Thread Number: 88125  /  Tag: Air Conditioners
A/C gone bad
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Post# 1127095   8/28/2021 at 13:56 (464 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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My 17+yo Carrier heat pump has gone kablooey. Service says a couple+ small leaks on the evaporator and the (scroll) compressor isn't pumping properly, probably worn out. It has been horribly noisy for ~14 years but continued to perform OK until now. They added 2 lbs of R22 10 days ago. I (and they) hoped it'd be reasonable for a couple/few months until fall weather but it's doing essentially nothing since yesterday evening so I shut it off. Previous bit of re-up on refrigerant was in 2010 (different servicer).

Problem with replacement now is choices are limited.

I've always thought 5 tons is a bit oversized for this house (2350 sq ft) ... which premise is kinda supported by a borrowed 6K window unit covering the kitchen, living room, dining, office room, hallway & 1/2 bath area (not the master BR/bath wing or the 2nd full bath and two bedrooms) had attained 76F in the early morn hrs and is currently managing 77.7F in early afternoon. The HVAC outfit thinks 5 tons is correct, although there hasn't been further discussion of it.

RJ has a spare 18K window unit (Whirlpool, serial May 2004) from one of his rental refurbs that probably will be swapped in later today or tomorrow. He already has a homemade extension to run it off a dryer outlet from use a couple times when his system was down, needs to be extended on length to reach from my dryer outlet to the target living room window (not as far as it sounds).

Post# 1127136 , Reply# 1   8/28/2021 at 22:27 (464 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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A reputable HVAC company should run a load calculation to determine the correct tonnage if the current size is questionable. This includes many things such as insulation types and values in ceilings and walls and types of doors and windows and the direction they face, etc. Warranties definitely matter these days in the sense that you want to make sure it is from a company that you believe will be there for you through the warranty period. A lot of the lower end units these days have major issues within several years even when installed correctly. I havent looked in a long time but consumer reports in the past wouldnt rate central HVAC systems due to the installation being too high of a variable in the longevity of these systems. Im sorry you are having to deal with this at this time.

Post# 1127137 , Reply# 2   8/28/2021 at 22:41 (464 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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If the 5 ton unit was keeping humidity levels below 50%, it's probably sized correctly.


I prefer interior humidity levels in the 40-45% range but that's just my personal opinion.

Post# 1127151 , Reply# 3   8/29/2021 at 06:43 (463 days old) by retro-man (- boston,ma)        

It might also depend on what you have for a cooling coil in your air handler. These were sized to work together with the 5 ton unit. I went through this 5 years ago when our outside unit had some leaks in it. It was almost a 2 month wait to get another 4 ton unit. When I questioned maybe putting in a 3 ton unit they said it would not match up correctly. Don't know if this is truth or not so I waited till the new 4 ton unit came in. During the meantime I put 2 10,000 btu units in and they also did a good job keeping the 1st floor comfortable.

Post# 1127164 , Reply# 4   8/29/2021 at 10:45 (463 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Melvin, yes I'm aware of Manual J. I doubt that any local HVAC services do those. My parents have had two system changes by two different companies, dad never showed to me or mentioned it. I had a new system done at my previous house, no mention of it.

Neighbor has had two systems installed on rental refurb houses that didn't originally have anything, two different installers, no mention of Manual J. He had trouble with both of them so I'm aiming to avoid those companies. One of them installed smaller auxiliary heat strips (on a heat pump system) than was stated on the details ... which was not an "ooops, we made a mistake on ordering the strips" or "oops, we pulled the wrong ones from stock" ... they had to redo the wiring for the larger capacity when he caught them on it. There's also an ongoing problem with the condensate drain there, it has leaked through the ceiling twice due to design issues.

The company I plan to use, I intend to ask them about Manual J when they present the quotes to see what is their reply.

Dan, I don't monitor the humidity level other than an el-cheapo thermometer/barometer/hygrometer in the master bathroom, which is not a good reading for the overall house condition. I've never seen it at or below 50% ... usually mid/upper 50s to 60%. 40% is highly unlikely to happen in this area without considerable effort. My parents have a 2-speed Lennox with humidity control and a fancy thermostat that mystifies and scares them. Dad kept complaining about the 2F overcooling allowance at which it was configured ... why does it get down to 74F when set on 76F? I found on investigation that humidity was set at 45% and that was never attained ... usually between 56% and 52%. I set humidity at 52% and 0F overcooling. Last time I was there it was reading 58%

Jon, the evaporator coil has refrigerant leaks. The entire system is being changed, not just the compressor/condensor.

We swapped out the 6K window unit for the 18K window late yesterday afternoon, put the 6K in the larger spare bedroom (master BR windows aren't conducive). I discovered the thermostat on the 18K doesn't work, the compressor never shuts off. Left running all night AND with the central blower on to circulate through the house ... the living room area was 73.6F this morning, the smaller east-end bedroom (not with the 6K unit) 77F, and the west-end master bathroom 78F with the hygrometer reading 56%.

Post# 1127354 , Reply# 5   8/31/2021 at 11:49 (461 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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HVAC outfit called yesterday. I asked about Manual J, he said they have a guy with a program to do that, can look up the details on "satellite maps." !!?? I told him the sq ftage and the ceiling height varies at 9' and 10', double-pane windows. He said the guy could come onsite if he needs more info.

He called again this morning. Said only regular 14 SEER models are immediately available, they're on the waiting list for 2-speeds, could be 2 weeks or 2 months. He mentioned Manual J again. I said that I found an online calculator that asks for bunches of parameters such as insulation values, window sq ft and roof overhang for exposure, exterior wall sq ft for N-S-E-W facing, etc. He said "the program will handle all of that." (uhhh, yeahbut dontcha hafta come over here to get the measurements?)

I put the hygrometer in the living room yesterday. It varied between 54% and 58% with the 18K running continuously. I put it in the refrigerator for a couple hrs, reads 34%.

Post# 1127440 , Reply# 6   9/1/2021 at 12:42 (460 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Our vintage

1988 Bryant High Efficiency 2.5 tonner worked all summer until Monday evening. It was just the two outside box fuses again. Tech tested the start-up draw amperage. It's fine. Drawing just 12 amps. on each side. He said keep spare fuses. It's not ready to die. He said it was top of the line when new. It has a heater around the compressor so refrigerant doesn't pool up, and a start capacitor/relay. New ones don't.
He said new ones are not nearly as durable, and a or s.e.e.r. rating higher than 16 is a waste of money for this climate. 13 is the low end. The control boards are huge and expensive at the higher end.

Post# 1127468 , Reply# 7   9/1/2021 at 16:42 (460 days old) by 2packs4sure (houston)        
Dual stage system is the answer

A dual stage system is the answer BUT, dual stage systems are all "communicating" systems these days I think and they can be troublesome and any out of warranty repairs are $$$$.
They do an amazing job maintaining humidity levels though.

Post# 1127560 , Reply# 8   9/2/2021 at 12:28 (459 days old) by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

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Our 11 year-old Armstrong had a blower fan motor failure in the hottest part of the summer. It took more than four weeks in the hottest part of the summer, (more that a week of 100+ temperatures) to get a replacement motor and start capacitor. The motor arrived the same week the temperatures dipped to normal. At least now I know whether or not I wanted and indoor sauna.

Post# 1127605 , Reply# 9   9/3/2021 at 00:09 (459 days old) by 2packs4sure (houston)        
Four weeks?

