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  1. #27
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    Jan 2010
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    55
    I have to take some better pics yet, those were taken early on. The main downstairs unit is not installed yet because it is on backorder. But they have most of the plenums and ducting installed to it.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    The midwest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dforster2 View Post
    I have to take some better pics yet, those were taken early on. The main downstairs unit is not installed yet because it is on backorder. But they have most of the plenums and ducting installed to it.
    The unit in the attic looks like it has one pipe (size?) off the bottom of the return plenum. Are there any more return air pipes that I can't see? Size? How many return air grilles does the 2nd floor have?

  3. #29
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    Jan 2010
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    55
    I think that there is just one on that unit. I asked the guy about putting another one but that space is open except for a bedroom and he said you don't want them in bedrooms. something to do with the thermostat not picking up the air temp correctly in the bedrooms (if they have their own return). In other words, you are after air circulation. I argued with him briefly about that but it is another standard answer to save money I think. They'll do it if I want. My last house just had a single return on the upstairs unit sort of central like this one. It worked fine as long as you have plenty of space under your bedroom door..

    The downstairs unit has 3 returns though because there are 2 pretty separate living areas and a large master suite.

  4. #30
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    Feb 2010
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    The midwest.
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    663
    Quote Originally Posted by dforster2 View Post
    I think that there is just one on that unit. I asked the guy about putting another one but that space is open except for a bedroom and he said you don't want them in bedrooms. something to do with the thermostat not picking up the air temp correctly in the bedrooms (if they have their own return). In other words, you are after air circulation. I argued with him briefly about that but it is another standard answer to save money I think. They'll do it if I want. My last house just had a single return on the upstairs unit sort of central like this one. It worked fine as long as you have plenty of space under your bedroom door..

    The downstairs unit has 3 returns though because there are 2 pretty separate living areas and a large master suite.
    I don't have a issue with the one return but the problem is it (the grille) has to be huge. I would recommend 2-24"x24" grilles feed by 2-14" round pipes. If he is only using one pipe, then the 3 ton H/P for the second floor
    needs a 16" round (it doesn't look that big) to a 30"x30" grille. Normally, trusses are 24" on center. This doesn't work too well. Make sure to have them install transfer grilles to the bedrooms. He's going to love you. LOL

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    1,411
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd S 2 View Post
    Jerryd.....I agree, I was surprised with the amount of A/C. I'm live in Iowa and we will size for heat. That's why our systems are so large. But 7 tons (I wasn't aware of such a size) seems excessive. Thank goodness for staging. people should ask for payback data. It's a easy program. Anyway, I would love to see the ductwork that will handle 7 tons.
    Todd, this site has educated me a bit on avoiding geo tonnage. Never thought of it until reading posts here, but that extra tonnage and wells can probably be more economically offset with electric heat strips to cover the 5% of the time that the system capacity is a bit short. On the cooling side, IMO there are cheaper solutions involving the house envelope. Even if the house requires $1,000's for some new windows, geo costs are so high that I would really sharpen my pencil before assuming that more geo tonnage is the solution. Besides, buying more geo or any other system capacity to compensate for house inadequacies that can be corrected seems rather illogical and probably expensive in up front and on-going operating costs.

    By the way, dfoster2 had a situation involving new construction, 2 systems, new ductwork and various rebates that don't apply to new construction. His email to me explained his reasoning. The 7 tons probably involved modularity issues (no 1/2 ton units). Just proves that you have to take your specific situation and run the numbers. I would like to know how he is doing since he was going into insulation and we were discussing using cellulose. Still wonder if a smaller geo tonnage could have been obtained.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    The midwest.
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    663
    Quote Originally Posted by jerryd_2008 View Post
    Todd, this site has educated me a bit on avoiding geo tonnage. Never thought of it until reading posts here, but that extra tonnage and wells can probably be more economically offset with electric heat strips to cover the 5% of the time that the system capacity is a bit short. On the cooling side, IMO there are cheaper solutions involving the house envelope. Even if the house requires $1,000's for some new windows, geo costs are so high that I would really sharpen my pencil before assuming that more geo tonnage is the solution. Besides, buying more geo or any other system capacity to compensate for house inadequacies that can be corrected seems rather illogical and probably expensive in up front and on-going operating costs.

