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Should I get my furnace serviced? House heating slow

SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Today we will paint a mountain that owes us nothing.Registered User regular
So, this evening I noticed my house was having trouble climbing in temp from 65F to 71F. We were asked to set to 65F during the day due to a shortage, and then I set to 71F after 5pm once my baby came home from daycare. Even with the fireplace going for a bit and a tiny space heater going the house was still only 68F at 8pm. When I checked around 8pm, the vents in the basement were blowing warm air but the upstairs ones were lukewarm at best. At 9pm it reached 70F, although thermostat is in the hallway connecting the living room to the bedrooms, and we're camped in the living room right now the small space heater going.

The house is a 1600sqft ranch (with a basement, vents closed though). AFAIK, per the inspection and noticing that it easily stays cool in the summer, the house is insulated well

Is like 3-4 hours to raise a ranch 6 degrees F, when it's 0F outside an expected delay? I'm getting all kinds of weird replies to that question when I google it, based on location/furnace and heating type/etc.

Thanks!

"Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

The Cosmic AC said, "I WILL."

Man said, "We shall wait."

Posts

  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    1st thing to do: Check your filter!

    Also, what type of heat? If you are using a heat pump they are nearly useless in these temperatures.

    Soggybiscuit on
    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
    Nobodydispatch.ozepherinJebus314
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Stick to the smallest rooms. People sometimes say things like "how did people survive this shit before central AC/heating/etc" and the answer is they didn't have nice airy big stupid open floor plans. The rooms they actually used were small, and a smaller heating source was enough because the heat didn't just disappear into a huge body of air. It's like boiling a pot of water. If it's a small pot with three cups of water, the water is going to boil a lot faster with a lot less energy. If you're looking at five gallons of water, unless you crank your heat source up to max that heat is going to go away before anything can boil and it's just kind of a waste, but instead of tepid water it's murder-air.

    Regardless of what your heating system can do with full power when going outside for 15 minutes isn't an existential crisis, a limited power budget when the air is actively trying to kill you isn't necessarily going to be overcome by a clean filter (though you should always keep those filters clean anyway) and there comes a point where not much can keep up with that. You need to keep your space heater with you and search out the smallest spaces in your house. If you can't find a non-bathroom space that's small enough to keep warm with the heater and a few bodies, figure out a way to make your existing areas smaller. You can line up shelves or something to create a barrier that prevents as much of the heat as possible from circulating away. If it gets too hot, open it up a bit till you've got a comfortable operating space. Use the kitchen to cook food on your stove and oven, make tea, etc., and use that space as much as possible. Not only will the food help warm you, but the excess heat isn't wasted.

    Keep the rest of the house set at the highest temperature that won't cause your system to struggle to keep up, because after that point you may as well use the money you'd spend fighting the void to keep your fireplace going, and then don't worry about what it's doing because you're keeping your heat close to you.

    I know that probably all sounds kind of extreme, and if the situation returns to normal it's crazy to think about stuff in those terms. If this situation becomes normal for the next 6 weeks or so (I'm hearing that's a remote possibility) then it might be best to look into some kind of setup like that. I live in Vegas and this is something we run into for about 2 months out of the year, except with heat. Temperatures can hover between 115-120F for weeks. Our AC can sometimes run 24/7 and at its absolute best still not get the place below 80-85F.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Mugsleydispatch.obowen
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    Yeah totes check the filters (supply and return), also if you can isolate some of the rooms shut the doors and turn off the register.

    How old is the furnace, sometimes igniters go bad after 15 years. And furnaces will shut the bed around 20 years old.

    Good news it’s cheaper to replace a natural gas furnace. Bad news it’ll still cost 2k-3k unless your good friends with a plumber or gas/pipe fitter.

    I would honestly pick up a couple extra space heaters and tough it out till summer. It’s generally 20%-30% cheaper to do it in summer.

    zepherin on
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    If you're asking the question, than I'll wager you may not know when it was last serviced in which case, the answer is 'yes'

    that said, every heating unit aside from geothermal will have a tough time keeping up with at or below zero temps in an open floor plan.

    zepherinJaysonFourKetBraLostNinjaDonnicton
  • SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Today we will paint a mountain that owes us nothing. Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    ceres wrote: »
    Stick to the smallest rooms. People sometimes say things like "how did people survive this shit before central AC/heating/etc" and the answer is they didn't have nice airy big stupid open floor plans. The rooms they actually used were small, and a smaller heating source was enough because the heat didn't just disappear into a huge body of air. It's like boiling a pot of water. If it's a small pot with three cups of water, the water is going to boil a lot faster with a lot less energy. If you're looking at five gallons of water, unless you crank your heat source up to max that heat is going to go away before anything can boil and it's just kind of a waste, but instead of tepid water it's murder-air.

