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Question: What are the best furnace and air conditioning systems that you would recommend?

Question: What are the best furnace and air conditioning systems that you would recommend? What brand name furnaces and air conditioners do you see the least amount of problems.

Answer: I have this question asked hundreds of times since we started our HVAC business in 1988! This is a great question! In my experience over the many years doing service work, I like the Trane, American Standard, Bryant, Carrier, Heil, and ICP units the best. I will not say that the other brand names are bad, but the Trane, American Standard, Bryant, Carrier, Heil, and ICP are the brand names that I installed and serviced the most.  These brand names are the brands where I had the least number of service calls and problems.  I could clearly see and feel that these brands were constructed with heavy-duty long-lasting materials and components. They just felt and looked well made. The metal was thicker. I would recommend Trane, American Standard, Bryant, Carrier, Heil, and ICP brand name furnaces and air conditioners. Trane and American Standard would be my top choices. I must add this important note: I would highly recommend that you get a licensed HVAC contractor to install your new equipment. Make sure that your contractor does a heat gain, heat loss calculation (manual J) calculation so you know that you are getting the right size furnace and air conditioner installed. Make sure that your contractor gets a permit from your local Housing Department so that you are getting a legal safe inspected HVAC installation and you will not have problems if you ever have an insurance claim or try and sell your home. I found a really good HVAC Load Calculator on the following page if you want to do some load calculations yourself. I also found a really good YouTube video, below that was made by Jay from Word of Advice TV. This video thoroughly explains what Jay found in Consumer Reports Magazine for the best HVAC, name brand equipment. Consumer Reports surveyed over 20,000 homeowners about their experiences with their HVAC equipment.  Thanks so much to Word of Advice TV for making this excellent video! Below the video, I have notes that I took from the video about the Consumer Reports survey. I have the brand names broken down with the companies they represent below. I hope that this helps you out when you need to purchase a new heating and air conditioning system. I sure did learn a lot from this video! Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or by emailing us at arnoldservice@gmail.com. We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

Consumer Reports 5 Brands They Would Not Recommend:

  • Coleman
  • Frigidaire
  • Luxaire
  • Maytag
  • York

Consumer Reports 5 Brands They Would Recommend:

  • Lennox
  • American Standard
  • Trane
  • Carrier
  • Bryant

Brand Names Produced and Owned by United Technologies:

  • Carrier
  • Bryant
  • Payne
  • Day & Night
  • ICP
  • Arcoaire
  • Keeprite
  • Heil
  • Tempstar
  • Comfortmaker

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Lennox International:

  • Lennox
  • Ducane
  • Armstrong
  • Concord
  • Allied
  • Air-Ease
  • Air-Flo

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Rheem Manufacturing:

  • Rheem
  • Ruud

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Daikin Global: 

  • Daikin
  • Goodman
  • Amana
  • Janitrol

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Johnson Controls: 

  • York
  • Luxaire
  • Coleman

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Ingersoll Rand:

  • American Standard
  • Trane

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Nortek Global HVAC:

  • Frigidaire
  • Maytag

Brand Names Produced and Owned by WolfSteel:

  • Napoleon
  • Continental

We hope this helps you out in making a decision on purchasing the right equipment for your home.

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Problem: Why does my furnace go off on limit so much? Why do I have to replace my furnace limit switch so often?

furnace limit switch

Problem: Why does my furnace go off on limit so much? Why do I have to replace my furnace limit switch so often?

Answer: I have noticed this year more than any other year that we are having many questions about this problem. We are selling lots of furnace limit switches. The sales are great, but I have to be concerned about why all these customers are having to replace so many limit switches? A gas furnace that is maintained and adjusted properly should rarely go off on limit unless there is a serious problem with the furnace! The limit is a safety control that prevents the furnace from overheating. If your furnace is going off on limit then this means your furnace is overheating beyond normal.  I would highly recommend that you find out why the furnace is overheating and get this problem corrected. Here are some areas that you can check if your furnace is going off on high limit:

  1. You could have a blower motor that has failed to start or is slow in running.  You might need a new blower motor.  In many cases, a new capacitor or changing the blower speed might eliminate the furnace going off on high limit.  If you think you need a new capacitor please click here to see the capacitors that we sell.  If you would like to know how to change the speed on your blower motor then there is a really good YouTube video on this subject made by AC Service Tech. Please click here if you would like to see the YouTube video on how to change blower motor speeds. 
  2. You could have a dirty obstructed furnace filter. The furnace is not getting enough air and the heat exchanger overheats causing the furnace limit to open and stop the gas from burning to prevent a fire or damage to the furnace.  I am sure that you know it is important to change furnace filters on a regular basis.
  3. You could have a dirty furnace blower wheel. If the blower wheel is dirty the wheel can not pick up enough air to keep the furnace from overheating. We have a picture below that shows a dirty blower wheel. As you can see this wheel is not going to pick up much air!

4. You could have a dirty or stopped up evaporator coil. If the underside (on an up-flow furnace) Air conditioner coil is stopped up with lint or dirt then this will cause the furnace to overheat and go off on limit. The furnace can not get rid of the heated air so the heat builds up and the furnace goes off on limit. A stopped-up evaporator coil hurts the furnace and air conditioner’s efficiency a lot. Make sure that your evaporator coil is not stopped up so air can easily flow through the evaporator coil. We have a post about cleaning evaporator coils on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in seeing how to clean an evaporator coil.

Above is a Picture of a Partially Stopped Up Evaporator Coil:

5. You could have obstructed returns or supply registers. Make sure that all returns are not obstructed with furniture or stopped up with dirt. Make sure all the supply registers are open.

6. You could have the gas valve adjusted too high where the gas input from the gas valve is producing too much heat for the furnace to handle. Please click here if you would like to see our post on how to adjust gas valve pressure. 

7. Last but not least. You might not have the recommended temperature rise on your furnace. Every furnace should have a label that shows what the recommended temperature rise is for the furnace. If the furnace is adjusted to the manufacturer’s recommended temperature rise then the furnace should not be going off on high limit.

We have three really good YouTube videos below that explain what temperature rise is and how to troubleshoot if your temperature rise is not within the recommended range that is set by the furnace manufacturer. The first YouTube is a 2-minute tutorial that explains what temperature rise is by Tom Kleinman. Thanks to Mr. Kleinman for making this information easy to understand in a video! The next video shows how to measure temperature rise on a furnace. You do not have to have a digital temperature meter like in the video. A low-cost thermometer could be used to measure the temperature rise in your furnace. This 3-minute video is by Lennox Learning Solutions. The third video shows the top 4 reasons why a furnace short cycles by AC Service Tech LLC.  Many thanks to AC Service Tech for making this great video! If you have any questions please email me, Steve Arnold, or comment below. Our email is arnoldservice@gmail.com.  I will be happy to try and answer any questions that you have. God bless you all! Thanks so much for reading our post and visiting our site! We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 



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Question: How do I clean the burners on my gas furnace?

Question: My furnace burners do not light all the way across. The farthest burner from the gas valve will not light unless I cycle the furnace multiple times to warm up the furnace. Would cleaning the burners help?  How do I clean the burners on my gas furnace? Do you have any other suggestions for fixing my furnace?

Answer:  It sounds like your problem could be caused by dirty burners or not having enough gas pressure. I would suggest that you try to clean the burners by blowing them out with compressed air if you have an air compressor. There are 4 main burner types that are shown below :

  1. The Inshot burners are the most common and popular burners used today.  The Inshot burners are used on many 80% and 90% furnaces. The Inshot burner can not be used on a 70% furnace.
Above Inshot Burner Closeup:

2. The Upshot burners are seen on many of the really old furnaces. Most of the time they are made of cast iron.

3. Ribbon burners or Stamped Steel burners. This type of burner is found on many of the older 70% name brands. Many of the older furnaces like Bryant, Carrier, York, Trane, Lennox, Ruud, and Rheem have ribbon, stamped steel burners.

