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Old 02-03-2011, 08:19 AM   #1
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Think builder is feeding me bull about HVAC


Good Morning, I pray someone can help, because I am at my wits end with my HVAC system.

I moved into a newly constructed home a year ago. Since then I've been having, what I consider, cooling and heating problems. But every time I call my builder he acts as though it's nothing. We've had a pretty decent working relationship up until this point, so before I call and chew him out, I'd like to pose my problem to you all.

I guess it may help for you to know that have a split foyer, brick 3 bdr. home. 2 bdrms and a bath on one side and the master on the opposite side. In between are the living room, family room, kitchen. So, here's my problem.

1. The distribution of air/heat in my house is awful. My daughter's room seems to be where all of the air/heat goes. If the rest of the house is comfortable she's either freezing or burning up. But the bedroom directly across from her feels like the rest of the house. Which means, in this cold weather, I turn the heat to make her comfortable and I sleep under tons of blankets and getting out of the bed at all costs.

2. When I turn on the heat, it sometimes takes forever for the air from the vent to turn warm. For example, the vent has been blowing cool/luke-warm air since last night. I turned in on and off a few times thinking I may need to trip the system, but it's still same. Sometimes taking hours before it warms up.

3. When it finally does warm up and hits the temperature that I have the thermostat set, the system does not shut off. It just blows cold air, until I turn it off. Which means getting up in the middle of the night several times to turn the system on and off.

Of course, my builder says there's nothing wrong and just suggested I change the filter more often. I know this can't be a filter problem. Any suggestions?

Thanks for any info anyone can provide!

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Last edited by consuelomaria; 02-03-2011 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:38 AM   #2
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Think builder is feeding me bull about HVAC


Sounds like a balancing problem.
Could thermostat FAN be on (by mistake?)
For experts on this site, familiar with many brands of systems, you should provide more detail:

Brand and model of system(s)
Type of thermostat
Where you live

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Old 02-03-2011, 08:40 AM   #3
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Think builder is feeding me bull about HVAC


Who did the HVAC ?

You should have a warrenty with him...not the builder.....
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:53 AM   #4
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Think builder is feeding me bull about HVAC


Quote:
Originally Posted by diyorpay View Post
Sounds like a balancing problem.
Could thermostat FAN be on (by mistake?)
For experts on this site, familiar with many brands of systems, you should provide more detail:

Brand and model of system(s)
Type of thermostat
Where you live

Thanks for responding. No, it's always on auto, never on fan. I even started to wonder if wires were crossed and put it on fan to see how it responded, but it just did as the fan is supposed to do.

On the outside of the thermostat it says White-Rodgers. Other than that, I don't know. I live in New Mexico.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
Who did the HVAC ?

You should have a warrenty with him...not the builder.....

I have no idea who did the HVAC and was never given any paperwork specific to the HVAC system when I bought the house. All I have is the warranty provided at the time of purchase, which is 2yrs on appliances, HVAC, plumbing, etc.

If there's someone else I should be contacting, my builder has never mentioned it. I've always assumed it was him or someone in his family, because anytime I've called about the problem either he comes over or sends one of his nephews who are in business with him.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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Think builder is feeding me bull about HVAC


Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
Who did the HVAC ?

You should have a warrenty with him...not the builder.....

Thanks for you reply. I have no idea who did the HVAC and was never given any paperwork specific to the HVAC system when I bought the house. All I have is the warranty provided at the time of purchase, which is 2yrs on appliances, HVAC, plumbing, etc.

If there's someone else I should be contacting, my builder has never mentioned it. I've always assumed it was him or someone in his family, because anytime I've called about the problem either he comes over or sends one of his nephews who are in business with him.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Think builder is feeding me bull about HVAC


is your builder a private company that holds the warranty??

you did not mention if you have a full basement under the house... do the ducts run through any cold zones?? have you gone to the furnace when it is running to check the temp of the hot air ducts to see that they are getting hot?? are you getting lots of air flow from all of the vents equally, or is you daughter's room noticably more air flow? can you partially close some of the closer vents to force more air to the farther ones??

rod
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:38 AM   #8
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Think builder is feeding me bull about HVAC


Quote:
Originally Posted by consuelomaria View Post
Thanks for you reply. I have no idea who did the HVAC and was never given any paperwork specific to the HVAC system when I bought the house. All I have is the warranty provided at the time of purchase, which is 2yrs on appliances, HVAC, plumbing, etc.

