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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    Instead of foaming the entire roof deck I'm going to ask a contractor to just frame around the HVAC unit with 2x4's and use regular fiberglass batts, to basically make a mini conditioned room around it. Hopefully in a manner that can be taken out easily when the furnace is replaced latter in life. Maybe using 2" foam would work better for that reason.

    Obviously the furnace is going to need an air supply for burning, so a new 3' long duct will be needed from the furnace to the outside enclosed wall.

    Can this duct be closed off during the summer when the furnance is obviously not running? Obviously if someone forgets to remove it before turning on the heat it will not be good!

    I think that is about the best I can do to bring everything into conditioned space short of ripping the old system out and redoing it.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190
    Thoughts on why installers are telling me this is not worthwhile, yet everything I read says it is? Who's right?
    Because we are all creatures of HABIT. It is what we always do!!!! To think otherwise would call into question our idea of "best practices"
    The main change for the latest Ed of Man J was it's attention to duct energy losses.

    2 thoughts first, you need a trunk and branch duct system not that spaghetti system with 2x the surface area AND
    I think it would be easier to install some "knee walls" that would more effectively get a good deal of your equipment and duct inside the thermal envelope.
    THere is not a lot of leakage with that flex but I think you could see a 1/3 reduction SWAG
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    Genduct, thanks for that Spiritual Wisdom and Godliness or was that some wild a** guess? LOL.
    A 1/3rd reduction in energy use would be great!

  4. #17
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,183
    instead of building a box around equipment, adding make up air for furnace in box,
    bringing some ducts into living space and worrying about closing off make up air for
    furnace in a box...(which you wouldn't have to worry about in the summer fyi)..
    you need to put pen to paper and estimate what ball park costs this would require.

    materials, labor, pita factor working in attic, sheetrock finishing for cathedral,
    painting..adds up to quite a bit to me and I'm a diy person.(except sheetrock finishing)

    then the problem of finding someone to competently do the work.

    I'm all for ductwork inside living space. but all of the duct work, all plenums
    and all returns. all equipment.
    but this isn't your set up.
    no common area to feed all ducts to all rooms inside the living space.

    say you decide to foam insulate the attic..still you have work to do.
    finding a competent installer.
    removing insulation in attic at minimum
    3" from eaves of house.
    moving junk out of attic.
    venting bath fans, stove, adding a duct for make up air for furnace
    and gas water heater if w/h is in attic.
    all prior to the foam install.

    granted your duct layout is crap. I think we all agree on that one.
    and like Genduct says..flex is less leakage than hard pipe.
    I would add that you still have to mastic seal duct take offs at plenum.
    plenums to equipment, return air and each supply box where it enters
    house & supply grill is attached. flex duct leaks at each end. depending
    on the care that was used to cut holes in supply plenum, duct leakage
    varies.

    so add up costs for foam & venting, make up air & duct sealing.

    compare the costs of option 1 (equipment in a box etc) to option
    2 (foam etc).

    how high are your utility costs now?
    have you been in the house a full heating and cooling season?
    comfort issues? hot rooms, cold spots..allergies?

    I can't say that I'd spend time building box for furnace and furring down
    cathedral for one duct.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    Ok thanks for the information. I'll chew on the numbers a bit and see what works out best.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    752
    I agree, Air sealing and insulating in its self will give you great results.Build a insulated room around the equipment in the attic ive seen done before. redesign the whole house is not needed un less your duct were undersized and you have bad static pressure.


    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    I really don't think you would save much by moving the duct inside. If you moved all of it and the furnace/coil yes but not just some of the lines. The duct system could be designed much better and wrapped with r8 insulation but the biggest savings will be air sealing the ductwork. Then foaming the roof deck or air sealing the attic floor and better insulating the attic floor and ductwork and adding a radiant barrier to roof deck.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    Here are some photos of the main trunk being furred down with framing. The left hand side, has a boxy room sticking out. Ontop of that is the old distribution box which will feed the bathroom beneath it, and two 6" flex tubes will continue to the two bedroom closets and exhaust in the actual bedrooms.

    I have a general contractor friend that is doing the labor. Material costs are around $1,000. I figgure if I save $30 a month break even will be around 3 years. I did find two ducts in the attic that did not even have a zip tie securing them to the ceiling register, just pressure fit.

    If I were to do it again I would of NOT furred down the main cathedral ceiling and just had a huge exposed duct work trunk.
    second photo is of hole in bathroom ceiling.
    last photo is of furred down bathroom ceiling. Name:  hvac repairs 001.jpg
Views: 627
Size:  23.7 KBName:  hvac repairs 004.jpg
Views: 336
Size:  33.4 KB

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83

    bathroom ceiling

    this last photo is of bathroom.
    I used a panoramic cell phone that is why the framing looks so bowed out. IN real life it is straight. Name:  hvac repairs 012.jpg
Views: 256
Size:  23.6 KB

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,338
    In the photo where flex exits fur down over bath bump-out, I would advise a 90 round sheetmetal elbow be used there vs. just bending the flex to make the turn downward. Flex duct may be indeed flexible, but it doesn't do 90 degree turns very well. Tends to retrict air movement, as about the only way you'll get a sharp 90 with flex in that situation is to kink it.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    THANKS! you are absolutely right, I cannot believe how many kinks there are in the entire system, especially off the air handler header.

    Who ever did this system should be ashamed IMHO.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,183
    in my 1000 sq ft house I save $25 a month with ducts in conditioned space.

    I used remrate software to compare ducts in attic vs ducts in side house. fur down w/ducts inside furdown.

    I've seen fur downs with no duct & problem was leakage to attic.
    mastic sealed everything.

    congrats to you for helping your sister out. family is important.

    best of luck to the both of you.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    I've seen fur downs with no duct & problem was leakage to attic.

    So in this situation they had 2x4's with drywalls acting as the duct work? Common sense tells me drywall is not a good material for duct work?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,286
    Quote Originally Posted by newstudent View Post
    So in this situation they had 2x4's with drywalls acting as the duct work?
    Common sense tells me drywall is not a good material for duct work?
    Obvious answer is : What happens to drywall ( ... semi-wet) when used as supply duct WITH > 85% R.H. Supply Air?
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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