What kind of motor took four weeks to get?

Post# 1127609 , Reply# 10   9/3/2021 at 04:06 (458 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
On hot humid summer days

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the humidity in my house with the AC set to 72 is like 57%. My unit is also 17 years old this month.

I know people who leave their AC T stat to 76 or 77 and sometimes even 78...I couldn't live in those conditions. LOL

Post# 1127626 , Reply# 11   9/3/2021 at 08:37 (458 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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This morning with the 18K window unit off for 6 hrs, the living room temp is 80F and the el-cheapo hygrometer reads 60%. Outdoor temp was lower than usual yesterday due to a couple rains but outdoor humidity was quite high. Lowest the living room temp reached was 76.8F and humidity 54%. The 18K thermostat doesn't work so I manually turn it off if/when the temp reaches below 78F if I'm paying attention, back on at 79F-80F, and now off when I go to bed.

Electric bill for August is 2,488 KWH, $283.90 (includes a 1% rate increase as detailed below). That usage is 200-ish KWH higher than the previous year for August (2020 = 2,266, 2019 = 2,318), attributed to the system not functioning very well until it went to failing completely on 8/26 (end of the billing period), which day had the highest daily usage (107 KWH) for the period. I had the temp set at 79F for the month. There's no way I could afford to maintain 72F or 68F or 65F as some folks do even with an A/C working properly.

I had it running until late afternoon on 8/27 when I realized it was failing so shut the central off and installed the 6K window unit in the living room. 8/28 late afternoon swapped the 18K in and moved the 6K to a spare bedroom. Had the central blower running for a few days for whole-house circulation but then turned it off for a couple floor fans aimed from the LR toward the west end and the office room.

8/27 = 104.17 KWH
8/28 = 51.29 KWH
8/29 = 83.5 KWH
8/30 = 85.96 KWH
8/31 = 58.21 KWH (central blower off & 18K off at night)
9/1 = 53.17 KWH
9/2 = 53 KWH

August Billing
Energy: 2,488 KWH @ 0.04688 = $116.64
GCRF*: 2,488 KWH @ 0.02700 = $67.18
STEC Transmission, Distribution & Ancillary Services
Energy: 2,488 KWH @ 0.1633 = $40.63
TDCRF*: 2,488 @ $-0.00700 = $-17.42
Coop Distribution
Customer Chg = $19.83
Minimum: 475 KWH @ $0.03855 (1% increase) = $18.31
Over-Minimum 2,013 KWH @ 0.01924 (1% increase) = $38.73

*CRFs are adjustment factors that vary based on costs charged to the Coop (which is a non-profit, member-owned entity) to maintain operating margins. Member capital credits are applied biennially.

Post# 1127631 , Reply# 12   9/3/2021 at 10:04 (458 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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If folks can run a central ac system in Texas below 70 degrees when it is 100 outside then their ac system is oversized. Its not a huge problem when its so hot but during the couple of months when it gets a little cooler here it will not take the humidity out without running below 70 due to the fact if the ac isnt running enough there is no way to remove humidity. Any progress on the new system?

Post# 1127647 , Reply# 13   9/3/2021 at 14:00 (458 days old) by 2packs4sure (houston)        
Again ~ Dual stage system is the answer

The beauty of the dual stage is you can oversize it and if the extra capacity is needed it'll bring it on and when it isn't needed it ramps down capacity and fan speed maintaining humidity levels in the process.
Great for comfort but they can be trouble...

Post# 1127655 , Reply# 14   9/3/2021 at 16:05 (458 days old) by henene4 (Emden (Germany))        

Are there full-size ACs with inverter compressors?

Have heard both great and horrible about inverter heat pumps over here.

With certain situations they can be great as they can reduce short cycleing which can happen in climates like ours during the transition months.

If things go bad on these it's usually the inverter drives.
That can be a good thing as an inverter replacement is still cheaper than a premature compressor exchange. And with technology advancing and unification of system components, drives have come down in price.

Bad experiences have been either installation error or drives going out over and over.

And with 2.5k kWh usage a month (which would be insane for any household 3 people or less over here - really still can't wrap my head around that - and how cheap that is) going for an efficient system might be worth it.

Post# 1127659 , Reply# 15   9/3/2021 at 17:06 (458 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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The inverter systems have been here for some time now but at close to double the price of a standard system a lot of folks pass on these. There was one that came out in the early 2000s but due to cost, complexity, and poor quality they didnt last very long and left a bad taste in mouth of those who sprung for them. Central ac systems are like anything else these days. The lower cost ones are built shoddily and usually the fly by night companies put a lot of them in and then are no where to be found in the short period of time when problems start to occur.

The best advice I can give is to buy from a reputable company who has been around long term and has good reviews or references in the community. Someone you think will be right there when you need them and competent enough to fix issues with ease.

I know thats asking a lot these days.

Post# 1127674 , Reply# 16   9/3/2021 at 20:22 (458 days old) by 2packs4sure (houston)        
If you want REAL trouble get an inverter system.

The base dual stage systems are fairly reliable but if you want REAL trouble get an inverter system.
You may get lucky but they are often a nightmare.

Post# 1128844 , Reply# 17   9/16/2021 at 16:43 (445 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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No further word from the HVAC outfit. No info on the Manual J, no one has been here to take measurements. No info or quotes on a system, which perhaps they can't provide until choices are available. I have not yet checked with other services.

Post# 1133092 , Reply# 18   11/9/2021 at 13:07 (391 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Quotes from first contacted service. $10,450 for 1-speed Lennox, 14 SEER (not stated but previously mentioned). $14,000 for 2-speed, 15 SEER stated. Only 1 point increase??

Awaiting quotes from another service. Fellow said Trane 1-speed should be 16 SEER, 2-speed maybe 18.

Post# 1133095 , Reply# 19   11/9/2021 at 14:13 (391 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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My Trane 18 SEER 2-speed was $7885 October 2014 to replace the outside unit.

Post# 1133099 , Reply# 20   11/9/2021 at 14:56 (391 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I'd bet 3.5-4 ton would be more than enough for that house. I'd be looking at the ductwork, particularly the return air to make sure it's not undersized, that will always make an oversized system perform like it's undersized. I believe a 5 ton system should have at least 2 18" returns.

13 years ago when I did our upstairs system, it was practically unheard of for contractors to offer Manual J here. I went with the one that did, but he fudged the numbers so much in the software that we ended up with an oversized system anyway.

Second time around, 8 years ago, I solicited bids again for the downstairs system and everyone was offering Manual J. I ended up going with the contractor who wanted to downsize our furnace from 100k to 60k, we kept the same 2.5 ton condenser as that was already sized correctly. The furnace has no issues keeping up and it runs nice LONG cycles in 1st stage and 2nd stage doesn't kick in until it's below 10 outside.

Post# 1133101 , Reply# 21   11/9/2021 at 15:22 (391 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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I have two 20" x 25" (grill/filter size) returns.

Second quotes. Single-stage 15 SEER Trane (4TWR6060H1, TEM6AOD60H, 81-0703-01), $10,216.73. Two-stage 17 SEER (4TWR7060A1, TEM6AOD60H, 81-0703-01), $11,718.27. Does not state if sales tax is included but I assume not. It is included on the first quotes.