    By the way, dfoster2 had a situation involving new construction, 2 systems, new ductwork and various rebates that don't apply to new construction. His email to me explained his reasoning. The 7 tons probably involved modularity issues (no 1/2 ton units). Just proves that you have to take your specific situation and run the numbers. I would like to know how he is doing since he was going into insulation and we were discussing using cellulose. Still wonder if a smaller geo tonnage could have been obtained.
    JD,
    Of course there is no substitute for insulation. We ask if they will be doing any improvement but never know if they will follow thru.

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    Quote Originally Posted by dforster2 View Post
    ... my installer claimed it was just a few hundered more to go to a 3 ton from a 2 ton even with the extra few hundered feet of loop it required.
    Wow, I wish he had made a proposal to me! But excuse my skepticism, my experience that an extra ton of geo and the wells required are closer to 2 orders of magnitude more expensive than your understanding.

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    The midwest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryd_2008 View Post
    Wow, I wish he had made a proposal to me! But excuse my skepticism, my experience that an extra ton of geo and the wells required are closer to 2 orders of magnitude more expensive than your understanding.
    The differance should have been (roughly) $4,500.00. This is for the additional well and the extra ton of geo.

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd S 2 View Post
    I... Make sure to have them install transfer grilles to the bedrooms. ...
    Our house has 2 floors and only one return per floor. Had a contractor enlarge the return on the lowest floor to the largest filter size carried by Lowe's. Surprise, surprise. The darn return was half blocked by stud and plenum structure so the extra size was probably really needed.

    Then I designed offset and louvered transfer grills the size of the stud width for each bedroom to eliminate noise and light. Had him block the top and bottom and caulk the heck out of it to prevent any airflow from above or below. This hasn't equalized the bedroom temps with the doors closed as well as I would like, but I am sure that it is much better than counting on only air flowing between the doors and the carpeting.

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd S 2 View Post
    The differance should have been (roughly) $4,500.00. This is for the additional well and the extra ton of geo.
    Not sure the moderator will like this discussion, but not in my neck of the woods. Add at least a third to get to my proposal cost/ton. Just in casual conversation with my DFHP contractor on his recent 6 ton geo install verifies this if I allow maybe another 10% for the duct work he probably put into new construction.

    Maybe those oil drillers 100 miles or so West of me know how to drill wells cheaper.

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    8
    actually I think it is a 16" pipe on the return, but I don't think it is a 30x30 grill. more like 16x30ish. I'll have to measure it. What is a transfer grill? Is that just a hole in the wall?

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    8
    Quote Originally Posted by jerryd_2008 View Post
    Wow, I wish he had made a proposal to me! But excuse my skepticism, my experience that an extra ton of geo and the wells required are closer to 2 orders of magnitude more expensive than your understanding.
    I'm not sure he was completely honest about the few hundered. But looking at the price difference between the 4 and 3 ton unit I don't see a big difference. And I can say that I had one bid for a 4 & 2 ton unit and one bid for a 5 & 3 ton unit and the bids were all within $1500 of each other. Which I found pretty amazing.

    Most people can't believe that with the unliminted geothermal credit & the coop credit I will get, the geo system was only a couple thousand more than the average bid for conventional. Two of my conventional bids would have been more than the geo system after credits, they were high end 2 stage systems.

    There is a company in Tulsa that all they do is drill the geothermal wells. Environmental Loop I think they are called. I don't think I am violating any rules by saying that my contractor told me they are only charging him $2700 to drill the 1300' of well, 4 wells 325' deep, not including piping. That's about $2/foot which is about the going rate around here for straight drilling, it may be more in other areas. He only told me that becuase we looked at pond loop and I wanted to know how much more the vertical wells would cost. My point is just that drilling and geothermal loops are not as expensive as many people think. My contractor told me roughly 40% more expensive than conventional and most of that is covered by the existing federal rebate.

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    8
    sorry, I just realized I am posting as a different login from home. I guess I had two logins by mistake. one from last year and a new one a few weeks ago when I couldn't find my old account..

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