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Old 02-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
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Heat only coming from a few vents?


I am in Chicago, and it's colder than a Witch's twitchit here right now. My problem is that I only have heat coming from a few vents in my two story home. It was 57 degrees downstairs this morning!

I have some questions and hope someone might have suggestions for helping me pinpoint the problem:

If there is heat coming out of three vents, I can rule out a problem with my furnace can't I? I mean, if the furnace wasn't workng, then I woldn't have heat *anywhere*, correct?

I have checked the dampers (the wingnuts on the heating ducts in our semi-unfinished basement) and they are all turned to "open" (parallel to the floor). If these are open, then I ought to have heat coming from all the vents, correct?

Our thermostat control panel is in the coldest part of the house, so assuming the thermostat is functioning properly, then it shouldn't turn off the furnace until that room is whatever temperature it is set at, right? Yet, it's set to 75 right now and it is only 60 in there and the furnace is not running at the moment.


I called a repairman last month because I didn't feel ANY heat coming from vents and it was freezing, and it was his evaluation that all I needed was a furnace cleaning, so that is what he did, and it seemed to work. The house heated up. Since then, there have still been mornings where it's been cold enough for me to check the thermostat and have it read 60 yet it was set at 68. I have to crank it up to 75 or so just to get it to 67 in here. Today that's not even working.

The mystery is WHY there is heat coming from the vents at the back of the house, but not the front? What other information would be helpful for me to give to you guys to gve you a better idea as to what the problem might be?


Last edited by MyZoeJane; 02-09-2011 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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Heat only coming from a few vents?


Also, I was wondering if it possible that there is snow somewhere outside that needs to be removed from a vent or something? We have a million feet of snowright now.

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Old 02-09-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
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Heat only coming from a few vents?


Did this furnace work last winter?

I imagine with the furnace cleaning you also changed out the filter....right?

You have checked the dampers by insuring the operator handle is in the correct orientation, but have you checked to make sure the operator handle was put on the damper the right way to begin with.

Change a damper position on one of the ones you don't feel air from, with the furnace running and see if your feelings change.

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Old 02-09-2011, 02:43 PM   #4
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Heat only coming from a few vents?


Okay, I am not sure which of my "tinkerings" I just did fixed the issue, but I have hot air blowing from all my vents now?!

I just:

Turned the furnace off then back on with the switch that is installed on it.

Checked the filter. It is about five weeks old. It is clean, but I left it out and came upstairs just to see if I had airflow.

Yeehaw! Hot air is blowin' out the vents where before there was none?!

Went back down and put the filter back in. Still heat, but obviously not as forceful.

How on Earth could turning the furnace off then on make air flow through vents that were previously not working?!

I am stumped.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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Heat only coming from a few vents?


Put your hand on the motor next time it happens. If it is so hot you cannot touch it you have a problem. Removing the filter gives it more air and runs cooler. May be seizing up /overheating and cutting out on its internal heat overload. Coincidence that turning it off/on restarted it.
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