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  1. #1

    System for new house

    Hi,
    I am trying to pick a system for a new house I am having built. The contractor is trying to get me to install 2 heat-pump units. One upstairs and one in the basement.

    I think I only want one unit installed. It would be propane. I do not like electric heat or heat-pumps. It would have a DC blower motor that I would run 24 hours a day to keep the air circulating (it costs almost nothing to run a DC motor), with an electric filter like the clean affects. I think I could have a return air in the basement and upstairs to pull air from both areas. I would also have a 2 stage unit. I am not sure what seer or efficiency rating to get on the furnace. I am thinking maybe 90 % on the furnace and 13 seer 2 stage AC.

    The builder is telling me that the walkout basement even though it is well insulated will have a much different temperature than upstairs. I am thinking if I am always moving air that the temperatures would equalize somewhat. I don't want the cost of installing and maintaining 2 HVAC units.

    Please I am open to any advise and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,658
    Heat rises and cold air falls. It will be difficult to maintain temps on 2 different floors. At the very least. I would go with zoning. As far as going straight propane. It is very expensive to heat a house with. If you're set on propane. I would install a heat pump and use the propane as backup or emergency heat. Trust me on this one. You will get a huge shock on your propane usage. Almost everybody that has installed only propane for heat regrets it when you have to pay for it.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,341
    I Built my house 20 years ago. Propane/wood combo. This is the first year that I ran on Propane only and I was shocked. It was three times the cost of burning wood.
    Two furnaces is the way to go, I would think about heat pumps too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,744
    I agree with BM.....stay away from propane. I would do a geothermal (one system) with the ductwork designed so you can control each level seperately thru manually dampering or (auto) zoning.

    How large is the home to be and where are you located?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,888
    if your set on one system and propane dual fuel and and a zone system would be the way to go

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    121
    I don't think there are many 13 SEER 2 stage AC units out there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,125
    Have you used propane in the past? We have customers pleading for any solution to get them out of propane. The price is unbelievable.
    I would build the home to the highest possible insulation standards, (foam), avoid propane at all costs, re-consider air to air heat pumps, and maybe even consider geo-thermal, if it's in your budget. And of coarse make sure the HVAC systems are PROPERLY SIZED!
    2 separate systems are the best way to go.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Galveston Texas
    Posts
    530
    Quote Originally Posted by airsys View Post
    I don't think there are many 13 SEER 2 stage AC units out there.
    at 13 seer i don't believe there are any, but i could be wrong.

    Like has been said heat raises, and cold air falls. You won't have a good temperature on one floor, no matter what. The only way you can even possibly get away with a single system on a multi-story house is if it is absolutely sized correctly, ductwork done absolutely correctly and it is zoned. 2 units are definitely the way to go.

    The problem with running the fan 24/7 is the fact that when the cooling cycle ends it won't allow the coil to completely get rid of the moisture on it, and therefore will put it BACK into the house. If you live in a humid environment you'll be working to get the humidity out of the house in the first place, and if you can't get it all out of the system and it's going backinto the house then you'll be defeating the purpose.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,642
    Well built, air tight, and controlled fresh air ventilation are my concerns for comfort and health. Are you concerned about indoor air quality? Fresh is needed to purge indoor pollutants and renew oxygen. Should include fresh air change and maintaining comfortable humidity levels. Usually this includes winter humidification and summer dehumidification.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,429

    Hmm LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric2 View Post
    Hi,
    I am trying to pick a system for a new house I am having built. The contractor is trying to get me to install 2 heat-pump units. One upstairs and one in the basement.

    I think I only want one unit installed. It would be propane. I do not like electric heat or heat-pumps. It would have a DC blower motor that I would run 24 hours a day to keep the air circulating (it costs almost nothing to run a DC motor), with an electric filter like the clean affects. I think I could have a return air in the basement and upstairs to pull air from both areas. I would also have a 2 stage unit. I am not sure what seer or efficiency rating to get on the furnace. I am thinking maybe 90 % on the furnace and 13 seer 2 stage AC.

    The builder is telling me that the walkout basement even though it is well insulated will have a much different temperature than upstairs. I am thinking if I am always moving air that the temperatures would equalize somewhat. I don't want the cost of installing and maintaining 2 HVAC units.

    Please I am open to any advise and suggestions.
    You need an INDEPENDENT HVAC design.
    ..... I would be inclined to start with 2 systems in a design effort unless the house is "quite small".


    No location or house size or envelope details or life style ...
    SO nearly all comments here would not be too meaningful.

    Hybrid - dual fuel
    if in an appropriate Location.


    EXCEPT
    OF COURSE
    ... STAY AWAY FROM PROPANE.
    ........ unless you own one of those Money Trees.
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    East Grand Forks, MN
    Posts
    1,375

    How about me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric2 View Post
    Hi,
    I am trying to pick a system for a new house I am having built. The contractor is trying to get me to install 2 heat-pump units. One upstairs and one in the basement.

    I think I only want one unit installed. It would be propane. I do not like electric heat or heat-pumps. It would have a DC blower motor that I would run 24 hours a day to keep the air circulating (it costs almost nothing to run a DC motor), with an electric filter like the clean affects. I think I could have a return air in the basement and upstairs to pull air from both areas. I would also have a 2 stage unit. I am not sure what seer or efficiency rating to get on the furnace. I am thinking maybe 90 % on the furnace and 13 seer 2 stage AC.

    The builder is telling me that the walkout basement even though it is well insulated will have a much different temperature than upstairs. I am thinking if I am always moving air that the temperatures would equalize somewhat. I don't want the cost of installing and maintaining 2 HVAC units.

    Please I am open to any advise and suggestions.
    WOW! Is there opinions or what.

    The only time I recommend a two system approach would be when your cooling load is greater than 5 tons; otherwise one system is sufficient and more than enough to meet the building loads, and if there is too much differing peak loads, then go with zoning.

    With the prices of propane these days and the future, I would definitely offer and go with Heat Pumps systems. Of course, with a propane back up.

  12. #12
    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    The house is going to be 2500 sq feet counting the walkout basement. ICF construction in Northwest Arkansas.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric2 View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    The house is going to be 2500 sq feet counting the walkout basement. ICF construction in Northwest Arkansas.
    1250 up and 1250 down?

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