newbie looking into Central A/C

Old 05-29-08, 03:59 PM
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Location: NJ
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newbie looking into Central A/C

hi guys,

we've been thinking of having Central A/C installed and I just want to get some suggestions/recommendations about whether we should do it or not..

- 55 year old home (NJ)
- 1300-1500 sq ft
- 3 level (basement being the 3rd and not used as living space)
- gas/baseboard heat (note that the previous owners had hot air and converted, so there are a few ducts hanging in the basement)

is it still worth to get this done at this point in the home's life? (i know, kind of a stupid question)

am i looking at a major install?

what are the "more" reliable/efficient units to look at?

what are the typical questions to ask the HVAC guy?

lastly, how much (range, of course) am i looking at to have this set-up?

thanks all and sorry if any of my questions are crazy...feel free to add anything i might've missed
Old 07-03-09, 07:41 PM
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Talking A/C in old house

My grandmother's house is like yours, but bigger and older (1947). Her unit is in the attic! It's a two ton single box outdoor unit that is designed to connect to a steel building via ductwork. It sits in a huge insulated wood box that vents air in and out through the gable vents, for the cooling unit, and the ductwork connections are through cheap sheet metal adapters on the side of the unit. The ducts are simply covered with fiberglass batts. The return is in the ceiling and has a filter. Cool air comes out of the ceiling and drifts throughout the downstairs.
I am fully aware that this is a stupid idea that will blow up in fifteen minutes except the unit has been up there for twenty four years and been serviced once for a clogged drain tube. YEAST!
If your stairwell is big enough the air flow is amazing.
They also make attic units that are intended to do this the right way.
It's a York unit.
Old 07-03-09, 09:05 PM
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Well, From what you said, you should be able to install a central A/C without too much of a problem. I assume the old hot air unit is located in the basement, and that is where you are going to install your central A/C which can use your existing hot air box and ducts. And let's assume all the ductwork in the basement and inside the wall goes to your rooms are still there and still good.
Then it is not hard to put a Central A/C in. A 2 ton unit both inside and outside may cost you somewhere around $5000 (duct work extra, insulation, etc. if needed) which will cool 2 of your floors (you don't need to cool the basement). Any good name unit will be fine, get at least SEER=14 or higher, and a 5 year warranty if you can.
Old 07-04-09, 11:11 AM
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Do this first

HVAC Software, HVAC-Calc for Heat Loss, Heat Load Calculations

You're probably going to find the ducts are undersized for cooling.

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