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  1. #1

    A/C for a Cape Cod in NJ?

    Hi,

    We are thinking of purchasing a Cape Cod in Northern NJ that has baseboard/radiators for heat and Window A/Cs. The house does not have an attic. We have always had Central A/C and Heat (we are first time home buyers and have lived in apartments before).

    Based on this info, wife has "instructed" me to ensure that we can update the A/C to a central system. Here are my questions:
    1. My daughter has skin allergies/eczema. Is it better to think about just an A/C unit and leave the radiators alone for heat?
    2. Should I be looking at split ductless A/C systems instead since getting duct work might be a pain in a Cape Cod?
    3. When I do get an HVAC contractor, what kind of questions should I be asking?
    4. Are there any specific brands I should be looking at?
    5. If I do get a ductless system, will I be able to adjust the temperature using the same thermostat I have for the radiators?


    Sorry if I sound clueless (I am). I would like to get these answers from an unbiased source.

    Thanks,
    MT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,225
    I just looked up the Cape Cod style house and it looks like it has no basement or attic If thats the case ductless might be the way to go. I install Mitsubishi and have had good fortune with them. You would have a different thermostat for such a system.
    America; first we fight for our freedom,
    then we make laws to take it away.

    -Alfred E Newman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,248
    Quote Originally Posted by dspguy2 View Post
    Hi,

    We are thinking of purchasing a Cape Cod in Northern NJ that has baseboard/radiators for heat and Window A/Cs. The house does not have an attic. We have always had Central A/C and Heat (we are first time home buyers and have lived in apartments before).

    Based on this info, wife has "instructed" me to ensure that we can update the A/C to a central system. Here are my questions:
    1. My daughter has skin allergies/eczema. Is it better to think about just an A/C unit and leave the radiators alone for heat?
    2. Should I be looking at split ductless A/C systems instead since getting duct work might be a pain in a Cape Cod?
    3. When I do get an HVAC contractor, what kind of questions should I be asking?
    4. Are there any specific brands I should be looking at?
    5. If I do get a ductless system, will I be able to adjust the temperature using the same thermostat I have for the radiators?


    I would like to get these answers from an unbiased source.
    I am not an Unbiased source ... but here are responses -
    ___ to Clueless in NJ

    1. Use multi mini-split heat pump(s) set to ~69'F in winter.
    Set the radiators to 67- 68'F
    ___ depending on time of year and operating costs.

    What is your electric rate?
    What is fuel for the radiator heating? Costs?

    2. Definitely. Options include several arrangements.

    3. How much infiltration exists ?
    How much do you charge for blower door test?
    When can you perform?
    Can you provide and properly set-up an outside air unit with a HEPA filter?
    ... Guardian by Broan/ NuTone
    http://www.broan.com/products/produc...6/tab/overview

    In addition, due to daughters health issues, How many & where should I locate portable HEPA filtration units?

    4. Mitsubishi, Sanyo, ...

    http://us.sanyo.com/HVAC-By-System-T...-VRF-Heat-Pump

    5. WHY would you wish to make it COMPLICATED? (see # 1 reply). Programmable t-stat for each : Set and forget.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,271
    Quote Originally Posted by dspguy2 View Post
    Hi,
    Based on this info, wife has "instructed" me to ensure that we can update the A/C to a central system. Here are my questions:
    1. My daughter has skin allergies/eczema. Is it better to think about just an A/C unit and leave the radiators alone for heat?
    2. Should I be looking at split ductless A/C systems instead since getting duct work might be a pain in a Cape Cod?
    3. When I do get an HVAC contractor, what kind of questions should I be asking?
    4. Are there any specific brands I should be looking at?
    5. If I do get a ductless system, will I be able to adjust the temperature using the same thermostat I have for the radiators?
    ,
    MT
    You probably have a basement. The basement and the whole house should be kept <50%RH throughout the spring/summer/fall seasons. Humidity control avoids mold/dust mites/bacterial growth which causes various allergy problems. Most homes have adequate fresh air infiltration during the cold windy winter season. But during calm winds and moderate temperatures, good indoor air quality requires mechanical make-up fresh air ventilation. Good air filtering also provides the benefit of removing allergyns from the air.
    I suggest checking out the whole house ventilating dehumidifier with optional near hepa air filtering for fresh air circulating and whole air filtering. Units like the Ultra-Aire WH dehu with optional merv 14 air filtering. The mini splits with several indoor cooling coils would work well with UA providing the fresh air ventilation and <50%RH when there is low/no cooling load and the outdoor dew points are high enough to cause indoor air quality problems.
    Regards TB

    http://www.ultra-aire.com/
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    I am not an Unbiased source ... but here are responses -
    ___ to Clueless in NJ

    1. Use multi mini-split heat pump(s) set to ~69'F in winter.
    Set the radiators to 67- 68'F
    ___ depending on time of year and operating costs.

