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I have a 96% efficient furnace. It was properly installed…

I have a Bryant 96%...
I have a Bryant 96% efficient furnace. It was properly installed and we've used it for the past 5 years. I turned up the thermostat to start it up this morning for the first time this year. Within a few minutes the house filled with smoke. I oooked at the furnace and there;s no fire going on. I know this furnace well, having studied all the manuals when we first had it installed. The air system for the house consists f a 14" soft duct down from the big floor vent, which has a new dust filter installed. The air is pulled over the heat exchanger by the secondary blower and out to the distribution plenum. That system is entirely isolated from the combustion side, which is three burners aimed into the heat exchanger and a forced air furnace fan that feeds the burners with a lot of oxygen. The air leaves the heat exchanger as slightly warm and wet exhaust air, which goies outside via a pvc 2" pipe.
So how can anything burn in the house/plenum side?
Many thanks.
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/23/2017
Rick
Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 23,313
Experience: 40+ yrs. experience as a licensed oil & gas technician.
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Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.

All I can do is speculate based on your description. It's possible something (mice?) got into the house side of the heat exchanger over the Summer. When you fired up the furnace their nesting material started smoking from the heat. If it's steam not smoke (smoky odor?) it's possible water from AC condensate collected inside the heat exchanger (house side) and the heat from the heat exchanger caused it to flash to steam.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you - I have to go out for a few hours but will come back late this afternoon. The thing on my mind is that the house side of the heat exchanger doesn't get hot enough to start anything smoking - even if something was right up against the heat exchanger because there's the huge blower fan pulling air over it that would cool it. However, I'll get down there and a couple of the big ducts off plenum box off and look inside later today.

You're welcome. The general ambient temp isn't too hot but the heat exchanger tube surface itself is very hot.

Rick
Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
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