Gravity Warm Air Furnace – (Bryant)

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    • #277479
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I have a gravity warm air furnace. I’m not certain of its age but was in the home when we moved in 8 years ago. I believe it may be the only furnace in the home since its inception (circa 1950).

      I have been attempting to find some type of filter for the furnace but can not located one. Does a filter exists for gravity warm air furnaces? The labeling states gravity warm air furnace only and does not state forced
      air. Thanks.

    • #296347
      Selgas
      Participant

      If you are referring to an AIR filter for the inlet air connection then most heating shops can supply one even if it has to be cut to shape and they are not expensive. All air fliters should be cleaned and serviced on a very regular basis otherwise the pollutants trapped in them will severly affect the heater’s operation and cause it to fail due to insuffient air flow through the ducting.
      Hope this helps.



      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #296348
      nicktheplumber
      Participant

      If you have a gravity hot air furnace, these do NOT employ air filters, because they would limit air flow. Such systems are very reliable and function well, IF they were properly installed, which means careful balancing. I’ve seen 100 year-old furnaces that still heat well. They are incredibly inefficient, however and take up a lot of space (for the ducts). You need to make sure the heat-exhanger dosen’t leak carbon monoxide, which can kill you.

      If you have a well-built 50 year-old furnace, and you don’t mind spending exhorbitant amounts on fuel, you can use the system. Otherwise, you’d be better off replacing it with a high efficiency forced hot air furnace.

      NtP

    • #296349
      u001dxm
      Participant

      If the gravity type furnace does not have a filter, how are the pollutants prevented from entering the home?

      Could the furnace be the cause of illness in the home (i.e. colds, sinus problems, etc.)?

      Should we replace the furnace at this point? We had the furnace checked for carbon monoxide leaks by our gas company about 5 years ago (parts & labor plan), should we have another check done at this point?

      The furnace works fine, the house is warm. The prior comments about carbon monoxide are alarming.

      If we elect to replace the furnace does the installer normally replace the duct work throughout the home and or perform the chimney inspection?

      We also have not had a chimney inspection since we moved in (1996). Should we have this performed?

    • #296350
      AKPlumber
      Participant

      I’ll leave the technical questions to others since i’m running late at present, just wanted to throw in here that you should strongly consider getting a CO detector, one on each floor of your house. This is now even a code here for all residential dwellings.

    • #296351
      Selgas
      Participant

      Nick
      I am not familiar with the term you use there “Gravity Furnace” can you enlighten me please. My mind is racing here and I can envisage a heating unit being suspended by some freek force of nature in midair throwing out hot air into a ducting system – this cannot be the case – please teach me the term.
      Cheers mate.



      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #296352
      nicktheplumber
      Participant

      Peter,

      The term “gravity furnace” does sound like something that Scotty from Star Trek might be asked to fix, especially after the Enterprise took an amidships photon torpedo hit…

      These are really old hot air heating systems that didn’t use a fam to circulate air through the furnace. They had very large furnaces (which sat on the ground in the cellar and didn’t really float). They depended entirely on the principle that hot air rises and cold air descends, through the force of gravity, to effect a flow of heat throughout the house. Because of this, systems had to be engineered precisely, and large air ducts had to be used, to minimize friction. For the same reason, air filters were almost never installed, as these would block the reurn air flow. Because of the huge furncaes and large ductwork that eminated and returned air to the furnace, these furnaces tend to look like monstrous octopuses.

      These systems are extremely simple (no fan, no moving parts at all, except maybe a flue damper), and about the only major thing that can go wrong with them is rust out of the heat exchanger. They really should be replaced with a modern, more efficientnd cleaner forced air furnace, but some are still in service after 100 years.

      You probably don’t have them down under because the Australian authorities might prohibit them as inefficient and potentially unhealthful.

      NtP

    • #296353
      AKPlumber
      Participant

      Just wanted to answer the question involving a chimney inspection. Excuse me if I am wrong, but I’m also going to assume that perhaps you have’nt had it cleaned either? My point I want to make is that the structural integrity of the flue as well as it’s freedom from obstructions and excessive soot is extremely important not only for efficiency and operation of the furnace, but much more importantly, for your health. A cracked wall or any other such means of escape of flue gasses other than the rooftop offers a means for these gasses to enter the structure of the dwelling within walls and into the living quarters potentially raising the risk of serious health problems. I strongly recommend inspecting it.

    • #296354
      Selgas
      Participant

      Nick

      Thank you for your detailed reply I can now invisage the unit in it’s proper light – rather than startrek!!

      Just to keep you further amused I am NOT in Australia – I am in New Zealand and yes we do have kinda strict rules down here as to what and how things can be fitted and maintained as well as by whom.

      Thanks again I was really at a loss to understand what that kinda heater was – now I am enlightened!!!! I see the LIGHT at last.

      Thanks again.



      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #296355
      AKPlumber
      Participant

      Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent heating on this planet…

      Hitch Hikers´Guide to the Universe – EARTH>>Interesting and diverse cultures, still a primitive planet with inhabitants struggling to understand themselves…. don´t buy a computer there!

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