    What is your electric rate?
    What is fuel for the radiator heating? Costs?

    5. WHY would you wish to make it COMPLICATED? (see # 1 reply). Programmable t-stat for each : Set and forget.
    I don't mean to offend you - why do you think you are not an unbiased source?

    We are served by PSE&G. They have a couple of rates:
    http://www.pseg.com/info/environment...m-rs_rates.jsp
    The radiator is run by gas.

    For #5, my family is not very technology savvy. Making them go to two different thermostats will really confuse them.

    -------------

    teddy bear, We saw that they had a dehumidifier in the basement. I don't know how that would really hook into the A/C system.

    -------------

    LibertyTree, this house has a basement. But, that will only help for the downstairs area. The upstairs area will somehow have to get ductwork. I don't really want to take on a major project.

    -------------

    I know this is an unfair question and I don't have all the data - what price range should I be looking at for a ductless system? The house has total 9 rooms that will need to get A/C (It's a 2500 sq ft house)?

    Thanks for all your help,
    MT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,463
    Ductless will probably be 1.5 to 2 X what a conventional system would cost. They use very little energy and you will have no duct loss. You will need at least 2 outdoor units for 9 rooms unless you use an extremely expensive Mitsubishi city-multi or comparable daikin system which are generally used for commercial applications. The residential multi systems go up to 8 indoor units to one outdoor unit. You can use programmable stats and never have to touch them but with ductless you have to use their tstat and it will not work for the boiler/radiators. If it is a dehumidifier like one they sell at Home Depot you can't hook duct to it, it has to be a whole house dehumidifier such as a Sante Fe or Ultra Aire.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,248
    Quote Originally Posted by dspguy2 View Post
    I don't mean to offend you - why do you think you are not an unbiased source?

    We are served by PSE&G. They have a couple of rates:
    http://www.pseg.com/info/environment...m-rs_rates.jsp
    The radiator is run by gas.

    For #5, my family is not very technology savvy. Making them go to two different thermostats will really confuse them.

    -------------

    teddy bear, We saw that they had a dehumidifier in the basement. I don't know how that would really hook into the A/C system.

    -------------

    LibertyTree, this house has a basement. But, that will only help for the downstairs area. The upstairs area will somehow have to get ductwork. I don't really want to take on a major project.

    -------------

    I know this is an unfair question and I don't have all the data - what price range should I be looking at for a ductless system? The house has total 9 rooms that will need to get A/C (It's a 2500 sq ft house)?

    Thanks for all your help,
    MT
    Electric rate = $0.18

    NJNG
    New jersey Natural Gas Co. $1.23/ therm

    Impact on Residential Heating Customers
    ----__________--100 therm bill
    ----------------____________---1000 therm annual bill
    Current Prices
    Customer Charge _$8.25 $8.25__ $99.00
    Delivery_______ $0.5155 $51.55 __$515.50
    BGSS _________$0.5837 $58.37 __$583.70
    Total _______$1.0992 $118.17 __$1,198.20
    Proposed prices- effective 10/1/12
    Customer Charge _$8.25 $8.25_ $99.00
    Delivery _________$0.5495 $54.95__ $549.50
    BGSS ___________$0.5783 $57.83__ $578.30
    Total ____________$1.1278 $121.03 $1,226.80
    Increase _________++++_____ $2.86 $28.60
    Increase as a percent______ 2.4% 2.4%

    $0.18 $/ kW
    100,000 BTU/ therm
    3,412 BTU/kW
    29.308 KW/ Therm
    $5.275 $/ Therm ELECTRIC
    $1.230 $/ Therm Nat Gas
    _______ Economic Balance Point
    4.289 COP

    Given COP > 4, the use of heat pump at the given electric rate equates to a Very High outside temperature
    for THE Economic Balance Point
    * apparently temperature must be > 50'F to achieve COP > 4. (W.A.G.)
    Last edited by dan sw fl; 10-07-2012 at 07:04 AM.
    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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