Make sure that you were eye protection and a dust mask if you decide to use compressed air to clean your burners. I have seen dust, rust and dirt go everywhere when using compressed air. If you are in a place where you can not use compressed air indoors a home then I would like to suggest turning the power and gas off to the furnace then taking the burners out and using compressed air outside the home. I find it best to use a wire brush and a vacuum to clean the burners. I have used both methods with and without compressed air with success. The compressed air method seems to clean the burner better. We have a really good YouTube video made by Word of Advice TV below that shows how to clean gas furnace burners. We also have a really good YouTube video that shows the different types of gas furnace burners. This video is made by Grayfurnaceman. If after cleaning the burners you still have problems then if you want you could try adjusting the gas pressure up a little bit. I would not recommend turning the gas regulator up over 1/4 turn at a time before testing. Be ready to turn the power switch off to the furnace if the furnace has delayed ignition for more than a second or two. We have a really good YouTube video made by AC Service Tech that tells how to adjust the natural gas pressure on a gas furnace. If you still have problems you might try cleaning the flame sensor. We have a post about this on the following page:  Click here if you are interested in how to clean a gas furnace flame sensor and how to troubleshoot a flame sensor.  I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions please let me know by emailing me or commenting below. Our email is arnoldservice@gmail.com We would love to help you out and earn your business! Steve



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Problem: How do I check to see if I have a bad furnace gas valve or a bad control board?

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Problem: My gas furnace’s draft inducer starts, the furnace ignitor glows but the furnace never gets a gas flame. Do I have a control board problem or do I have a gas valve problem? I have checked my pressure switch and the pressure switch is closing when the draft inducer is on. How can I test the gas valve and control board to see which part is at fault?

Answer: Thanks for asking this question. First, I would recommend that you test to make sure all your safety controls are closed and the safety controls are allowing electricity to flow through them. The safety controls would be the pressure switch, which you have already tested, the rollout switches, and the limit switch. If any of the safety controls are open then the furnace will not operate. We have a really good post and Youtube video on testing safety controls on the following page: https://arnoldservice.com/problem-how-do-i-test-my-gas-furnace-rollout-switch-limit-switch-pressure-switch-and-flame-sensor/ I would like to suggest that you make sure that the gas valve and the furnace’s gas cock are turned on. If you have an LP furnace make sure that the LP tank is actually filled well enough. Make sure that if your thermostat has batteries that the batteries are in good condition.  We have two really good YouTube videos below made by Gray Furnace Man that show how to test gas valves to see if the gas valve is getting power or not. If the gas valve is getting power and not opening then you more than likely have a gas valve problem. If the gas valve is not getting any power when it is supposed to be getting power to open then more than likely you have a control board problem.  Below are two great YouTube videos that explain how to test a gas valve with a clamp-on meter and how to test a gas valve with meter probes. Thanks so very much to Gray Furnace Man for making these videos! If you have any questions please comment below or email us at arnoldservice@gmail.com. We hope this helps you solve and fix your furnace problem. 

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Problem: Please help me identify my gas furnace parts, functions and how they operate?

Problems: We have these questions asked many times: Where are the various parts on my gas furnace located? Many of our potential customers ask where is the hot surface ignitor, gas valve, flame sensor, control board, draft inducer, limit, and rollouts on my gas furnace located? I can not find where this part is located? Where are the parts located and what function does each part perform? How does a gas furnace operate?

Answer: We have these questions asked a lot. Below we have a really good super great YouTube video where AC Service Tech LLC shows and explains where the gas furnace parts are located and what the functions are for each gas furnace part. This is an excellent gas furnace troubleshooting video! Thanks so very much to AC Service Tech LLC. for making this excellent educational and informative video!! The video shows where the following gas furnace parts are located: control board,  control board fuse, low voltage transformer, thermostat, blower door safety switch, blower motor, blower motor capacitor, inducer motor, inducer motor capacitor,  pressure switch, limit switch, rollout switches, hot surface ignitor, flame sensor, burners, and gas valve. 

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Problem My Gas Furnace Will Not Heat! What Furnace Parts Might Cause This Problem?

Problem: My Gas furnace will not heat or work. What furnace parts might be the cause of this problem? 

