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  1. #1

    New construction/unfinished basement

    i'm building a house, 1550 sq.ft over a full unfinished basement in Chapel Hill,NC. Been with working with two guys who's quotes are similar but One installer is using a slightly better components. Here's the unit I'm thinking of going witH

    XR 15
    Variable speed handler
    7 day program. T-stat

    I'm building the house but don't know anything about HVAC. does this sound like a good setup? for another $ I can upgrade to the XL16i.

    I want to put the main fooor system in the basement and worry about the basement HVAC later. The basement has a flex room, one bedroom, full bath, laundry room and the rest is just kind of play area. I have a 10 X 14 mech. Room and 16" floor trusses with two chases designed in them. 9'6" ceiling height, hopefully sheetrock basement ceilings when we finish it out. both guys are telling me to put it in the attic and save the truss space for the basement HVAC when we finish it out. I totally understand, but I don't want to put it in the attic. I have heard and read that everything is more efficient in a controlled space. Any thoughts?

    I'll be finishing th basement in stages. after we move in the First thing to finish will be the guest bedroom and bath. is it possible to turn down 2 ducts for that. we could close them off when not in use. until we get the money to get the appropriate unit for the basement? is there one system that we could put in now to handle the entire house and basement. Does anyone here think that there is enough room for all the ducts for main floor and basement in the floor trusses

    new to the site. It's very helpful. Thanks for all the info
    Last edited by beenthere; 02-07-2012 at 05:22 AM. Reason: price

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    1,113
    Problem with residential customers knowledge is they think the unit used is the important part.

    Reality is you can throw a ball at pile of split system and anyone it hits will be a good system that lasts for 35 years.

    What matters is the installation. If the two companies you are talking to have yet to provide you with a Load calculation, CFM requirements per room, and a detailed itemized list of how they will install the equipment you need to go back to them and get this information. Granted you will not know what most of it means BUT you can post it here and the wonderful people on this site will have a ball taking it apart with a fine tipped comb and supplementing suggestions for the contractors to modify their installation procedures.

    If they give you a list of basic dribble the guys here will warn you ahead of time.

    OR

    The operators of this wonderful establishment has provided the public with a map they can use to find local HVAC companies in your area.

    Good Luck and I hope to see those installation procedures soon!
    If you're too "open" minded, your brains will fall out.
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,330
    The system in general is more efficient if the duct system is in the conditioned space.

    Hard to heat a basement properly off of the same duct system as the first floor, since they will have different heat losses.
    Contractor locator map

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,739
    If I were to build the home (that is how I approach most bids and probably why I lose many), I would put the unit in the basement (too many advantages to list with my poor typing skilles).

    I would run a seperate main duct for the future basement finish. cut in the take offs and cap.

    That will make zoning (2-4) in the future very easy and will save you money. I would recommend a 2-stage HP for ur area. Also, make sure to add a 4"-5" hi-eff. filter. I hate the tiny filter on the AH.

  5. #5
    Thanks guys

    One guy sent a nice itemized list of everything and gave 3 options with pricing. It's in PDF format, don't know how to post it here and I don't feel like typing everything out. He also did a load calc based on my insulation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,739
    Quote Originally Posted by Cuccamonga View Post
    Thanks guys

    One guy sent a nice itemized list of everything and gave 3 options with pricing. It's in PDF format, don't know how to post it here and I don't feel like typing everything out. He also did a load calc based on my insulation.
    That's a lot of work on his part. It sounds like he'e trying to earn your trust and business.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    2,001
    As George said two trunks with zone dampers for upstairs and downstairs would probably be a good idea. Something like the XL20i would do a great job of staying in first stage while you are only heating the upstairs and then wil have capacity later for heating both floors. Without seeing the house I can not cure sure say this is ideal but that's how I would design it. The additional cost of the XL20i and zoning over the cost of the XR15 will still be less than adding a second system and you get a much better unit. If you zone the Trane XL20i make sure you use Trane zoning, it's incredible. See my YouTube channel for videos ofit in action.
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,330
    A PDF showing prices, would be deleted. No prices allowed.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta
    Posts
    655
    Hello "Cuccamonga"...

    Listen to those who are encouraging you to keep ductwork inside the conditioned space. In this day and age, I can't understand why anyone would advocate putting any parts of your system in the attic (even in NC) when you have a basement area to put in a proper mechanical room. I know you are in a pretty mild climate and maybe it used to make sense, but running ductwork in inside walls and under floors (basement ceiling) is really the way to go.

    Another thought, sheetrocking the basement ceiling makes it really hard to fix things when they go wrong. I'm just in the process of tearing the sheetrock off my basement ceiling to locate a problem, my new house is only 7 years old (just moved here).

    Just another worth...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    So. NH
    Posts
    748
    I agree with the duct in conditioned space, it really makes no sense to do it otherwise if you can. I also dislike Sheetrock ceilings in basements, there are too many reasons to list but future expansion [elect, cable, data, leaks, etc.] are a few. I've installed them for people with the warning you'll be sorry, it usually only takes a few years for them to realize it was a bad idea. There are many very nice suspended ceiling options out there, at a minimum you should consider using them for a trunk-line sort of access through the space, hallway maybe.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,575
    There is no reason to put the ductwork in the attic when you have "truss" joists with the cavity for ductwork already in place. Just keep in mind that you'll need to leave the siding/sheeting off of home until the ductwork is slid thru these truss cavities. Oh yeah, I'll bet they didn't tell you that you can't put ductwork into these cavities once the house is built...right? You'll need to have the ductwork placed before the outside siding or sheeting is installed or cut holes back thru it later (which will be really big mess). So using this pre-made space later for the basement makes no sense at all....and they're kinda not telling you that. As for sheetrocking the basement ceiling, well nothing wrong as long as plumbing from kitchen or bathrooms are not above that area, however I've seen a LOT of basement ceilings removed within just a few years when the washer/shower/bathtub/dishwasher/ etc...leaked thru a nice expensive basement ceiling!!! There are some really nice "suspended" decorative ceilings out there that only drop the ceiling a couple of inches. Don't let them talk you into putting the ductwork overhead in attic!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta
    Posts
    655
    Of course, you would NEVER want to run ductwork in the outside walls of your house, otherwise, why even bother with insulation?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,773
    71 chops

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