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Goodman manufacturing GMPN080-4 furnace. What the heck is going on with the air filter ?!?!?!?!?!?!

furnace air filter location return air filter

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14 replies to this topic

#1 pjw73nh

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:51 AM

Goodman manufacturing GMPN080-4 furnace.
 
Ok, so one visit to my son's house yesterday for a hot water heater issue (unrelated) leads to yet another "new home owner" physical plant debacle.
 
He moved into the house a few months ago.  
 
While I was out there, we looked for the furnace air filter.  Not seeing anything resembling a filter door/drawer/slide. we took to looking inside the actual cabinet. 
 
Taking off the main side of the cabinet revealed a 16 x 21 x 1 filter just "resting" loosely against the side of the cabinet where the return air comes in.  Yes, it IS between the return and the blower, but it just sort of flaps in the breeze. When the blower starts, it pulls the filter away from the return side of the cabinet an inch or two, and I believe most of the return air just circulates around the outside of the filter.
 
There are no tracks, slides, doors or drawer.  It just sits against the side of the cabinet (on the inside), between the blower and the inside of the cabinet.  There is one small piece of what looks like coat hanger wire attached at the top of one corner holding it in place.  But for the most part it just flaps.
 
It is behind all the wires and safety interlock switch.  It does not look like the filter will come out easily. In fact, from the look of the filter, it looks like someone bent the filter in half, to get it in place, and then unfolded it. It looks pretty "jerry rigged" to me.
 
We have looked all over the return ducting for a filter and it appears that this is the only one.
 
So my questions are:
1. Is this a typical means of filtering the return air? I don't have a much experience with hot air systems, but I am very familiar with hydronic.  This just doesn't seem right to me. 
 
2. It looks to me like I need to have an HVAC/sheet metal person come in and somehow install a "door/drawer/slide" into the return duct so we get some reasonable filtering taking place. I've never done any HVAC duct work before except for wood stove chimneys, kitchen/bathroom exhaust fans and dryer vents.  . Is this something I can do myself, or who should i call?  HVAC guy or sheet metal guy?
 
Thanks for your time. 
 
Paul/NH
 
 
 
 


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#2 jumptrout

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:11 AM

How is this furnace mounted?
Return duct connected to a return plenum?

Return grille floor or wall mounted?
Open return?

Got pictures?



#3 jb8103

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

You should have more coat hanger wire brackets. Goodman makes them to hold more than just one corner. They could be stashed inside the furnace somewhere.


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#4 Scottthewolf

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:04 PM

Amana, Goodman and Janitrol are the el cheapo bottom of the line furnaces. they only come with the bare essentials.  Many of us in the field call Janitrol "Junkitrol."


Scott Wolf

#5 pjw73nh

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:04 PM

Jump,

 

Thanks for the help. Took me a couple of days, but  have a look-see at these pix ,I couldn't figure out how to post pix directly to the forum.  Hopefully they will give you a sense of how the system is configured.  Is there a way for me, or a professional to install a "filter" door/slot in the duct work?  Or do I just deal with it the way it is and for the 3-4 times a year I have to replace the filter, just deal with it? 

 

https://picasaweb.go...feat=directlink

 

 

JB Thanks for the reply.  I don't know much about hot air systems, but this setup just looked a little too "Rube Goldberg". I am surprised to hear that this is the "norm" for this level of unit. 

 

Scott, It is what it is.  I can't see getting a new one, just because this is a lower end one. 

 

 



#6 Cactus Bob

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:46 AM

how about a photo of where the return duct goes ?

is there a grill in a hallway or somewhere else ?


SORRY ABOUT THE SPELLING , I FIX GREAT , I DON'T SPELL WELL

#7 pjw73nh

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:52 AM

Hi Bob, Thanks for the reply.  I don't have one on hand I'll see if I can have him take one.   The return duct goes up straight up from the furnace to the bottom of the floor joists, then goes left and right for just about the length of the house.  It's split level so there is only one living floor above the basement.   The left leg has a large return in the living room, the right leg has  3 smaller returns. One in each of the 2 bedrooms, and one in a finished room in the basement.  All returns are wall mounted.   Does this help?