    Regardless of what your heating system can do with full power when going outside for 15 minutes isn't an existential crisis, a limited power budget when the air is actively trying to kill you isn't necessarily going to be overcome by a clean filter (though you should always keep those filters clean anyway) and there comes a point where not much can keep up with that. You need to keep your space heater with you and search out the smallest spaces in your house. If you can't find a non-bathroom space that's small enough to keep warm with the heater and a few bodies, figure out a way to make your existing areas smaller. You can line up shelves or something to create a barrier that prevents as much of the heat as possible from circulating away. If it gets too hot, open it up a bit till you've got a comfortable operating space. Use the kitchen to cook food on your stove and oven, make tea, etc., and use that space as much as possible. Not only will the food help warm you, but the excess heat isn't wasted.

    Keep the rest of the house set at the highest temperature that won't cause your system to struggle to keep up, because after that point you may as well use the money you'd spend fighting the void to keep your fireplace going, and then don't worry about what it's doing because you're keeping your heat close to you.

    I know that probably all sounds kind of extreme, and if the situation returns to normal it's crazy to think about stuff in those terms. If this situation becomes normal for the next 6 weeks or so (I'm hearing that's a remote possibility) then it might be best to look into some kind of setup like that. I live in Vegas and this is something we run into for about 2 months out of the year, except with heat. Temperatures can hover between 115-120F for weeks. Our AC can sometimes run 24/7 and at its absolute best still not get the place below 80-85F.

    Thankfully, no one is freezing, and it's a 3 bedroom single story home built in the 50s - that airy open floorplan mc mansion my is parents'.

    I was more or less just waiting to get a benchmark on how long it should take to raise the temp in a similar detached home.

    In any case, its been sitting at 72 for a few hours now. I'll do filters this weekend and pull some stats for the unit. It looks like it was last serviced in 14, and was replaced in 09. The rest of the house is energy-star appliances, it might just be an efficient, weaker unit with the intention that you not cycle the heat as aggressively, and it's struggling against the out of the ordinary temps.

    SummaryJudgment on
    "Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

    The Cosmic AC said, "I WILL."

    Man said, "We shall wait."
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Stick to the smallest rooms. People sometimes say things like "how did people survive this shit before central AC/heating/etc" and the answer is they didn't have nice airy big stupid open floor plans. The rooms they actually used were small, and a smaller heating source was enough because the heat didn't just disappear into a huge body of air. It's like boiling a pot of water. If it's a small pot with three cups of water, the water is going to boil a lot faster with a lot less energy. If you're looking at five gallons of water, unless you crank your heat source up to max that heat is going to go away before anything can boil and it's just kind of a waste, but instead of tepid water it's murder-air.

    Regardless of what your heating system can do with full power when going outside for 15 minutes isn't an existential crisis, a limited power budget when the air is actively trying to kill you isn't necessarily going to be overcome by a clean filter (though you should always keep those filters clean anyway) and there comes a point where not much can keep up with that. You need to keep your space heater with you and search out the smallest spaces in your house. If you can't find a non-bathroom space that's small enough to keep warm with the heater and a few bodies, figure out a way to make your existing areas smaller. You can line up shelves or something to create a barrier that prevents as much of the heat as possible from circulating away. If it gets too hot, open it up a bit till you've got a comfortable operating space. Use the kitchen to cook food on your stove and oven, make tea, etc., and use that space as much as possible. Not only will the food help warm you, but the excess heat isn't wasted.

    Keep the rest of the house set at the highest temperature that won't cause your system to struggle to keep up, because after that point you may as well use the money you'd spend fighting the void to keep your fireplace going, and then don't worry about what it's doing because you're keeping your heat close to you.

    I know that probably all sounds kind of extreme, and if the situation returns to normal it's crazy to think about stuff in those terms. If this situation becomes normal for the next 6 weeks or so (I'm hearing that's a remote possibility) then it might be best to look into some kind of setup like that. I live in Vegas and this is something we run into for about 2 months out of the year, except with heat. Temperatures can hover between 115-120F for weeks. Our AC can sometimes run 24/7 and at its absolute best still not get the place below 80-85F.

    Thankfully, no one is freezing, and it's a 3 bedroom single story home built in the 50s - that airy open floorplan mc mansion my is parents'.

    I was more or less just waiting to get a benchmark on how long it should take to raise the temp in a similar detached home.

    In any case, its been sitting at 72 for a few hours now. I'll do filters this weekend and pull some stats for the unit. It looks like it was last serviced in 14, and was replaced in 09. The rest of the house is energy-star appliances, it might just be an efficient, weaker unit with the intention that you not cycle the heat as aggressively, and it's struggling against the out of the ordinary temps.
    9 years old is pretty new by furnace standards. Yeah could be the filter or a blockage. You could also need to replace the pilot light.

