioning York Gas Furnace?

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by walds11, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    My house was built in the early 1990s. I am the second owner and have been in the house for just over 4 years. I still have the original York gas furnace and central air systems. They are still running strong, but I plan on replacing them with newer, more efficient units in the spring when my budget will allow me to do so.

    A few minutes after every full heating cycle, the furnace and blower will kick on for a very short period of time and then kick off. Seems like additional wear and tear on the furnace and blower. Is this normal?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  2. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    If it is continuing to blow after the burners have gone out for a few minutes then this is perfectly normal. It's squeezing the last bit of heat from the heat exchanger which increases efficiency.

    I would not worry about wear and tear on a blower. They are incredibly resilient.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,154
    Location:
    New England
    The fan control thermostat may not be set properly or not working well. It is normal for the fan to run awhile after the burner turns off. For it to turn back on momentarily implies there's enough heat in the area to trip the thermostat to bring the fan back on momentarily. The fan should run long enough to bring it below that point so the residual heat doesn't trip it again.
  4. burleymike

    burleymike New Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Idaho
    Probably your limit switch is bad.
  5. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    So, you suggest a service call to my local HVAC company? The heating (and cooling) has had a routine service atleast twice each since I moved in about 4 years ago. I usually alternate, so each one gets serviced every other year. It's been doing this ever since I moved in and I never thought of bringing it up to the service guy until now. I can see the blower kicking in after a full heating cycle, but the furnace too? Or maybe it is just the blower? I was never in the basement to check it out. I just hear it in the house. Maybe not worry about it since I plan on replacing the systems next spring?

  6. burleymike

    burleymike New Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Idaho
    The limit switch is a thermostat that turns the blower on when the furnace gets to a certain temperature. It then turns the blower off after it drops below that temperature.

    If you plan to replace this unit in a few months I would not bother fixing it unless the problem gets worse.
  7. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    I plan on replacing the systems late Spring at the earliest, or maybe next Fall, so we are talking a year from now. Or maybe beyond that, if they still run strong. Who knows. I do know that the systems are probably nearing the end of their lives.

    I really don't know if it is a problem and it has not gotten worse. It just seems like extra wear and tear (and maybe not normal?) for the blower and I think the whole furnace to kick on briefly after a full cycle. The HVAC guy will be over in a few weeks to install a hot water heater. I'll have him look at it.
  8. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    Less than 10 minutes on is probably 'short cycling'.

    I get 25 yrs +/- 3 yrs for the replacement age of 'resi. HVAC equip.'
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  9. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Here is what happens...

    1. full heating cycle
    2. about 2 minutes after the full heating cycle, the furnace and blower will kick on for about 15-20 seconds

    Is this considered short cycling? Bad? How is it fixed?

    My HVAC systems are about 18-19 years old. Maybe no need to rush to replace the new systems even if I have to spend small amounts of money for mainatence and repair each year?
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,154
    Location:
    New England
    Does the burner actually turn on, or just the fan?
  11. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Not sure. It sounds and feels (hot air blows out of the vents) like the burner and fan kick on during that 15-20 second cycle. I'll have to go down in the basement to really check it out.
  12. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Bump. Any ideas?
  13. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Your ductwork os probably undersized so the furnace retains residual heat after the cycle.
  14. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Interesting. How is this fixed? Is it bad for the furnace to run this way?
  15. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    I would agree especially if this furnace has the old style honeywell limit/fan switch.
  16. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    What does the repair entail? Approx how much?

  17. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    The repair entails removing 4 screws, moving a couple of wires over to the new limit switch and then reattaching the 4 screws.

    If all goes well you can easily change one out in 30 mins.

    Take a picture of the front of the furnace for me ok.

    Cost? Less than $70 USD I would think... The part is about $70 CAD up here...
  18. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    You mean pop the front panel off the furnace and take a pic of that?

  19. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Yes :D.........
  20. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    This is the best I can do.

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