HVAC Experts

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J295
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HVAC Experts

Post by J295 » Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm

Going to put a new HVAC system in our 2800 square foot townhome in Nebraska (think below zero in winter, and over 100° in summer with high humidity). Two floors. No basement. Gas heat.

Can you provide any guidance on the unit we should be searching for ?

Flyer24
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by Flyer24 » Fri May 01, 2020 7:58 pm

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

gtd98765
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by gtd98765 » Fri May 01, 2020 9:00 pm

There have been many recent threads on this. Put HVAC in the search box above and you will find them.

Designairohio
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by Designairohio » Fri May 01, 2020 9:18 pm

Find the right contractor, all the equipment out there will do the job if sized and installed properly

teCh0010
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by teCh0010 » Sat May 02, 2020 10:15 am

Nebraska will be a zone that uses heat heavily, but still. Needs reasonable AC. You probably dont have the humidity problems of the south in the summer, but low humidity in the winter could be a problem.

Quality install is your biggest concern vs brand of equipment. Meet with 3 contractors.

The economical choice for that climate is probably a two speed gas furnace with a single stage 16ish seer AC. Given your heating demand you may want to invest in the higher efficiency condensing gas furnace, although they do seem to take more maitnence than the simple 80% furnaces

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lthenderson
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by lthenderson » Sat May 02, 2020 8:59 pm

J295 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Can you provide any guidance on the unit we should be searching for ?
I always buy whatever brand the local HVAC company sells and does their own service. Nothing worse than buying one from a big box store that can't be serviced for a couple weeks when it is going to be 100 or 0 degrees during the time you are waiting. In my case it turned out to be Trane and it has been working flawlessly for almost seven years now.

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fortfun
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by fortfun » Sun May 03, 2020 12:01 am

J295 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Going to put a new HVAC system in our 2800 square foot townhome in Nebraska (think below zero in winter, and over 100° in summer with high humidity). Two floors. No basement. Gas heat.

Can you provide any guidance on the unit we should be searching for ?
If you have poor duct work, there's not much a new furnace/AC is going to fix. We have 3 rooms, above our garage, that are cold in the winter and hot in the summer, mostly due to inadequate duct work to those three rooms. They are furthest from the furnace and the duct work makes a dozen turns to get there. I wish we could redo the duct work but it would be way too expensive.

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Tubes
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by Tubes » Mon May 04, 2020 8:00 am

2800 sq ft is large enough to consider a split system. I'm not talking zone, I'm talking two systems, one upstairs, one down.

We converted our single system on our 2400 sq ft home to this kind of setup. One unit downstairs, the other resides in the attic.

It is the best investment I ever made in my home. We can sleep comfortably (bedrooms upstairs) without heating or cooling the whole house. We could keep it simple and install a heat pump upstairs, even though we have gas downstairs, because in the winter the gas heat on the first floor does most of the work for the second floor anyway.

Overall, more control. And some redundancy if one unit has issues.

BTW, this install was done 21 years ago by a large company. They sent their most experienced installer (1 month away from retirement). Install matters! He did a great job as evidenced by the fact we've had no issues since.

smackboy1
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by smackboy1 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:36 am

J295 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Can you provide any guidance on the unit we should be searching for ?
Look for good advice about residential HVAC here

https://hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdisplay. ... b495754a8e

Are there any areas of discomfort in the house that could be fixed with passive solutions like air sealing or insulation? If yes maybe get a home energy audit first and address those problems initially. A more efficient house is more comfortable and could possibly require a smaller HVAC unit.

Make sure the contractor performs a Manual J load calculation so a correctly sized HVAC unit is installed.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

tibbitts
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by tibbitts » Mon May 04, 2020 8:40 am

J295 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Going to put a new HVAC system in our 2800 square foot townhome in Nebraska (think below zero in winter, and over 100° in summer with high humidity). Two floors. No basement. Gas heat.

Can you provide any guidance on the unit we should be searching for ?
Don't believe calculations. I did and ended up without enough cooling power. I have two homes: one with theoretical over-capacity and one with all the math thrown at it. One is comfortable when it's hot out. The other one has the unit runing 24/7 and still comes up short.

Luke Duke
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by Luke Duke » Mon May 04, 2020 9:44 am

tibbitts wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:40 am
J295 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Going to put a new HVAC system in our 2800 square foot townhome in Nebraska (think below zero in winter, and over 100° in summer with high humidity). Two floors. No basement. Gas heat.

Can you provide any guidance on the unit we should be searching for ?
Don't believe calculations. I did and ended up without enough cooling power. I have two homes: one with theoretical over-capacity and one with all the math thrown at it. One is comfortable when it's hot out. The other one has the unit runing 24/7 and still comes up short.
You either have a math issue, an installation issue or an equipment issue. If you don't trust the calculations, don't blame the calculations, blame the person who performed them.

hookemhorns
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by hookemhorns » Mon May 04, 2020 10:23 am

tibbitts wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:40 am
J295 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Going to put a new HVAC system in our 2800 square foot townhome in Nebraska (think below zero in winter, and over 100° in summer with high humidity). Two floors. No basement. Gas heat.

Can you provide any guidance on the unit we should be searching for ?
Don't believe calculations. I did and ended up without enough cooling power. I have two homes: one with theoretical over-capacity and one with all the math thrown at it. One is comfortable when it's hot out. The other one has the unit runing 24/7 and still comes up short.
This is poor advice. A competent HVAC contractor should be able to do a correct manual-J calculation to determine system size. Having an oversized system can be just as bad as undersized.

As an example, at our house we have a small 3rd floor of maybe ~500sqft (converted attic) which a previous owner + HVAC contractor decided to install a 3 TON system to handle. As a result of being extremely oversized, the system cycles on/off every 5 minutes in hot weather. This will inevitably result in it wearing out way before its expected life and it also results in less humidity being removed, not to mention the original equipment likely cost way more than what was needed.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon May 04, 2020 10:50 am

OP, it’s probably not the right choice for you, but in case you:
- intend to stay in the house for a good while
- have the required access to drilling in the yard without bothering your neighbors unduly
- have decent ductwork to support HVAC
we have been very happy with our geothermal replacement of our oil burner and old AC units.

The cost is front loaded; you’ll pay a lot Initially but then coast financially (depending on your state, there are still considerable Federal and State incentives).
There is debate about whether buyers give credit for the installation, so I’d be hesitant to recommend it if you’re not planning to stay a while. After a few years, you’ll have low utility bills to show buyers.
The destruction to the yard will be remedied by the drillers/your landscaper.
It’s the most comfortable interior conditioning I’ve ever had, and I’ve had steam radiators, forced air, baseboard, oil heat, gas heat, radiant floor (really nice, but suitable for cooling).
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Topic Author
J295
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Re: HVAC Experts

Post by J295 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:28 pm

Really great of all of you to take the time to give thoughtful responses. Your information along with that of my friend who spent his career with the local natural gas company has me going in the right direction

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