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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    San Fernando Valley
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    Ive been following this forum for quite a while and decided to jump in. To begin with I am a homeowner and not a HVAC dude but we recently purchased this 2 story home in the San Fernando Valley (hot summer, cold winter). It was built in the 60's and still has the orgional HVAC system, Gaffers & Sattler. One monster single zone that blows through soffit downstairs and the rest gets pushed up through the attic to the rooms. Lets just say by the time the air gets to the furthest upstairs bedroom, the air is barely cool and the air blasts through vents downstairs. Its the most inefficient unit, if you go out and watch the electric meter when that unit fires up, you would swear the dial that spins on the meter is going to fly right off and shoot through that glass protection.

    So here is my question. 4000 sp foot home, 2000 top, 2000 bottom. I know calcs need to be done but the real question refers to the ducting. When its replaced, would it be better to try to figure a way to push all the ducting through a soffit downstairs and have the upstairs vents in the floor and downstairs vents in ceiling? This would significantly shorten the duct run to upstairs and it would be in cooled soffit vs. through baking attic in summer. The house is about 50 ft long so running the duct through the soffit would make the run less then 50 feet but through the attic it would be about 16 feet up the side of the house then into the attic(hot) and then all the way across the attic (50').

    If running both pipes through the soffit for upstairs and downstairs, and they are side by side how do you get the offshoots past each other that go off to the vents in the floor for upstairs?

    This is the first post and I hope to over time figure this out before committing to an install. And maybe through this a good honest HVAC recommendion will slip out for the San Fernando Valley.

    Last note as to brand recommendations???

    I look forward to hearing from all the expected wide variations in advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Waco, Texas, USA
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    Wow sounds like access between floors is going to be a big problem.

    You bought a 40 yr. old 4000 sq.ft house and you are worried about elect. meter spinning? And even comfort? Sorry Frank but I think you are in for a rude awakening. Can't satisfy all your concerns. You will unfortunately have to compromise somewhere.

    Ever consider several heat/cool window units? Little bugars make a little more noise but you have instant and cheap zoning. This will lower your elect. bill by not running the units that aren't needed. Also you won't have any energy loss through ducts exposed to attic temps.
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Yo.... Here!, I'm right here..
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    Ya gotta have some place to start

    What is more important to you Comfort, Asthetics Or Cost

    in order 1,2,3

    I know this will hurt your head for a minute

    but eventually this will give you what you really want

    [Edited by pjs on 12-04-2005 at 03:13 PM]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    You may want to consider bringing the attic into the building envelope. Having ducts in the attic is a standard motivaton for doing it. See for more information, you blow open cell foam onto the underside of the roof deck to get an air-impermeable insuation layer.

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