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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Historic Home In Charlotte, NC

    Hello All,

    I am meeting with a few mechanical contractors Monday/Tuesday for quotes concerning our historic home, built in 1850. The house is 4,800 sq. ft. with dual pane windows. The home consists of 2,800 sq. ft. first floor, with 13 ft. ceilings. and a 2,000 sq. ft. upstairs with 9 ft. ceilings.

    Currently, the home has a gas furnace (basement) and an outdoor A/C unit that is barely able to keep up with the heating/cooling demands of the first floor. We are looking for a new solution to be able to efficiently manage the environment within this huge home.

    I am not loyal to any particular brand, unless they have a unique solution to deal with this house, but I am concerned with the quality of the installation. That being said, is another furnace the way to go? Or should I be entertaining, HP,dual fuel, gas packs, ductless (for the second floor)? We rarely are upstairs, so the on demand feature of ductless is appealing. Could this also be accomplished with zoning?

    Sorry for the nubile questions. Trying to cut through the marketing and technology to arrive at an efficient solution. Thanks in advance. I will follow up with the advice given by the contractors Monday and Tuesday. Just would like to be more educated before I talk to the professional so it is less of a one way conversation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    south louisiana
    Post Likes
    older homes were often balloon framed. this means that the
    walls are open from floor (over crawlspce/basement) to attic.

    this was for cooling, when we did that naturally.
    once you add forced air heating/cooling, these open walls
    become a problem.

    to effectively & efficiently heat/cool an older home, the type
    of framing should be determined. insulation, or lack of insulation
    should be evaluated. balloon framed houses seldom have insulation
    in walls.

    without insulation the house will be difficult to heat/cool.
    air within empty walls sets up a convective current which
    contributes to difficulty to condition.

    I'd hire someone who can evaluate the house, test the house
    for air leakage & provide you a whole house solution.
    sealing air leakage into the house will make it more comfortable
    and affordable to heat/cool. testing ducts for duct leakage will
    show where ductwork needs to be sealed so that the air
    you pay to condition actually makes it into the house.
    just adding more equipment doesn't always solve the issues
    of an older home.

    at the very least, hvac contractors should do a manual J for sizing
    the system.

    once you know more specifics..they you can make better choices.

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

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