Answer: We have this question asked lots. There are 6 main parts that can cause your furnace to not heat. Some of these parts can be blamed or misdiagnosed as bad when actually the part is good. The only way to find out if the part is bad or not is to do some testing. Below we have a really good super YouTube video where AC Service Tech LLC shows and explains what the 6 most frequently misdiagnosed parts are and how to test them. I have listed below the video many troubleshooting links where AC Service Tech explains how to troubleshoot each furnace part in detail. There are also links to the troubleshooting tools that AC Service Tech uses in the video. Thanks so very much to AC Service Tech LLC. for making these excellent informative videos!! 

The 6 parts that are blamed and misdiagnosed most often are:

  1. Flame Rod or Flame Sensor- Usually cleaning the flame sensor will fix the problem.
  2. Gas Valve –AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  3. Pressure Switch-AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  4. Control Board-AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  5. Blower Motor is bad or on High-Efficiency furnaces, the ECM Blower Motor is diagnosed as bad-Many times a motor run capacitor can be replaced on PSC (Permanent Split Capacitor) blower motors and it will fix the blower motor problem. Most of the time the ECM motor module is bad and the motor is not actually bad. Replacing the motor module is less expensive than replacing the entire ECM motor.  AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  6. Heat Exchanger is bad. If one of your rollout switches is going off where you have to reset the rollout switch then this is a sure sign that you have a heat exchanger or venting problems. Make sure your condensate drain is open and your vent is not obstructed if you have a 92% or above condensing furnace that produces water during the winter.

Below we have a great video made by AC Service Tech LLC. that shows the

Below are many links to a more detailed explanation for troubleshooting the problems described in the video. Thanks so very much AC Service Tech LLC. 

