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Thread: HVAC Guidance

  1. #1

    HVAC Guidance

    I have a 3,000 sq ft home...two stories...four bedrooms and two baths upstairs...downstairs is very comfortable but upstairs has been traditionally (last three yrs) warm tot he point I need window A/C units in bedroom windows to supplement central air. I've been working with a local Carrier dealer and have built a true level of trust with him to purchase a system. We've done several things to rectify current cooling problems upstairs to include blocking downstairs returns to force upstairs (one in the hallway) return to pull ot air, increased insulation in upstairs attic to reduce hot air pushing into bedrooms, and two thermostate exhaust vents to push more hot air outof attic. I'm at the point to buy a new system and have a quote for Carrier Infinity system; Air Handler: FE5ANB004 and Heat Pump: 25HNA636 giving me 16.6 SEER, 12.6 EER, & 9 HSPF. He believes this will take care of my problem but pauses when I ask for a guarantee to this having to fix my problem or come take it out! he says he could fix it for sure with "zoning" for an additiona $...not sure what to do?
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-31-2009 at 05:14 AM. Reason: Removed price

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    1,673
    No prices in posts.
    Contracts say "furnish and install"; they don't say it will fix the problem.
    You might find Consulting Engineers for HVAC and have them bid on giving you their opinion. They don't sell HVAC equip.
    With their recommendations you could have HVAC contractors bid on doing what was prescribed.

    What's wrong with using window units?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
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    1,070
    Quote Originally Posted by AFChief76 View Post
    We've done several things to rectify current cooling problems upstairs to include blocking downstairs returns to force upstairs (one in the hallway) return to pull ot air, increased insulation in upstairs attic to reduce hot air pushing into bedrooms, and two thermostate exhaust vents to push more hot air out of attic.
    If you still have the problems upstairs after having done all this, I doubt simply adding new carrier mechanicals will help. Sending cold air upstairs is OK for now (summer) but you will want to be sending it back downstairs again when it gets cold (winter).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston,Tx via Wilmington,NC
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    Is this 2 stories on a single unit? If it is zoning or adding another system are 2 options to solving your problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    pittsburgh,pa
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    727
    May want to add a separate cooling only system upstairs If possible that would be a sure fix.
    "Can't see it from my house"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    196
    Changing equipment will not fix an air distribution problem. You need to have somebody competent redesign your ducting to ensure adequate air distribution to both floors. This may mean adding dampers, adding supply registers upstairs, redesigning for zoning, or even adding a separate system for the second floor.

    You need a contractor who's familiar with Manual D (beware: most of them don't know Manual D from a hole in the ground) or a professional engineer with experience in residential HVAC.

    Replacing your HVAC equipment without fixing your ducting will make your contractor richer, but you'll be poorer and will still have your problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,721
    Since he won't guarrantee it.
    He doesn't know why your second floor doesn't cool properly.

    Call more contractors.

    Find one that tells you what is wrong. And what will solve the problem.
    Not just sell you another unit.
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-31-2009 at 05:57 AM.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Fern Creek , Kentucky
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    I agree with Jwiehagen76 separate upstairs cooling system.It is always a good idea for insulation,and as for thermostable exhaust vents installed at my personal home one of the best moves I every made!!! I would never block returns....

  9. #9
    Interesting...and appreciate the feedback. I have asked the Carrier dealer to give me thoughts on duct boosters and additional returns in upstairs bedrooms. The zoning is an option that I can add-on at a later date if I'm not happy with the results of the new system. However, the more I read and investigate, the more convinced I am of an airflow issue with only one return currently in the upstairs hallway and none in the bedrooms?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
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    I think your dealer is grasping at straws. Have someone do a room by room load calc. which will tell you what the necessary air flow needs to be for each room. Then take that info and check each register and return grill to see if they match. Now you can fix the imbalance, problem solved.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    78
    I would check the inlet of the evaporator coil to make sure it is not matted with dirt and would be sure all of the return ducts are high up on the walls or ceiling only on the second floor.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    35
    How good is the insulation in the attic? You can reduce the heat load upstairs just by improving the insulation part.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
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    3,422
    If your existing system is 10 yrs old or newer, I'd recommend that it be completely serviced by a competent technician, and make sure it is performing to its max. then install a quality zoning system since you indicated it could be done in a previous post. That way each floor would have its own temp. control. Oh yeah, the previous posts about manual J and D..you should already have had that done by the contractor that quoted you a new system. If not, get a competent contractor and start again, buying a new system may not improve things at all, and the existing system may only need a good tune up along with zoning to fix, but you need someone to run the math and see if the existing unit will be adequate before buying anything more.

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