Adding AC to home with hot water heat......
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2007
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    Pittsburgh
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    Adding AC to home with hot water heat......

    Hi,

    Last fall I got lots of great input on the Unico system, but was not able to move forward. The work on my home went over budget and over time....an opportunity for me to look at other systems.

    Today I met with a company which has installed AC in many homes with radiators. They recommended a mini duct system, but a Carrier or a Rudd, not high velocity.

    A bit about my small, narrow house (1200sf)....2 story attached row (end unit) with a crawl space above the 2nd floor (about 5 foot at the peak, well insulated), with a 2 story stair in the middle of the floor plan (separating the front room from rear room on each floor). This company recommended that I box out a section at the ceiling of the 2 story stairway (this would not affect head room), place the unit there, feed the ducts into the attic then down to the second floor, and through closets to the first floor. It made sense to me, seemed reasonable, architecturally I could make the boxed off area in the stair look okay, and have easier access to the unit for service. The system would be a heat pump (with an air cleaner) either a Carrier or a Ruud, to off set usage of the boiler (I live in Western PA). Any advise, comments?

    Thank you for any assistance!
    MBH

  2. #2
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    Aug 2006
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    Chelmsford MA
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    By mini duct, do you mean a conventional split system?
    We only want to do it, if we can do it right.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    Adding AC to home with hot water heat......

    I believe so, the duct work as explained to me was about 4" in diameter, and there would be a unit inside and out.

    Thanks,
    MBH


    By mini duct, do you mean a conventional split system?

    From MBH:
    Today I met with a company which has installed AC in many homes with radiators. They recommended a mini duct system, but a Carrier or a Rudd, not high velocity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    33,829
    Never heard of using smaller ducts without being high velocity. A conventional air handler can't do that. Personally I'd avoid HV if I could. Hard on SEER and capacity. Even worse with a heat pump in heating mode.

    Doesn't take a lot of vents on the first floor for cooling. My cousin cools a large house with a single unit and only 2 vents on the first floor run down through 2nd floor closets. If you are trying to do much heating with a heat pump, you would need more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    Get the model numbers of the units.

    4" ducts? Take a lot of them on a conventional.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
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    Feb 2007
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    A 4" round duct is only going to give you about 50 cfm. A 6" round will give you about 100 cfm. You'll need roughly double the ducts with 4" over 6". For all the labor and material it takes, 4" isn't worth it. If you are positive the guy said 4", then you might want to talk to a couple of other companies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Mitsubishi makes a cassette model unit that can be ducted to several outlets. It's part of the Mr. Slim and City Multi equipment lines. Nice stuff with the proper application. I think anything that's straight AC is a waste of money in this economy and climate arena. HP, either air-to-air or water source change the expenditure for AC into an investment that will give a return by saving on the fossil fuel. Also is greener, given the fossil fuel unit won't be running as much. No matter who's name is on the box, it's the installing company that makes or breaks the installation. No matter what type of system or equipment you finally settle on, be sure the installing company has done a thorough Manual 'J' heat gain/loss analysis that you get a written copy of once you've agreed to the installation.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Pittsburgh
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    Adding AC to home with hot water heat......

    Last fall I was pricing Unico systems. I have received a proposal for something a bit different. I have cut and pasted (deleting any costs) the information. I am looking for advice/practical information on the systems, and also whether I should install a heat pump instead to limit my 30 year old boiler use in those in between temperatures. This is a small (1200sf) attached rowhouse (16 feet wide), end unit, new windows, insulated, close to 100 years old.

    Thank you for any help offered!!!
    MBH

    Here is the proposal.....
    After making a survey of your home, we recommend the following installation:

    We will supply and install one central air conditioning system in your radiator heated home. The air handler will be installed in an enclosed platform over the stair wall (2 story space) with an insulated galvanized steel main duct and flexible insulated branch supply ducts thru the attic. This platform must be made by others, I will help with the design if necessary. We can build this if you prefer at an additional charge.

    The registers are of high quality steel with a baked on white finish. The registers are square and are designed to be installed in the corner of the rooms. These registers do not blow air directly down, but spread air out across the ceiling.

    We will install these registers in the ceilings of the 2nd floor bedrooms and bathroom.