Related Videos: -Top 10 Pressure Switch Problems-  https://youtu.be/bY6QcnlbutI -Pressure Switch Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/v9QWIr9TIVU -Cleaning the Condensate Tubing-  https://youtu.be/guf3TESb3V0   -Pressure Switch Testing and Replacement-  https://youtu.be/6P6r6POGHDcHow -The Pressure Switch Works-  https://youtu.be/9DAEZvkyO9A -Why The Pressure Switch Wont Work While the Condensate Drain is Clogged-  https://youtu.be/XKAyznghlro -Using The SDMN6 to Test Pressure Switches- https://youtu.be/mKtGL8NJ58Q -ECM Blower Motor Testing: Make Your Own -ECM Tester- https://youtu.be/lKsIgjEJDII   -X-13 ECM Blower Motor Testing-  https://youtu.be/SamEuSzvYbEECM -Variable Speed Blower Testing- https://youtu.be/locNv9WsanA -10 reasons Why The Blower Motor Won’t Turn On- https://youtu.be/T5j4Q8Zp_qk -4 Reasons Why the Blower Motor Won’t Shut Off- https://youtu.be/wX3hCqwUjkE -What Type Of Blower Motor Do I Have-  https://youtu.be/EHwTZFvv-2Q -240 volt PSC Blower Motor Fan Speeds- https://youtu.be/5GITgsRmSZ4 -How to Tell the Difference Between Blower Fan Motors- https://youtu.be/EHwTZFvv-2Q -Gas Valve Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/euUrufn6AsI -Combination Gas Valve, How it Works-  https://youtu.be/7m5ZDvOoVwU -Smart Valve Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/qjrrXmLlLRc -Furnace Flame Sensor and Rectification Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/LtfghUYfl-4How -Flame Rectification Works-  https://youtu.be/kfQ2ivr4gSw -Single Rod Spark Ignition and Flame Rectification- https://youtu.be/GNYdOIvWyyk   -Two Rod Spark Ignition and Flame Rectification- https://youtu.be/dUFcVJXJ8Vg -Troubleshooting the Furnace Control Board- https://youtu.be/phsUYxo75jU -Thermostat Wiring to a Furnace and AC Unit- https://youtu.be/GoThAlOvSts -Heat Pump Thermostat Wiring Explained- https://youtu.be/tf2OxCDwlFY -Thermostat Wiring Diagrams- https://youtu.be/h24-n9kyw0w -Clogged 90% Furnace Heat Exchanger- https://youtu.be/sNlWZEzSfrA -Why the Furnace Sequence of Operation is Important- https://youtu.be/uKsRpYmwlnM Electrical Diagnosis Tools: UEI DL389 Multimeter http://amzn.to/2xAdaJf UEI DL479 Multimeter with temp sensor http://amzn.to/2jtsUbJ Magnet Jumpers- https://amzn.to/2PyKPQZ Alligator Jumpers- https://amzn.to/2PxqJXn Irwin Wire Stripper/Cutter/Crimper http://amzn.to/2dGTj2V Water Column Manometers FieldpieceSDMN6 Dual Manometer Pump – http://amzn.to/2jyK5Ka UEI Digital Dual Manometer – https://amzn.to/2CWC6BD Supco Universal Adjustable Pressure Switch -.01wc -10.0wc – http://amzn.to/2G1y0py 3/16″ x 3/16″ x 3/16″ brass barbed tee – https://amzn.to/2INSRhQ 1/8″ NPTF x 3/16″ barb fitting for reading wc pressure – https://amzn.to/2G563Bq Combustion and CO Detectors: Testo CO detector https://amzn.to/33yqkqK Testo 310 Res Combustion Analyzer https://amzn.to/2NuYAO5Testo 310 Res Combustion Analyzer with printer https://amzn.to/33vLl53 Testo 320 w printer  https://amzn.to/33xZbUz Vacuum Tools: JB 6 CFM Vacuum Pump – http://amzn.to/2nqbvo8 CPS 4 CFM Vacuum Pump – https://amzn.to/2DxgPwY Appion Valve Core Removal Tool – http://amzn.to/2uYr8WL Appion Blue 3/8″ to 1/4″ Vacuum Hose – http://amzn.to/2uYlVyc Appion Red 3/8″ to 1/4″ Vacuum Hose – http://amzn.to/2uYg6Ro Yellow Jacket 1/4″ by 1/4″ 3’ hose – http://amzn.to/2umtcod Appion 1/4″ by 1/4″ and 3/8” hose – https://amzn.to/2Zyxzx9 Uniweld 1/4″ by 1/4″ 2’ hose – https://amzn.to/2GFov1Y CPS Vacuum Micron Gauge – http://amzn.to/2v1nM3O Checking the Charge Tools: Yellow Jacket Refrigerant Gauge Set http://amzn.to/2aenwTq Refrigerant hoses with valves http://amzn.to/2aBumVI Compact Ball Valve for Refrigerant Hose https://amzn.to/2KUisW8 QuickDisconnect 90 for refrigerant hose https://amzn.to/2MMtVcg RectorSeal Bubble Gas Leak Detector http://amzn.to/2ckWACn Fieldpiece ST4 Dual Temp Meter http://amzn.to/2wc1ME3 Fieldpiece Bead K Type Temp Sensor https://amzn.to/2DBwKfs Fieldpiece Wet Bulb Temp Sensor https://amzn.to/2RRI7Tw Fieldpiece TC24 Temp Clamp https://amzn.to/2qHLyjZ Refrigerant Leak Detection Tool: Accutrak VPE Ultrasonic Leak Detector https://amzn.to/2nFYKVe

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Problem My Gas Furnace will not turn On? Nothing Happens?

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Problem: My gas furnace will not turn on? Nothing happens when I turn the heat up on my thermostat to start my furnace. What could be the reason that my gas furnace will not start?

Answer: We have this question and problem asked many times. I have had this problem with my own furnace over the years. Below we have a great YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains 8 reasons why that a gas furnace will not turn on. Many thanks to AC Service Tech for making this excellent troubleshooting video! Here are the 8 short reasons why the gas furnace will not turn on. If you would like an explanation of the reasons I would highly recommend watching this 12-minute video.