Post# 1133110 , Reply# 22   11/9/2021 at 16:27 (391 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I'm not sure about your market plus things being the way they are lately, but those prices around here for a simple changeout seem kinda high. That said, that 17 SEER two stage quote isn't a whole lot higher, I'd be tempted to go that way but I'd downsize it to 4 ton. Was there ever a time when your 5 ton would run continuous to maintain setpoint or even not keep up? A proper sized system would run continuous at design outdoor ambient (which IIRC is around 97-102depending on which part of TX) with an indoor target of 75.

Post# 1133150 , Reply# 23   11/10/2021 at 02:20 (390 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
July 2020

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Our A/C went out and we decided to replace the entire system because it was 18 years old.  The Heat Exchanger and Compressor were replaced around 2014ish from what I could find in the paperwork.  The system is Trane with a 16 SEER 4 ton compressor and a two stage furnace.  All in it was $7318.20.   We put a two stage in the old house and really loved it so we went with the two stage here as well.  I don't recall the difference in price.


We had an interesting situation in this house.  It's 2400 sq ft. and the family that built this house had a zoned system put in.  It didn't make a lot of sense because one zone was most of the house and the other two zones were each of two smaller bedrooms at the other end of the house.  That needed to be replaced or removed when we put in the new system.  It would have been about $2,000 to replace or $800 to remove.  Since it didn't really buy us much in this house we had it removed.  We paid the $800 to have them remove the unneeded ductwork in the attic and air balance the system.  No regrets.

Post# 1133180 , Reply# 24   11/10/2021 at 16:33 (390 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Zoning forced air is usually an act in futility getting it to work right, particularly when theyre small zones like that. And it murders your systems efficiency. The only way it works is if each zone can individually handle the full airflow that the equipment requires, or if its two stage and each zone can individually handle the airflow needed for the 1st stage. Or if its a communicating zone system like Carrier Infinity or whatever Trane calls their version where it can adjust the blower CFM according to how many zones are calling, and it all works even better if youre using a modulating furnace and modulating inverter condensing unit.

Post# 1133228 , Reply# 25   11/11/2021 at 10:15 (389 days old) by WhiteWhiskers (Silicon Valley, California)        
no fan of zone control

I have a Honeywell Zone Control System, three Honeywell Modulating Automatic Round Dampers (MARDs) and a Honeywell Universal mini-zone controller box. It's been problematic since day one. The primary problem are the MARDs. All dampers move to the open position when the system is off. Depending on which zone calls for heating or cooling causes some of the MARDs to close. The dampers are prone to sticking or they leak air. The zone controller developed cold solder joints causing all kinds of erratic behavior. I reflowed several connections years ago and no problems since.

Had the original installer out twice to fix the leaking air problem. The result was the tech fried one of the zones on the controller board. Moved the zone to an unused port but now have no spare. Right now I'm sure all zones blow air even when one of the zones should be closed. I gave up on the system years ago. In theory zone control sounds good, but in practice you will be buying a constant source of problems.

Post# 1133302 , Reply# 26   11/12/2021 at 05:56 (388 days old) by retro-man (- boston,ma)        

I have 2 heating and a/c systems in my house. The 1st is in the basement, there is one zone down there and the 2nd zone does the 1st floor. The 2nd unit is on the 3rd floor. 1st zone is on the 2nd floor and the 2nd zone does the 3rd floor. They were installed 15 years ago and no problems with the zone features on either unit. Also had both systems balance for airflow when installed and all rooms in all zones keep target temps set. Very please the way they work.


Post# 1133303 , Reply# 27   11/12/2021 at 06:34 (388 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Zoned systems

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We have had zoned systems in the past and have been happy with them but in all those cases it made sense.  The man who built this house was a contractor who built this house for he and his wife who had become empty nesters.  His daughter said since he was a contractor, he had access to lots of cool upgrades and added the zoned system just because he could.  The house is filled with many upgrades that make sense but this one didn’t.  It’s 2400 sq. ft. with large rooms except for these two small bedrooms at the opposite end of the house.  They zoned the entire house as 1 zone and then each of the two small bedrooms were a separate zone.  It worked as designed for a while, but we started having issues with damper motors as it was 18 years old.


If we could have easily made the Master Bedroom and Bathroom a separate zone then we would have replaced the zone system along with the new A/C and furnace.  With this setup we could heat/cool just the bedroom at night vs. the entire house, but the way the ductwork was done it would mean ripping out what was done on that end of the house and redoing it.


So, we made the decision to remove the Zoned system altogether and have been happy with it.  I think it depends on the brand and how the system is designed.

Post# 1133305 , Reply# 28   11/12/2021 at 07:08 (388 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

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We are contemplating putting in a small split system for the upstairs---currently we struggle to get the upstairs (2 story Colonial house, all 3 BR upstairs, black roof) cool enough on a hot (>85) day...doesn't happen often in Michigan, but just enough to be a pain.

Post# 1133314 , Reply# 29   11/12/2021 at 09:13 (388 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Split System?

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I don't know what a Split System is but here in the South if you have a two story home you really need two separate systems to cool the upstairs.  My condo complex when I moved here in 2002 was built in two phases.  They were all two story units, bedrooms up.  The first Phase was built with 1 system for the entire unit.  The second Phase (where I was) was built with two systems one up and one down.  The people in the old Phase did nothing but complain about cooling the upstairs.  The complex didn't allow for air conditioners in the windows so it was an issue for them.


Since then both houses we've had have been single story, LOL.

This post was last edited 11/12/2021 at 12:44
Post# 1133316 , Reply# 30   11/12/2021 at 09:46 (388 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        
1946 Ranch House

I moved here in 1990 into a 1946 Ranch with 1960 bedroom and family room additions. One window unit in the family room really did not cool the whole house. I designed and installed a new system with the gas furnace outside the slab on grade family room and ducts into the attic for the rest of the house. (Built a small outside enclosure for the unit) Components such as condensing units were available at the time for a homeowner, now only to contractors. I hired an HVAC contractor to connect the condensing unit and add any charge required.

Fast forward to 2017 and I decided to replace the furnace and condensing unit. Had a contractor install Trane units and permit required testing of all existing ductwork. Leakage was less than allowed for new ducts, so my original ducts system was passed. Old SEER was 11 new is 14 with 80 AFUE for the furnace. Better efficiency but not really high efficiency as I believe this will be more reliable. Contractor provided a 10 year parts and labor warranty. I serviced the old units myself mainly changing the furnace igniters and run capacitors in the condensing unit. With the ranch style no need for zoning. We did insulate the walls (no existing wall insulation) and added attic insulation.

Post# 1133362 , Reply# 31   11/12/2021 at 16:30 (388 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Ten's of thousands for a stinky, noisy, overly complicated and unreliable ducted systems?! I'm literally shocked and appalled what contractors are charging. But with (supposed) labor shortages....maybe they feel they can get away with it.

No way would I when you can get pre-charged mini-splits for under $500.

Videos online showing how to install.

The onslaught of legit competition is most likely what's pushing the prices for the old fashioned ducted systems. It's just like with the old fashioned auto prices going sky high, now that Tesla and other electric vehicles have arrived.

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Post# 1133363 , Reply# 32   11/12/2021 at 16:35 (388 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        
And if you want zones on the same system

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I wouldn't do zones but each their own.

