AC options for ductless house

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Old 03-25-10, 08:43 AM
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AC options for ductless house

Hi everyone - our house is ductless (boiler with baseboard heat) and we want to look at options for air conditioning.

We currently use window units but just installed new windows and don't want to damage them.

Without existing ductwork, what are the options for installing some sort of central air system? What are the costs for the different options?

The home is 2200 sq feet, well insulated with new energy efficient windows, has an attic fan, and has good shade cover, so doing the second floor only is a possibility.

Any help or advice is appreciated!

Frank
 
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Old 03-25-10, 12:31 PM
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hi frank,
we just got an estimate for our first floor open floor plan, two
zone system of 8,400 for just the first floor.

the mitsu ductless system for the same area was 1,500 dollars less.
 
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Old 03-25-10, 07:57 PM
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Thanks, risoworker. For the mitsu split, which model(s) were you quoted? The wall hung version or the ceiling mounts? Thanks!
 
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Old 03-26-10, 06:06 AM
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wall unit if i remember correctly it was 18,000 btu unit
 
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Old 03-30-10, 06:39 PM
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Frank,
I am assuming you have a two story house.
In our case with the same kind of heating system in our ranch, we went with the air handler in the attic. Flexible ducts are all over the attic and the outlets of course are in our ceilings.
It works extremely well since cold air drops anyway.
Just have to constantly watch that the pan is draining properly, it goes directly to our basement sump.
It cost us right around $4000.00.
Rich
 
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Old 04-02-10, 12:33 PM
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If you don't want to or don't have the room for a conventional system I would look at the Mitsubishu MXZ series multi zone heat pump. It would also give you a nice alternative for heat rather then using gas or oil.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 06:12 PM
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Check out the high velocity systems. They use smaller ducts that fit inside 2x4 walls with high velocity air. I haven't seen them in person so I can't comment on the cons of the system. My central air was a retrofit and it was a bit of a hack job. A high velocity system would have been far more appropriate.
 
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Old 04-06-10, 01:12 PM
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I currently have hot water base board heat. The system was installed in 1992 and is running fine. I would like to have central air installed but first estimate came in between 13000 and 16000 partially using ductless system on the second floor. I do not understand why since previously there was a forced air system in the house- I see four duct openings that were covered over in my basement. The square footage is approximately 1000. Any ideas? Anyone been exposed to the minidict system and can talk pricing?
 
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Old 04-08-10, 02:04 PM
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Thanks Rich. This is where we will probably end up. Doing high velocity on only one floor makes very little economic sense.
 
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Old 04-09-10, 08:19 AM
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In the attic works quite well since cold air drops anyway.
But some caution you need to be aware of is drainage.
They will put a pan under the air handler to catch the drainage, and a second pan under that for any overflow. Be aware the rules have changed in recent years for the size piping for the drains. I'm not sure of the actual size PVC they should use today. If the overflow pan under the air handler doesn't drain properly then you could have severe ceiling damage, not good. Ours goes down an interior wall to the sump in the basement, but we have to check it constantly to make sure it is draining properly. You would have a main drain line plus a secondary line in case of overflow. Also be aware you can get gurgling noise in the line leading from the outside condenser to the air handler in the attic. We were told this was due to the length of line needed to go from outside up to the attic. But all in all it works quite well since cold air drops anyway. Just please be aware of the drain lines required and the possibility of overflow in the attic.
Rich
 
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Old 04-15-10, 07:50 AM
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PA_all_thumbs, we have a similar situation with a ~1,700 sq ft two story house that has hot water heat so no existing ductwork. We had a spacepak high velocity system installed about three years ago, and we've been very pleased with it. It was pricey, but the job was done very well with extremely minimal impact to the house, which would not have been the case at all with a trad'l duct A/C system.

Our air handler and the main trunk that feeds air to the flexible ducts are all in our attic. We don't have much shade, so we had to add extra insulation and an exhaust fan in the attic to keep the heat up there from warming up the air too much before it gets to the rooms in the house. Of course that extra insulation has been great for all other seasons too!

I would echo what others have said about drainage. One feature of the high velocity systems is that they run a greater volume of air over the coils than trad'l A/C systems, which means that they extract more water from the air. That's great for indoor comfort because you don't have to turn the thermostat down quite so low to get nice dry air inside the house, but it does mean that lots of water drains out. I've never had a problem with water seeping into the attic because they set up an adequate drainage system, but I did have to mess around with the drainage pipe outside. Our installers had it draining right against the side of the house, and there was actually enough water that it created a small leak in the basement. I had to run a hose from the drainage pipe out a little farther to take care of that problem, and I do check it regularly in the summer to make sure it's draining properly.
 
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