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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    I need some suggestions from you guys on a residential application. I am completing the framing of a 1640 sf house in the S. Texas countryside. Superinsulation on all 6 sides. I would like suggestions on what type of HVAC would be best, and that you would recommend, given the following parameters:

    - Hidden or no condensing unit (how to hide??, under porch deck??, Verticle Package Unit???, etc).
    - Quiet operation inside and outside.
    - Maximum energy efficiency.
    - All electric.
    - Conventional or heat pump OK.
    - Back-up heat strips if needed.
    - Low cost purchase and installation.
    - Is ground-source heat pump or some varient feasable?

    Need recommendations that balance cost, efficiency, noise, looks (no condensing unit in sight), and meets other requirements above.

  2. #2
    Senior Tech Guest
    All I can say please dont hide it to the point where it is in-accesible to work on...get a quality, reputable hvac contractor on site and they will be best suited to answer your questions based on actually seeing your peticular application. The best? One that is installed professionally by pros who take take pride in their work. Brand, to a certain degree, if installed correctly is not important.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Put a wall around the condensing unit to hide it but be sure there is plenty of access to the unit. Putting a condenser in an enclosed area without adequate airflow is a no-no.

    Quiet operation would be dependent on the AC unit. The contractor should be able to provide sound ratings for the different units.

    Low cost purchase installation???? You're not going to get comfort, efficiency, and low noise with low cost; For that matter you probably won't get a contractor that will do it right in the first place. If you want it done right and done good then drop the 'low price' request; If a contractor is good then all you'll do is put him out of business trying the low cost approach.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Don't oversize! With super insulation, too easy to go big based on sq ft.

    Low purchase price & installation rule out geothermal. That stuff is pricey to buy and put in a loop.

    Otherwise, senior tech says it great about serviceability and sadlier says it great about cost vs quality.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Under the House

    How about placing the condensing unit under my elevated porch deck (varied from 2' to 5' clearance) if I can get one with a horozontal discharge? Any suggestions? Also need recommendations for heat pump vs normal HVAC system for S. Texas area. FYI - Guys, I know I need professional advice and installation and will seek it out when I am rady to commit. Right now, just looking for some ideas to suggest and consider. The more details the better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Don't shortchange yourself,to save a litle now,it could be a mistake you will live with for years and years.

    You first need Manusl J,S,and D calculations,from ACCA.There's a great do it yourself ,for a low cost Man. J on this site.

    These will insure you have the right size system and ducts.Then you need a quality install,tightly sealed duct system and greta service when needed in the future.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Southold, NY

    "Need recommendations that balance cost, efficiency, noise, looks (no condensing unit in sight), and meets other requirements above."

    Your not asking for much!!!

    Here are some sites that might be useful

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    An air tight, well insullated home in South Texas needs mechanical fresh air ventilation to purge indoor pollutants/renew oxygen, dehumidification to maintain <50%RH to avoid mold/dust mites during the damp cool weather, and MERV 10 air filters to keep the equipment/house dust free. Add these items to your list. Imagine <50%RH independent of a/c operation or over-cooling your home. Several mfgs. provide ventilating dehumidifiers that do all of the above. I am involved with Ultra-Aire which is the original and most energy eff unit.

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