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Type: Posts; User: Bear_in_HOU

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  1. I need to get connected with the local UNICO rep,...

    I need to get connected with the local UNICO rep, rather than playing phone tag. One can find pricing online for UNICO hardware (I'll be circumspect, moderators!), and it looks like the hardware is...
  2. As I mentioned early in this thread, my goal in...

    As I mentioned early in this thread, my goal in starting this discussion was to elicit feedback on what I should be considering: what works, what doesn't, what's worth the premium and what is simply...
  3. How big of a buffering tank did (do?) you use and...

    How big of a buffering tank did (do?) you use and are there any specific kinds of insulated tank that are better for this? Quick math seems to indicate that a 50gal tank provides about 10K BTU of...
  4. Agree on both of these last points. :)

    Agree on both of these last points. :)
  5. A redundant question, perhaps, but would a...

    A redundant question, perhaps, but would a supplementary dehumidifier be required with a chilled water system in a place like Houston or could a chilled water system provide all of the...
  6. A distributed fan coil system starts to sound...

    A distributed fan coil system starts to sound like a similar architecture to a mini-split system, just with water as the heat transfer medium, rather than refrigerant. Is this approximately correct?...
  7. I appreciate the spirit of what you've written,...

    I appreciate the spirit of what you've written, especially since forum rules preclude talking pricing, which is what I, or any homeowner, would really want to discuss. If you re-read what I've...
  8. If I go with the guys you suggest, hopefully they...

    If I go with the guys you suggest, hopefully they won't spit when they mention the project. ;)

    Looks like Carrier doesn't require a monthly subscription for its wireless t-stat. That alone would...
  9. This has been a big question mark with the ducted...

    This has been a big question mark with the ducted VRFs. There is a minimum efficiency spec, but it is hard to discern how to compare that versus a 'standard' system. It sounds like the price premium...
  10. I may have read more into it, then. Perhaps what...

    I may have read more into it, then. Perhaps what I get for trying to read too quickly a couple of pages of responses from people generously supplying a career's worth of knowledge. I do appreciate...
  11. In the broader ERCOT market, we only have Federal...

    In the broader ERCOT market, we only have Federal subsidies. The upside is that we have a competitive (but small) residential solar industry (install costs are running ~$5/watt before tax credits)....
  12. Will do. I think Dr. Heat Professor Cool was on...

    Will do. I think Dr. Heat Professor Cool was on one of my lists of potential vendors.


    For most of the day, I sure hope so.


    Local UNICO rep left me voice mail while I was at lunch. I really...
  13. Generous offer. I think that there may be some...

    Generous offer. I think that there may be some kids on your lawn...
  14. somehow I feel judged for even trying to get...

    somehow I feel judged for even trying to get educated about HVAC -- something mentioned in a lot of other threads -- prior to the first shovel being put in the proverbial soil.


    Not a chance.
    ...
  15. Thanks! I think I follow, though my understanding...

    Thanks! I think I follow, though my understanding was that water-based cooling was for high capacity commercial use. I am hoping for a peak heat load in the 3 - 5 ton range and our lot is a small,...
  16. If I never get away from needing the dedicated...

    If I never get away from needing the dedicated dehumidifier with the more advanced variable drive gear, then this starts to sound like the right way to go -- at least as a starting point. The sweet...
  17. If I hit 10.75, then I'll most likely be pretty...

    If I hit 10.75, then I'll most likely be pretty ecstatic, especially if I know where the 0.75 went (e.g., lower compression rings since they were cheaper). What I don't want is a car that is built...
  18. TJI rafters (most likely) with polyester mesh...

    TJI rafters (most likely) with polyester mesh stapled across. The fiberglass is then blown (BIBS) into the rafter bays for insulation. We'll need to figure out whether we care about putting in a...
  19. I think that we will end up being a lot of...

    I think that we will end up being a lot of people's best (and worst) customers. I've got the budget to pay premiums where it makes sense, but I have to have confidence that the premium is worth it....
  20. It never is, but execution will matter less if I...

    It never is, but execution will matter less if I get the wrong package in the spec up-front. For my nickel, I want to know the trade-offs, then watch the install like a hawk. The framing, flashing,...
  21. We currently average around $200/month electric...

    We currently average around $200/month electric and $48/month for gas (1300sf).
  22. Let me perhaps get more clear about the various...

    Let me perhaps get more clear about the various options under consideration:

    1) Single stage AC + (small) Gas furnace - standard Houston practice, we have this in our current home. Probably two...
  23. Yep. There have been several "Houston Studies"....

    Yep. There have been several "Houston Studies". Joe's work with a local production builder is what caused me to investigate them. However, for my neighborhood, that builder's surcharges basically...
  24. 120sf - 150sf (still running the numbers), looks...

    120sf - 150sf (still running the numbers), looks like that got left out of one of my earlier posts due to a Firefox crash. The heat gain is relatively straight-forward to model to a level that is...
  25. SWMBO disagrees. I'm mostly down to the...

    SWMBO disagrees. I'm mostly down to the mechanicals in trying to understand what the extent of the trade-offs are.


    I'll have 3 - 4 hours a day during three months of the year that will be...
  26. AS near as I can tell from the modeling that I've...

    AS near as I can tell from the modeling that I've done, it should be my only major design issue. The rest will be a simple matter of execution... ;)


    Closer to 20x80, at least on the ground...
  27. Hydronic radiant is out. No one in Houston seems...

    Hydronic radiant is out. No one in Houston seems to do it, and the heat transfer is too slow (probably why no one does it).

    The idea of using the water heater tied to the air handler is a good...
  28. Quality will be as high as I can afford, but the...

    Quality will be as high as I can afford, but the quantity is largely fixed and is coming from us (my wife wants as much natural daylight as we can get).


    We are working on the shading aspects....
  29. Advice Sought for a High Performance New Construction in Houston

    My wife and I are in the early phases of designing a new house in Houston. We have started working with an Architect, and we hope to engage a builder here soon. I've spent about three years reading...
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