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Post# 1133431 , Reply# 33   11/13/2021 at 15:31 (387 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Both of the HVAC outfits said they'd do a Manual J. One I asked directly, the other's office girl said without prompting that they'd come onsite and "measure windows & stuff" for the quote. Neither did so. Both are referencing the "rule" of 1 ton per 500 sq ft.

Plugging my measurements and parameters best as I can determine them into the online load calculator at using its default design temps for this area of 94F/75F/50% and 33F/70F says 21,831 BTU (1.8 tons) cool and 38,895 BTU (3.2 tons) heat.

I run 78F to 79F during heat of the summer, never 75F. A bit cooler for humidity control during fall & spring when needed but rarely even to 74F.

Changing to 102F/77F/50% and 30F/68F gives 25,705 (2.1 tons) and 39,946 (3.3 tons).

I had a follow-up call yesterday with the Trane outfit to ask some questions, including for a 1-speed 4 ton quote. Guy said reducing to 4 tons wouldn't be a good idea. Figure how he's likely to respond if I tell him the online Manual J says 2 tons cooling is sufficient (although it does say 3.5 tons for heating without auxiliary).

Post# 1133444 , Reply# 34   11/13/2021 at 17:17 (387 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        
A heat Calc

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I had to have a heat Calc. done on the last house I built.  These days most building permits require them as part of the permitting process.  It's really a good idea since there are many variables that affect equipment sizing and options.

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Post# 1133472 , Reply# 35   11/13/2021 at 20:26 (387 days old) by SudsMaster (California)        

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Is anyone in the northern hemisphere still runnning their air conditioning system in November?

Note: the only AC system I have is a small ~5000 btu window unit that I took out of the house about 10 years ago, and a somewhat larger (~10000 BTU) roll around unit that I can roll up to a window (usually in the combined family room/kitchen area) that I didn't have to roll up to a window and run at all this past summer.

Gotta love the SF Bay Area.

Oh, and the forced air gas fired heating system didn't start coming on until November here. And then for only a few minutes in the evenings. Although I expect more heating will be needed in the coming weeks/months.

Post# 1133473 , Reply# 36   11/13/2021 at 20:45 (387 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Cooling in November .... yes. It was in the mid 80s and humid a couple days ago before the latest norther arrived.

Have been instances of cooling during a Christmas warm spell.

Post# 1133478 , Reply# 37   11/13/2021 at 21:29 (387 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Glenn is located in the south where temps can exceed 85F beyond Thanksgiving day with high humidity.

Post# 1133494 , Reply# 38   11/14/2021 at 08:28 (386 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Reply 31 and Reply 32

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We were still cooling until last week...ish.  We are now in the 60s but back to mid 70s this week so I expect we will be cooling again.  


We see a lot of units like those split units here in older homes (we are estate sale freaks so go into a lot of houses) that never had central air.  We also seem to see a fair amount of them in two story homes where they had one unit for the entire house but then added some of these to have effective A/C upstairs.  My guess is it would be cheaper to put these upstairs than it would be to convert ductwork from a single unit to multiple units.  Any of the experts know if that's a true statement? I am only guessing based on what we see.


Most newer homes built here that require multiple units seem to have the traditional central air units.  Maybe these split units are cheaper to put in, I really don't know.  We were in a house a couple of weeks that was a really cool MCM house.  They had units like this with louvers that rotated back and forth I guess to distribute the air better. 

Post# 1133499 , Reply# 39   11/14/2021 at 09:44 (386 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The only way I would go with mini splits is if it was an older home that I couldn't feasibly get ductwork in without ripping too much of it apart, or if I had a specific area that needed cooling. My neighbor built a room addition with radiant floor heat and used a mini split for cooling, which made the most sense.
Those systems can quickly reach or exceed the cost of a conventional forced air system, especially if you're using higher quality brands like Mitsubishi Mr Slim. Conventional forced air if designed properly is more discrete, costs the same or less than mini splits, and has less electronics to fail on the equipment.

Interestingly, I see a trend of people ripping out hot water or steam heating systems and putting in mini split heat pumps on the east coast. Those people probably wonder why their house suddenly feels draftier after doing that...

Post# 1133502 , Reply# 40   11/14/2021 at 10:37 (386 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Still cooling. Forecast predicts at least one day this week hitting high of 80. HHave my heat pump t-stat set for auto switch between cooling and heating.

Growing up, not uncommon to run A/C on Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas, depending upojn cooking done s well as guests.

Post# 1133505 , Reply# 41   11/14/2021 at 10:55 (386 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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The layout of this house is not much conducive to mini-splits. I expect it'd take 5 heads, maybe 6 to distribute the airflow.

Post# 1133537 , Reply# 42   11/14/2021 at 17:26 (386 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        


I can't help but wonder what would possess people to spend that kind of time, energy, & money to swap out an existing system for mini split heat pumps. What would the point be? Or what would the sales line be?

One thing I've seen done about the one unit for two floors problem is to extend the return ducts from the floor of the first floor to the ceiling of the second floor. This way the hottest air is drawn into the system for cooling. I'm talking about a typical 60's development house with a warm air system that has had an a/c unit slapped in with no modification to the ducts.

Post# 1133712 , Reply# 43   11/16/2021 at 16:37 (384 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The most common scenario is the boiler needs replacing and:

1. They want central air.

2. They don't want to pay for a new boiler AND central air.

3. They want to cut fuel costs by switching away from oil (if applicable).

4. They don't want to rip apart the house/build soffits for ductwork.

5. They don't like how much room the radiators take up in every room.

...So out go the radiators and in go the mini splits.

If they have the room to run ductwork then switch "mini split" to "forced air".

I talked to a friend of my sisters not that long ago that just bought a house a half mile away from mine that was built around 1906, it was a higher end house for it's time so it had radiators instead of the usual gravity warm air (that was more prevalent in this part of the suburbs back in those days due to cost economics). The radiators were ripped out sometime in the 70s for forced air and central AC.

Post# 1133713 , Reply# 44   11/16/2021 at 16:49 (384 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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A Mini can go just about ANYWHERE.  All that is needed is a 3" to 4" hole through an outside wall.


No ductwork, no window, no basement, no attic necessary.  If you have ductwork or radiator pipes you can just abandon them.  Lots of chimneys and fireplaces have been abandoned over the years.


I would not ever do a duct system again because:

1.) they need to be woven through a house and often require a lot of cutting

2.) unless you have zoning there is limited control of temperature in each room

3.) noise follows the ducting thru-out the home

4.) dirt and mold growth inside that you can't reach to clean

5.) not efficient compared to mini


This guy even installed it in his RV.  It's way better than those noisy roof top things.





Post# 1133714 , Reply# 45   11/16/2021 at 16:57 (384 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Post# 1133725 , Reply# 46   11/16/2021 at 20:05 (384 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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I don't think it's reasonable to punch holes in my brick walls, run circuits, and mount heads in potentially six rooms when there's ductwork already in place.

Post# 1133945 , Reply# 47   11/19/2021 at 13:48 (381 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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The selected contractor said the choice system won't be in-stock until end of December-ish. They're checking on an alternate brand (likely the same) ... so either I wait or opt for a lesser choice.

Post# 1133962 , Reply# 48   11/19/2021 at 15:48 (381 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        


Thanks all, for the info. I guess which way you go depends on how much what you presently have bothers you/is deficient in some way. Then again, I'm probably not part of the targetted demographic group because SHINY-SHINY-NEW-NEW by itself doesn't appeal to me.

