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Old 07-21-2008, 11:19 PM
 
27,217 posts, read 20,665,296 times
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Mods: can we change the name of the thread?

I thought I would attract more attetion with help me!

I think it might be better suited if it was "Let's talk about your HVAC system"
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:55 AM
 
1,075 posts, read 2,474,905 times
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Here’s an easy one for ya on a gas furnace.

Standard (not brand just word term) gas furnace, standard normal thermostat wiring, a/c-heat wiring. no heat pump.

Furnace wouldn’t kick on so I went thru the usual thermostat jumps, it checked out ok, on the bottom of the gas valve you have your lil red reset button, so I hit it poof burner ignites, fan kicks on all is well, next cycle it doesn’t kick on again so lil red button time again, all works fine as long as the lil red button gets lots of attention, so I’m thinking ok lil dirt in the valve maybe.

Later it starts cycling short, all kicks on but runs for just a few minutes, shuts down, then restarts, shuts down, etc, so I take part of the outer cover off the unit leaving it off and it runs just fine, cover back on and we have the symptoms reappear.

Summing it up, even with cover off, it may kick on may not but 80% of the time it will, if I have to hit the lil red button it runs fine also, if furnace is shut down for a day or so defiantly a red button hit, sporadic lil rascal.

Now I’m thinking fan / limit switch, what ya think.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:28 AM
 
27,217 posts, read 20,665,296 times
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Sounds like a roll out switch. How old is the system?
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,477,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
Help you......tell me your problems with your HVAC/R system...Tell me what you want to learn....Tell me what's wrong or what you think is wrong with your HVAC system...Help me get better at my job. At the same time I will help you be comfortable at a reasonable price....I will give that info for free

Shameless plug to help my education

I'll be 100% totally honest and if I can't solve it I will absolutely find someone that can.
My home is a 2050 sq. ft. 1955 construction rancher. I am in the process of remodeling and have brought most of the previously un-insulated walls up to R-13. The ceiling is currently inadequately insulated but will have insulation blown in upon completion of attic electrical work. The ducts are older (they are actually galvanized rather than aluminum) and probably need to be re-sealed and re-insulated (or replaced). I have a vaulted ceiling in the den (I estimate it to be about 675 sq. ft.) that has what appears to be R-6 equivalent rock wool batting in the rafter space.

Is there anything I can do to beef up the vaulted ceiling insulation short of tearing out sheetrock or re-roofing?

What do you think is the best material for blown attic insulation?

Would you recommend removing the old ducts and replacing them with insulated flex ducting?

Based on the information above, what do you think are some important points to maximize the efficiency of my A/C system?

