We are Owner/Builders.
We designed our new 2 story home to allow for duct work inside 14" and 18" floor truss systems. The unit would sit inside our single story kitchen attic and connect through a single wardrobe (We used wardrobes instead of closets) in our master bedroom and then fit perfectly inside our truss systems for delivery to the rest of the house. The master bedroom is on the second floor.
Unfortunately, due to a series of early setbacks in other areas, no one thought to make sure that the truss designer, even though he was aware of our HVAC intentions, left a clear path in his trusses for the duct work - BIG LESSON LEARNED. Every path seems to be completely blocked or too small to handle the standard ducts needed.
Our HVAC contractor has come up with only one way to put in the standard ductwork. He wants to hide the duct work in at least THREE large spots inside our master wardrobes AND he has to add a 3 foot chase to an adjoining room. We are deeply concerned, not to mention disappointed that this will kill our closet space and appraisal value.
Our home uses passive solar design and we've selected an 18 SEER amana with a lifetime warranty. We selected this unit after determining several months ago that a Daikin was out of our price range. Now we've signed a contract with an HVAC contractor who doesn't handle Daikin and so I'm not sure that's an option any more. We've been looking into the spacepak products, but along with some noise issues, our contractor is saying the ducting and handlers are 40% more expensive and that our 18 seer would be reduced to a 13.
Our new home is 2500 square feet plus another 1000 in the attic which we plan to cool separately. We will have an insulated envelope that includes attics and a sealed crawlspace that vents into the house and mixes with the indoor air (a vapor barrier will be installed down there). Insulation is 6" of spray in foam, rigid foam, osb and siding on the walls. The roof is spray foam, attic wrap, osb/radiant barrier decking and regular shingles. We are located in north central Texas in a mixed humid climate.
Here's what we contracted the HVAC guy to install before we realized we had a space issue.
Amana - ASZ18036 heat pump 3 ton 18 SEER
Amana – AEPF3036 Variable speed fan coil unit with 10kw Aux heat and TXV
Honeywell – HK322 Zone control panel
Honeywell - Zone dampers
Honeywell programmable thermostats
Filter system with UV
Copper line sets
We've worked for three years on this project and the web trusses were always our plan for duct work, electrical, plumbing etc. We experienced a series of early setbacks during construction and checking for a path just got overlooked. The HVAC setup is intergral to our whole house design, both in function and placement.