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A HELPING HAND

INSIDE & OUT : Furnace's Blower Keeps Running for a Reason

November 18, 1995|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q: After turning off my furnace, I notice that the blower continues to run for several minutes. Is there a way to make it run a shorter time?

L. Q.

Santa Ana

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A: The blower continues to run after the furnace has been turned off so it can cool off the firebox, says Scott Blanke of Central Plumbing & Heating in La Habra.

The blower time can't be changed on older furnaces, but it can be adjusted on newer units. Most people adjust them because the blower runs too long and ends up blowing cool air into the house.

Some people might want to make it stop running altogether when the furnace is turned off, but that's not energy-efficient. By letting the blower cool the firebox, you're getting warm air distributed through the house that would otherwise be wasted.

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Q: I have a two wooden Lazy Susans in my kitchen that get lots of use. They are starting to stick when turned. What could be the problem?

T. C.

Corona del Mar

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A: Usually these fixtures fail because of the bearings, says cabinetmaker Joe Adams of Orange. Over time, as they get used a lot, the grease inside wears out, and the bearings begin to seize up.

Underneath the unit, there should be a nut that connects the turntable from the spindle. Once you remove the two parts, you may be able to access the bearings. Try using some light machine oil on them and turn the bearings to spread the lubricant thoroughly.

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Q: We have a couple of interior doors with minds of their own. One swings open unless it has been completely shut, and the other closes unless it is left almost completely open. This happens even if there are no breezes. Any ideas?

C. C.

Huntington Beach

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A: There are a couple of possibilities. The first thing to suspect is that the door jambs are no longer plumb, says Frank Eckert of Arrow Hardware in Orange.

Make sure the screws connecting the hinge to the door and jamb are tight. These can loosen over time and affect the way the door opens and closes.

If this doesn't work, use a level on the jamb to see if it's true and even. If not, the problem could be caused by the natural settling of the house. This usually isn't serious, unless you're finding other problems such as cracks in the door and window jambs. You could try shimming one of the hinges by putting a small washer underneath the hinge, making it level again.

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Q: I painted the hallway of my house this spring, and in the course of doing some cleaning, I tried taking some marks off the walls with a sponge and a general spray cleaner. I found that the marks came off, as did some of the paint, which was surprising because the can said the paint was "scrubbable." How can one clean marks off of paint without damaging the surface?

F. N.

Anaheim Hills

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A: A paint's washability is going to depend on its quality and sheen, says Rich Zelle of Hal's Paint & Decorating in Fullerton.

A flat finish, which is often used in living rooms, bedrooms and hallways, is probably the hardest to clean because the finish can be worn down by washing it. Semi-gloss paints, which are usually used in kitchens and bathrooms, are among the most washable, because the enamel content keeps the finish from being broken down while it's washed.

One option to remember the next time you paint is to use an "eggshell" finish in rooms where you would normally use a flat paint. Eggshell finishes look very much like flat finishes; however, an enamel has been added to the paint to give it added durability.

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Q: I have wood blinds in my dining room, and when I pull the cord to raise them, they tend to get stuck halfway, and I can't pull them up any higher.

Any ideas on how to make them work better?

M. M.

Lake Forest

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A: It's probably dirt or dust that's accumulated on the pulley, and it will have to be removed and replaced or cleaned out, says blinds installer Chuck Antrim of Cypress. Many people get in the habit of pulling blinds up quickly, which is a mistake. Pulling them up slowly will lengthen the life of the components.

* If you have a question about your home or garden, A Helping Hand will help you find the answer.

Send questions to: John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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