Reasons why a gas furnace will not turn on:

  1. No power to the furnace. Make sure that you check the power switch, the circuit breaker, and the door safety switch to make sure they are all on. You can tape the door safety switch down so the furnace will be on and check with a voltmeter set to “Volts AC” to see if you are getting power between L1 and neutral wire on the control board. You should be getting between 110 to 125 volts AC between L1 and neutral.
  2. You could have a bad transformer or a bad low voltage fuse. You should be getting 24 to 29 volts AC between the R and C terminals on the control board. We sell low voltage transformers on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the low voltage transformers that we sell.
  3. Something could be opening the low voltage circuit like a condensate pump low voltage safety switch. Please click here if you are interested in the low voltage condensate pump safety switches we sell. 
  4. The thermostat wire could be shorted out or you could have an intermittent electrical, loose connection.
  5. The thermostat could be bad. If your thermostat has batteries make sure the batteries are in good condition.
  6. The control board could be bad and the board might not be allowing power to go to the inducer motor. You could have a bad relay on the control board. Please click here if you are interested in the furnace control boards that we sell. 
  7. The inducer motor might have a bad inducer motor capacitor. Please click here if you are interested in the inducer motor capacitors that we sell. 
  8. The inducer motor might be bad. You might need a new draft inducer. Please click here if you are interested in the draft inducers that we sell. 

Below is a great video made by AC Service Tech that explains the 8 reasons why a gas furnace does not start. Thanks so very much AC Service Tech!

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Question: What Are the Top 10 Furnace Troubleshooting Problems?

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Question: What are the top 10 gas furnace troubleshooting problems? What should I be looking for if my furnace stops working?

Answer: We have this question asked quite often. We have a really good YouTube video from Word of Advice TV that discusses the top 10 furnace problems. Jay took the list from 315 service calls that he made during one heating season. One half of the video discusses the top 10 furnace problems and the other half of the video discusses honorable mention furnace problems.  Many thanks to Word of Advice TV for making this excellent video!  Here is the list of the top 10 problems and some of the honorable mention furnace troubleshooting problems. Please feel free to email us anytime if you have any questions. Our email address is Support@arnoldservice.com We would love to try and help you out and earn your business!

  1. A dirty flame sensor is the number one furnace troubleshooting problem.
  2. Having a dirty furnace filter that causes the furnace to go off on high limit. The furnace has poor airflow.
  3. Bad inducer motor.
  4. Bad blower motor.
  5. Bad control board.
  6. Bad gas valve and tied with having found a bad heat exchanger in the same number of service calls.
  7. Bad ignitor and tied with having found a plugged or stopped up evaporator coil in having the same number of service calls.
  8. Bad ignition module.
  9. Bad thermostat and tied with having found a dirty pilot assembly in having the same number of service calls.
  10. Plugged or stopped up condensate trap.

Honorable Mention Problems: 

  1. High limit switch stuck open.
  2. Bad pressure switch.
  3. Noisy blower wheel or motor.
  4. Bad 3 wire pilot.
  5. Blown control board fuse.
  6. Furnace breaker tripped.
  7. Leaking collector box.

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How Do I Bypass My Thermostat to see if the Thermostat is Bad?

Problem: My air conditioner or furnace will not work. Is there a way to test the thermostat to see if the thermostat is the problem? Can I bypass my thermostat to see if the thermostat is bad?

Answer: We have this question asked many times. The first thing that I would like to suggest that you do would be to make sure that if your thermostat uses batteries to make sure the batteries are in good condition. Also, make sure that the power switch on the side of the furnace is turned on. We have seen many preventable service calls where all our customers had to do was flip the power switch on the side of the furnace! With the furnace door’s safety switch taped down and with the furnace’s power switch turned ON use a voltmeter set to “Volts AC” and test between R and C (com) terminals on the furnace’s control board. You should get 24 to 28 volts AC (alternating current) between R and C on your furnace’s or air handler’s control board. If you are not getting 24 volts AC then you might have a blown fuse on the control board/transformer or a burnt-out low voltage transformer. We sell low voltage transformers on the following page: Please click here to see the low voltage transformers we sell. 