I do have one question about using mini-splits for heating. I think all the ones I've seen have been mounted on a wall up by the ceiling. Great for a/c but even if the heat output is adequate doesn't that leave the floor cold and low level drafts more noticeable?

Post# 1133986 , Reply# 49   11/19/2021 at 18:58 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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I would never use a heat pump because of the noise issue. Even though a mini is far quieter than an outdated central air unit, it still makes noise. There is nothing that makes a chilly Fall or Winter day or night colder than having a stupid fan running.... or any avoidable mind numbing noise.

Baseboard heaters are simple, affordable, zone-able, 100% efficient, and of course (nearly) silent. When the technology comes out for silent Air conditioning, it will no doubt be my new favorite. Perhaps a large version of a thermo-electric refrigerator.

Also, like central air units, mini-splits THAT HAVE the heat pump option, are more complicated as they have a reversing compressor and other tech. When doing a search for a mini always specify COLD ONLY and the voltage desired as most minis are made as heat pumps and to operate at 220v.

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Post# 1133988 , Reply# 50   11/19/2021 at 19:02 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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I don't know that you could use a heat pump of any kind exclusively because you're too far north in New Jersey (Nuu-Joy-zee).




The big thing many people overlook when it comes to making our homes comfortable is proper insulation.  The more the better.  Aim for at least an R-60 in the attic and R-30 in the walls and floors.  It's so obvious.  Forget about the minimums set by zoning.  And it benefits us regardless of the season.  It doesn't make noise, doesn't require service, and there's no monthly service costs for insulation.  lol

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Post# 1133989 , Reply# 51   11/19/2021 at 19:03 (381 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Welll bradfordwhite, it all depends upon what you are used to. I've been in Rochester NY during a cold fall and dealt with baseboard heat. I wouldn't want any in my house.

Post# 1133991 , Reply# 52   11/19/2021 at 19:16 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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You'll have to be more specific Bob.  Are you suggesting baseboard heaters don't work in Rochester NY?  


They work anywhere as long as there is electric, they're wired correctly, and the circuits on.  lol 


About the only thing that can break is the thermostat.  I've seen that and easily fixed it.  


Take your choice of thermostat from basic for $11 to a snazzy smart thermostat for a couple hundred. 


Better than trying to figure out a gas furnace with all it's sensors and inefficiencies, and the possibility of a cracked exchanger.  Or starting a wood burning fire and that awful smell , no control of temp, and the filthy wood and dust.  Don't get me started on disgusting oil furnaces.....

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Post# 1133992 , Reply# 53   11/19/2021 at 19:22 (381 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Heat pump noise ... heating mode is no more noisy than cooling mode. I grew up with window units. I need a some ambient noise to sleep. The 17yo kablooey system is a heat pump per the OP, as will be the replacement.

Post# 1133995 , Reply# 54   11/19/2021 at 19:43 (381 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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the heat was dry, uncomfrtable. I felt suffocating at times. And no air movement at all.

Post# 1133997 , Reply# 55   11/19/2021 at 19:52 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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"...I need a some ambient noise to sleep."

Oh wow, you ACTUALLY want noise.  Each to their own I guess. 
"heating mode is no more noisy than cooling mode"   Yes, that's another reason I don't do heat pumps.
 It can never be quiet enough by my standards.
You know you can turn on a video, maybe ASMR, or a rain video, birds chirping, thunder storms, that kind of thing.   Sometimes I need to have quiet drama or comedy playing when go to bed but it has to be sound level balanced, so I guess I understand what your referring to.   But I would not want a fan running or anything like that.


Post# 1133998 , Reply# 56   11/19/2021 at 20:00 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        
bird sounds and river

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Post# 1133999 , Reply# 57   11/19/2021 at 20:02 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        
snow storm ambiance

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Post# 1134000 , Reply# 58   11/19/2021 at 20:06 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        
City traffic

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This must be a traffic cam or something.  

By my standards it's awful, and disgusting, and repulsive....


To each their own.


Post# 1134003 , Reply# 59   11/19/2021 at 20:26 (381 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        
#54 Bob

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"the heat was dry, uncomfrtable."


I've heard other people describe it as so.  You're right, it depends on what one is used to.  


The house I grew up in was a 1960 built tract ranch house with oil forced air.  It has a certain smell when running as there must be particles of oil mist that get into the air and the inside of the pipes.  When the furnace was changed to gas around 1976 it smelled different but still that smell....has a quaint memory with it even though I would never live with oil or gas heat again.

I've gone in other houses where the smell was present and it brought back memories.  


Depending on which side of the dry-line you live on in TX perhaps you are more used to a humid environment. 


In a cold climate like the upper midwest or the north east you have to add humidification to stay healthy because no matter what type heat you have, it gets dangerously dry.  That is the suffocation feeling you are most likely referring to.  If you were staying temporarily in a hotel, its' doubtful they had humidification in the rooms.  


If you run a furnace to 75 degrees there and never add a humidifier, don't have any house plants, add little water vapor from any other source like an aquarium, taking showers, a lot of cooking, and having several people in the home, it would get very dry.  We're talking single digits percentage.  It would cause the wood trim around the windows to shrink and crack.  Other furniture would get damaged as well.  And yes it would be difficult to breath, you'd be more susceptible to infections and dry skin.   


Where I live now, it's always humid, some time too humid, but I'd rather deal with that.

Post# 1134007 , Reply# 60   11/19/2021 at 22:12 (381 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I'm quite happy with my variable speed dual stage 98% efficient gas furnace.  Initially I had it set up for CAC ( continuous air circulation...) and it kept the entire house at the same comfortable temp, no hot or cool spots. Plus, I LIKE air movement, a home without feel stagnant to me. I updated my thermostat a few years ago and it offers a circulate mode - every 15-20 minute it turns on the low speed blower for a minute or two and moves the air around.  It works almost as well as the CAC, but at a lower electric cost, so I'm ok with that. I also keep the humidity around 50%, so I'm comfortable at a lower temp. The humidifier track the outdoor temp and adjusts accordingly.


We all have our preferences - baseboard heat would rank about the same as oil heat, maybe lower.

Post# 1134021 , Reply# 61   11/20/2021 at 04:53 (380 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        
Noise to sleep..

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I like it quiet and my husband likes some noise.  We tried the thunderstorm sounds on Alexa and it drove me crazy because if I was awake it would play the same ones over and over.  We have a ceiling fan but its quiet and to get it to make any noise it has to be on pretty high and I don't like that blowing on me at night.   Our HVAC is so quiet you don't hear it running so we bought one of those small Oreck air purifier thingies and that's enough for him.  We run it on medium instead of silent.  It took me a couple of nights to get used to the sound but now I don't even hear it anymore and we get clean air.  LOL.  Two birds, one stone.

Post# 1134027 , Reply# 62   11/20/2021 at 07:28 (380 days old) by henene4 (Emden (Germany))        
We've been here before

Heat pumps are not more noisy than a furnace in regards to your actual noise in you home.

Any resistive heat has a COP of 1, even the worst heat pump has a COP of 2.5.

We get you don't like it.

Stop being so aggressive about it.
And don't twist the facts.

Post# 1134029 , Reply# 63   11/20/2021 at 07:45 (380 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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Right now it's 30F outside. My all electric heat pump is set at 64F... I know it has to be very inefficient when we have super cold weather because the heat strips kick in a lot.

