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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Help selecting equipment for a zone system.

    Hello,
    I'm looking for some help selecting equipment for a two zone system with a new furnace and AC coil (no compressor just yet as I will be 90% heating). I'm looking for some recommendations for a brand and line of furnace and zone system that integrate and perform well (not new construction) and ideally are installer-friendly.

    I have an appropriate licensed contractor planning to install a furnace and ductwork for me. I'm attempting to help design the system, as my contractor of choice is not very familiar with zone systems and I want to be sure things are correct.

    I am in an old house in California (1600sq ft) that had central heating, but that the ductwork was removed (likely due to rodent infestation). There are two floors, that do not have connecting stairs inside. I have computed manual J loads for the rooms, house and two zones. I have done some simulations with manual D, but without the final equipment selection I obviously can't finish these.

    I'm struggling to decide on a good pairing for the furnace and zone system. It seems to me that some residential zoning solutions are fairly dumb systems. Looking at Honeywell controllers, it looks like it only modulates the zone dampers, but is unable to signal to the furnace to reduce fan or burner stages- making excess noise and wasting power with a bypass damper.
    Is there a line that can actually know to run only one stage (of 2 stage burner) and reduce blower airflow when only one zone is calling? Do I need a modulating gas valve rather than multi stage system to realize my goal?
    I've heard potentially good things about Carrier Infinity.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,830
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    Hire a contractor that understands zoning. A properly installed and operating system is unlikely.
    Climate Control Solutions for your Home or Office

    Serving Northeast Philadelphia and Surrounding Areas

  3. Likes BaldLoonie, ga-hvac-tech, BALloyd liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    39,061
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    Infinity/Evolution or the American Standard/Trane system would be the best and most expensive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
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    1,980
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortdoc View Post
    Hire a contractor that understands zoning. A properly installed and operating system is unlikely.
    X2
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Billington Heights, NY
    Posts
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    An OLD house? Unless you're tearing everything out and starting fresh, forget about zoning.
    This forum requires that you wait 20 seconds between posts. Please try again in 50 seconds.

    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"

    Pecmsg - "NEST should only be used with 3-M filters to guarantee total destruction of the equipment!"

    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
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    Zoning is as much an art form (understanding airflow)... as it is an engineering issue...

    We have done dozens and dozens of zone systems...
    And I will echo the comments above:

    Do NOT attempt this on your own... get a contractor that understands it and pay them for their expertise.

    I can all but GUARANTEE this is not gonna turn out well...
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    3
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Infinity/Evolution or the American Standard/Trane system would be the best and most expensive.

    Thanks for an actual answer, the other responses are very unhelpful .

    I understand smart thrifty customers are a threat to businesses bottom lines, but even if I decide to find somebody else to do the job I need to know something to make an informed choice.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
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    I have done some simulations with manual D, but without the final equipment selection I obviously can't finish these.

    Manual "J"
    Manual "S"
    Manual "D"
    In that order.

    Don't Zone

    2 Floors 2 systems.

    I ca install a mini on the 2nd floor.

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  11. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    8,289
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    INITIAL DETIALS

    Quote Originally Posted by kwhubby View Post

    Thanks for an actual answer,

    I understand smart thrifty customers are a threat to businesses bottom lines,
    but even if I decide to find somebody else to do the job
    I need to know _ something to make _ an informed choice.
    I need to know _ a few parameters _ for an informed selection,
    FOR STARTERS:

    1. ZIP: to determine Design Conditions along with Heating & Cooling Degree Days
    OR GIS INFO for EXMPLE: 37°48'16"N, 122°16'15"W
    2. YOUR Manual J
    … Inside thermostat set-point 75'F/ 70'F Summer / Winter
    3. Results of a recent BLOWER DOOR TEST
    4. DRAWINGS of the Two floors: room-by-room load calc & duct work
    5. Location of new Air Handler Unit ( AHU) [ see link below, # 15 ]
    6. One zone for each level
    7. Accessible areas for New duct
    _______ 12" minimum vertical at AHU
    8. Path from 1st to 2nd level
    9. R-## Walls
    10. R-## Ceiling
    11. R- ## Floor, or define construction
    12. Window types - single, double or triple pane, tinted or clear
    ____ U-value, if known
    ____ S.H.G.C., if known
    ____ Internal shading, if any, for each
    12. # of windows & orientation on each floor
    Lower | Upper
    N _ _ | _
    S _ _ | _
    E _ _ | _
    West _ | _

    13. my gmail address is racingdan11
    14. My retainer.

    15. Use Figure 3 to locate new Air Handling Unit
    https://www.rses.org/assets/servicea...al/630-148.pdf

    16. Current equipment and MONTHLY energy use /bills
    A.____ $0. _ _ NATURAL GAS

    B. __ $ 0. _ _ / KW-HR FOR EACH TIERED RATE

    Or Skip ALL THE DUCT work and use Multi Split(s)
    __ Daikin
    __ Mitsubishi
    __ Panasonic
    __ Other
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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  13. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
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    1,980
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    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    I have done some simulations with manual D, but without the final equipment selection I obviously can't finish these.

    Manual "J"
    Manual "S"
    Manual "D"
    In that order.

    Don't Zone

    2 Floors 2 systems.

    I ca install a mini on the 2nd floor.
    Yes, that is my answer as well.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  14. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    3
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    I need to know _ a few parameters _ for an informed selection,
    FOR STARTERS:

    1. ZIP: to determine Design Conditions along with Heating & Cooling Degree Days
    OR GIS INFO for EXMPLE: 37°48'16"N, 122°16'15"W
    2. YOUR Manual J
    … Inside thermostat set-point 75'F/ 70'F Summer / Winter
    3. Results of a recent BLOWER DOOR TEST
    4. DRAWINGS of the Two floors: room-by-room load calc & duct work
    5. Location of new Air Handler Unit ( AHU) [ see link below, # 15 ]
    6. One zone for each level
    7. Accessible areas for New duct
    _______ 12" minimum vertical at AHU
    8. Path from 1st to 2nd level
    9. R-## Walls
    10. R-## Ceiling
    11. R- ## Floor, or define construction
    12. Window types - single, double or triple pane, tinted or clear
    ____ U-value, if known
    ____ S.H.G.C., if known
    ____ Internal shading, if any, for each
    12. # of windows & orientation on each floor
    Lower | Upper
    N _ _ | _
    S _ _ | _
    E _ _ | _
    West _ | _

    13. my gmail address is racingdan11
    14. My retainer.

    15. Use Figure 3 to locate new Air Handling Unit
    (url removed)

    16. Current equipment and MONTHLY energy use /bills
    A.____ $0. _ _ NATURAL GAS

    B. __ $ 0. _ _ / KW-HR FOR EACH TIERED RATE

    Or Skip ALL THE DUCT work and use Multi Split(s)
    __ Daikin
    __ Mitsubishi
    __ Panasonic
    __ Other
    Thanks for this detailed response/questions. I'll send you an email to discuss #14. I'm happy to pay somebody here to help for remote consulting if it can work out for both of us.
    Most of those questions I had to figure out for manual J.

    #16A I currently have no heater, only a wood fired stove, propane oven/stove, propane water heater. I haven't lived here long enough to give an accurate estimate of monthly rate based on one partial tank filling.

    Is #3 necessary at this point? Due to other ongoing construction (holes in wall/floor!) and lack of ductwork to existing registers, this can't yet be done accurately. Manual J seemed to allow targeted air tightness to be roughly estimated.

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