new hvac in lakewood, oh (cleveland) 100 year old home

goettemmFebruary 22, 2013


I recently purchased a home in Lakewood, OH (Cleveland) that has boiler radiator heat. House is 2 story + attic, approximately 1700 sqft and is 100 years old. I am thinking about finishing the attic and putting in AC/supplemental heat in the attic. The AC would go in the attic and I would frame around it. There are 4 bedrooms and a bathroom on the 2nd floor (easy to get to) and kitchen, living & dining room on the 1st floor. I received a quote from a local contractor to install a 80k 95% single stage American Standard furnace in the attic and a 3 ton 13 SEER American Standard AC & Coil. They will run ductwork through an old, unused chimney and a bedroom closet to get to the 1st floor. Total price with installation = $9,885. What is everyone's thoughts?



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Model numbers of all HVAC equipment proposed as well as detailed scope of work would be required to make an informed comment.

To be clear, you plan on adding ductwork. What are your intentions on the old radiator heat and boiler?

Post back.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Thanks for the response. Here are high level details, with model numbers once they respond 1) run ductwork from attic to each of the 4 2nd story bedrooms and the 2nd story bath 2) run ductwork down abandoned, 2nd chimney to 1st floor kitchen 3) run ductwork inside large closet to 2nd floor living room 4) master return in the 2nd story hallway. The home has hardwood floors with 3/4" gaps underneath the bedroom/bathroom doors.

I plan on keepin the radiators and boiler (for now). The installed system will supply heat to the attic in the winter & AC to the rest of the house in the summer. I plan on finishing the attic at some point. Tyring to upload the scope of work directly from the company.



    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:55PM
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So received model numbers today:



    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:58AM
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    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:08PM
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I am not a fan of installing HVAC equipment in uninsulated attics. I consider it a last resort option.

Are you going to set a separate zone for the attic? You will need it in the winter if you are going to continue using the radiators. I also think you will need it in the summer. Even when you insulate the attic, the heat load in the summer will be higher than the first floor.

Did the contractor do a load calculation? I would be concerned there are only three 8 inch supplies providing air to the first floor.

I recommend getting a variable speed furnace. This will allow you to get a 15-16 SEER AC. If the furnace will eventually heat the whole house, then you should get a 95%+ AFUE furnace.

You need to decide whether you are going to keep the radiators. This will factor into the new HVAC design. There may be other options available. You could install a mini split in the attic after it is finished. This would give you the option of installing the air handler in the basement.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:06AM
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I have installed Unico high velocity systems in a number of houses (two I lived in and numerous others, including some antebellum and pre-revolutionary houses) and would recommended it.

It significantly reduces wall damage and preserves closet space (a common location for forced air duct work).

using duct-board in unconditioned spaces to make ducts has some significant advantages.
One is it s already insulated, but another is that the lower mass of the duct work reduces system losses to cooling the ducts.
More mass meas more heat holding ability.
Once the duct warms up, it takes more cooling energy to remove the heat from a heavier duct.

Flex duct has some of the same advantages, but a higher pressure loss when air is flowing.
It can be accounted for, but it meas more blower HP to move the air.

The two customers who used high velocity for heating quickly found the weakness.
Faster moving air and the stirring of the room air creates drafts.

Not very important in cooling application (remember standing front of a fan to cool off?) but a real drawback for heating.

If you put HVAC equipment in unconditioned space, one alternative is to turn it into 'semi conditioned' space by erecting a light weight insulated 'room' around the equipment.

Simple lightweight framing and thick foam insulation.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 4:35PM
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