My friend across town that I used to work with keeps her AC at 78 in the summer. I was at her house visiting one hot day, I was miserable...the maximum I can go on my AC is 73F in the summer during the day - but at night bump it down to 70F

I dread when the day comes having to deal with getting a new system because there's so many factors to deal with.

Post# 1134032 , Reply# 64   11/20/2021 at 09:01 (380 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Carlstadt, NJ)        

Electric resistance heat is prohibitively expensive if you live where it gets cold.

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Post# 1134046 , Reply# 65   11/20/2021 at 13:17 (380 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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He isn't mistaken when stating that a heat pump makes more noise. It's not a lot of noise, but they do make more noise and they also make some other weird clicking noises that it doesn't make when cooling.

I had a house with a heat pump and the heat it made wasn't a warm or hot heat thus it took longer to heat the home.

That system was ripped out and I put in a gas furnace. That was 2002.

Post# 1134072 , Reply# 66   11/20/2021 at 19:26 (380 days old) by henene4 (Emden (Germany))        
Once again, not how that works

If it has the same heat output as the gas furnace, it won't take longer to heat the house.
The air temp dosen't play a role in getting the room to temp quicker.

If it took longer the system was sized smaller.

And again, plain functionally, a heat pump will produce basically the exact same noise in cooling as in heating mode and thus the same as any AC.

There isn't really a thing that could make any appreciable difference in noise.

Post# 1134099 , Reply# 67   11/20/2021 at 21:31 (380 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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There's a momentary whooosh noise when defrost begins or ends, or both, but it isn't (normally) heard unless one is outside at the compressor.

Post# 1134348 , Reply# 68   11/23/2021 at 19:13 (377 days old) by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        


Yeah, I'd never rely on a heat pump alone. Although I think a few members here have been rather surprised at how low temps go before backup heat is needed. Can't remember who, though.

And yes, insulation first and foremost. And I HATE cold floors so my knee-jerk response is always "Insulate the basement!" If I had my way any place I lived would have radiant heat in the floors....... Maybe I'll get that...... One day.......


I've never lived in a place with oil fired warm air. My grandparents had oil fired steam and there was NEVER any smell of oil... EVER... unless the oil filter in the feed line was getting changed. One house I bought in the 90's had oil fired steam and there was a smell. I called the oil company and the CSR proceeded to lecture me about how I "didn't understand" about oil heat and it ALWAYS had a smell. I thanked her for her time and told her I was switching to gas :-) No problem....

Baseboard: When there's enough of it I like it. It's very even.... no drafts and no cold spots. Unfortunately, most of my experience has been when a 4 foot radiator was taken out and 4 feet of baseboard put in. As you can imagine, that didn't work very well when temps dropped. I've tried to explain to people that it doesn't work that way and they usually tell me that it does (while we're shivering) and that it saves money.

Years ago I lived in an apartment that had 2'x2'x4" semi-recessed radiators. Shortly before I moved in they were ripped out and replaced by 2 feet of baseboard within the enclosure. I was kind of friendly with one of the maintenance guys and asked him about it. Some company had convinced the co-op board that this would save money. he told me that the building & grounds head honcho tried to explain the board that the sales line was physically impossible, but he was ignored. I was told that with baseboard they had to keep the water about 20F hotter than they did with the radiators. And my place was still cold when it went below 25F.

Post# 1134369 , Reply# 69   11/23/2021 at 23:57 (377 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Having lived many years in a house with hot water (hydronic) baseboard heat, I can say it works very well. The first boiler was oil-fired, and then an electric boiler was installed in 1974. The heat was even, with no drafts. The heating  system had to be removed due to the major renovation, as did the "Space-Pak" air conditioning system. I had a ducted forced air hvac system installed, that is supposed to have a heat pump, though that part was never installed due  to various factors. It has electric resistance elements, but I don't use it as I'm only living in part of the house right now. I looked into geothermal, but got estimates of over $30,000., so that was out. If I had it to do over, I think I'd put in a new hydronic system, using an air to water heat pump, that could also supply an air handler for cooling. They have cold-climate models that can heat even well below zero. Guess that's not likely to happen unless a money tree comes up in my yard.


Post# 1134389 , Reply# 70   11/24/2021 at 09:10 (376 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

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Exactly right about hydronic...I had a tract ranch house in suburban Chicago which was built with gas forced hot air, and the first owner in roughly 1962 ripped it out and put in gas baseboard hydronic...chef's kiss. Was a wonderful system. The utility closet was in the bathroom (louvered doors got rid of all bathroom odors--woot) and except for the woosh at the ignition of the burner on the boiler the circulating pump was so low-toned that you were entirely unaware the heat was was entirely inaudible. Big contrast from the wooshing of the forced air furnaces in the middle of the house.

Air-conditioning was provided by a 220v window unit in the living room--as long as you ran that during the summer as a central a/c unit (i.e. cycling continuously) the house was plenty cool (with perhaps a box fan at the end of the hall pulling the cool air into the ends of the bedrooms).

Post# 1134416 , Reply# 71   11/24/2021 at 16:12 (376 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Our 1958 built house is still using its original gas boiler with baseboard radiators. I really like it over forced air because the heat is even and it's fairly quiet although not as quiet as before I had the pump replaced two years ago. I keep meaning to go down there and jiggle around with it because the noise itself isn't the pump, it's harmonics on the water pipes. There's not a lot of maintenance other than adding some water very occasionally and then maybe having to bleed some air out of couple of the radiators every year or two.. I just did one in the small upstairs bathroom yesterday. Takes only a couple of minutes. We keep the house at about 72-73 all winter and I've compared our gas bill with a few of my neighbors who have gas forced air, and surprisingly our gas bill is less than theirs, our house is slightly bigger too with a heated two car garage.
The only thing I don't like about hydronic heating is not having central air and relying on the mini split. My new mini split from last year is also a heat pump though I've only tried it to see if it works and it does. It's sort of like an emergency backup I guess in case something went wrong with the boiler we'd have a little bit of heat.

Post# 1134428 , Reply# 72   11/24/2021 at 17:30 (376 days old) by henene4 (Emden (Germany))        
Hydro radiant heat

While it has been less of a possibility up until now, at least over here, the most recent generation of heat pump systems can reach high enough temperatures to run even pretty old radiator systems.

It's not as efficient as underfloor heating (which is still the best thing IMO) in combination with an x-to-water heat pump, but still more efficient than straight up electric heat and potential zero emissions.

Heck, our oil boiler system back home barely reaches 120F with a combination of under floor heating and radiators.
That system uses an adaptive heating curve calculation based on a set room temp and an outside temp sensor.

One thing that apparently is kind of different from the US to us over here is that at least for detached or semi detached homes, usually, heating and hot water are handled by a single system.

Usually you have a hot water tank and your heating circuit both connected to the same heat source through a set of 3 way valves or similar.

So your burner (or heat exchanger) is used for heating water and your heating circuit.
I guess that's mainly because forced air systems are basically unheard of for heating over here in such installations.
Basically everything is water based and either radiators or in more recent installations underfloor or similar.

In such installations, switching over to an heat pump dosen't change your heating much.
Biggest problem is that some kind of radiators need to high system temps to make heat pumps useable.
Even if your radiators tolerate the lower temps, the higher the temps needed the lower the efficiency gets.

