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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    23

    Need help with a zoned system

    ADillon--I see you're a professional member in my area. I've got a new house, built with Lennox HVAC components (three zones) which could use some sorting. Can you tell me the name of your company or how I can get in touch?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,659

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    23
    Thanks. Sorry for any breach of protocol. Hopefully this'll get his attention.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,123
    Where are you located... works better to fill out your public profile. City/state is good.

    Tell us a little about your zone issues.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    23
    I'm in West Chester PA.

    I have the following Lennox equipment:

    XC16-048
    EL296UH090XV48C
    Harmony III, three dampers, three zones, one per floor (basement is conditioned space with its own thermostat)
    3 Comfortsense 7000 thermostats, one per floor/zone
    HCWP3-18 humidifier
    Lennox Healthy Climate filter box with 5" MERV 16 filter
    What I consider poor quality ductwork (leaky and restrictive in all the wrong places) with building cavities used as returns.

    All of this is new equipment installed last August.

    To begin with, I need a review of the ductwork. A physical inspection for leaks (I've found and sealed a bunch myself) plus a review of the design and flow of the accessible parts of the ducts. In particular, the design of the sheet metal leading to and from the filter box almost certainly can be improved upon.

    Next, as I wrote in another thread, it appears that the furnace is communicating (I gave my understanding of "communicating" in that thread) but the outside unit, Harmony III and Comfortsense 7000s are not. Therefore I may need to replace some or all of this equipment to achieve my desired result of even, balanced temperatures within zones with quiet operation and low airflow noise.

    Right now, the system is badly out of balance and, because, I think, of the inability to achieve variable flow from the air handler, the system is quite loud from some registers. Finally, (and easier to deal with) there is an intolerably loud whistle from the zone 3 damper (basement zone). I'm sure there's a screw or a piece of sheet metal in there and (I'm not asking for any DIY information) that damper is going to cause me to have to pull it out of the duct if I don't hire someone first.

    The installer, despite trying two different wiring setups, was never able to get the humidifier working. I built my own circuit and finally got it to start for the first time in its short life just yesterday. Humidity, as of this morning, had finally started rising from 30% and had reached 35% throughout.

    If I keep the present equipment, I'd certainly like to find someone who could at least look after the above, plus tweak the Harmony III as necessary to achieve the quietest and most balanced operation possible. There's probably more, but so as not to wear out my welcome I'll leave it there. Thanks for any response.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    23
    Sorry, in rereading my post, I see that I forgot to mention that I'd be interested in having manual J and D calculations done. There's no evidence that the were ever performed, and I'd be interested in the results.

    Additionally, the house is reasonably tight. Because of this, I originally wanted a dedicated ventilation system but wasn't going to ask for any further work from this particular installer (with whom I was unfortunately stuck by the terms of my contract with the builder). At this point the only option is probably an HRV plumbed into the return, not an ideal solution in my view.

    I guess what I'm looking for is an installer in my area who is interested in quality work, IAQ, and an efficient, quiet HVAC system. Short of that, any comments on my current setup will be much appreciated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    23
    I see this has gotten a number of views, but no takers on a reply. I also took the time to read through some other posts, and I get that most professionals on here are occupied with running a business and making a living. There's also a lot of talk about the state of the HVAC business and the price-concious attitudes of some consumers.

    In my case, I wanted a first-rate system in a new house. For me, a first-rate system begins with quality ductwork, not the equipment. But with no choice on the installer (who wasn't working for me directly anyway) I was stuck with someone who thought panned joists for returns and sloppy, leaky ductwork was okay. And who demanded about a 400% markup on any equipment changes I wanted to make, without altering one bit his plan for builder-grade ductwork. Hard to believe, maybe, but I have better things to do than figure out how to correctly wire a powered humidifier, or crawl around sealing ductwork and register boots, and modifying supply registers for proper airflow.

    I apologize for expressing my frustration here. From the professionals on this site who care about their trade, I would appreciate any suggestions in response to what I posted above, or a contact from an HVAC professional in my area who takes pride in his work. I would just point out that, other than my complaint about the 400% equipment markup on upgrades, nowhere did I say that my purchase decisions were motivated by price. Thank you.

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