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HVAC: Revised House Design - HVAC input please

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HVAC: Revised House Design - HVAC input please

Old 08-18-2016, 05:19 AM
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Default HVAC: Revised House Design - HVAC input please

A while back I received some great input here from the brain trust for a then planned house. Well, those plans changed pretty drastically and we brought in an architect for a fresh design and we just received the floor plans and elevation. Drastic change up to what is now a 2 story plus loft for my office. The total square footage of the house is 2555. My office will be in the loft of the house. Use wise, the loft/aka office will be used for say 10 hours per day and after that, I am done for the day with business. House itself is a 4/3 with 1 2 car garage and a separate single car garage which will be our gym.

HVAC wise, I have no idea what the best way to go is and we start to meet with builders next week for bids. We had planned on a simple system. I don't know a damn thing about HVAC but I do know that I want to most efficient setup I can buy. The plan is either Trane or American Standard. But, what type of system? Do we go with a split system or two completely separate systems? I want to be able to evenly control the temperature wise. I've been in some 2 story houses where it's a comfortable say 75 down stairs and the second story gets no cooler than low 80's. So what would you recommend be installed for the most efficient system? It's either pay me now, or pay me later. I'd prefer to spend a bit more up front with the right system and not be kicking myself in the ass when the office won't cool down and we get outrageous bills because the air runs constantly.

With that, here's the elevation and I am wide open to input. I at the very least need to be educated as to my options when we start to get bids from builders. Much appreciated

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Old 08-18-2016, 06:20 AM
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Trane XV systems with zoning is the only way to go, to control temperature properly. That being said, most HVAC contractors are clueless when it comes to designing zoning systems to work properly. They oversize the equipment and than under size the duct system.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:44 AM
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Thanks much, will read up on those. Your point on contractors is a real concern and we need to ensure the ducts are properly sized and system setup correctly or it will be a nightmare.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:52 AM
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Ductless in that loft for sure
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:00 AM
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The house we're remodeling has a split zone system (2 years old and HE) and it seems to work very well. The only thing I've heard bad about them is the controllers/dampers need to have annual service or they can hang up. But given the option on new construction I would go with multiple independent systems. That way if you have an issue with one system they other(s) still work.

This house in St Pete is one level, 3800 sq ft, but we have two systems with 2 bedrooms on one system, 3 on the other and an overlap on the main spaces. It works great and when we lost a system to lightening one evening last month we just moved to another bedroom and slept in comfort.

But in the case of your loft/office my choice would be a Mitsubishi ductless mini-split.

Also love the new design; it has a lot more architectural interest than the first one.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel Irie View Post
Ductless in that loft for sure
We have something VERY similar, walk out basement 1850sf, main floor 1850sf, loft 300sf. We are using a 20ser 4 ton zoned unit, and as stated the loft is using a 18000 BTU ductless unit.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:22 AM
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Much appreciated. A builder who specs out the wrong system may on the surface appear to be the better option but without this intel, I would not have a clue!
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
The house we're remodeling has a split zone system (2 years old and HE) and it seems to work very well. The only thing I've heard bad about them is the controllers/dampers need to have annual service or they can hang up. But given the option on new construction I would go with multiple independent systems. That way if you have an issue with one system they other(s) still work.

This house in St Pete is one level, 3800 sq ft, but we have two systems with 2 bedrooms on one system, 3 on the other and an overlap on the main spaces. It works great and when we lost a system to lightening one evening last month we just moved to another bedroom and slept in comfort.

But in the case of your loft/office my choice would be a Mitsubishi ductless mini-split.

Also love the new design; it has a lot more architectural interest than the first one.
Thanks, the new design comes from a great architect and while putting our trust in him was a bit of a challenge, it paid off in spades. The interior floor plan is badass if I must say so LOL.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:59 AM
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I would make sure you have 2 air returns one at each side of the house. We incorporated that in our new house because our other house only had one, and it was at the far side, opposite of master and kitchen. we had problems heating and cooling the master and kitchen properly and balanced with the rest of the house. once we installed a second air return on the other side, it was like night and day difference.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:00 AM
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Foam all outside walls including garage. Place garage doors on the side instead of the front of house.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for input. There are 2 garages, one with side entry. Due to lot situation, there is no way to make the second garage a side entry it is just impossible and trust me, we tried. Thanks again Marty.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:25 AM
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here is our house a few ys ago (I know I need some updated ones) during contruction. The main living area is vaulted to the roof line, we spray foamed that. the side wings we had blown in insulation over the bed room/bath and kitchen area. We don't have a garage, we have a barn most everything goes in, and mommas daily driver is under a car port that's stayled to match the house

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Old 08-18-2016, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
Thanks, the new design comes from a great architect and while putting our trust in him was a bit of a challenge, it paid off in spades. The interior floor plan is badass if I must say so LOL.

Finding the right architect who's good and will listen to what you want is key. So when is it scheduled to be done?
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:37 AM
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hey Bagger, if you havent thought about it, spray foam insulation is what I did...got a rebate from power company....cost me 8k but my highest light bill has been $100....averages $80-85 per month
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:37 AM
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Indeed. I actually just got off the phone with a builder. We are going to get multiple bids and by the time the technical drawings are done, truss design is done and engineering is done I am hoping we can scratch dirt right around the first of the year give or take.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bluffman2 View Post
hey Bagger, if you havent thought about it, spray foam insulation is what I did...got a rebate from power company....cost me 8k but my highest light bill has been $100....averages $80-85 per month
Much appreciated, spray foam is in the plans for certain although just how much I am not sure yet but it is there.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:42 AM
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Damn I just looked up Innerarity Island, I bet hurricane INS and flood is SKY HIGH!!
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:50 AM
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this is a pretty close estimate calculator.....it got with 1000 bucks of mine

http://sprayfoaminsulationcostguide.com/calculator/
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:50 AM
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Actually YES it can be BUT... when I went out there I knew that the only way I would buy a lot was to buy one NOT in a flood zone. NOT easily done. However, persistence paid off and after reaching out via the good old post office and just sending blind letters out, we found one. Flood insurance for our lot is $375 per year for the maximum amount we can buy, lot is in an "X" Flood Zone. I confirmed that with the insurance company, county and the surveyor who also made it a point to include that statement on our survey. I looked at lots in a flood zone and hell, I could not even get a price for flood insurance. It was insane, almost didn't end up there. Took me 5 months of sending letters to property owners out of state to find the lot.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:53 AM
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Duct system design is going to be key here. With that open layout and the loft area, you're going to want most of the return from the house up in that area or at least up at the same level located somewhere else.
Doing a zoned system is really going to be difficult if not impossible in terms of getting it to work right. You're basically going to wind up cooling the entire space regardless.

The only other possibility I would explore is a dedicated ductless mini split for the loft area, and a conventional layout for the rest of the house. You'll wind up having to oversize that due to the fact it's going to be dealing with all the warmer air accumulated at the ceiling regardless of what is going on in the rest of the house.

Hot air rises and you can't fight physics. The only way I would guarantee something maintaining desired temp in that upper area is if it was possible to close it off. Make it a room instead of an open to the rest of the house type space.

We are in the process of doing a new home with what sounds like a similar large loft as we speak. Our duct design has 70% of the return air opening sq in coming from up in that area. It is going to be all one zone.
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