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Old 10-28-2009, 03:25 AM
 
13 posts, read 23,178 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs.lea View Post
Is central air installation the nightmare it seems it could be? My husband and I will eventually install it in our home and I am really dreading it for some reason ( not the central air part- whoo hoo welcome to the 21st century...but the hassle and mess).
Mrs Lea

As a Felix Unger-type I too was quite concerned about the hassle and mess but I used a highly recommended company who cleaned up what very little mess they left in each room before they went to the next.When they left all I had to do was do a quick vacuum and light dusting from the sheetrock dust.It truly was that easy.
Also...with CAC we now leave windows closed during pollen season and therefore avoid the green haze that coats everything in the home.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
103 posts, read 230,686 times
Reputation: 22
since the house doesn't already have the ductwork, you should check out mini-split systems. it is like central AC without the ductwork. they're more efficient than ducted central b/c you could control the temp in each room and you don't get any losses as the air travels through ducts. the install requires a small refridgerant line run through the house instead of ducts, and each room/zone gets a wall or ceiling unit. do a google search for mini-splits and you'll get a better idea. Another benefit is that some could be reversed in the winter and used to heat your house as a supplement to your hydronic heating.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:41 AM
 
52 posts, read 146,639 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by chitstirrer View Post
Mrs Lea

As a Felix Unger-type I too was quite concerned about the hassle and mess but I used a highly recommended company who cleaned up what very little mess they left in each room before they went to the next.When they left all I had to do was do a quick vacuum and light dusting from the sheetrock dust.It truly was that easy.
Also...with CAC we now leave windows closed during pollen season and therefore avoid the green haze that coats everything in the home.
Who did you use to do the installation??
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:15 PM
 
182 posts, read 433,048 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanjunkie View Post
since the house doesn't already have the ductwork, you should check out mini-split systems. it is like central AC without the ductwork. they're more efficient than ducted central b/c you could control the temp in each room and you don't get any losses as the air travels through ducts. the install requires a small refridgerant line run through the house instead of ducts, and each room/zone gets a wall or ceiling unit. do a google search for mini-splits and you'll get a better idea. Another benefit is that some could be reversed in the winter and used to heat your house as a supplement to your hydronic heating.

^^I agree. You should be able to save quite a bit of money if you go this route. Keep your hot water heat.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:25 PM
 
13 posts, read 23,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimlisa1020 View Post
Who did you use to do the installation??
Polar Bear Air . I have no connection to them except a very satisfied customer.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Island of long
3,542 posts, read 5,820,608 times
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Ductless split systems are nice. But there are some cons....1) Price- These units are not actually cheap. Mitsubishi units can easily be $5000-$10,000. 2) Repair can get expensive- remember now you will have as many evaporator units as you will have rooms. Which means more of a chance of something failing which = more $. 3) Longevity- with a "normal" a/c system you can expect 12-18 years with prop. maintenance.
Bottom line is central a/c is very easy to install. It usually takes 1 day per unit to install. If you have a 2 story house go with a upstairs & downstairs unit.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:40 PM
 
347 posts, read 801,441 times
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I used Slomins and was happy with the work. It was not as much of a hassle as I thought it would be. Took 2 days.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:27 PM
 
52 posts, read 146,639 times
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Thanks for all the input!! We're hoping to have it done in between our move out/move in dates so we won't be moved in during the installation.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Inis Fada
13,763 posts, read 15,785,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeInLI View Post
^^I agree. You should be able to save quite a bit of money if you go this route. Keep your hot water heat.
You don't have to lose your hot water heat if you install CAC.

I have OHW and installed CAC after the fact. My house is on one level, so the ductwork was run through the attic. The main unit sits in the attic in an area in which one could only crawl. The hosing to the outside unit is run discretely down a rear wall and encased giving it the appearance of a gutter downspout.

We have one section of the house which was not accessible by way of the ductwork (cathedral ceilings in that room and the rooms leading to it.)
We had a seperate Sanyo unit run to that room. I can close off the French wood doors to the area and leave the AC off when no one is home.

As far as mess -- very, very minimal. A little dust where the sheetrock was cut for the return and the duct covers. Again, being on one level meant the bulk of the work was in the attic. We didn't lose much attic space, either, as the flexible ductwork was run along rafters in the larger attic space.

The Sanyo unit installation also produced minimal dust. The only downside is that you do end up with a decent sized unit on a wall in the room in which it is installed. The unit my room required is approx 12Hx10Dx36W. This model was installed a year ago; I don't know if they are making them any smaller.

I was a very much against CAC because of the initial cost, thinking it would make a mess. Now that I have it, I kick myself for not doing it sooner. I am an asthmatic and it made summer much easier on my lungs than using window units.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:51 AM
 
959 posts, read 1,363,682 times
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We have steam heat and decided to keep it and install CAC. We had it done when we were renovating our home after we bought it. A couple pieces of advice:

1. If your home is a colonial, really think about a two-zone system. It's much more efficient and you will really like the fact that your top floor isn't too hot. Install one unit in the attic and the other in the basement.

2. Make sure that your AC installer uses proper calculations to figure out the load you will need for each zone. Proper sizing is crucial. If your unit is too powerful, it will keep switching on and off. If it is too small, it will run forever and never properly cool off an area.

3. If your attic is really a third floor with bedrooms and a bathroom, make sure you balance your system. We had this issue. The attic top floor gets much much hotter for obvious reasons. Make sure the dampers going to the 2nd Floor are closed a bit so that the pressure upstairs in the attic is a bit higher. This keeps temps more even between the two floors.

4. Finally, think about getting an energy efficient system. We went with 16 SEER. The electric bills were VERY reasonable because of it. You'll pay a bit more for the units but it's well worth it.

5. Don't go with the high velocity CAC units. These use very small ducts which supposedly are good for older homes. Well, regulary ducts can just as easily be installed, and secondly, the high velocity units can be noisy unless installed perfectly. Go with conventional if you can.

Good luck.
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