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  1. #1
    Dear Forum,

    My wife and I recently purchased a home that is ~10 years old. 3000 sq. ft. with a newly finished basement.

    The furnace, although 10 years old seems pretty nice, I mean the heat works, and it seems to be more regulated both with Heat and AC. More so than our previous 60 yr old home

    One thing that we notice fairly immediately, is that some of the registers have been blocked off. When we inquired about this, the PO commented that he hired an Engineering Firm to come in and setup the house to be the most efficient....ah okay, whatever.

    Well the AC compressor seems to be running ALL OF THE TIME, and our house never quite reaches the desired 'cooling' temp.

    Well today, my wife commented that the temp seemed to be rising...and when I went outside to the compressor, it the fan was NOT moving, and the motor was burning hot...needless to say, this would explain the lack of cooling.

    Before I turn this thread into a novel, and never get around to asking the question, here is the questions.

    1. When this house was built, the furnace and AC may have been correct...or atleast acceptable for that time...but having added a finished basement, and NOT upgraded the HVAC seems a bit of an 'overload' ?

    2. How do I best determine what a 3000 sq.ft. house should have for a Furnace and AC?

    3. Shouldn't I be able to remove all this added dampners, and blockoffs and just have a good ol "open the register, get air" "close the register, prevent air" type of system?

    4. I want to know if I am looking at needing a dual HVAC unit for our size house?

    5. What type of professional may I rely on to give me the correct, technical, and non salesman-driven answers?

    Please send some help, or further questions for information that I need to provide to better answer.

    Sincerely,

    C2

    BTW: we live in Louisville, Ky. and summer has just arrived this weekend...what perfect timing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    4,264
    Sounds like it's time to call for service. If your condenser fan isn't operating, you should turn the system off at the thermostat until it can be repaired. The best low pressure person to answer your questions is the tech that comes to your home to repair the system. He/she should have the answers to all of your questions. Don't offer to have them sit and join you for tea however, as every minute in their day is gonna be spoken for and they will need to move along. Good luck!
    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action....Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,295
    Originally posted by c2motorsports
    My wife and I recently purchased a home that is ~10 years old. 3000 sq. ft. with a newly finished basement.

    2. How do I best determine what a 3000 sq.ft. house should have for a Furnace and AC?

    BTW: we live in Louisville, Ky.
    1. How do you ADD a Basement?

    2. Type of 3,000 S.F. 10 year old House is
    A) Ranch
    B) 2-Story
    C) Other

    3. Size is ...
    A) 6,000 Sq. Ft with Basement or
    B) 1,500 Sq. Ft including the a 1,500 S.F. basement

    4. Preferred inside temperature is
    A) 80'F
    B) 76'F
    C) Less than outside ( Summer Only)
    D) Less than Outisde ( Year -Round)
    E) None of the above.

    You don't have to determine anything.
    Do you pull your own teeth when the need arises?


    Seriously, have an HVAC contractor perform a Manual J calculation on the current overall living space.

    "Ball park estimate " is that you may need
    one 4-ton or 5-ton system for cooling
    3,000 Sq. Ft. in KY to 75'F

    Underground Basement may only need dehumification.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12,030
    c2motorsports


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    1) Not necessarily. Furnaces tend to be grossly oversized. It's quite likely that you have more than enough heating capacity. Basements don't tend to add much cooling load. If there's no insulation between the main floor and the basement, you were in essence cooling the basement anyway. BUT, if you have now ducted the basement when it wasn't ducted before then you need a zone system to shove most if not all of the cold air upstairs in the summer.

    2) Hit the bulls-eye and run your own heat load calc if you're ambitious and/or crazy enough to do it. Otherwise pay a contractor to run a Manual J & D.

    3) If the closed off vents are to the upstairs then yes. Open the whole shebang up and let it run free like the bulls. It can only enhance total output. Though it may hurt room to room balance.

    4) Two units or zoning done properly would be highly recommended. Read my notes on zoning (23 & 24). Doing it right is tough.

    5) Pfft! HA! Are you kidding? (*snicker, snicker*) You were being realistic up until you asked that question. HVAC Pro was mostly right at one time with his advice. Of all the employees a contractor has many customers will put their greatest trust in the service technician because he's thought of as a problem solver and not a salesman, bean counter or whatever.

    And guess who knows that even better than you? That's right! The salesmen and bean counters. The effort to indoctrinate, brain wash and otherwise corrupt service technicians has been monumental in the past five years or more. Consolidators are run by businessmen. It's their job to increase sales. They know how you think and they're going for the jugular. Virtually all large residential HVAC firms have intense service technician training programs... that would be sales training, NOT technical training. Joseph Goebbels eat your heart out.