In a perfect world, your heat pump can satisfy heating demand with a 110F system temp and with under floor heating, that is basically always a given.
And since we don't need 140F water out of the tap for our appliances, 130F tank temps are still good enough.

I guess in the US it really depends on what you already have.

If you have forced air, a heat pump just is the way to go.

If you have radiators, it depends on your radiators.
Most cost effective yet environmentally conscious option would probably be an x-to-water heat pump and replacing your radiators with more up to date low temp ones.
Not sure if baseboard radiatiors can be had for lower operating temps though.

If you have electric baseboards fitted fitting anything else would be a lot of renovating work.
If you however have some kind of AC fitted aswell I don't see a reason to supplement the "wasteful" resistive system with a split heat pump.

Post# 1137847 , Reply# 73   12/30/2021 at 09:02 (340 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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HVAC contractor called. Equipment arrived, installation next week.

Post# 1137855 , Reply# 74   12/30/2021 at 11:44 (340 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Post# 1137932 , Reply# 75   12/31/2021 at 01:19 (339 days old) by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Are we going to get pictures?

Post# 1138446 , Reply# 76   1/4/2022 at 20:37 (335 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Done in 4 hrs, 9a to 1p.

1 - 5 = old.

6 - 14 = new. 11 & 12 east --> west view from stairs side. 13 west --> east view from other side (must climb over).

They forgot to bring the 4" filter module that wasn't on the quote but I requested and he agreed to include. To be added in a few days.

That's all I have. No pics of the heat strips before installation.

Best I could get out of the local contractors, who insist that the replacement match the original 5 tons, which may be reasonable on point of the ductwork being designed for it, is a 2-stage which will run at 70% capacity (3.5 tons) on low.

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Post# 1138447 , Reply# 77   1/4/2022 at 21:28 (335 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Glad you finally got it taken care of Glenn.

Post# 1138542 , Reply# 78   1/5/2022 at 19:01 (334 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Me, too. Tom

Post# 1138554 , Reply# 79   1/5/2022 at 21:43 (334 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Yay New Train Heat-Pump

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Looks Good, 


Question Glenn how is an A coil mounted in a horizontal air handler, I have always seen A coils in up-flow or down-flow air handlers.


It also looks like you might want to put more insulation in the attic and maybe even some on the plenum attached to the air-handler. I think that almost everywhere you should have at least R30 in attics.


John L.

Post# 1139766 , Reply# 80   1/18/2022 at 19:09 (321 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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John, the A-coil and air handler are convertible to upflow, downflow, horizontal left flow, or horizontal right flow.

I had a media air cleaner (Honeywell F100F2025, 20x25x4) added (installed today) so I can now see the coil through the filter slot.

Post# 1141105 , Reply# 81   2/3/2022 at 16:48 (305 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Current outdoor is 32F to 35F depending on the reference. Misty rain. Setpoint 68F maintaining on low stage. Cycling earlier in the day, increasing to continuously running now for probably more than 2 hrs.

Thermostat configured at "comfort" to hold temp within 1F of the setpoint using low & high compressor stages per algorithms that monitor the indoor temp curve. It has not yet engaged high stage AFAIK for any heating since the 1/4/22 install date. Be interesting to see if it'll upstage soon.

Auxiliary staging choices of
A) "comfort" on aformentioned algorithms
B) specific F setpoint droop in 0.5F steps
C) specific upstage run-time (30, 45, 60, 75, 90 mins -- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 hrs)
D) combination of B and C.
Currently set at 3F droop, which will present obvious indication when it's needed, and whether adjustment of the setting is needed.

Predicted low of 24F tomorrow morn.

Post# 1141108 , Reply# 82   2/3/2022 at 17:05 (305 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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High-stage compressor engaged a couple mins ago.

Post# 1141110 , Reply# 83   2/3/2022 at 17:15 (305 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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LOL, it didn't stay on high very long, already cut back to low.

Post# 1145239 , Reply# 84   3/26/2022 at 18:02 (254 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        
What would you do?

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I removed the service panel on the compressor unit several days ago for a look-see at what components are in there. Found the tech sheets, scanned them to .pdfs for future reference, put them back into the storage envelope.

I noticed the red light on the EEV (electronic expansion valve) board flashing a sequence, so looked for the code on the tech sheet.

Code 7 -- Valve is responding but system is not performing properly (Low charge or restriction).

Codes 1 to 5 reset on a power cycle. Codes 7 to 10 require a specific reset sequence so may be flashing history instead of an active code. I thought maybe the code triggered during installation on the initial run while they got the refrigerant charge settled so I enacted the reset procedure, it stopped flashing.

Checked again a few days later after the system had run a few cycles, Code 7 is flashing again.

Should I bring it to the contractor's attention (without mentioning that I had done the reset)? A homeowner isn't supposed to be poking into the mechanism and I'm leery of presenting as a "problem customer" two months into the installation ... but it needs to be checked if there is a problem.

Post# 1145243 , Reply# 85   3/26/2022 at 18:42 (254 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Post# 1145244 , Reply# 86   3/26/2022 at 18:52 (254 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Flashing red fault light

combo52's profile picture

Hi Glenn, I would definitely call the company that installed the system, this is your system you’re allowed to take it apart examine it all you like the only way they can void warranties is if you actually caused some damage.


Just explain that you were inspecting your nice new system when you opened up the panel you saw the flashing red light you looked it up and found that it may be a restriction or low charge and ask that have them check it out.


John L

Post# 1145924 , Reply# 87   4/6/2022 at 12:57 (243 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Follow-up: There was a "tiny" leak at one of the refrigerant charging ports. Enough had leaked out to trigger the fault. Fortunate that I looked there and caught the code. I am expecting it to run for long periods on low speed as summer weather progresses so wouldn't have noticed a performance impact until it couldn't keep up on high speed, or safety sensors shut it down completely.

Post# 1145927 , Reply# 88   4/6/2022 at 13:44 (243 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I would consider that a fairly large leak if enough refrigerant leaked out in a 3 month timeframe to trigger a low pressure switch code. Im glad you called and got it taken care of.

Post# 1150943 , Reply# 89   6/12/2022 at 16:27 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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I checked this afternoon, it's flashing the F7 code again, or still. I didn't check immediately after the repair two months ago so I suppose it's possible they didn't clear it then. I cleared it now to watch for recurrence ...

Post# 1153363 , Reply# 90   7/4/2022 at 19:38 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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The F7 fault has not recurred since resetting it on 6/12.

I have not seen the system run on high stage for cooling during normal cycling operation in the frequent 95F to 99F weather that has occurred. It has run briefly on high if the setpoint is manually reduced by 1F or more. My June 2022 electric bill is $179.24 for 1,511 kWh. June 2021 was $227.38 for 1,954 kWh.

Post# 1153417 , Reply# 91   7/5/2022 at 10:52 by supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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That's a nice reduction in electric usage.

This may be a dumb question, but how do you tell what stage the compressor is running in?

Post# 1153422 , Reply# 92   7/5/2022 at 11:49 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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1) The indoor blower runs faster on high stage.

2) The thermostat has an Equipment Status function which details
System: Off, Auto, Cool, Heat, Em Heat
Heat Pump Stage 1 (Heat): Off, On
Heat Pump Stage 2 (Heat): Off, On
Aux Heat Stage 1: Off, On
Heat Pump Stage 1 (Cool): Off, On
Heat Pump Stage 2 (Cool): Off, On
Fan: Idle, On

Post# 1153454 , Reply# 93   7/5/2022 at 19:07 by supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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I see, thanks.

