With that much duct leakage and static already that high, I would be hesitant to seal the ducts. You may be creating a high static and high noise problem.
Proceed with caution.
Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.
Thanks for all the helpful replies and info. I was a better educated customer when the contractor came in today to fix up some of the issues.
The independent duct testing guy showed up early and the contractor wasnt due to arrive for a while, and the tester didnt want to hang around for a long time so the two of us taped up all the supply and return registers. I packed the underside of the kitchen and bath cabinets with some dense insulating material using a piece of dowel to pack it in and just left a pocket between the duct opening in the floor and the register, effectively making a sealed area.
We retested at 10% total loss. On rechecking the infinity control, at full fan the furnace is at the same 1400cfm, the blower rpm went from 1164 to 1170, and the static pressure went from .78 to .79.
The noise level is okay. Nothing discernible at the registers, within 3' of the big return opening theres some definite air sucking white noise, but its neither unpleasant nor near anything important, its just in a hallway. About the same sound as the old furnace whenever it ran.
If its a lot noisier when the a/c is running with a wet coil, I can experiment with removing some tape from the ducts, especially the insulating material I put in the cabinets...that helped with the sealing numbers but the air was mostly coming out of the front and sides of the cabinet into the same room.
They also levered up the furnace a bit and put a piece of metal strapping on the side and hung it from the ceiling to remove some stress from the poor air cleaner box on the bottom of the stack.
Unfortunately, the Cleaneffects unit seems to have some issues with being hooked up at the same time as the infinity control. It normally starts when presented with a "fan on" signal from the furnace, which is present when a regular thermo is attached. With the infinity control and the four wire digital connection, they said there is no "fan on" signal they can tap into and the only way they could make it work was to strap the unit "on" all the time, and advised me to leave the fan running on low all the time. Which was my plan so thats okay.
According to the contractor, the manufacturer said nothing bad would happen should I turn off the fan and leave the air cleaner powered up...some ozone might collect and be dispersed the next time the fan went on, but it wouldnt arc or catch fire or anything really unpleasant.
The Inifity does have a EAC connection (110v) on the control board for any Electronic air filter. It is only energized when the fan is ON. That is the way I had my contractor hook up our AprilAire 5000. That way I will not have an ozone issue if someone turns the fan off.
Originally Posted by cfb
Can I get confirmation from one of the pro's that this is feasible? I had two guys in my garage for 4 hours huddled over a meter, a manual and a regularly ringing cell phone and they said no. I talked to the installation manager and said I'd really like the unit to turn off when the fan was off and he said it wasnt doable.
Is it possible that the aprilaire (and the carrier made eac) work differently from the cleaneffects? This one take four wires, two of them are fan on and heat on, without looking I'd say the other two are power and common ground. It sits turned on (and mine has all the lights on), but until it sees the fan/heat on, it doesnt engage. I think they just wired the fan detect to hot.
While looking over their shoulder, I saw a couple of unused four pin connectors. Maybe one of those is the EAC? That just seems to easy for them to not have done it.
I have absolutely no intention to DIY, but I wouldnt mind telling them how they can do it when they come back tomorrow to finish fixing the flue.
Where is the Clean Effects getting its power from? Always on 110V outlet? Leave the controls the way they are now, but have them power (110V) the Clean Effects from the EAC connection on the control board. To be honest I had to tell my installer how to do it. No DYI, just telling them how to hook it up. Why would Carrier put a 110V EAC (max 1amp) connection on the control board.
Just like they have a control for humidifiers, I used to have a seperate control for my AprilAire 700, now controlled by the control board and outside sensor. Works great, humidity is always right, not like my office where I have to suffer with a humdifty of < 10 %. when the heat is running a lot.
From what I saw, they have a transformer mounted in the cabinet and thats connected to the hot and common for the cleaner.
Only thing I can think of that'd sink the onboard connector is if its just a pure power on/off to the unit. The cleaneffects is powered and "on" all the time, it just takes a signal for the fan.
It has a ten minute "dry" cycle in case you've washed the honeycomb filter and put it in wet, so it waits ten minutes after power up and fan on. It wants the air flowing over it for the ten minutes before it charges up. Something vague about mixing water and electricity being a bad idea
The clean effects is powered off the transformer ( load side)of the air handler (24v) Hooking it up to 110v would burn it up.
Genius = The guy who can do anything...except make a living!
Can always get a seperate 24V transfomer which gets powered from the EAC lead on the board. But still might not meet the requirements to run for 10 minutes etc.
To the OP why the Clean Effects, and not the Carrier or AprilAire unit. For us the AprilAir really helped with my sons allergies and I have not been sick this season.
I didnt talk with the guy about the aprilaire, maybe he doesnt carry it. None of the 6 contractors I asked to bid offered the aprilaire. Most were offering the trane/AS unit with one offering the honeywell. I know the aprilaire is well regarded, but CR had the aprilaire, carrier and trane/as unit ranked about even at the top of the ratings, with the trane/as unit having the lowest electric cost to operate.
Our installer did offer both the carrier and cleaneffects, but said the carrier required a $120 filter replacement every year while the cleaneffects didnt.
I also have a space problem. The furnace is upflow, sits on a knee-high pedestal in the garage on top of the plenum with a WH next to it, and the three distribution ducts are boxed in sheet rock over the top of the unit. That limited what cleaners, furnaces and coils would fit. As it is, the top of the coil is only about 6" below the ceiling/supply opening.
So basically over 10 years, without a need for filter replacements (in the cleaner or in the returns) that $1200 pays for the cleaneffects. We're going to be here for a while, and I've got a compressor and shopvac right next to the furnace, so cleaning it out every month or two is no big deal to me.
Glad to hear the EAC does do some good. We're loaded with allergies and my wife has asthma. I've been a little skeptical of the process. I know it'll do a fine job of cleaning the air presented to it, but equally aware that walking around on the carpet or sitting on the couch poofs up a bunch of stuff that probably just resettles somewhere else and never makes it to an air return.
My wife says after 2 days of the new unit filtering that her breathing feels better. I'm not sure how much of that is real and how much is psychosomatic, but either way...
Good news is the salesman called late last night. He started off as an installer some years ago and isnt happy with this outcome, so he's going to investigate further and see if theres some way to get it hooked up properly.
Pic of the finished product, such as it is...
One thing I would like to say. If you found these big holes you could put your finger through, why couldn't they? If you could build a air dam for the toe kick outlets under the cabnits, why couldn't they? We duct test and seal also but beware of the test results because it has its flaws. The % of leakage can be very misleading, the right way to interpet the test is cfm of leakage @ .1" w.c. The point is to know the true cfm of leakage you would need to know the static pressure at the location of each leak! The solution is to make sure the equipment and plentums are absoluty sealed because that is where the static pressure is highest. A tight duct system is more important than your air cleaner because it can have a direct effect on how much infiltration there is in the house.
They didnt do it because they were lazy, I guess. I asked one of the guys when they were all but running down the driveway after the duct test failed if they'd sealed all the interior spaces around the returns and registered and he said "yes". That wasnt true. The salesman oversold and the installers under delivered.
I agree completely that the unit and intakes should be solidly sealed. Besides the dust and whatnot in the crawl and attic spaces, we have a high ground asbestos count in my neighborhood. Whenever you open the crawlspace door and stick a flashlight in, the hanging dust is pretty dense.
Seems I will eventually work this out with the installer. I'm persistent. My 9pm conversation with the salesman helped him "feel my pain"...