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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1
    Hi, I am new to this site and to HVAC issues. I am the owner of a 1923 colonial, three floors, and want to install central air. We have no duct work. I have just gotten a bid from a highly respected contractor who has nothing good to say about high velocity systems. He said it will be less aesthetically pleasing and probably more expensive than the traditional system (with hard duct work). Running the system he suggests will take some of my closet space and there will be a build out in one room.

    I wonder if someone would be willing to give me the pros and cons of these products. Before speaking to this guy, I was thinking that the high velocity system was probably the way to go.

  2. #2
    42yrs exp is offline Professional Member BM -bad email address
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    176

    Hmm He's right

    The problem with some people is once they have their mind make up they will do what they want even if its not right.
    However, here is some advice from an old timer that is in this business (46 years plus)

    From My experience those systems are not that great. Have the contractor install the duct in corners of the rooms or across the ceiling or Thru closets. If the duct is installed in the corners of the rooms or across the ceiling have a carpenter box it in with sheet rock to make it look like part of the wall.

    A Note of caution: Have the contractor install the duct a bit larger that he would if running it thru the wall. Because many homes do not have sufficient air to upstairs rooms due in large part to the small space the duct is in in the wall. I do this all the time and customers love the fact that they are getting plenty of air to the rooms, it makes a satified customer.

    Good luck with your choice.

    Keep in mind that good air supply to the rooms is as important, or maybe more important than the equipment size.




    [Edited by 42yrs exp on 08-30-2005 at 05:44 AM]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    6,098
    Kathy
    Your highly respected contractor has probably never been trained on HV systems. They have been around for many years and as with all systems need to be installed “properly”. Do a search here on Unico, Space-Pac or High velocity. I would also search heat load/loss and the importance of instillation.
    It has been a long hot summer but don’t jump into this to fast. Do your homework. It will pay off for many years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,390

    Exclamation MANY Alternatives

    Originally posted by kathylou
    ... 1923 colonial, three floors, and want to install central air. ... no duct work.
    ... it will be less aesthetically pleasing and probably more expensive than the traditional system

    Running the system he suggests will take some of my closet space and there will be a build out in one room.

    Sounds like contractor may have your best
    interests for reliable, economical A/C in mind.

    No duct work ... also means no existing heating?

    How much Insulation do you have in ceiling and walls?

    Age of Windows? Infiltration?
    Are you planning on having a blower door test to determine infiltration? I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND test on an
    83 year old house in order to have the A/C sizing
    selected appropriate to your specific needs & conditions.

    Kathy,

    It is highly likely that without adressing
    infiltration the A/C design and instllation
    may NOT be adeqaute. Contact local air balancer and/or utility to discuss testing.
    Note: Very few A/C firms provide this service.

    http://www.infiltec.com/inf-bd.htm

    What does your ACCA Manual J load analysis tell
    you about the overall A/C systems requirements
    and set-up?

    No Square Footage for each floor was mentioned
    so a realistic perspective on Your situation
    can not be provided.

    How many rooms on each floor (4, 5, 6, 7 ?)would indicate the complexity of the air distribution.

    3 floors may mean 3 (2 minimum) unique systems
    to address a small-medium 1923 colonial.

    The 2nd floor may be a candidate for a high velocity system. Feasible air handler locations have to be determined first.

    Unico & Spacepak are the two most noted mfgs.
    http://www.spacepak.com/html/literature.asp
    http://www.unicosystem.com/

    Pro's:
    _ One may be able to make it fit without a build-out or less chases and soffits.

    Con's:
    _ EXPENSE
    _ Local techs may not be familiar with Hi-Velocity system.

    Need more specific advice ...
    you may e-mail me.


    [Edited by dan sw fl on 08-30-2005 at 02:12 PM]
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    6,098

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    I use them,but really would rather duct a house,I just feel I have more options.They do work well and we have fixed a few by others that did not work well or were noisey. This system is best installed by people who do them alot. They are a diffrent animal.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    32
    Good advice. 42yrs exp
    I too am an old timmer, your just a kid I have 45 years in the trade.
    good to see old timmers posting here.
    42 years? do you see a lot of the trade fading as we all die off?
    seems like when the old timers go they take alittle of the trade with them.
    I would like to talk to you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    110
    Installed properly, high velocity systems work great and are not noisy. The equipement is more expensive but unico is a well made product, its the only brand i have experience with, and yes if installed improperly they suck, just like any other system.

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