This is my first post to this forum, and I'm hoping you can help me in a pinch!
For a while now, we've kept the registers on the first floor of our house (about 1,000 square feet on the first floor) closed both during the summer and winter because the upstairs is always hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter. I suppose there are any number of reasons for this, but let's get to the next point.
A few weeks ago, my parents left for vacation. After they left, I closed a few (but not all) of the registers on the second floor as well. Ultimately, I think two were open upstairs and the main one downstairs was still open (the main one downstairs cannot be closed. I did this because I figured that I wasn't going to be using all the rooms upstairs, so I wanted to force more of the hot air this (Indianapolis) winter into my bedroom while the parents were on vacation.
Well, after about a week of this, I woke up this past Saturday morning and noticed the house seemed cold. I checked the thermostat, and indeed it read about 4 degrees cooler than it should be. The thermostat also said it needed the batteries replaced. So I replaced them.
A few hours later, the temperature actually dropped another degree! So I started the troubleshooting process... I opened the panel to the furnace, and followed the directions of turning the furnace off and then on again.
I turned the thermostat off. I turned the power off to the furnace. I turned the gas off to the furnace. I waited a few minutes as instructed. I turned the gas back on. I replaced the panel. I turned the power back on. Then I turned the thermostat back on.
After doing this, the ECM Motor (for the inducer I believe) started purring, and then... nothing. About 30 seconds into the power-up, the ECM Motor stops. I followed the turn-off/turn-on procedure a few more times until I realized that the furnace was giving me error codes. I was given error codes "44" and "41". These codes suggested I check the filter (which was dirty but seemed mostly unclogged), and to (ding, ding, ding!) check the registers.
I went around the house and opened all the registers on all the floors. I tried the turn-off/turn-on procedure again. This time, I got a little more of a "response." That is, this time the burner at least kicked on. I thought I was home free!
But, the burner switched off and the ECM Motor stopped again. I tried a few more times, but ECM Motor stops about 30 seconds into the procedure, and sometimes the burner kicks on and sometimes (mostly) the burner doesn't kick on.
So, I finally bit the bullet and called a HVAC technician. After paying $89, he tells me that the blower is done. To his credit, he answered all of my questions. But when someone tells me the most expensive part needs to be replaced, I have to be a bit skeptical.
But he was convinced... he used some device he had and connected it directly to the blower motor. He tells me it had some sort of computer in it, and that the blower should have kicked on within about 15 seconds. The device was drawing the correct voltage, and the computer inside the device is supposed to be "good". So when it didn't get the job done, he diagnosed it as a bad blower/blower module.
The HVAC company will send out another technician for a second opinion on Monday. But, I'm in a bind. My parents won't be back until mid-January, and I'm facing a (potentially) $1100 repair. I've been lucky with the weather (highs in the 50s), so the temperature inside is about 60. But the temperatures will dip into the highs around 30 all week. I can handle the cold with a space heater, but the pipes and other stuff in the house may not. I need a solution, and I'm wondering if I need to find a way to pony-up $1100 for a repair.
The furnace is a Carrier Weathermaker Infinity, Model number 58MVP080-12114, Serial number 3997A02547. It is about 10 years old. Did I damage the blower by closing up some of the registers? I can't see how closing the registers I closed did this mainly because not all the registers were closed and the "closed" registers were by no means "airtight".
I check the fuse... it looked okay. The wires don't seem burnt. The burner kicked on occassionally, so the unit is getting gas. The ECM motor starts, so the unit is getting power.
Am I missing something simple? I hope to find a low-cost solution before dealing with the need to replace the blower. And if the blower needs to be replaced, maybe I can get a cheaper unit than the one the HVAC company will try to sell to me. But even if I buy it elsewhere, I'll still need the HVAC company to install it properly.
Assuming I can come up with the $1100, should I fix it, or have prices on furnaces come down to the point where I may want to replace it with an equivalent system?
Any and all of your feedback would be welcome! And thanks in advance for your help!!