    Using a closet in the front bedroom, we are able to install an outlet in the ceiling of the living room.

    Using a closet in the middle bedroom, we are able to install an outlet in the ceiling of the dining room and by using the new closet in the back room we can get an outlet to the sunroom and kitchen.

    The return air will be in the 2nd floor hall and the thermostat will be on the hall wall.

    We will install a factory condensate drain to the exterior and one electronic safety switch installed in a condensate drain pan under the air handler.

    The outdoor unit will be installed on a pad and connected with 220 volt wiring from existing sources.

    Equipment Recommended:

    1. 24APA324 - This is the Carrier 13 SEER, 24,000 B.T.U. or 2 ton, with the “Puron R410A” refrigeration, high efficiency air conditioning system. The industry is fazing out “Freon R22” in approximately 2 ½ years. The “Puron” system is more efficient, extremely quiet and will be more serviceable in the future. The total cost for this installation is ....... We will install the D.C. motor air handler with this unit.
    2. 24ANA724 - This is the Carrier 17 SEER, 24,000 B.T.U. or 2 ton, “Infinity” with the “Puron R410A” refrigeration. This is the quietest, most efficient model made. This model has a two stage compressor. Upon call for cooling, 50% capacity will come on and in most cases this will cool and dehumidify your home. If the temperature does not hold, then it will operate at full capacity. This also works with the Infinity air handler that has the D.C. or direct current motor and uses 65 watts of power on low speed. This unit also comes with the Infinity thermostat. The total cost for this installation is ......
    3. UANL024JAZ- This is the RUUD 13 SEER, 24,000 B.T.U., or 2 ton with the “Puron R410A” refrigeration air conditioning system. The total cost for this installation is ......

    These prices also include a high efficiency Aprilaire media air cleaner that can be used year round.

    Warranties:

    STANDARD: There is a 10 year factory compressor warranty, a 5 year factory parts warranty and a 1 year labor warranty.

    EXTENDED: If a 10 year factory extended parts and labor warranty is desired on the Carrier system the cost would be ......

    Please note: We do not “box in” or cover the pipes going through the closets. Any access holes are covered with ¼” luan plywood, unless otherwise discussed and in writing.

    Carrier offers 6 months no interest or payment financing to qualified homeowners up to . If you would like to finance through Carrier, please contact our office prior to installation for a credit application. Plus Carrier will also offer in March 2 year no interest but payments must be made monthly.

    All work will be done in a neat, clean, craftsman like manner with as little mess as possible.

  9. #9
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    Nice detailed quote, not too much can go wrong with that one. Sounds like a conventional system, not sure about the 4" ducts though, I would assume they will be larger than that.

    Question, did the consultant explain the Puron and R22 statments at your home as well? Also the details of the 17 Seer equipment? Are they just reiterated on the quote or is that how he is making his presentation? By putting the details into the quote instead of explaining them at the home? Just asking.
    Last edited by nashobasales; 02-19-2008 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Added question
    We only want to do it, if we can do it right.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh
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    Adding AC to home with hot water heat......

    I think he did explain a bit about the systems, but I need to study and learn, as I am not sure I absorbed all the information (ask me about sewers and waterlines, or Latin names for plants). The quote is a bit more detailed, but it is still not clear to me, I will be spending some time on the internet reading, and any help/explanations anyone wants to offer will be greatly appreciated. This is a company that has an excellent reputation, and is pragmatic and straight forward, which I value.
    mbh

    from nashobasales
    Question, did the consultant explain the Puron and R22 statments at your home as well? Also the details of the 17 Seer equipment? Are they just reiterated on the quote or is that how he is making his presentation? By putting the details into the quote instead of explaining them at the home? Just asking.

  11. #11
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    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    Sounds like a conventional system with VS blower.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    18
    I think that you would be better off going with a heat pump and only use the boiler for back up heat. If you are going to stay in the home for awhile, it would be cost effective to go with the highter SEER unit.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2007
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    Pittsburgh
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    Adding AC to home with hot water heat......

    I've got a bit more information....6" ducts and 8" registers will be used.

    In my reading it sounds like the conventional system is a bit quieter than a Unico type system, and may be a bit more economical.

    Tonight's assignment is to learn more about SEER.....

    mbh

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