I routinely pressure wash my compressor coils. Can I damage anything doing that? Are there any other DIY maintenance practices that I can/should be doing?
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Is there anything I can do to beef up the vaulted ceiling insulation short of tearing out sheetrock or re-roofing?
I would assume there is no lighting or penetrations in it. Vaulted ceilings don't leave you with many options and short of what your asking about I wouldn't know of anything that could easily be done. If I were just because of the nature of vaulted ceilings I would at least search around for foamers in your area if not insulation will be your best bet. Foam has a great advantage of reducing infiltration to almost niel and also providing good R values. It may be difficult like with the other poster to actually find a contractor that's doing it in your area. A downside is not knowing when your roof leaks because of it being sealed tight....so weighing the options it may not be worth it to you. I'll be honest although I know about building materials and insulation values my main focus is the actual HVAC system so my exp. is probably lacking somewhat from local contractors in your area.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
What do you think is the best material for blown attic insulation?
Just because of how important location is to understanding the needs of the home a local contacotr for that might be the best choice. Uggg I know I said I would find the answer but I guess in context what I meant was more along the lines of HVAC and not so much insulating. Anything that can increase R value and decrease infiltration will work in your advantage but it appears you already know that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Would you recommend removing the old ducts and replacing them with insulated flex ducting?
Both duct systems can be equal. Some of the advatages of flex duct is it's quiet but it must be sized properly. If you have little to no insulation on your duct right now and they are in the attic I would strongly advise getting some with as high an R value as possible. Unless the ducts are in bad shape there is no reason they can't be sealed and insulated. If they are I wouldn't waste time. rigid duct is liked in the industry because it looks good and is considered top of the line. In reality if the contractor knows what he's doing both can be applied and give the same results. Flex runs should be as tight and straight as possible and sealed well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Based on the information above, what do you think are some important points to maximize the efficiency of my A/C system?
Duct leakage (especially when in the attic) and ducts being insulated (again when in the attic). Leaks are so important because if you have a supply that leaks in the attic you will be blowing air from inside the home into the attic or effectively outside and it will leave the home in a lower pressure than outside causing higher infiltration rates. If the return is in the attic and is not properly sealed then it will suck in hot attic air which is horrible for effciency. A blower door test shows just about all your leaks possible and will allow you to seal the home up tighter. They can also give you an accurate infltration rate. It maybe that if you can seal all the little air leaks you can cut your infiltration rate dramatically. But you should count on needing 25% air exchange rate with outside air per hour to fluch indoor pollutants. In really tight homes you might have to install a mech. fresh air ventilation system to bring you to that 25% ACH rate. If you have can lights make sure they are well sealed in the attic under the insulation (those things are like little chimneys sucking the air from your home). Shading obviously on the sides of the house with direct sunlight will help along with curtains and blinds if you don't already have them. Changing lights to flourscents or lower wattage bulbs can help out a lot. 10 60watt bulbs can be equal to 2047 btu or a little over 1/6 of a ton. The same bulbs replaced with flourscents only equates to 444 btu.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
I routinely pressure wash my compressor coils. Can I damage anything doing that? Are there any other DIY maintenance practices that I can/should be doing?
Pressure washing can be fine but make sure you stand far back and only aim straight do not bend the fins over or the condenser is ruined (I generally don't recommend it and would rather just use a garden hose with a good fine tip nozzle). If you feel comfortable with opening the air handler and gaining access to the evaporator coil spraying with a no rinse spray or lightly brushing the coil with a brush made to do so (see appliance coil brushes) will help keep the bypass factor of the coil low. obviously changing the filters routinely and not buying pleated filters unless your system is made for it will help keep it clean. The air exchange rate is what keeps your home free og pollutants the air filter is made to keep the evap. coil and fan ducts clean. the exception is the thick media filter or other IAQ products. Those have to be designed specifically for your system and should be much much larger in size for the return vent....the advantage is less filter changes and a cleaner air handler. Keeping all vents and doors open and free of dirt debrais also helps with keeping the home cool. You would be surprises how much a little dirt on the return vent starts to effect the system. other than that the rest of routine maintenance is checking out the electrical which I wouldn't advise for a DIY'er unless your an electrican and would know what the numbers tell you.

So keep the coils clean and change the filter/s and seal up the home. I usually try and tell folks to keep an eye out for the future just because you find 100 things wrong you want to fix doesn't mean they all need to be done right then. A well thought out improvement plan can be wonderful. The best plan is to upgrade the envolope as much as possible because in the end that's what your trying to cool the HVAC system is just there to help.....with well sealed homes you may be able to use very small equipment and the home will hold or keep the heat out much more effciently.


Rememebr anytime your cleaning your coils always shut power off @ the main breaker/disconnect. I'll read over my reply to you and see if I missed anything.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,477,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
Both duct systems can be equal. Some of the advatages of flex duct is it's quiet but it must be sized properly. If you have little to no insulation on your duct right now and they are in the attic I would strongly advise getting some with as high an R value as possible. Unless the ducts are in bad shape there is no reason they can't be sealed and insulated. If they are I wouldn't waste time. rigid duct is liked in the industry because it looks good and is considered top of the line. In reality if the contractor knows what he's doing both can be applied and give the same results. Flex runs should be as tight and straight as possible and sealed well.
Is there anything that would preclude me from doing the work of replacing the rigid ducts with flex duct? I have a lot of long, straight runs in the attic and I could reclaim a lot of space by removing the veritable masterpiece of suspending wire up there and running new flex duct on top of the joists. Would it be safe to simply replace 8" with 8" and 10" with 10" or do I need to sit down with a calculator? How tight is "as tight as possible" and what is the SOP for sealing flex duct connections?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
If you have can lights make sure they are well sealed in the attic under the insulation (those things are like little chimneys sucking the air from your home) ... Changing lights to flourscents or lower wattage bulbs can help out a lot. 10 60watt bulbs can be equal to 2047 btu or a little over 1/6 of a ton. The same bulbs replaced with flourscents only equates to 444 btu.
My house had this very edgy and futuristic (for 1955) and completely inadequate mood lighting as the only light source in the kitchen and den. I tore that crap out and put 10 cans in the kitchen (its a big kitchen). The cans are the airtight variety and have been totally overkilled with high temp caulk from the attic side. Sufficient?
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:31 AM
 
