Cooling an entire home with window units, please help

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Old 06-30-05, 02:53 PM
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Cooling an entire home with window units, please help

I have just purchased my first home (scary). It is around 1100 square feet, a ranch with a very simple floor plan. The home has gas heat and had no A/C installed. An old window unit worked for the previous owner until last summer, when the window unit died they tossed it and suffered the summer.

I had Sears come by to give me an estimate on a central A/C. I was informed that my heating ducts are too small to use for A/C and a new central A/C heat pump option was recommended. For the estimate I asked for a midline system, gas and electric heat with a central A/C unit, new ducts would have to be installed etc. The price 13,000 big ens. The cost of a small car.

So, my wife and I, in shock went and picked up a whirlpool window unit, 24,000 BTU and installed it through the wall in the living room. This unit is supposed to cool up to 16,000 square feet but now it only cools the living room, 400 square feet and some of the kitchen, which is in line with the living room. Even without appliances like the stove going in the kitchen the entire room, 300 square feet, does not cool. In addition, it seems like none of the bedrooms are being cooled, they run parallel to the living room. So, here are some points:

1. we used the window unit through the wall to try and cut down on the "trailer park look", I hope I don't offend but we really wanted to maintain the clean look of the house, we were hoping one unit would cool the house, reducing the number of units required sticking out our windows/walls.

2. I eventually will put in central A/C, maybe next feb/march when it doesn't take two weeks to get a call from an HVAC guy, I know trying to get A/C in June/July is not easy, I want to get several quotes next year and do an entire house package

3. This whirlpool unit is so loud I have it turned off even though it's 90 outside, any way to make it quieter? I think it's the fan that's so loud, it never turns "down" either, it's always so loud you have to have the TV cranked to even hear it

4. Should I just add a couple of small window units in the bedrooms? If so, should I go with a smaller unit in the living room? Maybe a 1000 square foot unit here (quieter hopefully) and small units in the bedrooms?


Thanks in advance for any assistance, I appreciate it.
 

Last edited by infromsea; 06-30-05 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 06-30-05, 03:26 PM
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Window Units

It is critical with window units that they be able to draw air thur the louvers in the sides. If you have them blocked it will not work properly. Without knowing where you live or anything about the house other than it is 110 sq. ft., I can't estimate how much A/C you need. I used to cool my house (about the same size) with 1-18,00 btu window unit. It struggled in hot weather but still it was a lot better than outdoors. Generally a 5,000-6,000 btu unit is enough for a bedroom.
 
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Old 06-30-05, 03:36 PM
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Thanks Grady,

The side vents are free and clear, they have plenty of room around them.
 
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Old 06-30-05, 08:48 PM
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The wall a/c is not going to make every room comfortable.. You will need fans to move the air back into the bedrooms..

On your t-stat, do you have a fan switch?? if so, turn that to "ON", and that'll help move the air around the house.. if you don't how old is your system???

Did you get 3 quotes?? I've heard Sears can be pretty high in price..
 
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Old 07-01-05, 06:46 PM
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Jay,

I've got two more contractors coming this weekend, I'm also looking at things like ductless systems.

My heat is 20+ years, an in the slab duct system, forced air gas furnace. Had a guy look it over and he says it looks solid, should run a season or two. I'm hoping to get A/C in now in a configuration that allows me to add a new furnance later.

If not, I'm going to add a couple of more window units and downsize the one in the living room, it's just too loud.

Will running the air handler in the heating system wear it out?

Thanks,

Tim
 
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Old 07-02-05, 08:25 AM
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No, running the fan is not going to hurt anything.. Be no diffrent running the fan in heating or cooling if you just do fan only.
 
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Old 07-02-05, 09:19 AM
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I agree with comments already made that a wall unit cannot cool a whole house because the fan cannot move enough air. Fans will help some. Your 24000 BTU unit may be rated for 1600 square feet, certainly not 16000.

Have yuo looked at the Ductless split systems by Friedrich and others? They allow you to put cooling in as many as three rooms, with one outside unit, and no need to run ducts. Round numbers, it would cost you less than a third of the numbers you have been given. I think for an 1100 sq. ft. property, this may be an excellent option.
 
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Old 07-02-05, 09:17 PM
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594,

You are right about the 1600 vice 16000, man, how big would that window unit be .

I have looked at the ductless system and am considering that as an option.

I also have a friend of a friend who might work with me, I install the ducting, the electrical wires and such and he puts in a new unit, he can do it for sub 4 grand, it will be a little back-door though and I worry about warranties and what have you, if he will stand by his system for long. I have two other quotes coming in soon, one contractor trying to sell me a "gas pack" the other a heatpump/a/c unit, I have to look up the gas pack, never heard of it before,

thanks for the input.

Tim
 
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