Three A/C units?!?

cwit001April 12, 2012

We are looking to Purchase a home in the Houston area. It is ~3200 sqft. The house has three central A/C units. Is this normal? Is it gonna cost more electricity to have these running in our hit summers? Or will they work together towards efficiency. Our current 2 story home has 2 units and 3000sqft

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ionized_gw

No, it will cost less than if you have one if you use them wisely. Get good thermostats or a control system and program with some planning. Something that you can control remotely might be nice depending on your lifestyle. Cool or heat the areas you are using at a particular time and close the doors leading to the other areas so you are not conditioning the whole house.

I have a 2000 sq foot house with 7 rooms. There are 3 systems with a total of 7 zones between them.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:56AM
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energy_rater_la

it depends.
what size are the units
what age are they
what is layout of the house

I would be concerned with dehumidification
& short cycling of units. short run times
don't allow for dehumidification which is
a big issue in our climate.

some companies 'zone' with multiple units.
tell you that if one goes out, you'll still
have a cool place to go...???..

other companies zone with one unit and
multiple t-stats. this is a true zoned system
motorized dampers, multiple t-stats and a control
board.

I see existing homes with 3 units sometimes
one for main part of house
another for master bedroom suite & other bedrooms
and quite often a seperate unit for a room
over a garage.
it just depends on the layout of the house
the homeowner's specific needs and
how many units the hvac company wants to sell you.

have a few companies look at your existing hvac systems
and ductwork. they should give you information you need
to make a good decision.

several good people on this forum will help
once there is more information.

do you have any model numbers?
is the house all electric or gas furnaces?
are the utility rates high?

ionized..I just don't know what to say...
do you have 3 one ton units?

best of luck OP.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 12:32PM
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ionized_gw

Ductless mini-splits:

Indoor: 3 x 9000 BTU and 4 x 6000 BTU

Outdoor: 1 x 22,000 BTU and 2 x 18,000 BTU

;-)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:02PM
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cwit001

Its a two story home. living, dining, kitchen, master bedroom and a guest bedroom down. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom with a central gameroom/loft. there are two attics that are entered via normal doors. (I guess you'd call it a texas-basement...) One of them is enormous inside. Looks like you could ad another room or two in there. It has a functional window too - but it's up high. Almost looks like if you built up a subfloor and small stariway you could conceal the hvac systems and ducts and still have some new rooms. So, I dunno if the A/C plan is designed to allow for this potential expansion.
I only remember seeing two return ducts. Maybe the third is in the master. or hall near master. I'd have to take another look.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 4:03PM
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david_cary

3 units isn't necessarily a problem.

Maybe somebody had a deal on 2 ton units or too many of them and the load calc suggested 5 tons of cooling. So they put in 3 - if they are sized ok, then you are fine.

Mind you, if you can figure a way to just have 1 run most of the time, you will get better dehumidification and lower running costs.

Now you do run into higher maintenance costs and replacement costs over time...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 7:44AM
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