27,217 posts, read 20,665,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Is there anything that would preclude me from doing the work of replacing the rigid ducts with flex duct? I have a lot of long, straight runs in the attic and I could reclaim a lot of space by removing the veritable masterpiece of suspending wire up there and running new flex duct on top of the joists. Would it be safe to simply replace 8" with 8" and 10" with 10" or do I need to sit down with a calculator? How tight is "as tight as possible" and what is the SOP for sealing flex duct connections?
That's really getting more into where you will start spending money and I'd rather step back from that. The reason being (pointing no fingers) I haven't met you and don't know your skills. You sound like you can handle it but when investing money I will always favor in the side of hiring a pro over internet advice.

I will give you some reading material and a duct calculator that I have acquired over time and let you make your own judgment as to if you think you can handle it or it should be contracted out. Nothing personal...sorry.

http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/6/...t_Council_.pdf
Online Residential Ductulator - EfficientComfort.net
Air Duct Calculator - EfficientComfort.net
Friction Rate Calculator - EfficientComfort.net (http://efficientcomfort.net/jsp/FrictionRate.jsp - broken link)
Stepwise Air Balancing - EfficientComfort.net (http://efficientcomfort.net/jsp/Balancing.jsp - broken link)

Again nothing personal someone really has to be on the job to truly make decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
My house had this very edgy and futuristic (for 1955) and completely inadequate mood lighting as the only light source in the kitchen and den. I tore that crap out and put 10 cans in the kitchen (its a big kitchen). The cans are the airtight variety and have been totally overkilled with high temp caulk from the attic side. Sufficient?
Yeah

Most aren't that's why I say that. even then they make flood type fluorescent though kinda expensive that would help cut down on heat load.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,477,920 times
Reputation: 6664
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
Again nothing personal someone really has to be on the job to truly make decisions.
Nothing personal taken. I totally understand and definitely appreciate the links. Can you enlighten me about sealing the connections anyway? EDIT *Just started reading the linked .pdf* I promise I won't sue for the difference in my electric bill if I screw it up. You're not in the Houston area are you? I might have a job for you.
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL
2,830 posts, read 8,879,812 times
Reputation: 1819
Default I'll take you up on your offer

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
Help you......tell me your problems with your HVAC/R system...Tell me what you want to learn....Tell me what's wrong or what you think is wrong with your HVAC system...Help me get better at my job. At the same time I will help you be comfortable at a reasonable price....I will give that info for free

Shameless plug to help my education

I'll be 100% totally honest and if I can't solve it I will absolutely find someone that can.
Our home was built in 1978. We have 2500 sq. ft under air. We have one 5 ton unit for the house. The ceiling is insulated R-30, walls R-19. We live in south Florida.

The problem - Our master bedroom is the furthest distance from the air handler and we swelter in summer months. We set the unit at 78 during the day and 73 at night to cool down the master. This means we are cooling an entire house unnecessarily just so that we can be comfortable.

We recently installed hurricane impact windows which has helped by about 3 -4 degrees. But the problem still exists.

What do you suggest? We have been told to supplement using a Mr. Slim or adding another air compressor. I don't want a ductless system because that means having a unit hangining in my wall. Portable a/c is also not an option.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:07 PM
 
27,217 posts, read 20,665,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Nothing personal taken. I totally understand and definitely appreciate the links. Can you enlighten me about sealing the connections anyway? EDIT *Just started reading the linked .pdf* I promise I won't sue for the difference in my electric bill if I screw it up. You're not in the Houston area are you? I might have a job for you.
Nahh I'm in the Charlotte area sorry.
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