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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6

    Switching from a split to a package unit

    Hi, I just bought a 1920 sq foot modular home / double wide that currently has a split system. The outside condensor unit was stolen and so now I am in the market for a heat pump.

    I want to replace whats left of the split unit with a package unit. I don't like the fact that if the drain line clogs that I would have a small flood inside my house, it also seems like the indoor half has rust issues creating a-coil leaks etc. It also seems to me that package units tend to be more reliable, anyways. Anyways I just prefer a package unit.

    Can this be done easily or is it problematic? There is plenty of room underneath the house, I am not sure how the return vent will be configured unless it is put where the indoor half of the split unit was.

    Any insights on this idea of mine?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West Monroe, LA
    Posts
    287
    Can it be done? Yes anything can be done but there will need to be some changes to the duct system. You will need to have the package unit connected to the existing trunk line and have a return installed going back to the new unit. If you go down this road use metal ductwork connections not flex or Ductboard as this are not designed to be in the elements. If it was me depending on what efficient level you are trying to arrive at I would stay with split system set up but don't expect more then 14 seer with split system in a split system due to the limits or area for air handler. You can higher efficient package units up to 15-16 seer maybe more with a package unit.

    So what are you trying to achieve? How much $ are you wanted to invest in this project? Just some things to think about! If you want the most cost effective thing to do at this point then stay with split system if you are wanting to get higher seer/efficient out of the home then package system might be the way to go. You just need to look at your investment costs verus how long you are going to be leaving there. Go with a heat pump either way for good electric bills for both winter & summer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    139
    I wouldn't do it. You got more duct work that is exposed to the elements and that can leak or be chewed through by varmints. You are going to have issues with a good way to run your return that's going to require you to cut some holes through to the outside. Even though they're designed to be outside, I don't like having my heating equipment outside where more heat is wasted.

    My experience has been that packaged equipment doesn't last as long as split systems, but that's probably because most of the packaged equipment I run into is in commercial applications, not residential.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,739
    Expect high energy costs as your equipment attempts to heat and cool the outdoors. Also, these units tend to have much shorter life expectancy. Particularly if going hybrid, combustion and cold temperatures means accelerated metal fatigue.
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    thanks for the answers guys,

    I hope to spend $4000 or less. I plan on living in the house for eternity.

    I guess I was also hoping for the most efficient heat pump for less than $4000, and I was hoping that going to a higher seer package system would not be a very involved task.

    Sounds like a split unit is the best decision at this time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,904
    If the unit is installed with an emergency pan and switch to shut down the system when the main pan overflows, you won't get a flood.

    Split is better than packaged.
    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?"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,758
    A split system will do fine, ASSUMING a few things.

    Proper setup.

    Proper maintenance.

    If the system is installed right and maintained correctly, you will have less trouble with it than if you just keep running it until it quits or floods your home and then call for service.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,739
    If you are going to stay a while you may want to start with an audit. Getting sizing wrong will mean unnecessarily high bills and shortened equipment life.

    Don't just focus on upfront cost, you need to understand total cost. Saving just $500 a year adds up pretty quick if you intend to stay. And shortly people will pay attention to annual energy cost when buying, so it'll matter when you sell too. This green thing is picking up speed.
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    You may just have a rubber hose off the a-coil. Have you HVAC tech run a new drain with a clean out. Yours is just leaking (maybe). This will allow you to clean it. Keep the split system.
    Always here

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    5,085
    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    If the unit is installed with an emergency pan and switch to shut down the system when the main pan overflows, you won't get a flood.

    Split is better than packaged.
    How do you install a secondary pan on a downflow?

    They make inline, drain blockage sensors. If your worried about it, invest in that.


    I wouldn't put a packaged unit in, unless as a last resort.

    There's a reason the biggest market is split systems. Efficiency, life expectancy are the big ones.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,843
    Like any system, it is ALL about proper installation. We do both styles of systems, no marked difference in performance or longevity. I am assuming you are total electric, no fossil fuel?
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,904
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    How do you install a secondary pan on a downflow?
    Those are installed in attics?
    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?"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for all the input guys, The flooding I referred to was at my current house and at some friends houses. I am guilty of only changing filters and then just letting a system run, until it doesn't and then calling the a/c guys.

    I will plan on a split-system. How would I go about getting an audit? I assume just calling an a/c professional and request one but are there any details that I need to provide when I call or things to look out for? Any price range on this service?

    Thanks again everyone

    Yes all electric system

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