It appears the HVAC company that installed mine gave me a thermostat (Honeywell T4) that does not even have a provision for running a two-stage compressor, i.e., no Y2 terminal. Unless there's something I'm missing!

Post# 1153459 , Reply# 94   7/5/2022 at 20:21 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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SuperSuds/John, you have two-stage cooling and heating equipment but the thermostat isn't?

Post# 1153486 , Reply# 95   7/6/2022 at 09:07 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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I'm afraid so. I've double checked serial numbers: American Standard 4A7A7036A1000 is a two-stage AC. I feel like a chump now.

I assumed that the installers would install a compatible thermostat, but you know what happens when you assume.


Post# 1153491 , Reply# 96   7/6/2022 at 11:01 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Staging without a proper thermostat is by the air handler's control board based on run-time ... the 2nd stage triggers after the 1st stage has run x-minutes, whether or not it's really needed. Perhaps call the installer to change the thermostat to a proper one?.

My thermostat is a Honeywell TH8321WF1001. It has choices (separate for cool and heat) for 2nd stage switching differential of "comfort" (controlled by thermostat algorithms presumably monitoring both time and temp swing) or by specific temperature swing of 1F to 3.5F from the setpoint in 0.5F increments. Also separate for auxiliary heat droop, comfort, or 2F to 15F in 0.5F increments ... OR time-based of 30, 45, 60, 75, 90 mins, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 hrs AFTER 2nd-stage compressor.

Post# 1153504 , Reply# 97   7/6/2022 at 14:12 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I have a dual stage furnace, single AC with a Honeywell thermostat. The one thing the dual  stage thermostat does in my system for heat it monitors outside temp and uses that info in calculating how much time  is needed to get the  house up to temp. I'd think it should do the same for cooling.

Post# 1153560 , Reply# 98   7/6/2022 at 22:46 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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All very useful, thanks.


I will probably call the installer, but am struggling to figure out how this could have been an innocent mistake. And if not should I deal with them at all.

Post# 1153561 , Reply# 99   7/6/2022 at 22:49 by SudsMaster (California)        

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If you already paid them for their incomplete work, you should call them to fix their goof.

If they say it's OK, then I'd tell them, OK, I'm going to hire someone else to fix it and send you the bill.

Next step: See you in court.

Post# 1153583 , Reply# 100   7/7/2022 at 08:17 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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... but am struggling to figure out how this could have been an innocent mistake.
What's stated in your equipment quote? Was there any direct discussion of a two-stage thermostat? Any discussion or mention by either you or the installer of keeping the original thermostat? A single-stage thermostat sometimes is used with a two-stage system for "reasons" ... such as keeping the job to a price-point or avoiding the need to run additional thermostat wiring if that presents some challenge. The system will work although not to the best design-performance.

The T4 line does have a model that's 1C-2H for one-stage/speed heat pumps with one-stage of auxiliary/backup heat, but your stated compressor model 4A7A7036A1000 is a cool-only unit ... maybe the dealer's installer team overlooked that? Do you have gas for heating?

Post# 1153643 , Reply# 101   7/8/2022 at 03:25 by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

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John ,

I would call them out  as soon as possible. I would be kinda pissed if in your contract that you paid for , it says

American standard  Model # , Furnace  , with T-stat .  My contract said the model number of each item ,T-stat also both of them.

I have Two  2 stage   American Standard heat pumps upstairs and downstairs , they run all the time on low

one is a twin compressor and the other is a two stage scroll .

 If its a reputable company they should fix it no problems. I had a 10 year parts and labor warranty with mine when it was installed in 2007/08 .

Don't pay a dime don't let them try to charge you for the service call to come out and fix there mistake

and sometimes they would try to charge me. Hoping I would be stupid enough to pay them.




Post# 1153669 , Reply# 102   7/8/2022 at 09:51 by supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

supersuds's profile picture
Hi Glenn, yes, I have a two-stage modulating gas furnace also. There was no discussion of keeping the old thermostat since it was an old round Honeywell with a mercury switch and obviously unsuitable.

Thanks for the advice, Wes.

I talked to the owner's son who seemed surprised that I had a problem and insisted that the unit(s) would work just fine in both stages with the existing thermostat, but he said he'd investigate and get back to me. He seems to think I would need a VERY smart thermostat like an Ecobee or Nest, which I'm not thrilled about based on what I've read. I don't think I need an adaptive thermostat, and I don't want everything being reported back to Google, anyway.

We'll see.

Post# 1153675 , Reply# 103   7/8/2022 at 11:29 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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There surely are other workable thermostats than Nest and Ecobee. They're trying to upsell you, or they don't know what all is on the market, OR they may be tied to only what a particular supplier carries.

The model I have should work nicely, I don't know the cost of it (search it at online sources), the bill didn't itemize individual component prices. It has WiFi but connection is *not* required for it to work properly, nor is an outdoor temp sensor (which I don't have). It does pick up an outdoor temp via WiFi (based on an unstated reference per the ZIP code if that info is entered) but again, it *does not* require an outdoor temp reference for staging control.

The glitch may be if your system is a high-tech communicating control system that requires specific thermostats to interface properly, but that seems unlikely.

Post# 1153677 , Reply# 104   7/8/2022 at 12:23 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

My Honeywell has dual stage capability, no need for a Nest or such. Depending on your provider my Utility company is often offering free t'stats if they are programmable - no need to program them.

Post# 1153690 , Reply# 105   7/8/2022 at 15:30 by WhiteWhiskers (Silicon Valley, California)        

I have an Emerson 1F95-1277 that's been great. It's called "Big Blue Universal 3/2". It can work with many different HVAC configurations. It has 27 different settings, you go thru it all in the installer/config menu. It has a nice blue display, very easy to read, no WiFi or other nonsense. You can even program in reminders to change air filters. I set up programs for the winter, but in the summer I prefer to use it manually, adjusting temp settings for how I want the house cooled.

It's somewhat pricey, around $180. Just my review and recommendation.


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Post# 1154101 , Reply# 106   7/12/2022 at 11:16 by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

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He is lying John , I am sorry to say any two stage American Standard Air/ heat pump will  need the

two stage T-Stat. That switch uncovers the ports in the scroll which makes it run at 67%  and then reduces the air flow .

The let me talk to Dad is basically let me blow you off or screw you talk . Not even a hug after.

I would call and keep calling and then I would drive up there and demand it.

Those T-stats are not cheap , I have never seen a contractor change out a system and not put in there own unless it was requested.

I would drive them NUTS ...     The Air will work but what was the point with installing a dual stage if you cant use it. It's like buying a car and they did not give you the keys .

Post# 1158355 , Reply# 107   8/31/2022 at 22:02 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Electric usage for Aug 2021 when the old system went kablooey was 2,488 kWh.

Aug 2022 is 1,381 kWh. The setpoint has been a raised a bit for several couple-days periods when I've been out-of-the-house for attending dad's extended hospital stay, but the higher setpoint is what I'd been running as normal a year ago so the effect isn't much.

Electric rate is up a bit from last year but the bill is still $100.76 less than Aug 2021 and there's a (biennial) capital credit refund applied atop that. Yay!

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