If there's someone else I should be contacting, my builder has never mentioned it. I've always assumed it was him or someone in his family, because anytime I've called about the problem either he comes over or sends one of his nephews who are in business with him.
The installing contractor didn't leave a sticker on the furnace somewhere, with a contact phone number?

You builder should have at least left the manual for the equipment, how else would you know how to maintain it, so as to ensure the warrantee is maintained.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:00 PM   #9
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If you check all around the heater and house and do not find any information for the heater and A/C. I would contact the builder because he is the responsible party he is the prime contractor who has the ultimate control over every sub contractor that worked on your house. He is the guy you get the information from and to get it repaired and he's the guy you take to court if need be when the dust settles. Start sending him texts and emails and keeping record's you will probably need them for proof down the road.
If you get no satisfaction call in another Company to repair the system and keep the records.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:25 PM   #10
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I am not familiar with HVAC, but for a new home, it is always good to have a thorough duct cleaning.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:20 PM   #11
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First off, there could perfectly legitimate reasons for why the fan does not turn off when the termperature is reached. If you have a variable-speed air handler, for example, there could be a significant "cool down" period before the fan shuts off, although the elements in the furnace may be off and result in "cool" air. It would really help if you: 1) told us where the furnace is located (attic/cellar) 2)the tonnage 3)the sq ft of your house.

RE: the poor heat distribution, it could very well be that the vents are pooly laid out, resulting in hot and cold areas of the house. A simple solution would be to put a dapner no your daughter's vent, and decrease the air flow to that room while silmutaneously increasing it everywhere else. The easiest way to do this would be to close her vent and open all the others (in the coldest areas).
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:04 AM   #12
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Bummer dude. What you have is a new construction heating system... New construction homes are built like sh!t 9 out of 10 times, the HVAC system especially. The duct is probably incorrectly sized resulting in your problems. Its hard to talk solutions without a bunch of pictures. My recommendation would be to pay for a consult from a really good tech. Have him do a "heat loss" on the house to determine if the furnace is properly sized and also assess the duct situation. I'm sure he'll say that the furnace is oversized and the duct is not sized correctly either. If this is the case I would make a big stink and threaten the builder if he doesn't fix it. These damn builders need to get their nose rubbed in their sh!t more often, they hire the cheapest subs and cut corners everywhere to make more $$$ then when you have a problem they tell you to change your filter...
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:10 AM   #13
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First, what type of unit is it? A heat pump, or gas furnace?
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:00 AM   #14
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Document all necessary numbers. Outside temp, When you say words like "it sometimes takes forever for the air from the vent to turn warm" that does not tell us much. If you can check the amount of time the system is running. Take temp readings at your vents and returns. What temp do you have the T-stat set to run? Do you have it programmed for too great of a span?
I read that it snowed in New Mexico recently. Has your climate changed significantly this winter? Many people are having problems with their properly sized heating systems keeping up with demand.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unicursalhex View Post
Bummer dude. What you have is a new construction heating system... New construction homes are built like sh!t 9 out of 10 times, the HVAC system especially. The duct is probably incorrectly sized resulting in your problems. Its hard to talk solutions without a bunch of pictures.
As someone who has been in new home construction for over 25 years, I think that's a pretty broad statement.


The issue in this case could be as simple as poor air exchange in the room. A door that has improper provision for return air will cause poor airflow at the register. There are simple things that can be done to properly balance a system. Assuring adequate return air is first and foremost. If you typically keep doors closed in your home, as I do, there should be a minimum of 1/2" space under the door to allow for return air draw. When I built my own home, I installed return air ducts in every bedroom, to insure proper airflow. Also, removing the register and checking for debris in the duct is advisable. That's something that is almost always overlooked at final cleaning.

There are numerous things that can be done to improve the systems performance as well. Taping the joints in all the accessible duct work with foil tape will go a long way to improving efficiency. Insulating exposed trunk lines and duct piping will help as well.

It is possible that the system itself doesn't provide adequate return air. This is sometimes identified by a vacuum sound at the return air grill. If you hear it sucking, chances are the system is starving itself.

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Last edited by loneframer; 02-05-2011 at 08:58 AM.
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