 

Thanks again. 



#8 Cactus Bob

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:21 PM

sure it does .  the grills in the rooms may be able to be switched out to ones that hold filters 

 

one more thing : does this system have AC connected to it ?

if no ac , you really don't need much filtering , back east the systems i used to work on , heat only furnance's never had air filters

 

if you have AC , you must have a filter to protect the condenser from dirt buildup


Edited by Cactus Bob, 18 December 2013 - 01:27 PM.

SORRY ABOUT THE SPELLING , I FIX GREAT , I DON'T SPELL WELL

#9 pjw73nh

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:02 PM

Thanks again for the quick reply Bob.  Yes it does have AC. Based on what the previous owner has done (not the handiest guy in the world), I am not sure the filter has EVER been changed. As I mentioned above, my son bought the house last May so we don't have a lot of history.   

 

Ok given the fact that it does have AC, and has had a crappy (inefficient) filter on it, what are the chances there is dust etc in the ducts and on the condenser?   The AC worked very well last summer. I guess I am curious to see what the condenser looks like.

 

So they make return grills that hold filters?  That seems like the best way to go.  Do they come in "standard" sizes. ?  By standard, do they come in common duct sizes (if there is such a thing) ? I'll have to look around and see what I can find.   I'd hope to not have to alter the duct work too much. 

 

Thanks again. 



#10 Cactus Bob

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:17 PM

yes they do have a lot of sizes and just screw in place where the grill was , no need to change anything

 

as far as dirt , looking at the photo of what you have , the filter as well as the blower area look clean , so i would not worry much , just don't let anymore "new" dirt get in  there

 

sometime you can put a little brick inside the furnance to hold the filter to the side


SORRY ABOUT THE SPELLING , I FIX GREAT , I DON'T SPELL WELL

#11 pjw73nh

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:40 PM

Great. Thanks for the great info.  One more thing.  One of the returns i a bedroom is floor mounted.  Do you know if floor mounted filter returns are made.  I did a brief internet search and came up empty handed.  

 

Thanks. 



#12 jumptrout

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:57 PM

All returns are made with filter back optio9ns.

Floor,ceiling and wall.Remove the existing filter grilles and measure your openings.

Buy filter back replacements and filters.

Look closely at the existing grilles.

They may already accept filters.



#13 jb8103

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:05 PM

Bob meant to say "evaporator". The condenser is outside. Both are just coils and fins, like the radiator in your car.

 

I have a spray-on, no rinse evap cleaner that I use on the typically inaccessible evap coil. You don't have to rinse it off because the condensate will do that for you. How effective is it? I really don't know. It's the kind of thing I do with my fingers crossed.

 

If you see a lot of dirt and dog hair on the evaporator, providing you are able to access it, you can use a breach brush to get that off.


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#14 jb8103

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:21 PM

Having looked at the pix, I don't see any way to get a filter drawer into the existing ductwork. The current location of the filter is not so good either, because without sufficient retaining hardware it will get sucked into the blower.

 

There really should be two long runs of wire with hooks on one end, or a big wire rectangle, that will clip in against the filter. And there should be corresponding features on the cabinet to hold the wire in place. If you can find those features, then you rig something up. Even bungee cord will do, if not too tight.

 

But! All things considered, I would rather do what Jumptrout is describing above.


Edited by jb8103, 20 December 2013 - 01:23 PM.

First, do no harm.

#15 pjw73nh

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:17 AM

Sorry to leave you all hanging on this one... I haven't had a chance to go back out to the house and do anything yet.  

 

My son met an HVAC guy while he was waiting in line for lunch last week.  He got to chatting with the guy, and explained his situation.  The gent suggested instead of anchoring the filter inside the return duct (where it currently is) with coat hanger wire, he suggested using 1 or 2 screen door return springs properly attached to a couple of the brackets to hold the filter snug against the inside of the return.

 

Anyway, armed with the knowledge I've received here, and knowing it's just a matter of putting the/a filter(s) in any way that it is safe and functional, I am better equipped to look at the system and make a determination as to which method I will use.  I will update the post after my next step.  Thanks again to all for the great information. 







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