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08-12-2012, 02:49 PM #40
What else can I do to be sure my ductwork is adequate?
08-12-2012, 03:06 PM #41Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Jun 2001
- Oklahoma City
Are your room temperatures relatively even of do you have a room or tow that's always too hot/cold? If temps are even the ductwork is at least on the right track. Also smaller equipment doesn't require as much ductwork. Your single 20x20 is too small for a 3.5ton, but would be fine for a 2 ton. If you go up in A/C size bigger ductwork is normally required.
08-12-2012, 03:09 PM #42
Remember, the sales guy has a lot to consider, and may have limited knowledge. In the unlikely event he knows enough to recommend $x thousand for duct repair/replacement, it might well lose him the job when the next guy assures you 'nah, ya don need all that.'.
Did you pay for his time? No? Then do you think there my be conflict of interest? He doesn't get paid for NOT making the sale.
Install 2 stage. Divide the incremental cost over 180 months, then subtract the energy savings, you'll feel pretty foolish not spending the extra few pennies (which may not be extra if price of electricity jumps).
Also, If high only happens 20% of the time, you are only running 'emergency brake engaged' 20% of the time. Sounds like current duct is likely more than sufficient for low stage, which will be where you run mostly. Adding a return will probably loosen the brake some for high and ensure its full off for low.
There are perfect solutions and near perfect solutions. At some point, unless you are NASA, the cost and benefit of going from near perfect to perfect simply don't match up.Which makes more sense to you?
CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%
DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!
Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.
08-12-2012, 03:33 PM #43
08-12-2012, 03:45 PM #44
I've gotta say, at this point, I may be better off waiting at least until December to see how the repairs to my 3.5 ton Rheem system impact my electric bill. Of course, I'll continue my analysis of options and may or may not decide to move on the current Trane rebate offering before it expires.
08-12-2012, 03:56 PM #45
08-12-2012, 04:08 PM #46
How old is the duct system you have at present? Did you just pay to have the sealed?Always here
08-12-2012, 04:20 PM #47
08-12-2012, 04:27 PM #48
08-12-2012, 05:16 PM #49
Have you had an efficiency test done on your existing system? How many BTU's is it actually putting out? Are the coils clean? Since you are this deep into it you may want to consider hiring an air balancing company? (Don't freak out everyone) just to get them out to the site and actually measure the cfm's leaving the supply registers. Add them up. You want them to use a FLOW HOOD. It's not expensive at all. You can even rent them yourself. Let's see what you are actually starting with, rather than just replacing equipment. You need to make what you have as efficient as it can be......a new box is not the first answer.
The return may me too small, can you add one in the master bedroom? (I understand you just have one return?)Always here
08-12-2012, 05:57 PM #50
(1) The system is at least 12 years old (mfg date 12/99) and approaching end of life. I've had 3 different issues repaired inside the condenser housing over the past 3 years. Only a matter of time before something fails again.
(2) The bottom of my condenser housing has rusted through, causing the compressor to fall over onto the accumulator. My home warranty covered those repairs last week and I'm up and running, comfortably, right now. It's only a matter of time before something else fails.
(3) The condenser housing was installed half on/half off a cement slab less than 2 inches from a sprinkler head, so the coil fins are so corroded I'm afraid to hit them with the water hose. It's only a matter of time before that causes another failure.
(4) When the unit was running before the recent accumulator failure, my electric bill was too high. For example, my monthly bill in the summer months was running 4 or 5 times the amount I pay monthly in the spring and fall. Could have been caused by the leaky accumulator... maybe the bill will go down now.
Yes, the return is way too small. Yes, I need to add a return. The air handler sits on a fabricated stand in the corner of my laundry room, which backs up to the entry hall on one side and the hallway to two of the bedrooms on the other side. I Now have one 20x20 filtered return at that corner in the b/r hallway that feeds the air handler from underneath, and I can add another at that corner in the entry hallway to feed through the same space under the air handler. This is the return solution proposed by the contractors I'm working with.
Not sure of the benefit of doing more testing on the existing system.
08-12-2012, 06:14 PM #51
08-12-2012, 06:24 PM #52Professional Member*
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
- Mount Holly, NC
that test can point out leakages to the exterior of the home, but it can also hide some.
another test is called the same thing, but the blower door it connects to is the one on your air handler. using a product called a duct blaster. it ramps up pressure on your sealed ducts, and the computer spits out a percentage of leakage. I shoot for zero... old ducts I have sealed, I accept 6% new stuff with new equipment gets down in the 3% range.
anyway, to answer your questions, the air balancing company will determine how air is distributed in each room. and that along with your floorplan should help you balance what should be in each room to what is actually in each room.The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
The three big summer hearththrobs...
The A/C repairman