    If you’re lucky enough you might find a relatively small shop whose owner still enjoys making kick ass HVAC systems. If you’re unlucky then you’ll find a small shop that only aspires to be a big shop by means of consolidator tactics.

    Anyway, I hope the relevance and usefulness of the first four replies outweigh the pessimism and negativity of my fifth. Get that motor fixed and open up your ducts full bore. See what happens after that. You may be content enough at that point to let lame dogs lie. If not then research your local contractors and try to find a good one.

    [Edited by Irascible on 06-04-2005 at 10:05 PM]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    c2,


    You have some good answers above ,except to number 5.

    Try calling around ,stating you want a Man J,from ACCA ,load calculation and possibly a Man. D ,duct design.Those who can and will do this,are the ones you need to be dealing with,small or large shop.If it's a salesman,I think you'll be more than able to hold your own.

    Most will not be able or willing to do the calcs.,and offer up all kinds of reasons why,keep dialling.

  7. #7

    Thanks for the HELP

    I would first like to start by thanking everyone for thier answers, I have found them very helpful.

    I would however like to update the situation: I called a "reputable" HVAC company today, in preparation to leave a message for someone to come out tomorrow.

    Would you believe it, they had a weekend answering service...OH THIS IS GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE :eek low and behold, weekend rate is the same as week rate, already looking good.

    $60 for diagnostics
    $$$ for repair set-rate

    The Tech. came out and quickly diagnosed the problem to be the capacitor on the compressor fan, replaced it, and everything worked. $200...which I thought to be very fair...of course while he was here, I had a wonderful conversation regarding the size of the unit, is it large enough, condition etc. And NOT to take up too much of his time, he also offered to take a look at the second floor, and suggest a "spider" trunk cooling-only system...WOW was this guy GREAT.

    Informative, professional, clean, courteous....if anyone in the Louisville, Ky area is in need of an HVAC tech, Bryant Cooling and Heating has our vote.

    While he was here, he also checked the refrig. level, as well as an electronic temp testing of output and return temps. Also cfm flow before and after the filter...oh yeah, and a humidity test as well.

    Seems that it is his opinion that the system we have is correctly sized, is in good working order, and should give us years of trouble-free operation.

    He was a bit concerned with the fact that ALL of the registers on the first floor had been closed.....he suggestion was to remove the baffles, and use the registers themselves as means to 'drive' more air to the second floor if needed.

    Thanks for everyone's help here.....looks like we are in good shape, until we decide to put in a 2nd floor cooling-only system, hmmm, maybe I should start planning now..any suggestions??

    C2


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    Get that tech's name burned into your memory. Ask for him specifically the next time you need service. And give him your card and tell him to call you if he goes to a different shop. Great service comes from technicians, not companies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    4,264
    I agree with Irascible. The tech is the doctor, and the doctors have the answers. A phone call or note to his company expressing your gratitude for his professionalism would be a nice gesture as well. It gives the owner the feedback he or she needs and appreciates, and provides positive feedback to the tech. Thanks for letting us know how it turned out. Have a great summer!
    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action....Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836

    Re: Thanks for the HELP

    Originally posted by c2motorsports
    I would first like to start by thanking everyone for thier answers, I have found them very helpful.

    I would however like to update the situation: I called a "reputable" HVAC company today, in preparation to leave a message for someone to come out tomorrow.

    Would you believe it, they had a weekend answering service...OH THIS IS GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE :eek low and behold, weekend rate is the same as week rate, already looking good.

    $60 for diagnostics
    $$$ for repair set-rate

    The Tech. came out and quickly diagnosed the problem to be the capacitor on the compressor fan, replaced it, and everything worked. $200...which I thought to be very fair...of course while he was here, I had a wonderful conversation regarding the size of the unit, is it large enough, condition etc. And NOT to take up too much of his time, he also offered to take a look at the second floor, and suggest a "spider" trunk cooling-only system...WOW was this guy GREAT.

    Informative, professional, clean, courteous....if anyone in the Louisville, Ky area is in need of an HVAC tech, Bryant Cooling and Heating has our vote.

    While he was here, he also checked the refrig. level, as well as an electronic temp testing of output and return temps. Also cfm flow before and after the filter...oh yeah, and a humidity test as well.

    Seems that it is his opinion that the system we have is correctly sized, is in good working order, and should give us years of trouble-free operation.

    He was a bit concerned with the fact that ALL of the registers on the first floor had been closed.....he suggestion was to remove the baffles, and use the registers themselves as means to 'drive' more air to the second floor if needed.

    Thanks for everyone's help here.....looks like we are in good shape, until we decide to put in a 2nd floor cooling-only system, hmmm, maybe I should start planning now..any suggestions??

    C2


    cfm flow ,before and after the filter??Could he have said static pressure,instead of cfm?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    Did you really have to quote the whole thing just to ask that?

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