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They'd like to sell you a new system! - Review by Richard M | Bel-Red Heating & Air Cond

Bel-Red Heating & Air Cond

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They'd like to sell you a new system! 12/28/2011

I definitely cannot recomment Bel-Red! (This is a REAL review, not faked!): Bel-Red, my original furnace installer, came to check a problem with my 12 1/2 year old Trane XV80 furnace "short cycling". Diagnosed major repairs (inducer motor, control board, 2 pressure switches) totalling over $2400 - and recommended that it was not worth repairing - saying it should be replaced. Bel-Red quoted about $5800 to replace my system (furnace plus electrostatic cleaner). I was a bit skeptical that 3 major systems would fail at once, so I found an on-line diagnostics manual and ran continuity checks on the pressure switches and a set of diagnostics tests on the control board. I lacked a manometer to test the pressure (vacuum draw) of the inducer fan, but it seemed to be running fine. One of the pressure switches was "sticky" and not properly responding, but I could mimic its actions by a temporary jumper and get the furnace to run - crude but effective diagnostics. I was a bit worried I'd buy a new pressure switch and start a cascade of parts purchases and not get it fixed myself, so I finally called Snohomish Heating & AC (independents). The repairman was at my house about 5 hours after my call, ran continuity and pressure checks and concluded I had a single failed (High) pressure switch in about 20-25 minutes. He left and picked up the part, returning to my house to install and re-test. The furnace now runs perfectly for $244 in repairs, not $2400 in repairs as proposed by Bel-Red - and not a new furnace for $5800 - as proposed by Bel-Red. I should have been warned already since the original install was botched (they did fix it) - when they disconnected the flue pipe in the attic, and my new furnace (12 years ago) was venting directly into the attic. Just by chance, I was in the attic to do some wiring a few months after the install, and found moisture everywhere - condensed on rafters and sheathing...and traced it to the separated furnace flue. I definitely cannot recomment Bel-Red! more
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