Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bad Vibrations

Some of you may not know how an outdoor wood boiler (OWB) works and I'm here to tell you, it is a very simple machine. My OWB is a Hardy, and it doesn't matter what particular model your dealing with, they all work pretty much the same. They make heat just like your heater in your car. The OWB is a large tank of water that surrounds a firebox. Someday I will get into all the nuts and bolts of how this whole thing works but these OWB's keep the water temperature somewhere around 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water is pumped underground into your basement in 3/4 inch hoses and into a heat exchanger that is slid into the duct work that comes off the top of your forced air furnace. After the water is passed thru the heat exchanger, it is returned to the tank of water outside to be reheated. Of course you don't have to have a forced air furnace since an OWB can be adapted to your boiler, if your house has hot water heat, but my set up is used with my existing forced air furnace. The heat exchanger looks just like a radiator you would find on a vehicle, more along the size of a dump truck or other large semi radiator. All of this is wired so that when my house needs heat, a water pump on my OWB pumps hot water to the heat exchanger all the time my existing forced air furnace turns on the blower to force air thru the heat exchanger and fill my beautiful house with hot air. Keep in mind the burners on my forced air furnace do not kick on. I use no gas. Just the blower motor runs.
All of this is a simple procedure but I have been bothered by one principle of this system since installing everything. Here is my concern...The blower motor has to blow the air thru the heat exchanger me...I worry that this "obstruction" in my duct work would put an extra load (back pressure) on my blower motor. It appears that my blower motor would have to work harder to force air into my house. To me, this could lead to premature failure of my blower motor.
Lately I have been noticing my blower on the forced air furnace making funny noises as if the motor is out of balance, causing a vibration in my duct work. It could be nothing but I have mastered the art of worrying and decided to place a call into a Luxaire technician who is scheduled to come out next Monday...Luxaire is the brand of forced air furnace in my basement but I am sure you have just figured that out on your own...He told me a bearing could be going bad in the motor or I could have a build up of dust or crud on the "mouse cage" (the rotating fins that force the air) that has made an unbalanced condition. He was happy for my business and he was accommodating to my busy schedule.
I hope all of this noise from the basement amounts to nothing but to be sure it won't hurt for a small payment to the furnace man to check it out. One thing nice to hear is that he keeps a full supply of parts for my Luxaire forced air furnace on hand, including replacement motors. I hope I don't need one but.... Of course I don't like to spend money but one ace I have up my sleeve is I don't spend money for! I figure all this money I save can be put to a "minor" issue like a bad blower motor. Well, I'll let my self believe that so I don't get mad at forking out hard earned cash for a furnace repair.
I had to empty some ash today. I have a metal pail that I fill about once a week. I dump the ash in my garden for recycling. I hope your day is as warm as mine. Smokin

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