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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Keokuk, IA
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    5,520
    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    ^That's probably to avoid dealing with gas in the attic.

    The best option is to not put equipment in the attic though.
    Try telling more wives that they need to give up a closet space to run ductowrk for a 2 story home... at least in retrofits. In new construction, it woudl be easy to build 1 interior wall with maybe 2x6 consturction and run all utilities up that chase. This unfortunately seems to be an upcommon approach because it may increase the construction costs.

    So instead 50-100 years from now, some sucker will have to gut the house to replace plumbing, piping & electrical. Hmmm... that's good for he buildings trade... hey, I smell a conspiracy.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
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    4,702
    Quote Originally Posted by jmac00 View Post
    A 2300 ft² home can easily be done with one system.

    But someone has to do the math to get the proper air flow to the furthest register from the furnace/air handler.

    The key to most two story homes is the return air from the second floor. If you can get the proper return air you'll be fine. Hi/lo returns are the best, it's what I did in every home. I put individual returns in each room.
    It looks like there is support and momentum behind the idea that one system, well designed, installed by people who care about doing good work or where there is a formal quality control component (Energy Star Rated), is the best solution for most homes.

    Installing 2 systems says: "Your home is going to be so poorly built, including envelope leakage, insulation, and the installation of the hvac equipment, that the only way for me to be certain you will have a modicum of comfort across seasons is install multiple systems."

    That statement may have been 95% true in the last century but it is 20% true today and going down. It really applies to crappier built homes. It is no longer easier nor cheaper to have a second unit rather then design and build well, particularly with our uncertain energy future.

    People buy homes with 30 year financing. $100 annual energy savings will buy $1700 more home. $1700 extra in the right places on most homes today will easily net $100 savings.

    Build an energy star home and a lot of this risk goes away.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
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    2,903
    Try telling more wives that they need to give up a closet space to run ductowrk for a 2 story home... at least in retrofits. In new construction, it woudl be easy to build 1 interior wall with maybe 2x6 consturction and run all utilities up that chase. This unfortunately seems to be an upcommon approach because it may increase the construction costs.
    New attic installs ought to be against code.

    Whoever came up with the idea deserves to be shot.
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Albuquerque NM
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    2,484
    Been thinking about the idea of a two-system solution, using a gas furnace with small AC (maybe 1 ton) downstairs and just a heat pump (maybe 1.5 ton) upstairs. Any downsides to that idea, other than the cost?

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Albuquerque NM
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    2,484
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    EXCELLENT Advice throughout this thread.

    My house would be two 1.5 ton heat pumps.

    SIMPLE and most Reliable.

    How much, if any, would Denver [ mile high city ] "light" air impact selection and performance?
    The altitude in Denver (same as here) affects a gas furnace significantly (10-20%) so you gotta factor that into furnace sizing.

    The altitude and dry air also affects air-to-air cooling. You typically need to run higher CFM/ton (maybe 450-475) than the normal 400 to move the same amount of heat in the indoor coil. Humidity removal isn't normally an issue so the higher CFMs are OK. Also, when selecting a cooling unit size, since the humidity is very low you need to ignore the latent cooling capacity of the condenser, and just use the sensible. The latent loads in Denver (and here) are very small.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361

    The wonders of the marketplace.

    • If a 2000 sq ft home is worth $200,000. Each square foot of living space is worth $100.
    • The mechanical closet typically takes up 10 sq ft of space worth $1000.
    • The mechanical stuff inside of the home in the closet makes more noise in the home.
    • Home buyers like more more living space for the buck and less noise.
    • There you go. The builders are giving the buyers what they want.
    • Buyers see much more value in bling than in ductwork so buiders build bling.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  7. #33
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
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    14,197
    Quote Originally Posted by lynn comstock View Post
    • If a 2000 sq ft home is worth $200,000. Each square foot of living space is worth $100.
    • The mechanical closet typically takes up 10 sq ft of space worth $1000.
    • The mechanical stuff inside of the home in the closet makes more noise in the home.
    • Home buyers like more more living space for the buck and less noise.
    • There you go. The builders are giving the buyers what they want.
    • Buyers see much more value in bling than in ductwork so buiders build bling.

    this is exactly the problem. Like I said, a builder will spend 80G's on a kitchen and then cry like a three year old when they have to spend 15G's on a good HVAC system.

    The only thing in a home that will cost the home owner real dollars EVERY MONTH is a crappy system, so instead of bling, install efficiency.
    BEING AN ADULT

    is the dumbest thing I have ever done

  8. #34
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,423
    Gotta remember...which would a HO want in a new home....Granite countertops with a really cheap HVAC, or Formica with a high eff. HVAC?? Granite wins out every time. What use is Bling if you can't be comfortable living in it??

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Albuquerque NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoo View Post
    Gotta remember...which would a HO want in a new home....Granite countertops with a really cheap HVAC, or Formica with a high eff. HVAC?? Granite wins out every time. What use is Bling if you can't be comfortable living in it??
    Part of the problem is that most HOs and new home buyers don't know crap about HVAC systems (that's included me, about 2 years ago). The other day one of my neighbors was telling me who he was going to install his new system, and why it was going to be so great (according to what the contractor told him). Unfortunately most of what he was telling me was misleading info, sales hype, or just plain BS from the contractor.

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Comfort belongs in the contract. What is thermal comfort? See http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_...ort.html?print
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  11. #37
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    14,197
    Quote Originally Posted by lynn comstock View Post
    Comfort belongs in the contract. What is thermal comfort? See http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_...ort.html?print
    good luck with that! worse design conditions EVER~~~~One stat....2 women
    BEING AN ADULT

    is the dumbest thing I have ever done

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoo View Post
    Gotta remember...which would a HO want in a new home....Granite countertops with a really cheap HVAC, or Formica with a high eff. HVAC?? Granite wins out every time. What use is Bling if you can't be comfortable living in it??
    Actually funny enough Consumers Reports did a comparison of countertop materials and Formica had the best overall score for a combination of durability, stain resistance, maintenance and initial cost. Actually removing cost from the equation and it still scored better in the other 3 categories combiend. I actually wouldn't anything else because it gets dirty too easy, scratches easy and requires a lot of maintenance. the better quality formica is pretty nice these days. I'd rather spend the money on something like double drywall and insulated interior walls to reduce noise between bedrooms, more/arger windows, real solid wood floors and stuff like that. Real interior wood doors.

    Do they even make 2" solid wood interior or 2-1/4" solid wood exterior doors anymore? When the last time you saw a single 40" wide exterior entry door that wasn't because of handicap access requirement. Houses used to have them.

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    9
    Hey all, great stuff...

    I agree at the end here that bling is the big seller for sure. Especially with my wife....

    All said, I can say that I have a ton of great questions to ask the contractor that installs these systems. I also know that the builder will not customize the duct work, it is what is in the plans. I've asked for a copy... I'm certain I'm one of the first to ask for them.

    I have a call to the contractor tomorrow about sizing. What I've found is that the unit installed is a 2.5 ton Lenox 13ACX with the first upgrade to the 2.5 ton Lenox XC17

    However, it sounds as though that upgrade don't mean jack if the ducting is all wacky.

    I also know that the builder only builds dual zone on houses larger than 3k sqft. There isn't even an option for me at this point.

    I could tell them to install nothing and hire someone to do the work, but the ductwork would be what is installed I'm assuming..

    At this point do any of you have any issues with the Selected system? 13ACX? Do you see a reason to move to the XC17?

    I'll come back tomorrow after my conversation with he contractor.

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