Winter using an outdoor central air unit...


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Old 11-30-13, 03:07 PM
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Question Winter using an outdoor central air unit...

My wife and I recently moved into a single wide mobile home. The central air w go added later on in the homes life, and the unit is totally outdoors. There are 2 ducts that lead to the unit. They are both large flex ducts. One leads to the intake on the floor in the living room. With winter coming we are getting cold air coming in that duct. The other duct leads into our central duct system.

We don't want to be wasting energy. I'm worried my heat is going outside, and cold air is coming in through the ducts, creating significant air loss. What do I need to do to winterized such a unit?

Thank you for all replies in advance!
 
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Old 11-30-13, 03:39 PM
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Just to clarify. Does your current system only heat, or only cool?
 
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Old 11-30-13, 03:48 PM
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Sure it's not a heat pump which will heat and cool?
Look on the thermostat, is there a position that says, heat and cool?
 
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Old 11-30-13, 03:54 PM
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Duct needs to be replaced. Flex duct should not be used as a main duct.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 03:59 PM
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Flex is used all the time in mobile homes for the main line.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 05:32 PM
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Question

Easiest way to describe, there are 2 systems sharing the same ducts. The system that came manufactured with the home is the heat. It is an oil burning furnace which works great. About 5 years ago the previous owner added the central air. All the central air uses of the original system is the ductwork. The installers used flex line, which looks like what was made to come off our outside unit and tap into the current system.

It is not a heat pump. I had one of them in a previous homes...

My concern is how this system is setup that the heat which is currently on, is feeding down these flex ducts and I'm heating outside and throwing away precious heating oil. What do I need to do to winterized this unit?
 
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Old 11-30-13, 05:44 PM
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I have never seen anything but flex connect the outdoor unit to the main trunkline with that setup. The main trunkline is usually metal duct.

I would be hesitant to add dampers in the 2 ducts serving the outdoor unit.
I am not sure that I have ever seen anyone complain of this problem.

If you did add dampers and ever failed to open them when cooling, you would cause the outdoor unit to freeze up. They would still provide some restriction when open.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 05:52 PM
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I'm not complaining as much as want to be efficient and educated. It got down to 16 degrees F last night and that's when I thought of it. I stood on the return duct and froze my feet. Currently I lifted the vent and stuffed a pillow we were going to throw out down there for now. I just want to make sure I'm doing things right as I've never had such a system... Keep the answers coming!
 
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Old 11-30-13, 07:48 PM
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If flex is run to the package system I say hacks installed it. Flex is not for outdoor areas. Mice. Rats. Squirrels. Hacks I say hacks
 
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Old 11-30-13, 08:15 PM
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It looks like a heavy duty outdoor rated flex.
Have you ever worked on a mobile home? I have never seen anything but flex used on that application.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 11:43 AM
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I was going to say, I looked at a few other similar units in the park and they too are flex... Also if I changed from flex, how would this solve the potential problem?
 
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Old 12-01-13, 12:13 PM
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The pillow that you are using is kind of alarming. Cutting a piece of fiberglass ductboard or plywood would be less likely to end up inside of your outdoor unit.

A manual damper on your return air duct would probably still allow air leakage into your home.

A backdraft damper that size probably wouldn't be very reliable.
 

Last edited by Houston204; 12-01-13 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 12-01-13, 05:26 PM
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Flex is a big no no here. Metal duct would be best because less air resistance and harder for animals get in it. I'd go with a back draft damper and look for holes in the duct
 
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Old 12-01-13, 05:29 PM
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Another reason we don't use flex is 22in just looks bad.
 
 

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