Discussion in 'HVAC' started by bernstein, Jan 1, 2006.
Does the whole house need to be air-conditioned or would cooling in one or two rooms be sufficient?
Room air conditioners offer an effective, low-cost approach to providing comfort in a small space, up to three rooms, with minimum installation effort. Central air conditioners and heat pumps are used to cool the entire space. Central air conditioners are cooling-only products, whereas heat pumps provide winter heating as well. The cost of a heat pump is greater than that of a central air conditioner, which is greater than that of a room air conditioner.
If you are currently renting your home or apartment or if you are planning to move in the near future, a significant investment in either a central air-conditioning system or a heat pump probably does not make sense. However, a room air conditioner can be moved with you and reinstalled in another residence.
Some room air conditioners, particularly those with larger capacities, will require a dedicated electrical circuit or have specific requirements regarding the current rating of the wiring and the breaker. Before you buy, investigate your electrical system. Identify which other electrical loads are on the circuit that you plan to use, and with the help of an electrical contractor, check existing wiring to determine how much additional load can be safely added. If a new circuit is needed, it should be installed by a qualified electrical contractor and inspected for conformity with the electrical code.
What can I do to reduce the need for mechanical cooling in my home ?
Use blinds or drapes on the windows. Make sure they are closed before the sun starts shining through.
Caulk and weatherstrip to seal air gaps, and ensure that the attic and exterior walls are insulated to meet or exceed the minimum recommended levels to minimize heat transfer to the interior.
Turn on the kitchen rangehood fan when cooking, if it exhausts outside, and turn on the bathroom fan while bathing to minimize moisture buildup in the space.
Use awnings, blinds or drapes to keep direct sunlight from entering the living space. Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides of the house and wide roof overhangs will reduce solar heat gain to the interior in summer, while having only a small effect on heating in winter. Light-coloured exterior finishes will also help reduce solar heat gain year-round.
Turn off lights and appliances that are not needed. Plan heat- and moisture-generating activities (cooking, dish washing, drying clothes and bathing) for cooler morning and evening hours. Consider using appliances with time-delay controls. In addition to generating heat and humidity at a less noticeable time (after midnight, for example), your air conditioner will operate more efficiently in the cooler night hours.
Select compact fluorescent lamps and energy-efficient appliances, since they produce less waste heat than conventional products. The electricity consumed by a less efficient refrigerator, for example, is converted to heat, which is released into your kitchen.
How can I select a good contractor from whom to purchase a central air conditioner?
The contractor should calculate the cooling load for the house and be prepared to explain this to you.
He should ensure that the ductwork system is designed to provide adequate airflow and distribution to all areas of the house. When the existing fan and ductwork are used, they should be examined to see if they are adequate, since an air-conditioning system may require greater airflow than the system was designed to handle.
wow you guys know your stuff..the only one thing i havent seen by reading theese post was people load...
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