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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    4
    I am in the process of replacing my entire HVAC system in our 120 year old brick rowhouse in DC with little to no insulation, and drafty windows. Here is my plan, please give me your experience/advice on it.


    Current Setup:
    Basement gas 40 Gal Water Heater
    Basement gas forced air furnace
    Both inefficient, poorly maintained, and in need of replacement. Both vent through clay lined chimney that makes me nervous.
    Attic, Ruud UBHC electric air handler with an old Sears condensor for AC.

    Current problems:
    1st floor, heat is either all on or all off. Noisy, dry, uncomfortable, smells bad.

    House Setup: Whole house is either hard wood (oak) or tile flooring. Will be opening the wet wall in the next few weeks to also redo both 2nd floor bathrooms. So I will have a direct shot to run water to the attic from the basement if necessary.

    Solution:
    Since I have access to the 1st floor joists from the basement/crawlspace, I would like to go with radiant heating for the 1st floor. Two primary heat zones there. 1 front and 1 back, each with 3 rooms. Roughly 1000 sq/ft.
    2nd floor will be a mix of radiant for the bathrooms, and hydro-air for the sleeping areas since I can't get under the flooring on the 2nd floor bedrooms. Also about 800 sq/ft.

    Based on my heatloss calculations, the setup I've described, and my own equipment research/preferences, basically we need the following:

    Munchkin 140M Boiler
    Munchkin SSU-60 Indirect water heater
    PEX for radiant
    Joist Trak for hanging radiant
    Recycled Cotton Insulation for joist bays
    3, 3 or 4 loop manifolds (allowing for some future expansion)
    4 Taco 007 Circulating Pumps (3 for radiant, 1 for pushing to Hydro-Air)
    Vision 2 system from Munchkin to incorporate our outdoor reset and temp handling for the various zones.
    Carrier Infinity Hydro-Air Handler???

    Now the 140M makes sense due to our horribly insulated house, and the 60 Gal heater due to the fact that 45 is too small, and 80 to big, but the main issue I am having is what the Hydro-Air unit. What unit shoudl I use. What must I purchase. Is there a specific Carrier Hydro Unit? Do I just get a Fan Coil and buy a seperate boiler fed Hydro Coil? Should I be looking at the Apollo Hydro Heat MA Handlers? http://www.mindreactor.com/apollo/prod/ah_ma.html
    Who else makes good Hydronic Air Handlers?

    This is a 100% DIY job (I am capable without issue, have the necessary experience, plumber, electrician...) so I am trying to figure out the correct model to purchase. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.

    [Edited by santanaf on 11-03-2005 at 01:48 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,918
    Originally posted by santanaf
    This is a 100% DIY job (I am capable without issue, have the necessary experience, plumber, electrician...)

    [Edited by santanaf on 11-03-2005 at 01:48 PM]

    One of the advantages of hiring a pro is getting his years of experience & training. Since you are capable without issue, you shouldn't have to ask us for help - something which is against our rules anyway so don't expect much info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,209


    This is a 100% DIY job (I am capable without issue, have the necessary experience, plumber, electrician...) so I am trying to figure out the correct model to purchase. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.



    OOPS

    I can feel it coming. Good luck to you!
    Proud supporter of Springfield Millers and Oregon Ducks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    4

    DIY does not mean Amature

    The primary purpose of this message is to gather opinions on brands for use in my scenario, not an opinion of correctness or suggestion of corrections on my scenario.

    When I write DIY, I mean DIY, as in, I am doing this job myself. I have several years experience working with a Master Plumber/Electrician/Carpenter, as well as several years experience working with an HVAC specialist (who is bitter that I decided to go to college and will no longer speak with me).

    Thus far I have personally completed several bathroom re-models which included re-plumbing the entire house with permits and to code, including sub floor radiant heating using Quick Trak.

    I have rewired an entire house, which included the removal of even knob and tube wiring, down to replacing the basic service, again with permits and to code, all using smarthome devices and controls.

    I have added bathrooms where they did not exist, I done a complete ground up install of a gourmet kitchen with granite, viking appliances, and custom cabinetry.

    I am not an amature but I have not been in the HVAC industry for some time and am asking for recs and opinions, mostly on the hyrdo air handler options that I have given in my above message, as these options were not available during my time in the industry.

    Please realize, this is my passion, my DIY house is what I do. This is not to cut corners, and not to save cost, it is to lead a life that I enjoy.

    By profession I am a computer programmer. If a non professional programmer would like my opinions on something that they would like to attempt, I will be more than happy to assist them in suggestions and cautions.

    Please realize, DIY does not equate to amature in all situations.

    [Edited by santanaf on 11-03-2005 at 03:52 PM]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,763
    You'll have better luck geting DIY info from heatinghelp.com.


    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    4

    Thank you

    Thank you beenThere. When I am all finished up I will proudly post my install pics here.

    Something for all of the pro's to keep in mind.

    Given the time, patience, and intelligence, and dilligence, even the most inexperienced person can produce superior quality work.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,247

    Thumbs up R-Value 7 / inch

    Originally posted by santanaf
    Thank you beenThere.
    When I am all finished up I will Proudly post my install pics here.

    Something for all of the pro's to keep in mind.
    Given the time, patience, and intelligence, and dilligence, even the most inexperienced person
    can produce superior quality work.
    And THE Smart DIY Worker will
    INSULATE FIRST

    so that the equipment Size
    can be determined ..

    likely to be HALF size
    given a 120 year old house.

    http://www.airtightinsulation.com/

    http://www.airtightinsulation.com/02...l/02.AT_SF.htm

    Cheers !

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    4

    Re: R-Value 7 / inch

    Dan, I know what you mean. The primary issue with our place is that insulation is about as good as it is going to get. The back addition of the house is wood frame, only a 11x12 two story, while the front 15x45 of the house is all masonry, two course thick, with plaster on brick.
    So thus far, it is insulated as well as it can be with the exception of the basement joists, kept open for radiant. Last winter we prepared ahead, insulating the wood frame addition while the walls were open for electrical, network, and plumbing.

    The windows in the house are drafty becuase they are original, but I love them and the historic district appreciates me keeping them, complete with wavy single pane glass. So I built some cedar storms and that tightened them up significantly. Bottom line is, we are as insulated as we are going to get, and now it is time for the HVAC.

    By the way, the last HVAC contractor in our house was one of TJ Fannon's (http://www.tjfannon.com/). Someone with a great reputation in our area, been around as long as our house has been. What did they do? Installed a Ruud UBHC handler that was roughly HALF size for the purpose, and then they hooked up only HALF of the elements. That was when the previous owner lived here. After we bought the place and it started to get cold, we cranked on the heat, low and behold, there wasn't much of it. So we gave Fannon a call. The guy they sent out was the original estimater/installer, only he didn't remember it. He cursed the "idiot who installed this thing" up and down, told us how it was undersized for the application, and then "fixed" it and tried to charge us $100. Not saying this for any sort of "I told you so" factor, just that on any given day, any given person can be just as incompetent as anyone else.

    I really appreciate the help.

    Would love it if anyone mentioned brands of hydro coils and handler combos that work well for them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    539
    Well, I'm interested in how this is going to turn out.

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