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  1. #1

    Am I Jumping the Gun?

    Hello all,

    I am new to the forum so thanks for any pro's advice in advance.
    I just bought an old house at the beach. In 2004 the previous owner installed a Bryant electric heat unit in the attic and a Bryant AC unit in the yard. The owners did not spend a penny more than they had to on the place and it shows in the quality of everything in the house. The efficiency of the system has been on my mind since the purchase.

    I do not plan on doing anything myself as I am not an HVAC guy nor plan to be. The pros are the pros. BUT I do want to be a bit knowledgeable about the process.

    There are a few things I want to do:
    1. Move the current round diffusers from the center of the room to another offset location so I can install ceiling fans.
    2. Look into replacing the diffusers with closable registers so I am not heating/cooling unused rooms.
    3. Expand the house into a 8x20 sunroom that does not currently have any registers/ducts.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Are there closable registers available that will attach to 8" round ducts?
    2. Is it allowable to move ceiling diffusers away from the center point of the room to mount a ceiling fan?
    3. Do I upgrade to a central air system now knowing that I will be expanding the house by an extra 160 sq ft, or do I just bite the bullet and live with the inefficient system until we decide to expand?
    4. A close relative has a brand new Carrier heat pump (only the outdoor unit) that they are considering giving us. This may be the ULTIMATE newbie question, BUT... is there such a thing as too big? AND if it would work, is it an insult to the HVAC guy to install a unit that we were given?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Just trying to get a 101 course before talking with my local company.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,193
    Quote Originally Posted by Dcislander View Post
    Hello all,

    I am new to the forum so thanks for any pro's advice in advance.
    I just bought an old house at the beach. In 2004 the previous owner installed a Bryant electric heat unit in the attic and a Bryant AC unit in the yard. The owners did not spend a penny more than they had to on the place and it shows in the quality of everything in the house. The efficiency of the system has been on my mind since the purchase.

    I do not plan on doing anything myself as I am not an HVAC guy nor plan to be. The pros are the pros. BUT I do want to be a bit knowledgeable about the process.

    There are a few things I want to do:
    1. Move the current round diffusers from the center of the room to another offset location so I can install ceiling fans.
    2. Look into replacing the diffusers with closable registers so I am not heating/cooling unused rooms.
    3. Expand the house into a 8x20 sunroom that does not currently have any registers/ducts.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Are there closable registers available that will attach to 8" round ducts?
    2. Is it allowable to move ceiling diffusers away from the center point of the room to mount a ceiling fan?
    3. Do I upgrade to a central air system now knowing that I will be expanding the house by an extra 160 sq ft, or do I just bite the bullet and live with the inefficient system until we decide to expand?
    4. A close relative has a brand new Carrier heat pump (only the outdoor unit) that they are considering giving us. This may be the ULTIMATE newbie question, BUT... is there such a thing as too big? AND if it would work, is it an insult to the HVAC guy to install a unit that we were given?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Just trying to get a 101 course before talking with my local company.
    Question number one. Yes there are, But it is not advisable to close too many and restrict airflow.
    Number 2. Yes you can move them
    number 3. We dont know your income etc. But if you are going to add ductwork you may want to see if it has the capacity.
    As far as number 4 goes, Would you take your own steak from the supermarket into a restaurant and ask them to cook it??
    And yes there is too big, If it is too big it would cool the house too quick and leave the humidity in the air and make it feel clamy and very uncomfortable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,193
    Honestly though if it is a slow season you shouldnt have a problem getting someone to put in your condenser, Just make sure they match it up right, And make sure it is sized properly, Make sure the contracter does a heat load calculation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    Quote Originally Posted by Dcislander View Post

    Here are my questions:

    1. Are there closable registers available that will attach to 8" round ducts?
    2. Is it allowable to move ceiling diffusers away from the center point of the room to mount a ceiling fan?
    3. Do I upgrade to a central air system now knowing that I will be expanding the house by an extra 160 sq ft, or do I just bite the bullet and live with the inefficient system until we decide to expand?
    4. A close relative has a brand new Carrier heat pump (only the outdoor unit) that they are considering giving us. This may be the ULTIMATE newbie question, BUT... is there such a thing as too big? AND if it would work, is it an insult to the HVAC guy to install a unit that we were given?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Just trying to get a 101 course before talking with my local company.

    Yes there is such a thing as too big. And too big is no good. I wouldn't upgrade the system until you are sure about your home re-arrangement. As far as moving ductwork, you need to talk to your local HVAC guy to determine if its possible. Ducts can always be moved but only moved to where there is room. Which is why you need to address that with your contractor.

    On another note, you do not close registers. It causes an inbalance in the air through the system. Closing registers does absolutely no good. Keep em open all the time.

    So in closing, stick wth what you have until you are sure your going to include a sunroom or garage or anything. Because most contractors will not add conditioned air to a non-insulated room. Its against code. Get your new home the way you want it, then decide with what you want. And remember, extended warranties are a must on the beach. Its 150% worth it. Get it, you'll thank us later.

  5. #5
    Thanks for all of the info guys.

    Much appreciated.

    One last question, and this may seem very subjective. This house will be used only on weekends and occasionally (once a month) during the week. Without crunching the numbers, would you advise your clients to upgrade from a electric heat blower and separate AC unit to a heat pump? Think it is worth the expense? Just wondering what some non-biased pros think.

    I will DEF take your advice on the extended warranty. Thanks for that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    Where are you located? A heat pump could help out but it all depends on location.

  7. #7
    The house is located about 1 mile from the ocean in Delaware. We do plan to use it a lot during the summer, and a few times a month during the winters.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    Quote Originally Posted by Dcislander View Post
    The house is located about 1 mile from the ocean in Delaware. We do plan to use it a lot during the summer, and a few times a month during the winters.
    A heat pump will consume less energy by run more. As long as you keep your stats set at 55 or so, it shouldn't be a problem. But again, speak with some contractors. If they recommend heat pump, go with it. It costs more up front but will keep energy costs lower than elec. furnace.

  9. #9
    Much appreciated. One last question. I assume that it is customary to get a few different quotes and go with the one that seems the best. Or, are you supposed to pick a company and stick with them?

    I only ask because I know the company that installed the current unit. Wondering if I should get a second opinion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    12,921
    Can Twilli come and stay at your house sometime?
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

  11. #11
    Sorry Twilli,
    Due to construction and subsequent safety hazards, there will be no room at the inn for at least 10 or 11 more years. After that you will be welcomed with open arms.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    To use a heat pump, as someone else said, you would need to maintain 55* or more when you are not there.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #13
    Thanks. I would probably keep it at 55 so the pipes in the house do not freeze and we can continue to use it over the winter.

    If we were not going to use the system for a month or longer, can a heat pump be shut off if I kill power to the house for a short winterization?

    Thanks for all of your help everyone.

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