Unit in attic crawl space? Please help!
Please advise. I’m “old,” alone, and afraid of making the wrong decision. Can’t change once it’s done, like the wrong paint color.
I live in central PA, two-story with finished basement. Currently electric baseboard heat and window AC’s, and want central air. I’ve had two reliable HVAC companies (both in business many years) submit proposals and I need to choose.
The problem: One says he can avoid tearing up the finished basement by installing the “Carrier model FY4ANF030 fan coil unit with 8 KW electric heat section and emergency condensate overflow pan” in my attic crawl space. NOT an attic really - but a crawl space filled with insulation and just one of those 2’X 2’ openings in the ceiling for access.
At first, this sounded good to me, but the more I think about it the more I imagine problems. Access for maintenance, noise in bedrooms,leaks,efficiency, etc.
Can I have some expert opinions, please?
I have to make a decision soon. Thank you very much.
in the southern states over half the systems are in the attic or attic type areas of the houses
I would look for a contractor that installs mini-split ductless Heat Pumps. It is an AC unit and heater. you do not need an air handler in the attic and the compressors that sit outdoors are small and less noisy than standard AC and HP's. they require about a 3inch hole to be bored through the wall where each unit would be located. the beauty of them is that you can have multiple units on one compressor and each one being capable of being controlled independently. Big in Japan where space is limited.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
Hmmmm. You're apt to get votes in favor of every possible way the AC could be installed. I've attached a short paper that may help you with your decision. Energy consumption is paramount in everyones minds these days and making the purchase of straight air conditioning is an expenditure for which you get comfort in return. Investing a heat pump however will cut your other energy use substantially, provided you purchase a high end heat pump. Once you know the size of your system needed, you can consider more alternatives. One suggestion was mini-split/ductless units. Mitsubishi has some of the highest efficiencies of the anything on the market (except geothermal, that is) these days. They currently have 9 & 12,000 Btu HP rated at 23 & 22 SEER, respectively.
Answering directly to your attic question, I have a nice Bryant system installed in the very tight attic/crawl space of my own home and love it. Nice Evolution heat pump operating as a Hybrid Heat/Dual Fuel system. So yes, if the air handler can fit in the attic, and mind you it's a 2-piece air handler so it can go into the attic easily, then the installation should be easy to do.
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!
After trying to fix winter moisture condensation problems in air handlers located in unheated space, my vote is for the basement. Next winter when it gets cold in PA, you will be happy about the air handler in the basement. Ducts in cold climates condense moisture unless kept warm. Also what about a heat pump with electric backup? Regards TB
Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"
Thank You All!
Your attachment of how to choose a contractor made up my mind for me very quickly.
I will be going with the "basement guy," not the "attic guy," mostly because of the "one basic question" advice. The first guy carefully measured each room, drew pictures of every window placement, and the proposal lists gains and losses, etc. and states "according to the residential guide software..."
The second guy didn't bother to measure anything. When I asked him why not, he
said it wasn't really necessary with all his experience and actually said that anyone who DID go to that trouble was just trying to impress me. It actually made sense to me at the time that experience might tell him.
The one I'm choosing costs about $4,000 more, but I always knew that cheaper would not be my deciding factor. So, thank you so very, very much.
Last edited by Lynne; 07-27-2008 at 02:24 PM.
Hopefully your getting a HP.
And not just electric heat in an air handler.
I really like this idea. I have sold a number of these units and all of my coustomers are 100% satisifed with this type of system. However they are only pratical for small areas this may not be the answer if you have a large home.
Originally Posted by Sonicview