Central air solution with no ductwork


  #1  
Old 08-08-02, 08:06 AM
Lyndy
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Central air solution with no ductwork

My house has hot water baseboard heat. Therefore, I have no ductwork. I have heard that I can get central air via ductwork in the attic with vents dropped into the ceilings.

1. Is this true?
2. If so, would I have an AC unit outside like I'm familiar with?
3. Is there some kind of unit in the attic that "moves" the air through the ductwork?
4. Can anybody give me a range of prices I might encounter? (Midwest)
5. What issues should I be aware of?

Thanks for any info you can impart!
 
  #2  
Old 08-08-02, 08:39 AM
bigjohn
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The type of system you would have is called a split system which is the most common configuration in the US. The air handler goes in the attic along with the ductwork. The condensing unit goes outside and refrigerant pipng connects in between. Now, if you have a single story house, this arrangement will work out fine but if you have a multi-story house, you'll have a hard time getting conventional ductwork down to the lower floors. There are 2 companies that have a solution to this porblem: www.spacepak.com and www.unicosystem.com
 
  #3  
Old 08-08-02, 09:38 AM
Lyndy
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Thanks for your reply, Bigjohn. It sounds as if this will be my solution! My house is a bi-level, but the main living area is in the upper portion, with only a family room, laundry, and bathroom on the lower level. Since it's mostly below grade, it's always cool down there anyway.
I wonder if AC deals are better during the heating season... Now that I know what to ask about, I can do some shopping. I'm hoping the cost will compare favorably to ordinary central air, although, with the addition of ductwork, I suspect it may be a bit more.
The attic has plenty of insulation, and also a ridge vent, but it still gets mighty hot up there. I'm considering an attic fan in a gable end to exhaust the hot, daytime air, but perhaps the ductwork should also be insulated. Any opinions?
 
  #4  
Old 08-08-02, 01:55 PM
bigjohn
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Hmmm...... The description of your house sounds like the attic is above the primary living area?? If so, you can probably have a conventional ducted system installed with the air handler in the attic. The spacepak/unico type systems use 2'" high velocity ducts and are intended for older 2 to 3 story homes where the ducting has to be snuck down wall cavities to the lower foors. They are also very expensive, generally 2 or more times the cost of a conventional system. Whatever you decde to do, the beginning point of a project like this is a room by room cooling load survey. For $39 at www.hvaccomputer.com you can download a one home version of the same load calculation program that contractors use. Ventilating hot air out of the attic always helps. The ductwork has to be insulated, otherwise it will sweat. As for the best time to have an installation done- you want the slack periods of Spring and Fall.
 
 

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