If everything checks out on the low voltage side then you can test to see if the thermostat is at fault by bypassing the thermostat. Bypassing the thermostat is a great way to troubleshoot the thermostat to see if the thermostat is at fault. We have a really good YouTube video from Word of Advice TV that explains in detail how to bypass the thermostat to see if the thermostat is bad. Thanks so very much to Word of Advice TV for making this informative, excellent video. If you have any questions please email us anytime. Our email address is Support@arnoldservice.com  If you would like to comment then please feel free to comment in the comments section below. We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

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Problem: My furnace needs a new control board. Is there any way I can bypass the control board so I can run my air conditioner?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Problem: My furnace needs a new control board. Is there any way I can bypass the control board so I can run my air conditioning? We have this question asked quite often during the summer months. The problem is that the blower fan will not come on because the fan relay on the control board has failed. It is on the weekend when getting a control board is impossible or the person does not want to wait on a new control board to be shipped in before they can use their air conditioner.  It is hot and they need air conditioning now.  I wanted to make a post and write about how to bypass the control board to get air conditioning back on while waiting for a new control board.

Answer: This answer is intended to be used on PSC  (Permanent Split Capacitor) motors and not ECM (electronically commutated motors). If you have an ECM motor do not try this. If you have a 220-volt air handler do not try this.  If you are not comfortable working with electricity and working with your hands then do not try this. We here at Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. are not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment that might occur when doing this control board bypass. This answer is intended to help you get your air conditioning working again while you wait to have a new furnace control board installed. I feel so very sorry for people who have to wait on a control board to come in when wanting to run their air conditioner on those hot summer days and nights! I know that I would want to have air conditioning if there was any way possible! I hope this will help you get your air conditioner back on until you can get a new control board installed. We have a really good video below made by Travis Poe and HVAC contractor. Mr. Poe explains how he bypassed a furnace control board to run the blower by tying into the furnace door switch. This is an excellent idea! Thanks so very much to Travis Poe for making this great YouTube video. Below the video, I have another idea where I explain how to bypass the control board and connect the blower motor using an extension cord. You could use either method. Mr. Poe’s explanation seems to be a lot simpler than my explanation. 

You can also bypass the furnace control board with a heavy-duty extension cord as I describe here. This is the email I wrote to one of our potential customers when they asked if there was a way to bypass the furnace control board so the family could get air conditioning while waiting on a new control board. Here is my answer: The control board is used to start and stop the fan motor on your indoor furnace blower motor in both heating and air conditioning mode. There is a fan relay on the board that controls the blower motor. The control board should have nothing to do with the AC coming off and on because on most boards unless you have a high efficiency two speed AC. The only function of the control board for most AC installations is to provide a junction for the two Y wires at the furnace control board and the control board is not used to turn the outdoor unit off and on. The thermostat controls the AC outdoor unit to go off and on through the Y connection. The control board is used to turn the fan blower off and on. If you could by-pass your control board fan relay and run an extension cord to your fan blower motor then this would allow you to run your AC. You should be able to do this by turning the power off to your furnace and disconnecting the wires that go to your blower motor from the control board. Usually, there are 5 wires that come from the blower motor. Black, White, Blue, Yellow, and Red.  The Black, Blue, Yellow and Red wires are the furnace speed wires. The white wire is usually the neutral or common wire. You will only use two of the wires black and white coming from the blower motor to connect to the extension cord. I would suggest using a heavy gauge extension cord with at least 14 gauge wire because some blower motors require on the average 5 to 12 amps of power. You will need a good extension cord so it does not rob the blower motor of electricity. I would suggest using electrical tape to tape over the ends of the blower wires that you do not use so they will not short to ground.  You would hook the hot wire usually black (high speed)  on the blower to the black wire of a stripped extension cord with a wire nut then hook the white (neutral wire) of your blower motor to the white wire of the extension cord and plug the extension cord into a 120-volt outlet. The blower motor should start and run.  Turn your furnace back on so you will get 24 volts to the thermostat. Turn your thermostat to cooling and turn the thermostat down so your outdoor AC comes on. This should provide AC for your home. You will need to of course manually unplug the blower and turn up the AC thermostat when you want the AC to stop. I hope this helps you get air conditioning until your new control board arrives. God Bless you and your family today and always! Steve

 

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