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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14

    Best System for Attic addition

    I first would like to thank everyone who responded to my last post regarding some options on heating / cooling my new attic addition.

    I have had 3 contractors out bidding for the job, and as expected got 3 different options, as best, most efficient way of heating/cooling the attic.

    Option #1 (not tax rebate)
    Install a dual-mini-split Fujitsu ductless system. 2 zones (Attic is split into 2 rooms) this would require running tubes down the side of our house to the outdoor condenser (not really happy about that).

    Option # 2 (No tax rebate)
    Install a dual-mini-split Dakin (sp?) unit with 2 zones as well. This unit supposedly can work with it being 5 degrees out. (We live in New England). This contractor told us he can run the wiring along the side of the house to blend with our borders.

    Option # 3 (possible tax rebate)
    Install a premium Carrier 15 SEER 2 ton Heat Pump with 2 ton variable speed handler (FE4ANF002) and the electrical heat package from Carrier. The ductwork was included in the price. However, the electrical needed for the units was not priced in the quote, so not sure what that would go for.

    Option 1 & 2 were the same price, while Option 3 was higher.

    I was hoping to get some feedback on peoples experience, knowledge regarding these options, as well as the most durable option. I am new when it comes to all of this. The attic will be used as a “game room” and Office. I would rather not use window AC with electric baseboard heat, which is the cheapest alternative (from what I’m told).

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,699
    I hope you spray foam that attic or it will be HOT and Expen$$ive to heat and cool.

    The minisplits offer more control. You don't mention your primary type of heating. I heat/cool my attic with a Unico utilizing the boiler in the basement and a/c out back.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    196
    The minisplits will give you the most control as you'll be able to set separate temperatures in each room. I'd be suspicious of the Carrier bid; 2 tons sounds massively oversized for two rooms built to modern standards.

    Both Fujitsu and Daikin's minisplits will require piping between their respective indoor and outdoor units. The same pipe route ought to work for both manufacturers' systems--meaning that the Futjitsu contractor could run the lineset pipes along your borders if he wanted to. You could also have the lineset run through the walls if you'd rather not see it.

    Both of these systems will heat down to 5 degrees but their heating performance drops off considerably as outdoor temperatures fall. For example, at 17 degrees, Daikin's equipment will produce only 70% of the heat it will produce at 47 degrees. Make sure your contractors oversize minisplit units to produce enough heat for your typical worst case winter temperatures.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,699
    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Feet View Post
    I'd be suspicious of the Carrier bid; 2 tons sounds massively oversized for two rooms built to modern standards.
    What he said - and the carrier will also need piping run.

    If you've insulated well you'll likely have a lot of heat benefit from below - so I'd not be too concerned about the drop off from the heat pumps. My spray foamed attic never went below 50 the first winter without heat. So the bathroom's radiant floor carries the load for the whole 1300sf, and the unico only comes on at very low temps.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14
    Thank you for the replies.

    The attic space already has the line set running to the basement. The builder ran them for future use in the attic. I was also looking at some Goodman heat pumps with a variable air hander. There are few websites where you can buy them, and the company also finds certified contractors to do the install…the prices seems very low compared to what I have gotten. Has anyone had experience with these Goodman’s? Our Carrier contractor said they are cheap for a reason??

    We are looking to insulate as well, but fiberglass may be our only alternative due to price?

    Thanks again for everyone’s help..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,137
    fiberglass insulation will not stop hot air flow around this attic addition.
    air will still move through insulation adding to heat gain of this room.
    if you use a foam/foil board to seal attic walls to attic side you will
    stop air movement, radiate heat out of walls and make this space easier
    to heat and cool.
    see southface inst air sealing pdf on their site.
    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    n.j.
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by ddave23 View Post
    I first would like to thank everyone who responded to my last post regarding some options on heating / cooling my new attic addition.

    I have had 3 contractors out bidding for the job, and as expected got 3 different options, as best, most efficient way of heating/cooling the attic.

    Option #1 (not tax rebate)
    Install a dual-mini-split Fujitsu ductless system. 2 zones (Attic is split into 2 rooms) this would require running tubes down the side of our house to the outdoor condenser (not really happy about that).

    Option # 2 (No tax rebate)
    Install a dual-mini-split Dakin (sp?) unit with 2 zones as well. This unit supposedly can work with it being 5 degrees out. (We live in New England). This contractor told us he can run the wiring along the side of the house to blend with our borders.

    Option # 3 (possible tax rebate)
    Install a premium Carrier 15 SEER 2 ton Heat Pump with 2 ton variable speed handler (FE4ANF002) and the electrical heat package from Carrier. The ductwork was included in the price. However, the electrical needed for the units was not priced in the quote, so not sure what that would go for.

    Option 1 & 2 were the same price, while Option 3 was higher.

    I was hoping to get some feedback on peoples experience, knowledge regarding these options, as well as the most durable option. I am new when it comes to all of this. The attic will be used as a “game room” and Office. I would rather not use window AC with electric baseboard heat, which is the cheapest alternative (from what I’m told).

    Thank you
    Daikin units would be my choice, But only if you insulate with closed cell spray foam--you get a true R value and air sealing. I would keep the net heating requirement as low as possible. Manual J is a must. The Carrier system's back-up electric heat turns me off.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,699
    Notice a recurring recommendation?

    Spray foam may feel like a struggle to pay for - once.

    Not using spray foam you struggle to pay your energy bill and struggle to get a modicum of comfort - forever.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    196
    Spray foam is a struggle to deal with if you ever decide to make changes to the space, such as adding more outlets, lights, or changing plumbing. It's an expensive proposition to hack the stuff out if you ever need to do anything inside the walls.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    17

    radiant barrier

    You should also look at installing a radiant barrier.

    It looks like heavy duty aluminum; mine looks like bubble wrap.

    This really cuts down on heat gain in summer.

    My LG mine-split chills the room down very easily.

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