Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Hi, I am a complete newbie, having only bought my house a year ago.

    I have a cute first home that was remodeled a few years ago. The only problem is that the temperature variation on the main floor is a bit too much for me from season to season.

    I do not have a furnace or ducting. I have a thing that looks like a wood stove but is actually gas in the basement - it is thermostatically controlled (temperature sensor is in a small remote control). So the finished basement (family room, two bedrooms) is always perfect, and it's also cool enough in the summer. The previous owners did good with environmentally-responsible stuff, for instance I have one of those instant-hot-water-heaters (no water tank). I'd like to continue on that track.

    The problem is the upper/main floor. I have zonal electrical heaters (they blow hot air) in the walls that are ugly and I hate using them as they are all manual. Also in the summer it gets too hot sometimes. I live in Portland OR and there are always 3-4 weeks where it gets above 90 - ceiling fans don't cut it, and I work from home.

    I am changing the upper floor to wood floors (so it will be even colder), and I am getting a grand piano, and you really don't want extreme temperature swings with one of those.

    I really don't want a window a/c or one of those ugly thru-wall a/c's. I basically want 10-15 degrees warmer in the winter, and 10-15 degrees cooler in the summer, stable temperature range and no weird humidity extremes (because of the piano).

    So I'm looking for recommendations. One thing that looks like it might be a good option is mini-splits...? I only learned about them yesterday. Are they only for A/C or do they also work for heat? I'd really probably only need it to go into two locations on the main floor. My dining room (which opens to my living room, where the piano will be), and my office (computer equipment). My main floor is only 765 square feet.

    I am also thinking of a very small gas fireplace in a corner unit. kozyheat makes a nifty looking fireplace for a room corner with a wine cabinet above - the "two harbors" model. don't know if that would be sufficient for heat.

    Anything else I should consider? Maybe even one of those solar-powered attic fans would be good enough for cooling? Are there other environmentally-responsible things I should be considering? Does geothermal require ducting? I am not really even sure how to take the next step to learn about my options, other than asking here. I tried calling Home Depot but they didn't have a clue - they just tried to sell me portable heaters and a/c units. All I know is I don't want those, and I don't want to tear apart walls or subfloor to install inside-the-house ducting. Too expensive, too much of an ordeal.

    Thanks for any suggestions. I'm hoping to get things accomplished in the next six weeks. Also, I don't mind spending a bit extra for even lower electricity/gas bills.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,736
    really can't give ideas without seeing it. call a couple local companies and see what they suggest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    i would recomend sanyo ductless heat pump units this way you will not have any duct work and can still cool and heat your house. heat pump should not cause extreme humidity swings either

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,288
    Originally posted by tunesmith

    Thanks for any suggestions. I'm hoping to get things accomplished in the next six weeks. Also, I don't mind spending a bit extra for even lower electricity/gas bills.
    Wow, That is a lot of questions. All I can say is call several reputable HVAC contractors in your area and see what they have to say. Don't be shy. Ask questions.

    I can't believe Home Depot didn't try to sell you a Trane system. ;~)

  5. #5
    Actually, now that you mention it, they did say something about a Trane system. :-) I didn't know what they were talking about so I ignored it.

    The responses are helpful already. I didn't even know what a HVAC contractor is. Are there resources to find reputable contractors? My two best ideas right now are to ask the realtor who sold me my house, and to check the yellow pages.

  6. #6
    Also, just wondering, who do people call to come out and give advice if they're not certain they need a HVAC contractor yet? For instance, I wouldn't want to be be receiving recommendations on a two thousand dollar (or whatever) minisplit system if it turns out that an attic fan and some window films would do the job. But I'm not sure what sort of person to call and ask about that level of stuff. Are there people for that kind of thing?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    68
    Ask around your area for a good HVAC contractor. Also a good contractor will not sell you something you dont need. There are some honest people out there it just might be a little difficult to find them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,273
    Originally posted by tunesmith
    Hi, I am a complete newbie, having only bought my house a year ago.

    I live in Portland OR and there are always 3-4 weeks where it gets above 90 - ceiling fans don't cut it, and I work from home.

    I basically want 10-15 degrees warmer in the winter, and 10-15 degrees cooler in the summer, stable temperature range and no weird humidity extremes (because of the piano).

    One thing that looks like it might be a good option is mini-splits...? I only learned about them yesterday.

    Thanks for any suggestions. I'm hoping to get things accomplished in the next six weeks. Also, I don't mind spending a bit extra for even lower electricity/gas bills.
    Given a 6-Week schedule,
    2-ton or less Mini-split Heat Pump is the only option.

    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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event