    Xaquin
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    They also didn't have giant freaking bay windows or glass patio doors, either. In addition, I also recommend checking for drafts- it's hard enough heating a bunch of normal air, but when cold air is leaking in and the warm air is leaking out, you're having to heat more air for less of an effect. Might also be worth it to check your window and door seals as well, and repair as necessary.

    steam_sig.png
  • Pixelated PixiePixelated Pixie Future world ruler Registered User regular
    Your furnace should be serviced annually. If you haven't had it done since 2014, you are way overdue.

    Source: me. I work in home heating.

    zepherinSmrtnikFryJaysonFour
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    Look in your manual or look up the model number online. It will probably provide you with a bunch of information about the space you should expect to heat.

    You're bringing a huge space up to 65 degrees from 0. Which is honestly more than I'd expect and you might be overworking your unit.

    Sometimes you have to wear warmer clothes indoors in parts of the country that regularly get that cold.

    Edit: I spent a very cold winter in Wisconsin and realized the necessity of thermal underwear. Highly recommend some if you don't have any. Alpaca wool socks too.

    dispatch.o on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    definitely get it checked... it's pretty easy for an expert to get in there and see if something is up

    at a minimum, you should consider if your furnace isn't doing a good job, it's still chewing up energy as if it were... so it could be more economical to have it repaired

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Okay I'm glad it's not that bad. I envisioned a family fighting off the creeping elements huddling around a space heater for warmth.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    spool32SummaryJudgmentzepherin
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I talked to one of my buddies who does HVAC about your situation, he says that when it is "unseasonably cold" that 1-2 degree an hour increase is fine, but you should have them service your heating and your AC in the spring.

    He said that different areas unseasonably cold means different things, like if your furnace is slow heating a house in Boston or Maine at 0 degrees, you need to get that fixed, but if you are in a Carolina or Missouri it's probably fine.

    SummaryJudgment
  • SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Today we will paint a mountain that owes us nothing. Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Okay I'm glad it's not that bad. I envisioned a family fighting off the creeping elements huddling around a space heater for warmth.

    I'm very thankful that's not us anymore...Although, the thermostat drop to 65F was after the utility sent out a statewide message asking for users to turn down to that to avoid shortages :bigfrown: We dropped the baby off at the (warm) daycare and my wife and I huddled up in sweaters.

    "Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

    The Cosmic AC said, "I WILL."

    Man said, "We shall wait."
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    I talked to one of my buddies who does HVAC about your situation, he says that when it is "unseasonably cold" that 1-2 degree an hour increase is fine, but you should have them service your heating and your AC in the spring.

    He said that different areas unseasonably cold means different things, like if your furnace is slow heating a house in Boston or Maine at 0 degrees, you need to get that fixed, but if you are in a Carolina or Missouri it's probably fine.

    Missouri gets fucking cold in winter. The average temp in January is in the mid 20s! Plus it has all of the wind chills.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    zepherin wrote: »
    I talked to one of my buddies who does HVAC about your situation, he says that when it is "unseasonably cold" that 1-2 degree an hour increase is fine, but you should have them service your heating and your AC in the spring.

    He said that different areas unseasonably cold means different things, like if your furnace is slow heating a house in Boston or Maine at 0 degrees, you need to get that fixed, but if you are in a Carolina or Missouri it's probably fine.

    Missouri gets fucking cold in winter. The average temp in January is in the mid 20s! Plus it has all of the wind chills.
    Yeah I don’t think he knows where Missouri is and I didn’t really think about it, so my bad kinda?

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    This winter is killing me on my hearing bill. Oil is expensive and our heater is on a lot

    camo_sig.png
    zepherin
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    This winter is killing me on my hearing bill. Oil is expensive and our heater is on a lot
    Oil is the worst for home heating. It costs a lot maintenance is something that you just have to do, the parts and fixes are more expensive, and it isn’t inherently better at heating than gas.

    Normally I’m grumpy about using space heaters to heat a house, but if I had oil I would definitely have it on a low temp and use space heaters.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Yea i really want to convert to a natural gas system but it is working well enough that I can't justify it right now. Despite its age it's still operating around 80-90% efficiency. This is the first year that costs are this bad. It's normally reasonable.

    But yea i hate it. Gives me all sorts of anxiety. I list after those high efficiency dual domestic water and heat systems.

    I'm also pissed at the ac guy who put our air in last summer. He didn't explain a dual fuel system that well and knowing what I know I would have definitely done that instead of a ac only.

    camo_sig.png
    zepherin
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    When we converted to gas two years ago, it turned out the oil tank was on its way out and the efficiency had tanked (heh).

    Also the oil companies were less than accommodating. Having heat on demand was a big lift once we got the gas system in. I'm sorry your ac guy was shit. At least your furnace is still in decent shape

    zepherin
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