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  1. #1

    AC lines along exterior of house

    We had a completely new AC system installed this past September. We have a 2-zone system with 1 air handler in the basement and another in the attic with 2 outside condenser units on the side of the house (we have hotwater baseboard heating). According to our long-time AC company, the new system was necessary b/c our former 15-yr old AC unit had a leak in the system among other things. So replaced both air handlers and both outdoor units.

    After a hot day this week, the upstairs unit was not blowing cool air so I called the AC company. The guy just left and apparently the system (STILL) has a leak. They have proposed to run new lines from the outside units up the side of our brick home through the soffet and to the upstairs unit rather than bust thru walls in our house.

    My question is whether there is any way to accomplish this w/ better aesthetics? Thinking a run straight up the side would look ugly to be frank, I plan to ask them run the lines next to the downspouts and then up into the soffet so that we don't have that line so conspicuous up the side of our red brick home. The color will be the same as the downspout they say.

    Another question, I formulated after searching on here is whether exterior lines are going to fail or be less efficient in any way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    lineset cover



    if done right.. can look like a gutter.
    FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    SE Texas
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    I've installed many linesets on the exterior of buildings. It's done all the time because the alternatives can be time-consuming and expensive. I understand your concerns, but if done in a workmanlike manner, the lineset doesn't really look ugly, though a lineset that looks neat and tidy to me might look ugly to you.

    You can ask your A/C company about using this -

    http://airtec.rectorseal.com/slimduct_main.html

    No, the exterior installation will not cause the lines to fail or be less efficient.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Running along the outside of the structure should not present any problems unless you end up with an excessive length line set. It will need to be protected from damage. We normally run straight up and cover over with downspout matching whats existing. It could be painted in a shade to blend with the brick and would be almost invisible from a distance.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    In doing many houses over the years, sometimes it's possible to find a closet on each level that line up with each other and those can be utilized as a chase from attic to basement and then traverse the basement to the outdoor unit. If that's not feasible for any reason, then chasing the exterior in a hidden space or back of the house is probably as good as it will get. Shouldn't see any adverse affects, particularly if it's encased in some line-hide or similar PVC cover. The cover can be painted or left white, your choice. Expect some extra costs though. I'm a little disappointed that the installing company didn't find that there was a leak when they evacuated the system but some leaks are tough to find.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    Expect some extra costs though. I'm a little disappointed that the installing company didn't find that there was a leak when they evacuated the system but some leaks are tough to find.
    They've already stated that this will be done at no cost to me. The AC Co. said there was a communications failure between whomever diagnosed the problem and the installation team. I just want to make sure we get optimal performance, so I appreciate the comment that performance should not be affected. We've used this company for our plumbing and Heating/AC needs since we moved to the area 6 yrs ago so I just needed a 2nd opinion on the performance.

    Regarding the aesthetics, our house is all brick, and the outside condenser units are smack dab in the middle of the side of the home. A line running up it would not look great, but hopefully they can run the line 15 feet over to the downspout and then up and into the soffet. That would not be conspicuous at all IMO.

  7. #7
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    If the downspout is at the corner of the house, there might be a problem getting the lineset into the attic, especially if that's an area where the hip of the roof comes down to the corner. In addition, it will depend on the pitch of the roof, how much facia there is and where the top wall plate is located in relation to the rafter tails and facia. In other words, running the lineset in that area could be a problem. Out the the hundreds of linesets I've run in my career, I've never run one at the corner of the house for all the reasons I stated. Good luck, though. I hope it works out for you.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  8. #8
    Thx, Sandshark. I'll leave the final decision up to my AC Co. Hopefully, if the corner of the house is an issue re: entry into the attic, they will consider going up alongside the downspout and then horizontally back over to a pt where they can enter - sort of a sideways U shape (not sure if the copper lines can bend like that ... presume so?). We shall see ... I really appreciate the counsel on this, I will have peace of mind until I talk w/ my AC Co.


    Quote Originally Posted by SandShark View Post
    If the downspout is at the corner of the house, there might be a problem getting the lineset into the attic, especially if that's an area where the hip of the roof comes down to the corner. In addition, it will depend on the pitch of the roof, how much facia there is and where the top wall plate is located in relation to the rafter tails and facia. In other words, running the lineset in that area could be a problem. Out the the hundreds of linesets I've run in my career, I've never run one at the corner of the house for all the reasons I stated. Good luck, though. I hope it works out for you.

  9. #9
    To close the loop on this episode for future owners who may see this post, my AC company ended up going w/ the lineset cover system going up the side of the house. They had a ivory/clay color that resembled the downspout color, however they did have to run it straight up b/c the distance was too great to take it over to the downspout and run it along that.

    The part I'm salty about it that I paid several hundred for this install even though the new system wasn't working. The money isn't an issue at all, but I feel the solution I purchased in September never really worked. It just wasn't worth bickering about before they did the work (you never want an unhappy person working on your body or your house). I may ask around for referrals for a new AC company in the future.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for posting back with an update. You have every right to be upset with what happened. I would be, too. There's nothing worse than being told one thing and it ends up being something else, especially in this situation where it ended up costing you quite a bit of money. You should let them know why you're leaving them, if you do decide to do that. Even if they don't give you additional compensation for their screw-up, at least you'll have the satisfaction of getting it off your chest.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  11. #11
    Well, the upstairs vents started to blow air that was close to room temperature this past week. The temp is barely getting below 80 and of course the evenings are cooler in the Northeast these days. So now I have to prepare for another battle when they attempt to charge me as the receptionist mentioned that we are one year out from the free service agreement. Am I wrong to presume that 1) this system shouldn't need a charge so soon? and 2) their work from this Spring to install the line outside the home should still be under warranty?

    Also, I had an issue with the air handler dripping onto my bathroom ceiling about a month ago which turned out to be caused by faulty installation of the air handler draining!

    Thread:

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread....ndler-in-Attic

  12. #12
    John Culpepper's Avatar
    John Culpepper is offline CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS Professional Member*
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    An a/c system is a sealed system. No refrigerant should need to be added after installation, unless there is a leak.
    Nemo me impune lacessit.

    How much blood do I have to bathe in to get clean?

    Don't look down on anyone unless you're helping them up.

  13. #13
    So our new unit had a bad coil in the air handler. Approx 3 weeks ago the HVAC tech came out and put dye into the unit to find the leak. This week they said it was the coil and thankfully the unit was still under warranty so this will be fixed.

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